Christmas is almost upon us! Scary as it is, with Halloween out the way we're starting to see Christmas decs and adverts pop up en masse, while the likes of Mark Tremonti and Tarja are cracking out their own interpretations of Christmas Classics.
But that's all in the future - first, the results of last week's vote! Halloween brought with it plenty of appropriately spooky videos and songs, extreme metal vets Cattle Decapitation taking a very admirable third place with Solastalgia. Just above them was industrial mavericks HEALTH, but far and away the winner of last week's vote was Sophie Lloyd, offering her own shred versions of Enter Sandman with a Halloween-themed video.
This week we've gathered some of the freshest new songs around, covering everything from industrial and symphonic metal to thrash, metalcore and brutish, 'orrible hardcore. As ever we want you to let us know which songs excite you most, so don't forget to cast your vote below!
Tarja - Frosty The Snowman
Tarja Turunen’s always had an affinity for ice’n’snow imagery, so it makes sense that she’d dip back into singing Christmas classics after 2017’s From Spirits and Ghosts (Score for a Dark Christmas), new album Dark Christmas effectively a sequel to that release. If you’ve ever heard Frosty The Snowman and thought ‘damn, I wish this was more symphonic’ then Tarja has you covered - bringing a sense of gravitas and drama that we can’t help but love.
Ministry - Just Stop Oil
Ministry have changed immeasurably since their debut arrived 40 years ago, and while we doubt the band will ever return to their synth-pop origins, new single Just Stop Oil does seem to wind the clock back to the claustrophobic stylings of 1988’s The Land Of Rape And Honey. Granted, Just Stop Oil enjoys much higher production values and sees some of the band’s warped Americana trickling in, but the track is pure vintage Ministry with a sense of swivel-eyed paranoia and barely repressed aggression that has us eagerly awaiting new album Hopiumforthemasses in 2024.
Spiritbox - Ultraviolet
Spiritbox might not be rushing to release a full-length follow-up to their 2021 groundbreaking debut Eternal Blue, but the band aren’t short on top quality new material. Taken from the freshly released The Fear Of Fear EP, Ultraviolet builds on a thrumming beat to become a towering melodic epic, contrasting tightly constrained riffs with a soaring chorus that feels like being hit by a tidal wave of emotion.
Angelus Apatrida - Snob (ft. Jamey Jasta)
For over 20 years Spaniards Angelus Apatrida have been flying the flag for thrash metal on the continent and new single Snob is no exception to that form. Granted, the band have drafted in Hatebreed’s Jamey Jasta who adds a hardcore flavouring, but this is pure full speed or nothin’ thrash metal with wailing guitar solos, slick grooves and a beat like a jackhammer.
Therapy? - Woe
Almost 30 years since they smashed into the charts with Troublegum, Therapy? Are still a creative force to be reckoned with. Taken from this year’s stellar Hard Cold Fire, Woe rides the same alt-metal/punk crossover wave that powered the likes of Nowhere but with a sense of gravitas that shows how the band have evolved over time, showing more finesse and control in their powerful aural assaults.
Scene Queen - MILF
Scene Queen never fails to provoke, and her latest single MILF (that’s “Man I Love Fucking”) is no exception. A mix of country and stomping metalcore, the track features an equally bizarre and provocative video as headbanging, moshing scene kids go head-to-head with dancing cowboys-and-girls, while the track makes great use of country guitars that gave way to thuggish breakdowns. Taken from her upcoming debut album Hot Singles In Your Area - due early 2024 - this record is definitely one to get excited about.
Empire State Bastard - Tired, Naw?
Careening, chaotic noise meets frantic mathcore in Empire State Bastard's latest single Tired, Naw?. A reimagining of the track Tired, Aye? from the band's debut album, the new version adds a wall of guitar to the track's frantic assault that gives it all the heft of a runaway train. With the band on tour in the UK next week, we suspect they'll be giving this new version plenty of chance to devastate audiences.
Saint Agnes - Body Bag (ft. Mimi Barks)
Furious and frenetic, Saint Agnes’s latest single Body Bag sees the band team up with fellow nu-gen rising star Mimi Barks for a sub-two minute rager. Snotty punk, Body Bag bounces off the walls with sheer hyperactivity and an impossibly catchy hook, all adrenaline and spikes. Fresh from their tour supporting Skindred, Saint Agnes now have their sights on a debut UK headline tour for 2024 - and if it’s half as energetic as this you’d be mad to miss it.
Going Off - Servant To The Skin
Currently on tour with Employed To Serve and Pupil Slicer, Going Off take hardcore right off the deep-end of heaviness, straddling the line where the genre ultimately splintered off into grindcore.Servant To The Skin swings from a rampaging flurry of fists and snarls to around 90 seconds of lurching sludge menace, impossible to pin down but undeniably thrilling.
Rough Justice - Backwards Mask
Brutish hardcore from Sheffield, Rough Justice will release their debut album Faith In Vain next year. In the meantime, first single Backwards Mask mixes brutal breakdowns and neck-bothering crossover riffs for a vicious, ultra-aggro vibe that goes so hard it practically leaves bruises, stomping forward with murderous intent.