Love is in the air - or at least the spirit of collaboration certainly is, as this week we bring you some massive metal team-ups.
Lamb Of God and Kreator are collaborating for a good cause on State Of Unrest (right in time for their joint European tour), while in the world of deathcore Will Ramos continues to be the busiest man around as he pops up with Dutch heavies Distant. Then there's the not inconsiderable addition of Alice In Chains' William Duvall on a re-worked This Is Mongol by The Hu, making it feel like a love-in on a global scale.
But, we're getting ahead of ourselves. First, back to the brutal (well, maybe not) world of competition with the winner of last week's vote! Japan still rule the roost so far as its metal bands go, Lovebites again taking top spot with the thrashtastic Dissonance. More surprising was the ascension of prog-metalcore heavies Invent Animate to a very admirable second place, knocking giants Slipknot down to third with their surprise ballad Bone Church.
As ever, this week we've scoured the world of music to find the very best out there right now. In addition to the above team-ups, there's a brand new unreleased song from Linkin Park, and a strong showing from newcomers UnityTX, Drain and Brand Of Sacrifice, among others.
As ever, you can vote for your favourite at the bottom of this page so don't forget to have your say and have a great weekend!
Linkin Park - Lost
To commemorate Meteora’s 20th anniversary, Linkin Park have announced a reissue and unveiled previously unreleased single Lost, complete with an era-appropriate anime-inspired video. There’s an inherent poignance to the typically emotional performance vocalist Chester Bennington delivers, but Lost also wonderfully showcases just how easily massive hooks came to LP at this point in their careers, even an unreleased track feeling like a world-beating anthem.
Lamb Of God & Kreator - State Of Unrest
Take two of metal’s most incendiary performers and team them up on a fist-pumping metal anthem. That’s the basic premise of State Of Unrest, the new team-up between Lamb Of God and Kreator, but the song also comes with a sense of sadness with the news that the original plan was to also include Power Trip vocalist Riley Gale, who sadly passed away in 2020. State Of Unrest still pays tribute to Gale however, with all proceeds being dedicated to Dallas Hope Charities in his name - all the more reason to utterly love this grooved-up thrasher.
The Hu ft. William Duvall - This Is Mongol (Warrior Souls)
After the release of their triumphant second album Rumble Of Thunder last year, Mongolian metal heroes The Hu have unveiled a reworked version of This Is Mongol featuring guest vocals from Alice In Chains’ William Duvall. Unsurprisingly, Duvall’s soulful tones ride perfectly atop the galloping rhythm of the original song, lending the song’s empowering message a new sense of depth.
Distant - Heritage (feat. Will Ramos)
Deathcore has been enjoying a major resurgence over the past couple of years, a raft of brilliant new bands helping to push the boundaries of the genre and create something truly ambitious. It doesn’t hurt that the bands are collaborating at every opportunity to help build the scene, as Distant’s new single Heritage shows. Featuring the guest talents of Lorna Shore’s Will Ramos, Heritage is an unrelenting barrage of brutality, exploding in a flurry of blastbeats and battling shrieks and growls.
Suicide Silence - Dying Life
While the new school of deathcore brings a new generation of fans to extremity, Suicide Silence are proving that the genre’s original stars aren’t taking a backseat. Dying Life is more evidence of the pummeling force the band are bringing forth on upcoming album Remember… You Must Die, going hard and nasty on track that, if we’re being totally honest, takes deathcore right back to its OSDM roots with grinding, snarling heaviness right out the book of Obituary.
Drain - Evil Finds Light
Californians Drain strike the right balance between thumping hardcore and raging thrash on Evil Finds Light. The first single from new album Living Proof, it sees the band swinging from stomping beatdowns to sudden thrashy breakouts that wouldn’t go amiss on a Slayer record. If you’re looking for a great summer hardcore record, it looks like Drain are ready to provide.
Brand Of Sacrifice - Dynasty
Up until now, Brand Of Sacrifice have created the sort of scorched Earth deathcore fuelled by the flames of anger and destruction. But with Dynasty, the second taste of their upcoming EP Between Death And Dreams, the band have added a layer of glistening positivity and motivation to their unrelenting blend of heaviness. That’s not to say it is any less devastating, with riffs like chainsaw blades and the sort of breakdowns destined to get the goosebumps popping up.
UnityTX - World Of Malice
World Of Malice stomps along as though walking with concrete boots, its sluggishness only serving to highlight just how hard UnityTX can go with their take on metallic hardcore. Recently seen on tour across Europe with Deez Nuts and The Acacia Strain, the Texan group seem poised to make their own run on the upper echelons of hardcore in 2023, this new single (coupled with the previously released Burnout) getting us very excited for a potential new album in 2023.
Seeing Things - Soulkiller (feat. Grapefruit Astronauts)
Seeing Things’ latest single Soulkiller is yet more proof that the recent increase in nu metal influences in contemporary metal is helping push the scene in exciting new directions. Buzzing electronica and at one point a straight-up clubhouse bass-drum beat sits alongside explosive metalcore with more than a tinge of Linkin Park thrown into the mix for good measure, resulting in a song which feels vibrant, fresh and utterly vicious.
Forlorn - Weight of It All
There’s been a lot of love for folk horror in metal as of late, everyone from Spiritbox and Sleep Token to Bury Tomorrow getting in on the creepy woodland vibe. There’s no denying that Forlorn are taking inspiration from the superb Midsommar with the video for new single Weight Of It All, but the song itself veers off in directions that make it feel utterly distinct, going from ethereal prog melodies (with tinges of subtle folk and symphonic elements) to juddering, howling extremity with a sense of fluidity that suggests we should all be keeping a very close eye on Forlorn going forward.