Happy new Metal Hammer week! It says something about the remaining three months of 2023 that there's still so many massive albums to come before we hit year's end, and this week is especially loaded with new albums from Baroness, Tesseract and Corey Taylor. Naturally, that also means a whole heap of new singles too - but we'll get to that in a moment.
First, the results of last week's vote! We've said it before - and we'll doubtlessly say it again - but emergent talent really does come to the fore when it comes to the fan votes on the best new music around. Mother Vulture took a very admirable third place last week with Go Big Or Go Home, but it was a dead heat between hardcore troupe Going Off and experimental newcomers Icantdie for top spot. But, as Highlander put it, there could be only one and Icantdie emerged on top with Teaser - congratulations!
This week sees the return of some of metal's biggest and most illustrious names. We've got Corey Taylor and Tesseract representing their new albums, all-new music from While She Sleeps, Doro and Myrkur and even a few new names to explore. As ever, we need you to tell us which songs excite you most, so don't forget to cast your vote below!
While She Sleeps - Self Hell
Backed by a retina-poppingly colourful video that looks like Break Stuff on steroids, While She Sleeps haven't so much kicked off their new era with a bang as a full-on fireworks display. Even by the standards of a band who have always refused to stand still, Self Hell is by far the biggest leap forwards in sound Sheffield's finest have made thus far. Layering in swathes of pulsing electronica, poppy hooks and, of course, bowel-shakingly big riffs, the first single from their sixth studio album feels like the five-piece have grabbed the myriad influences that have seeped into their last couple of records, blended them together and splattered their recording studio with the results. Like Bring Me The Horizon and Architects before them, it's a progression that is undeniably designed to broaden their appeal beyond the metal scene's scope, but when it sounds this convincing, who cares?
Corey Taylor - We Are The Rest
With new album CMF2 now out in the world, Corey Taylor continues to show that he won’t be restrained by genre in his solo output. We Are The Rest is an interesting collision between terrace-chant anthemic punk and glorious, grandstanding 80s rock’n’roll, chucking up a massive chant in ‘No way to beat me, no way to win’ and peppering it with guitar solos right out of metal’s commercial heyday. We’re expecting this one to be a serious live favourite going forward.
Doro - Bond Unending (ft. Sammy Amara)
Tapping into the communal spirit of unity at the heart of classic heavy metal, Doro’s latest single Bond Unending sees her team up with Broilers vocalist Sammy Amara on a fist-pumping duet that makes full use of the pair’s shared experience commanding massive crowds. The interplay between Amara and Doro’s voices is sublime, a high-and-low dynamic that helps the song feel truly massive.
Tesseract - Legion
With Tesseract’s new album War Of Being out in the world this week we’re officially calling it as one of the forerunners for the album of the year, the British prog metal group producing yet another epic, multi-layered opus. Legion builds towering melodies before suddenly veering off into more extreme territories, reaching a stratospheric crescendo in the song’s final minute that feels truly explosive and emotive.
Myrkur - Mothlike
Since her debut album M, Myrkur has been reinventing herself, from black metal progressive on those early records to more recently embracing Nordic folk on 2020’s Folkesange. A brief break in activity has ended with her resurrection on new album Spine, due for release October 20, with lead single Mothlike seeing the Danish singer veer into almost symphonic/prog territories, even Kate Bush. It’s a mesmerizing and hypnotic new sound, and the brief hints of black metal ferocity suggest she’s not done with the underground entirely.
Crosses - Ghost Ride
With synths thumping like an electro-heartbeat, Crosses’ latest single Ghost Ride feels like a despondent, almost gothic take on coldwave. But then, what else would you expect from an album that features a much-anticipated feature from The Cure’s Robert Smith? Chino Moreno’s side project proving to be just as elusive and difficult to pin down as his work in Deftones, building plenty of anticipation for new album Goodnight, God Bless, I Love U, Delete.
Twin Temple - Be A Slut (Do What You Want)
Twin Temple might have a patented Satanic doo-wop style, but there’s more than a shade of Motown to new single Be A Slut (Do What You Want). With a bombastic open a la The Crystal’s Da Doo Ron Ron, Be A Slut is playful in its grandeur whilst offering a 60s-style party with lyrics that invite the listener to dive headlong into hedonistic excess, complete with sax solos.
Dragonforce - Doomsday Party
In the bingo of ‘things we weren’t expecting in 2023’, a Dragonforce lyric about “doomsday party on the factory floor” ranks pretty highly. It’s a far cry from the dungeons & dragons lyrics the band have dabbled in previously, but still delivers the joyous brilliance of the power metal revivalists at their very best, the ultra-cheesy 80s party vibe chucking up comparisons to the likes of Night Flight Orchestra with its gleeful chorus and strutting riffs, not to mention a dip into piano power ballad territory. Daft as a box of frogs, but undeniably fun.
Ghostkid - Heavy Rain
Since departing Electric Callboy in 2020, singer Sebastian Biesler has gone for something very different in new project Ghostkid. Heavy Rain might tap into the metalcore-with-subtle-electronica stylings of EC, but take a much darker and more serious tone than his prior band, instead feeling more akin to the emotional intensity of Architects or Bring Me The Horizon. Having started the year supporting Bad Omens on a sold out European tour, it seems a safe bet that Ghostkid are on the path to massive success.
Spite - Thank You, Again (ft. Phil Bozeman)
How do you inject your already pummelling brand of deathcore with an extra level of authentic brutality? Bring in the formidable pipes of Whitechapel frontman Phil Bozeman, of course! Spite's new single Thank You, Again is exactly what you'd expect from the South Californian quintet: big, meaty riffs, crushingly heavy breakdowns and enough groove to get Godzilla tapping his claws. The band hit the UK this October, and chances are, whether you have a ticket to see them or not, they'll make such a ruckus that you know about it.
Future Static - Roach Queen
Rising stars out of Australia, Melbourne metalcore troupe Future Static’s new single Roach Queen is all fizzing energy and propulsive riffs that power an irrepressible howler. There’s a couple of months to go before the band’s debut Liminality arrives - November 24 - but the band are already generating a massive buzz ahead of their European and UK shows at the end of this month and early October. Don’t sleep on this lot - we dare say you’ll be hearing a lot more in the near future.
Plaguemace - Impenetrable Leather
Danish newcomers Plaguemace popped up in the UK earlier this year as support to Brazilian thrashers Nervosa and are finally ready with debut album Reptilian Warlords set for release on November 17. Teeth-gnashing DM in the vein of Entombed, Impenetrable Leather offers up intense, brutal grooves and throat-shredding howls that should put them firmly on the radar of anyone who loves the magic of old school Scandinavian death metal.