And we're off! With just a week to go until the new album from (one of) this month's Hammer cover stars Babymetal, a new album from Metallica and the very welcome return of Avenged Sevenfold, it feels like 2023 is really taking shape for the top-tier metal acts. But, as ever, we're not only looking at the biggest, but the very best metal bands around for our weekly round-up.
First, the results of last week's vote! In an appropriate turn of events for Saint Patrick's Day, it was Northern Irish heroes Therapy? who took the top spot, beating Dez Fafara's returning groove metallers Devildriver and German power metal heroes Mystic Prophecy, who took a very admirable second and third place.
As ever, this week we've dug deep to find the very best new metal tracks around, whether that be heavyweights Avenged Sevenfold or Overkill, ambitious spotlight pulls from Bury Tomorrow and Atreyu, or all-new sounds from the likes of Pupil Slicer, Scene Queen and Atena. As ever, we want you to tell us which track excites you most, so don't forget to cast your vote below!
Avenged Sevenfold - Nobody
Avenged Sevenfold have been teasing new music for a while, but after seven years we've finally got a new single - the first since 2016's The Stage. A note of warning that their new album is best heard in its entirety goes some way to explain the surprising sense of minimalism that Nobody exhibits, the inclusions of horns the only real hint of the usual bombast and OTT theatricality that has been the band's forte this past two decades.
Bury Tomorrow - Begin Again
As we edge closer to the release of Bury Tomorrow's new album The Seventh Sun, the band continue to show that they have their eyes on the prize with each single serving up a massive anthem. Begin Again is a propulsive blast of metalcore with shades of Bring Me The Horizon's seminal Sempiternal, suggesting BT may very well be sizing up more chart success after cracking the UK top 10 with 2020's Cannibal.
Atreyu - Watch Me Burn
It's been almost 20 years since Atreyu were serving up metalcore classics like Right Side Of The Bed and Bleeding Mascara, but the band have changed enormously in both sound and scope since then. Case in point: new single Watch Me Burn is more aligned to the massive sing-alongs of alt-metal, a thumping track with massive hooks that hint at the sheer anthemic prowess this band still exhibit on each new release, setting a high bar for the upcoming The Hope Of A Spark EP.
Sylosis - Deadwood
Arriving just ahead of the band's slot supporting Lamb Of God and Kreator at Wembley Arena, Deadwood is a dexterous display of the metalcore-meets-thrash crossover power Sylosis have been tapping into for over 20 years. With the promise of more new music to come, Deadwood demands listeners bang their heads and get swept away in a flurry of riffs and snarls, Sylosis again affirming they deserve much more prominence in the contemporary British metal scene.
Overkill - Wicked Place
Metallica might be tapping back into thrash with recent releases, but fellow 80s thrashers Overkill never stopped. With new album Scorched arriving the same day as Metallica's latest, it serves us well to remember that thrash runs much deeper than the Big Four, the East Coast beasts still howling and rattling cages with Wicked Place, the latest single from their upcoming twentieth(!) studio album.
Pupil Slicer - Blossom
With their 2021 debut Mirrors, Pupil Slicer announced their arrival with a furious flurried mixture of grind and mathcore frenzies. Imagine our surprise then, that Blossom, the title-track and first single from the band's upcoming second album takes a much more melodic approach, showing an entirely different side to the band's artistry while showing the fangs are still present and sharp as ever.
Scene Queen - 18+
'Fuck the scene, I'm the queen'. Scene Queen has already proved to be a viral sensation with her self-styled Bimbocore, but new single 18+ is entirely unapologetic about taking shots about misogyny about abuse of underage fans in the music industry. The fact that the song is delivered with one of the most addictive hooks we've heard all year and shows some serious genre-shifting elements just serves as an extra cherry on the cake.
Atena - Oh My
Are we already seeing the ripples of Sleep Token's impact on modern metal? Serene piano melodies and soulful vocal combos aren't anything new, but Atena certainly seem to be tapping into the emotive gravitas of metal's (new) favourite masked wonders with Oh My, a stunning slice of symphonically-tinged melody and blasting riffs that has us eager to hear where the band might go next.
fakeyourdeath - Consume
Brighton-based newcomers fakeyourdeath are howling to life with the pulsing electro meets angular post-hardcore vibes of new single Consume. It's an explosive and unpredictable sound that bridges the sonic bedlam of Dillinger Escape Plan and The Armed, suggesting we should be expecting some seriously unhinged things from these newcomers.
Dieth - To Hell And Back
David Ellefson's definitely been keeping himself busy since being kicked out of Megadeth, first popping up with hard rockers The Lucid, and now venturing out into the realms of extreme metal with Dieth. If you're expecting the enormodome melodies of his former band, be aware: Dieth is a different beast entirely, more in line with it's other members' experience in the likes of Entombed A.D. and Decapitated with avowedly underground sounds that have us rubbing our palms with glee.