The 15 best new metal songs you need to hear this week

Within Temptation/Arka'n Asrafokor/Kati Rán/Zetra/R.A.I.D.
(Image credit: Tim Tronkcoe/Press/Ruben Terlouw//Rebecca Need-Menear/Sai Ratan)

Talk about a massive week for new releases. With Easter out the way, Spring has truly sprung as tours and albums aplenty are being announced, not to mention brand new stand-alone singles from the likes of Within Temptation, Kittie and Wardruna. 

But first, the results of last week's vote! Teaming up with Devin Townsend, Chinese prog metallers OU took a healthy third place in the running, coming narrowly behind Ukrainian group Hell:On. But the champions by some way were synthwave freaks Priest, whose Just A Game took top spot with its mix of 80s style synth and dashes of 90s dance. 

As we said at the top, this week is a massive one for new releases, everyone from Knocked Loose and Wardruna to Within Temptation and Apocalyptica coming out to play. Like we say every week, we need your help to tell us which new songs excite you most, so don't forget to cast your vote below - and have a fantastic weekend!

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Within Temptation - A Fool’s Parade

2023’s Bleed Out presented Within Temptation at their most fired up, the band taking stock of global events to write their most political album to date. New single A Fool’s Parade continues in that vein, the band teaming up with Ukrainian singer and producer Alex Yarmak for a track that moves the dial away from their grandiose past in symphonic metal and into propulsive arena metal territory. Not a moment too soon, either, with the band set to return to Wembley Arena in November after last appearing there with Evanescence.  

Wardruna - Hertan (Heart)

Wardruna have been leading the charge for Nordic folk’s overlap into the metal sphere for over 20 years. After a two-year hibernation, the Norwegians are once again traversing planes both physical and ethereal on new single Hertan, the title taken from the proto-Scandinavian word for Heart. As ever, the group’s use of traditional instrumentation lends a sense of enormity and grandeur that is practically cinematic, this time even incorporating a heartbeat into its percussive offering that makes Hertan feel like the human experience turned into a song. 

Orange Goblin - (Not) Rocket Science

It’s been six years since The Wolf Bites Back, but stoner metal darlings Orange Goblin are back! (Not) Rocket Science picks up pretty much exactly where the band’s last album left off, Ben Ward’s gruff vocals riding atop a motorcycle-engine rumble of riffs, treading a line between classic heavy metal and good ol’ fashioned rock’n’roll. Taken from the band’s upcoming album Science, Not Fiction - due July 19 - it’s proof that OG are still as effortlessly brilliant now as they’ve ever been, even as their big 3-0 anniversary approaches. 

Kati Rán - KÓLGA

By her own admission, hundreds (if not thousands) of hours of work have gone into Kati Rán’s second album SÁLA, due May 24. Coming almost nine years after debut album LYS helped establish the Dutch artist as a prominent new force in Nordic folk, the fruits of her labours are evident on latest single KÓLGA, a gorgeously ethereal composition with guest contributions from Gaahl, tapping into a sense of spiritualism and nature that lend the track a sublimely serene feel. 

Kittie - We Are Shadows

Yet more proof that Kittie aren’t just retreading the same ground with their big comeback, We Are Shadows sees the band move further away from nu metal to a decidedly heavier and more contemporary sound. Stomping beats offering grounding for the kind of enormous, hooky choruses that helped make metal so massive at the turn of the millennium. 

Zetra - Starfall (ft. Serena Cherry)

After what feels like an eternity of support slots and festival appearances, goth newcomers Zetra have finally announced their self-titled debut album. Due September 13 via Nuclear Blast, lead single Starfall shows off a much more propulsive side to the band’s music than we’ve heard on previous singles; the pulsing synths and tight beats of 80s goth are all still present and correct, but howls from guest vocalist Serena Cherry of Svalbard add a sense of fury that perfectly balances out the band’s brand of grandiose melancholy. 

