Maybe it's the darker nights, but this week seems to be all about bands and musicians getting cosy and collaborating. Not that we're complaining of course, seeing the likes of Charlotte Wessels and Alissa White-Gluz harmonising, Frank Carter and Jamie T teaming up for an anti-drug anthem or (in probably this year's weirdest team-up) Lzzy Hale and GWAR meeting for a gorey thrash slasher.
But, we digress! First, we have the winner of last week's vote, a tight race with heavy hitters Architects, Powerwolf, Epica and Gojira all in the running. But none of those bands took the crown; that goes to folk metal heroes Eluveitie, whose new single Exile Of The Gods ignited a passionate following to take it to top place by some margin.
This week it's all to play for, as we have the return of Babymetal, a brand new video from Megadeth and a vitriolic emo anthem from The Used (right in time for When We Were Young). If that seems a bit too mainstream for your tastes, there's also brand new Darkthrone for the discerning black metal fan, Chelsea Grin's collaboration with late Black Dahlia Murder vocalist Trevor Strnad for all-out extremity and Tobias Sammet's Avantasia recruit Nightwish vocalist Floor Jansen for their epic new single Kill The Pain Away in an operatic/power metal mash-up for the ages.
As ever, don't forget to vote for your favourite below!
Babymetal – Divine Attack - Shingeki
Almost exactly a year since they cryptically announced a hiatus, J-metal superstars Babymetal are back. The first single from the band’s newly announced concept record The Other One, Divine Attack - Shingeki is a much more po-faced affair than the likes of Gimme Chocolate!! or Karate, whilst delivering the massive production and melting-pot synthesis of styles that fans have come to adore. Invigorating and full of vibrancy, Divine Attack shows Babymetal’s time away has only served to strengthen their capacity for distinctive, world-beating metal anthems.
Megadeth - Life In Hell
A fire has clearly been lit under Dave Mustaine on Megadeth’s latest record The Sick, The Dying… And The Dead! Newest single Life In Hell shows the band firing on all cylinders, going at 200mph while still keeping the enormodome sensibilities you’d expect of one of the Big Four. With a gore-spattered video and some excellent guitar wizardry from Kiko Loureiro, Life In Hell is a sure sign that Megadeth are blazing a warpath right now.
Tarja - Eye of The Storm
An all-new track taken from Tarja’s upcoming greatest hits compilation Best Of: Living The Dream, Eye Of The Storm is exactly the kind of grandiose composition you’d expect from a symphonic metal superstar. With a hefty nod to Bizet’s Habanera (from the opera Carmen), Eye Of The Storm is a stirring composition that somehow still takes the backseat to Tarja’s stunning vocal, showcasing the elegance and power of a singer who has been stunning the metal world for 25 years.
Frank Carter And The Rattlesnakes feat. Jamie T - The Drugs
Short, sharp and straight to the point, Frank Carter And The Rattlesnakes’ latest single sets out its intent right from the start; “you don’t take the drugs, the drugs take you”. Stylistically, the song takes Frank back to the meat ’n’ potatoes punk that allowed him to become an icon in the first place, a bouncy and raucous rocker that fizzes with irrepressible energy. Jamie T fits into the track surprisingly well, sounding so at home you’d think he was part of the Rattlesnakes’ furniture.
The Used - Fuck You
Arriving just in time for their set at this weekend’s When We Were Young festival, The Used’s latest single Fuck You is all about recapturing the mixture of deviously sweet pop rock and venomous emo that made The Used so iconic. Some clever incorporation of crowd vocals highlights just how impossibly catchy Fuck You is, an anthem perfectly designed to be screamed at full-volume with middle fingers raised high in the air.
Darkthrone – Caravan Of Broken Ghosts
Wait, is that an acoustic guitar kicking off the brand new song from Norwegian metal’s stouest yeoman? It certainly is. But Fenriz and Nocturno Culto haven’t gone all More Than Words on us – the first single from upcoming album Astral Fortress is eight and a half minutes of grinding, grimy garage-doom that occasionally steps on the accelerator only to revert back to its tectonic plates-frotting-against-each other pace.
Charlotte Wessels & Alissa White-Gluz - Lizzie
Powerhouse vocalists unite in Charlotte Wessels’ latest single Lizzie. Recruiting Arch Enemy’s Alissa White-Gluz, you might expect something in the vein of howling melodeath, but the result is much more nuanced. Wessels’ own background in shimmering symphonic metal is hinted at in the song’s gentle strings, but the balladic composition’s highlight is undoubtedly how both singers harmonize, their powerful voices soaring above the melodies in a captivating meeting of world-class talent.
GWAR feat. Lzzy Hale - The Cutter
No, we didn’t have “Lzzy Hale guests with GWAR” on our 2022 bingo card either. Yet, The Cutter is a brilliant meeting of worlds as the horror-loving metal goofs collaborate with Halestorm’s barnstorming vocalist. Accompanied by a suitably gruesome music video, The Cutter takes GWAR’s punchy thrash stylings and chucks in a deceptively melodic vocal from Hale as she sings some of the song’s more unsettling lyrics, like a razorblade slipped into a sweet apple pie.
Tobias Sammet’s Avantasia feat. Floor Jansen - Kill The Pain Away
Tobias Sammet’s Avantasia has always been about embracing cinematic spectacles and OTT production, each record effectively power metal does Broadway with all the insanity that implies. So teaming Avantasia up with Nightwish vocalist Floor Jansen is an absolute no-brainer, Kill The Pain Away bouncing away with Wagnerian bombast and buoyed by fantastic vocal performances from both Jansen and Sammet.
Chelsea Grin feat. Trevor Strnad - Forever Bloom
Testament to just how far Trevor Strnad’s influence on extreme metal that so many bands have paid tribute to the late Black Dahlia Murder vocalist. Chelsea Grin’s new single Forever Bloom is the latest in a series of stunning posthumous collaborations that have been released since Strnad’s passing, joining the likes of Cage Fight and Revocation in highlighting how great Strnad’s talent was, packaged within an explosive mixture of blackened elements and imperious death metal.