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

Defiled/Orden Ogan/Band-Maid/Calva Louise/Lowen
(Image credit: Shigenori Ishikawa/Nat Enemede/Press/Henry Calvert/A Ford)

Depending which side of the Atlantic you are, a lot of you are probably groggy today. But whether it's from late nights celebrating July 4, staying up to watch the election results in the UK or if you're from elsewhere in the world and just want some great new music, we've got you covered with the best new metal songs around to blast away the cobwebs this Friday. 

First, the results of last week's vote! It was a diverse spread to choose from with everything from nu metal to extreme and trad, but ultimately it looks like new blood took the day. Skye Dahl's Viking inspired Hypokrit took a comfortable third place, while Brighton duo Wrex bounced their way to second. The crown went to nu metal revivalists BLACKGOLD however, Social Blackout showcasing their beefy, oh-so infectious style. 

This week we've got a triple offering from the shores of Japan thanks to new singles from Band-Maid, Bridear and Defiled, as well as a decidedly heavier showing all-round with new(ish) names like Akhlys, Vulvodynia, Avmakt and Lowen all representing extremity in its many diverse forms. As ever, we need you to tell us which songs excite you most, so don't forget to cast your vote below - and have an excellent weekend! 

Metal Hammer line break

Swallow The Sun - Innocence Was Long Forgotten

Our first taste of new music from Finnish doomsters Swallow The Sun since 2021’s Moonflowers, Innocence Was Long Forgotten conjures a beautiful, elegiac atmosphere that fans of the band will recognise instantly. But where the band originally emerged from a death-doom base, this time out they’ve embraced a sense of straight-ahead gothic doom, even stripping away some of the orchestral flourishes that have popped up on the last two albums in favour of pure, raw anthemic potential. 

SWALLOW THE SUN - Innocence Was Long Forgotten (OFFICIAL VIDEO) - YouTube SWALLOW THE SUN - Innocence Was Long Forgotten (OFFICIAL VIDEO) - YouTube
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Band-Maid - Protect You

It’s now been a decade since Band-Maid released their debut album, but the Japanese band still prove to be just as distinctive and infectiously energetic as ever on new single Protect You. There’s a clear, unabashed love for the larger-than-life energy of 80s metal to the single, filtered through a distinctly Japanese lens that bypasses standard subgenre trappings - no Lovebites’ style power metal or Hanabie metalcore here - to land on a pure and brilliant sound that is entirely their own, some sublime lead guitars reminding us there’s nothing wrong with a little showboating if it helps make everything feel that much fresher and more exciting. 

Protect You - YouTube Protect You - YouTube
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Bridear - Cult

Babymetal might be the breakout stars of Japanese metal over the last decade, but it’s always important to remember that they’re far from the only game in town. Bridear released the excellent Born Again at the end of June, but have since unveiled a new video for the growling Cult, a track which showcases their love classic heavy metal, delivering all the triumph with extra bombast and fist-pumping fury. With the announcement of a new world tour - including UK tour dates in April 2025 - Bridear look set to take the world by storm again in coming months.  

Defiled - To See Behind The Wall

And long, long before Babymetal, there was Defiled. Death metal champions for over 30 years, the Japanese band’s latest single To See Behind The Wall is a hyperactive and technically stunning blast of extremity that veers off in wild and unpredictable directions whilst maintaining its DM core. Taken from the band’s new album Horror Beyond Horror - out September 20 via Season Of Mist - it’s business as usual for Defiled, but as ever that business is being absolutely fucking brilliant

Defiled - "To See Behind the Wall" (Official Music Video) 2024 - YouTube Defiled -
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Calva Louise - La Corriente

The electro thrum pulsing through Calva Louise’s latest single La Corriente helps lend a sense that the song is built for dancefloor-filling moshpits. But then, that should be apparent from the band’s recent appearance at Download Festival, the alt-metal group offering massive, melodic choruses with a healthy dose of heft that captures the zeitgeist of a post-Bring Me The Horizon metal scene without feeling cliché, stamping their own identity all over the track. Keep an eye out for the band on tour in the UK from this week. 

Calva Louise - La Corriente - YouTube Calva Louise - La Corriente - YouTube
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Akhlys - The Mask Of Night Speaking

Extreme metal at its most apocalyptic, The Mask Of Night Speaking sees US black metallers Akhlys on utterly incendiary and imperious form. Taken from the freshly released House Of The Black Geminius, the track bridges some of the massive production values of modern extreme metal with a sense of unyielding nastiness and dread, epic and awesome in the truest sense of the word. 

The Mask of Night-speaking - YouTube The Mask of Night-speaking - YouTube
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Orden Ogan - Conquest

Arriving just in time for the release of their ninth studio album The Order Of Fear, Orden Ogan’s latest sequel Conquest is a typically bombastic and hearty power metal anthem. But then, that’s pretty much exactly why we love the German band in the first place, the song evoking a sense of adventurousness and triumph that is near impossible to deny. 

ORDEN OGAN - Conquest (Official Music Video) - YouTube ORDEN OGAN - Conquest (Official Music Video) - YouTube
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Vulvodynia - Isandlwana (ft. Signs Of The Swarm)

Another release day offering, Vulvodynia are snarling full-steam ahead on Isandlwana, taken from new album Entabeni. Tight, gnashy and brutish, the track sees the South African band team up with David Simonich, vocalist of fellow deathcore group Signs Of The Swarm to create something visceral and unpretentious yet undeniably thrilling. 

Isandlwana - YouTube Isandlwana - YouTube
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Avmakt - Poison Reveal

Fresh - surprisingly non-corpsepainted - faces from the forests of Norway, Avmakt are devotees to the scabrous sounds of second wave black metal. Debut single Poison Reveal is a frosty blast of hissed vocals and clattering rampages, not a million miles away from Kristian Valbo and Christoffer Bråthen’s past work with Aura Noir, albeit leaning hard on the “black” element of their black thrash assault.  

Avmakt – Poison Reveal (taken from Satanic Inversion Of ..) - YouTube Avmakt – Poison Reveal (taken from Satanic Inversion Of ..) - YouTube
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Lowen - The Seed That Dreamed Of Its Own Creation

Drawing on ancient Iranian mythology and sung in Farsi, Lowen’s latest single is is a gloriously epic exploration of the arcane both sonically and thematically. Given the sheer grandiose scale of the band’s sound, you’d half expect this one to be touching the ten-minute mark, but it flies by in a tight three-and-a-half minutes and somehow doesn’t feel any less magnificent for the fact. Keep an eye out for the band’s new album Do Not Go To War With The Demons Of Mazandaran, set to be released October 4.  

Lowen - The Seed That Dreamed of Its Own Creation (Official Music Video) - YouTube Lowen - The Seed That Dreamed of Its Own Creation (Official Music Video) - YouTube
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Cober Mouth - Beneath The Hydrogen

Embracing the nu metalcore boom with all its swivel-eyed intensity, Cober Mouth’s new single Beneath The Hydrogen plays up to the scene’s hardest edges with a skittering, beatdown-laden fury. There’s a tantalising weightless melody that comes in around the two-and-a-half minute mark that suggests there’s much more the band than mere brutishness however, piquing our interest for their new EP Untethered, due September 6. 

Cober Mouth - Beneath The Hydrogen - NuMetal/Metalcore [OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO] - YouTube Cober Mouth - Beneath The Hydrogen - NuMetal/Metalcore [OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO] - YouTube
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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.