You know it's a special week when the return of Tony Iommi and Ozzy Osbourne working together isn't even the biggest news of the week. No, we've got a brand new Slipknot album to look forward to, a Megadeth/Ice-T collab to marvel at and 'the heaviest Muse song ever'.
It's a hell of a line-up, but first let's celebrate Disturbed, winners of last week's poll for the best track of the week with their new single Hey You, presumably taken from the band's upcoming eighth studio album. Nu metal really is back, folks.
This week we're again stacked up with massive names; as well as Ozzy Osbourne, Slipknot and Megadeth, we've got new songs from Alter Bridge and Muse, the return of Mike Patton's Dead Cross and some stunning displays of heaviness from Norma Jean and Ithaca. As ever, don't forget to cast your vote at the bottom of the page!
Slipknot - The Dying Song (Time To Sing)
After almost nine months of teasing, Slipknot have finally announced their seventh studio album, The End, So Far will be with us in September. New single The Dying Song (Time To Sing) buzzes with all the fury and hyperactivity of a hornet’s nest that’s just been given the boot, Corey Taylor’s ear for a massive chorus put front and centre to make sure we’re all good and excited about the new Slipknot album… as if we needed persuading.
Ozzy Osbourne - Degradation Rules
Tony Iommi and Ozzy Osbourne, reunited at last. Surprisingly, Degradation Rules doesn’t whiff of Sabbath as much as you’d expect - beyond Iommi’s naturally apocalyptic guitar tone - but the track does take heavy metal back to its blues roots, even chucking a bit of harmonica into the mix. It’s every bit as iconic as you’d hope.
Alter Bridge - Pawns & Kings
The title-track for Alter Bridge’s upcoming seventh album, Pawns & Kings combines their ear for massive anthems with a killer, near-percussive lead riff from guitarist Mark Tremonti. Alter Bridge have always trod ground between Metallica and Pearl Jam, taking the sheer muscular force of the former and the soulful energy of the latter, so hearing it front-and-centre on Pawns & Kings is certainly enough to get excited about the band’s upcoming tour.
Megadeth ft. Ice T – Night Stalkers
MegaDave enlists BFF Ice T to indulge his ongoing fascination with the US military‘s more clandestine operations – in this case, the so-called ‘black-ops’ helicopters of the US Army’s 160th Battalion. The result is six-and-a-half minutes of thrashy, tighter-than-a-duck’s-quacker riffage of the kind that Megadeth do better than anybody else. An unexpected acoustic break is a brilliant curveball, though it’s the Ice-man’s spoken-word cameo (“Game’s over, bitches!”) that wins this one.
Dead Cross - Reign of Error
Mike Patton. Dave Lombardo. Yes, we know Dead Cross also features the talents of Justin Pearson and Michael Crain, but if those first two names don’t get you hot under the collar, frankly we reckon you’ve stumbled onto the wrong site anyway. Mad as a box of rabid frogs and twice as energetic, the return of Dead Cross with Reign of Error is all the prog-thrash hyperactivity you could possibly hope for, with no doubt much more to come when II comes out on October 28th.
Muse - Kill Or Be Killed
“This is Muse at our heaviest!” screeched Mad Matt Bellamy ahead of the release of this latest single from upcoming album The Will Of The People, and he’s not lying. Sure, it’s not going to give Amenra any sleepless nights, but its perfectly pitched mix of steel-plated riffage, soaring melodies, and whirring, the-cyborgs-are-coming! electronics suggest the Teignmouth terrors should crank it up more often. Bonus marks for the death grunt Bellamy drops halfway through.
Skynd - Armin Miewes
Named for the cannibalistic killer who also inspired the likes of Mein Teil, Bloodbath’s Eaten and Ozzy Osbourne’s Eat Me, Skynd’s latest single Armin Miewes makes full use of the band’s disconcerting industrial sound to create a song as creepy as its subject matter. Coming off like a combination of Aphex Twin, Ministry and Kittie, Armin Miewes comes with a freaky, gut-turning video that really gets under the skin (and then chews it, presumably).
Norma Jean - Sleep Explosion
If you’re all about big dirty riffs and throat-shredding vocals, boy oh boy do Norma Jean have something for you. Sleep Explosion is a noisy fist to the face, sounding like a noise rock take on the more straight-ahead Dillinger Escape Plan material. The sheer heft and physicality of Norma Jean’s sound is truly awesome to behold, the kind of heaviness that will make you want to walk through walls.
Lacuna Coil - Tight Rope XX
It's generally a mixed bag whenever a band announces they'll be re-recording one of their classic albums, but if the rest of Comalies XX sounds half as excellent as Tight Rope XX, you can sign us right up. Revisiting their breakthrough after 20 years, LC have stripped away the nu metal production hangovers to get to the epic heart of their songwriting, re-affirming just how unbelievably brilliant this band are in the process.
Ithaca - The Future Says Thank You
Ever since Ithaca unveiled They Fear Us in February, they have been reaffirming their status as one of metallic hardcore's most exciting and visceral bands. No surprise then that The Future Says Thank You - the final advance single from the band's second album - goes off like a sack of gunpowder on a Lynx bonfire - vocalist Djamila Azzouz switching between scorched throat howls and cleans to really show off her incredible range.