Happy Friday! It's wild to think that summer's already almost over, but we won't pretend we're not excited at the prospect of a seeming avalanche of new releases and tours that have been lined up for this Autumn, including the brand new album from this month's Metal Hammer cover stars Within Temptation.
But, we're getting ahead of ourselves. First, the results from last week's vote! Scottish metalcore brutes Bleed From Within took a very admirable third place beneath death metal legends Cannibal Corpse, but it was (relative) prog metal newcomers Earthside who took top spot, and by a decent margin too adding some validity to our assertion that the band have their sights on global domination.
This week the big guns are back out to play - we've got all-new songs from Within Temptation, Babymetal and Corey Taylor, as well as returning heroes Ministry, Atreyu and possibly the most melodic Svalbard song ever recorded. As ever, we need you to tell us which track excites you most, so don't forget to cast your vote below!
Within Temptation - Bleed Out
This month’s Hammer cover stars are still pushing boundaries even after 26 years and seven studio albums. There’s still whispers of the fairytale grandeur of the band’s early releases in Bleed Out, but the title-track of the band’s upcoming eighth record also feels more fiery and direct, Sharon Den Adel’s voice soaring over some of the heaviest riffs the band have explored to date. There’s no word if the entire record will be this heavy, but come October 20 we’ll have our answer.
Babymetal - METALI!! (feat. Tom Morello)
Babymetal’s latest album The Other One erred more on the side of grandiose than quirky, but new stand-alone single METAL! Brings their unique character right back to the fore as it mixes neck-bothering riffs and traditional Japanese instrumentation, while guest guitarist Tom Morello brings in a characteristically brilliant - and weird - guitar solo. The first new song since Momometal joined the Babymetal ranks, the band are already off to a flying start - especially considering their whole UK tour has now sold out.
Corey Taylor - Talk Sick
There were plenty of moments in Corey Taylor’s debut solo album CMFT that paid tribute to the excesses of 80s rock and metal, so it fits that the album’s sequel should have its own share of moments. Talk Sick is all wailing guitars and strutting riffs right out the pages of Guns N’ Roses, even chucking in clap-along drum-beats for extra crowd-baiting emphasis.
Tesseract - The Grey
After the shimmering epic that was War Of Being, Tesseract’s new single The Grey is a decidedly more direct, punchy number. Granted, the band still approach it with their usual unique instrumental sensibilities that ensures the track is all nimble fingers and jutting riffs before breaking out into soaring melodies that feel tailor-made to get crowds roaring along. We’ll be astounded if this isn’t a future live favourite.
Ministry - Goddamn White Trash
Ministry have been playing Goddamn White Trash for a little while now on their US dates, but we won’t pretend to not be excited about the band’s upcoming 16th album HOPIUMFORTHEMASSES, due March 1 2024. Frantic riffs, apocalyptic imagery and sample voiceovers are a staple of post-2000s Ministry, and Goddamn White Trash stays the course in that regard, skewering recent events in American politics with a typically vicious sense of humour whilst also bringing in guest contributions from Corrosion Of Conformity’s Pepper Keenan.
Atreyu - Immortal
Taken from this week’s The Moment You Find Your Flame EP, Immortal plays into Atreyu’s capacity for undeniable earworms, a gyrating track which shows just how far the OC band have come since their early metalcore days. Suggested to be part of an upcoming concept album - The Beautiful Dark of Life - due later this year, the track nonetheless feels like a modern-day banger that should be a mainstay of future setlists.
Svalbard - How To Swim Down
After the emotional Faking It, Svalbard are going for broke in pure heartbreak stakes on new single How To Swim Down. Between a deceptively brightly coloured animated video and the band’s proven knack for wistful melodies, How To Swim Down shows that the British band are no less impactful even when they take their foot off our throats, vocalist Serena Cherry offering a light touch that is at once haunting and uplifting as the final refrain of I Will Heal You rings out.
Orbit Culture - Descent
The title-track of Orbit Culture’s new album, Descent is a brutal showcase of the heaviest sides of their sound, leaning hard on melodeath with gatling-gun drums and colossally stomping riffs that bridge the likes of Hypocrisy to Gojira. It’s an ambitious and undeniably exciting sound, and shows why the band have been exciting metalheads enough to get picked up for the likes of Knotfest's Pulse Of The Maggots and Trivium tours.
Born Of Osiris - Torchbearer
Born Of Osiris might have made their name in the realms of metalcore, but new single Torchbearer feels more like prog being fed into the chomping jaws of some great mechanised beast than anything you might hear elsewhere in the genre. Propulsive riffs and howls are underpinned by an ever-present twinkling synth, the end result feeling like the genre has been blasted off into the wide, wild cosmos.
Hexvessel - A Cabin In Montana
The morose tones of goth by way of mournful black metal, Hexvessel’s latest single A Cabin In Montana sits on the boundary of both worlds without fully plunging into either. But then, that’s a big part of the magic of the Finnish band, Mat McNerney’s otherworldly tones playing perfectly against the din and beckoning forth the winter chill that surely waits in just a few weeks time. Thankfully Hexvessel’s new album Polar Veil will be with us before then, arriving on September 22 via Svart Records.