We're on the final stretch of 2023! With just three months of the year left to go, it won't be long before the demand for lists aplenty arrives like a tidal wave and we start to crown the best albums of this year [and here's a handy recap of what's already come, if you're coming up blank on what's already come this year].
But we digress, this feature isn't about looking back - it's about what's fresh, new and brilliant right bloody now! But, erm, first one last recap - the winner of last week's vote! Former Atreyu vocalist Alex Varkatzas made some hefty in-roads with his new band Dead Icarus to take a healthy third spot, challenging all-round heavyweights Avenged Sevenfold's claim to silver. But far and away the runaway success of last week was P.O.D.'s massive Drop, an old-school style nu metal banger with guest vocals from Randy Blythe taking a very clear lead.
As ever, this week we've hunted low and high to find you the very best new songs from the worlds of metal, punk, rock and beyond. There's arena-sized anthemia from Within Temptation, snarling thrash from Nervosa, sparking 'pop metal' from Amaranthe and even blackened death metal from Indonesian newcomers Laang and so much more besides. Don't forget to cast your vote below and let us know which new metal song excites you most as we hit the final quarter of 2023. And, as it's the final week of September, we've got our massive "best metal songs of 2023" playlist linked at the bottom of the page. Happy listening!
Within Temptation - Ritual
The sonic evolution of Within Temptation is still going strong on new single Ritual. Taken from next month’s Bleed Out, the single feels decidedly punchier and more geared to the arenas they frequent now than their early goth metal or even symphonic metal trappings as the band churn out massive anthems that feel perfectly pitched to massive audiences. More power to them - this is an absolute banger.
Frank Carter And The Rattlesnakes - Man Of The Hour
Closing in on almost a decade since he launched The Rattlesnakes, Frank Carter has never seemed further from his punk past. The passion and indignation still burns bright, but new single Man Of The Hour is a grand ballad that we dare say even has a touch of Britpop in its undeniable hooks and massive scale. New album Dark Rainbow won’t be with us until January 26 2024, but judging from this first single it looks like Frank is pushing the boat out more than ever.
Blind Channel - Deadzone
After May’s Happy Doomsday single we knew it couldn’t be too long before we got a new album from Finnish nu metal revivialists Blind Channel, and sure enough this week they announced new album Exit Emotions will be with us in 2024. If that seems too far off, there’s also the matter of new single Deadzone, a bouncy sing-along with massive hooks and subtly thrumming electro notes that make it feel like live wires are being fed directly into the band. There was no shortage of sing-alongs when the band played Download Festival this summer, so we dare say this new album is setting them up for even bigger crowds next time out.
KK’s Priest - Hymn 66
With their second album now out in the world and UK tour dates set to kick off next week, it really is a case of The Sinner Rides Again for KK’s Priest. Reuniting K.K. Downing and sometime Judas Priest singer Tim ‘Ripper’ Owens, the results are expectedly classic in their stylings, Downing’s iconic guitar style still as potent as it was on Painkiller, British Steel or any other heavy metal-defining record he has left his indelible mark on.
Nervosa - Elements Of Sin
The last single released ahead of new album Jailbreak, Elements Of Sin is yet more proof that line-up changes haven’t slowed Nervosa’s momentum. The Brazilian thrashers have always veered towards the Teutonic fury of acts like Sodom, but Elements Of Sin feels especially vicious and brutal, incessant, choppy riffs biting into the flesh while Prika Amaral snarls like a wounded lioness.
Amaranthe - Insatiable
A big, dancefloor filling metal tune with disco sensibilities, Amaranthe’s Insatiable feels like it could have strutted its way out of the stage-show of fellow-Swedes Avatar, or otherwise been cribbed from a long-forgotten ABBA tune. Infectiously fun and powered by chugging riffs and dainty, bouncy synth, vocalist Elize Ryd’s assertion that “it’s irresistible” proves entirely prophetic.
Sophie Lloyd - Imposter Syndrome (feat. Lzzy Hale)
YouTube shredder sensation Sophie Lloyd has finally announced her debut solo album Imposter Syndrome, taking a leaf out of fellow guitarist Slash's book for how to pull-off a massive solo debut; with a stacked vocal guestlist. Due November 10, Imposter Syndrome's title-track features the almighty vocal talents of Lzzy Hale, the pair working in harmony to create an arena-sized rock anthem that'll have you singing along in no time.
Dying Wish - Path To Your Grave
Sweeping guitars have fallen sadly out of fashion in metalcore in recent years, brutish breakdowns taking the forefront as one of the genre’s most prevalent defining traits. Dying Wish’s newest single Path To Your Grave gallops back to the nimble fretwork of early Killswitch and Trivium however, whilst still delivering the heavy in the form of explosive blast-beats and yes, a vicious trigger-finger blastbeat. All together, it’s a hefty, massive sounding tune that suggests new album Symptoms Of Survival will be a killer when it arrives November 3.
Grove Street - Hunting Season
Is it just us, or is there a looming spectre of Slayer’s Seasons In The Abyss to Grove Street’s latest single Hunting Season? Yes, the titles both refer to ‘season’, but that ominous, menacing intro giving way to a seriously energetic explosion has us thinking of one of thrash metal’s greatest bands at their very best, testament to just how incendiary Grove Street are sounding of late. Muscular and powerful in its riffs, this one could be a serious menace in the live setting.
Lake Malice - Mitsuko
Described by the band themselves as “the pissed off love child of Linkin Park and Pendulum, wrapped up in the unfiltered aggression of Loathe”, UK newcomers Lake Malice certainly aren’t lacking for ambition on new single Mitsuko. Metalcore meets frantic drum’n’bass in a tight two-minute package, the Brighton band lining themselves up for big things with the announcement of debut EP Post-Genesis for an October 27 release and a string of UK and European dates including support slots with Skindred and their own headline shows. Keep your eyes on this lot in 2024.
Laang 冷 - Riluo 日落
Taiwanese black metal duo Laang 冷 have continued their march towards third album Riluo by releasing its title track. The new single’s a truly evocative piece, opening with delicate piano keys before giving way to cascading, shouting metal. “Riluo expresses the fears, regrets and reconciliation of being forever changed by trauma,” says singer/guitarist Haitao Yang, as conveyed by such lyrics as “Haunted and afraid, I accept my fate”, sung in Mandarin Chinese. Expect even more emotional, cathartic heaviness when Riluo’s released on November 24 by Talheim Records.