 Apocalyptica - The Unforgiven II

Almost 30 years since they made their debut with …Plays Metallica By Four Cellos, Finnish classical-crossover act Apocalyptica are returning to the source with …Volume 2, due June 7th. How better to celebrate the sequel, then, than by taking on Metallica’s own efforts at a sequel with The Unforgiven II, the power ballad given an instrumental, classical makeover that’ll surely please anyone gutted Metallica never gave the original a makeover on either of their orchestral team-ups S&M

Better Lovers - The Flowering

Every Time I Die meets The Dillinger Escape Plan. That’s the conceptual core of team-up Better Lovers, but seldom is it as clear-cut as on new single The Flowering, chunky, wall-bouncing riffs underpinning weird melodies as Greg Puciato flexes some of his weirdest vocal melodies this side of Black Bubblegum. It’s gloriously madcap and a tantalising hint at what this band are capable of, with their debut album expected sometime later this year. 

Arka’n Asrafokor - The Truth

There’s a little over a month to go before Togolese metal group Arka’n Asrafokor release their second album Dzikkuh on May 24, but new single The Truth shows why we should all be very excited. The chunky groove metal at the band’s heart provides a strong backbone to their ambitious compositions, which incorporate frenetic traditional African beats and shamanic chants that lend their music a distinctive energy that is utterly thrilling.  

Jeff Fabb - Love And War

“Spacey Prog metal” probably isn’t the first - or 50th - thing that comes to mind when you think of Black Label Society. But in his solo venture away from BLS, drummer Jeff Fabb is stylistically branching out, as evident in new song Love And War. Set somewhere between the otherworldly atmosphere of Tool and alt. metal hookiness of a band like Filter - no coincidence, considering Fabb was a member - Love And War is an impressive and ambitious show of just how far Fabb can push his songwriting prowess whilst maintaining a classic feel. 

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Graphic Nature - To The Grave

Graphic Nature’s brand of glitching, furious metalcore was established on their 2023 debut A Mind Waiting To Die. Refusing to let the dust settle, the British band have announced second album Who Are You When No One Is Watching? Will be with us on July 12th. Alongside the album announcement comes new single To The Grave, developing on the skittering beats and crunching riffs of their debut by adding a Korn-like creepy high-end wail, raising hackles before bringing an utterly devastating crunch as they offer up one of the nastiest breakdowns you’re likely to hear this year. 

Knocked Loose - Don’t Reach For Me

Doubling down on the heft they brought forth on previous single Blinding Faith, Knocked Loose are practically bouncing through the ceiling on Don’t Reach For Me. With trigger-like blast-beats and riffs that drop like the stomp of a colossal titan, Reach… is further proof that Knocked Loose are among hardcore’s finest talents right now and while some of their contemporaries court the mainstream, the band aren’t afraid to go the other way and see just how deep the rabbit hole of extremity can take them. 

Shamash - Take Me As I Am

Formed in Malaysia in 2021, Shamash ostensibly fall under the melodeath banner, but new single Take Me As I Am has more than a passing shade of nu metal, albeit the genre’s heavier ends. Take the anthemic, chaotic power of Slipknot’s debut material and chuck Roots-era Sepultura percussion in the mix and you’re partway to the furious energy of Shamash’s latest single, the first to be taken from the band’s upcoming debut album Done With Misery (Nos Pergamos In Domine Saluteum), due June 14. 

 R.A.I.D. - D.I.N.A.S.

R.A.I.D.’s brand of metallic hardcore generally skews more towards the realms of death metal brutishness, but D.I.N.A.S. is a particularly visceral offering from the Indian group. Taken from the band’s new EP Dominion - out today - there’s a flavour of OSDM to the track’s low-end rumble, the grunts and snarls spat with a Morbid Angel like venom, giving way to rap metal flow as the song lurches towards a big breakdown close. 

Future Palace - Uncontrolled

It’s testament to just how diverse the realms of metalcore are in 2024 that Future Palace’s Uncontrolled offers an almost completely different vision of the genre to the heavy-and-hard likes of R.A.I.D. or Knocked Loose. Not that new single Uncontrolled is lacking in power or punch; rather the song’s explosive energy underpins buoyant choruses that make you want to sing at the top of your lungs, Maria Lessing’s switching between the radio-friendly melodies and throat-shredding screams with ease.  

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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.