The 11 best new metal songs you need to hear right now

Slaughter To Prevail/Ou/Knocked Loose/Ho99o9/Dool
(Image credit: Press/Zhang Xin/Brock Fetch/Finn Constantine/David Fitt)

And just like that, we're into March. Hard as it is to believe that we're already three months into the year, we'll make do when it also means we've got a new Bruce Dickinson album to sink our teeth into, not to mention Judas Priest's Rob Halford cuddling kittens on the cover of the latest issue of Metal Hammer

Of course, there's also the small matter of all the brilliant new music to discover, and as ever we've hunted high and low to find you some of the most exciting sounds around. But first, the results of last week's vote! Priest took an admirable third place in last week's ranking with the frenzied The Serpent And The King, falling behind Apocalyptica's return to classical renditions of Metallica with their version of The Four Horsemen. Both paled in comparison to newcomer Andry however, who took top spot comfortably with her excellent solo debut Skies

This week it's all to play for, as we bring you everything from deathcore and prog metal to death-doom, metalcore and straight-up hardcore, with bands like Slaughter To Prevail, Ingested, Knocked Loose and many more fighting it out. As ever, we need you to let us know which songs excite you most, so don't forget to cast your vote below. Happy listening! 

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Slaughter To Prevail - Conflict

Lorna Shore might have taken the deathcore crown for the moment, but the rising star of Slaughter To Prevail ensures they can’t get too complacent on the throne. New single Conflict is as straight-ahead pummelling as deathcore comes, a sub-three-minute beatdown disguised under frenetic riffs, breakdowns and chest-beating lines like “I’m fucking full of hatred right now/and you Shut the fuck up and go walk boy” capturing a visceral, defiant energy that has made the band serious contenders. 

Accept - Humanoid

In all the excitement of having new Bruce Dickinson and Judas Priest albums to carry us through March, it bares worth noting that they aren’t the only heavy metal vets rearing their head as Accept howl back to life with Humanoid. The title-track of the German band’s upcoming seventeenth studio album - due April 26 - Humanoid is trad metal menace to the full, guitars looming behind Mark Tornillo’s curled lip snarl and shrieks that would do the Metal Gods proud. 

Knocked Loose - Blinding Faith

Driving hardcore to its most visceral extremes and even using honest-to-god pig squeals, Knocked Loose have come out swinging on new single Blinding Faith. With less than a week to go before the band’s UK tour kicks off in Birmingham, Blinding Faith is the lead single from new album You Won’t Go Before You’re Supposed To, due May 10, and is a gnashed-tooth screamer that represents the most wild-eyed, vicious aspects of the band’s sound. Best shift off the dancefloor if you hear the song’s wailing notes and don’t fancy getting mauled in a pit.  

Dool - Venus In Flames

Gorgeous and immersive, Dool’s latest single shows just how dynamic the material from their upcoming third album The Shape Of Fluidity is. Due April 19, the record contends with ideas of change and transformation, be it societal or personal, whilst also exploring gender identities. Fittingly, Venus In Flames adopts its own unique sense of sonic fluidity, shifting from hard-hitting riffs to gentle, airy tones that swell under Raven van Dorst’s powerful voice and canny ear for wicked hooks. 

Ho99o9 - A Machine Of

Hard to believe that it’s been a decade since Ho99o9 first burst onto the scene with Mutant Freax, but the duo remain a viscerally challenging prospect as they gear up for their upcoming third album. There’s no word on a release date yet, but new single A Machine Of captures a mixture of Ministry-like abrasion, early Nine Inch Nails big hooks and a distinct, unsettling atmosphere that is entirely Ho99o9’s own. Stick it on loud. 

Ministry - New Religion

Speaking of Ministry, the industrial legends’ new album Hopiumforthemasses arrives today with a flurry of riffs, apocalyptic tones and a characteristic venom. There’s something almost old school hip-hop about the production to New Religion, the looped main riff chucking up shades of Public Enemy’s She Watch Channel Zero?! While the drum-beat evokes the larger-than-life beat of John Bonham. As ever, Al Jourgensen presides over all like a menacing doom prophet, only to offer up some sublime melodies that suggest maybe he is mellowing with age. [He isn’t].

Blind Channel - XOXO (ft. From Ashes To New)

With new album Exit Emotions, Blind Channel are setting themselves out as the leading lights of the nu metal revival. New single XOXO has more than a passing shade of Linkin Park’s influence to it, but the Finns imbue the song with their own sense of dynamism and bouncy energy that makes it infectious in its own right, a sing-along in the making - and just in time, with a UK tour set to kick off in just a few weeks. 

Ingested - Pantheon

Just listen to those drum fills! Ingested’s latest single Pantheon is a tremendous demonstration of exactly why they’ve become so revered in death metal circles, taking stomping grooves and pendulous riffs and applying them with a sense of fresh zeal that makes the band utterly irresistible. Set to tour Europe and the UK with Fallujah from April 17, we reckon this is well worth your time if you’re looking for meaty, surprisingly hooky brutality to sink your teeth into. 

Ou - 蘇醒 Frailty

With their 2022 debut One, Chinese prog metal newcomers Ou set themselves apart from the pack with thrumming rhythms and instrumentally adventurous compositions set against Lynn Wu’s playful, high-pitched vocal tones. New single Frailty pushes those elements even further out into the aether, skittering beats providing a baseline for ascendant melodies that capture the band’s otherworldly charm. Taken from their Devin Townsend produced new album 蘇醒 II: Frailty - due April 26 - Frailty also brings some of those Hevy Devy influences to the fore with a sudden burst of maximalism as blastbeats, vocals and synths blare in the final 30-ish seconds. 

Hamferd - Hvolja

Blaring like Gabriel’s horn in Biblical prophecy and delivering a sense of doom no less apocalyptic, Hamferd’s new single Hvolja continues the devastating mixture of despair and beauty that was established on earlier single Ábær. With just a few weeks left to go until new album Men Guðs Hond Er Sterk arrives on March 22, Hamferd are going for broke with a potent combination of gut-churning low-end and despairing wails that could turn even the cheeriest band into dyed-in-the-wool miserablists. 

Lake Malice - Eternal December

The days might be getting longer, but that doesn’t mean we’re out the woods where seasonal depression goes. The core topic of Lake Malice’s new single Eternal December, the band don’t get mired in misery so much as break loose of it with a sense of buoyant melody, bouncing forward with a sense of dogged determination that leaves no mystery as to why the band have been making waves in the UK, underpinnings of synth giving the song an almost Eurodance anthem feel. With their first ever UK headline tour kicking off on March 6 in Brighton, we reckon Lake Malice are the perfect way to get excited for brighter days ahead. 

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Rich Hobson

Staff writer for Metal Hammer, Rich has never met a feature he didn't fancy, which is just as well when it comes to covering everything rock, punk and metal for both print and online, be it legendary events like Rock In Rio or Clash Of The Titans or seeking out exciting new bands like Nine Treasures, Jinjer and Sleep Token.