Single Slam: Blind Guardian, Zeal & Ardor, Villain of the Story, Sedative, ODDKO, Avatar, I Am Your God, Young Medicine, Fight the Fade, Thrown and Hammerfall!

This week’s single slam features Blind Guardian, Zeal & Ardor, Villain of the Story, Sedative, ODDKO, Avatar, I Am Your God, Young Medicine, Fight the Fade, Thrown and Hammerfall. You can read our thoughts about the latest singles from these bands below.

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Blind Guardian – Deliver Us from Evil

German power metallers Blind Guardian have released a new single called Deliver Us from Evil via Nuclear Blast. The song is a taste of the band’s new album, set to arrive in September 2022.

Deliver Us from Evil will be available digitally as well as on a seven-inch single (along with the previously released Merry Xmas Everybody as the B-side) and digipak CD (with the previously released Violent Shadows Wacken World Wide 2020 live performance as extra track).

It’s so good to have Blind Guardian back as their first showcase of their new album sees them focus on fast, heavy instrumentation, the soaring sounds of Hansi Kürsch and the band’s incredible ability to harmonise their voices. It’s got power metal pomp but it’s Blind Guardian leaning into their heavier side, albeit with a glorious sounding chorus.

Zeal & Ardor – Golden Liar

Swiss extremists Zeal & Ardor continue apace towards the release of their self-titled, third album, with the release of epic, evocative new song ‘Golden Liar’.

Frontman Manuel Gagneux asserts:

’Golden Liar’ is one of the tracks on this record I’m most proud of. Unlike singles released previously from the new album, it’s a slow burn. Rather than using harsh tones to convey heaviness, it uses lyrics and atmosphere to convey weight. It’s both smoke and fire.

Continuing to utterly amaze, Golden Liar keeps the train rolling towards this new album with a track unlike anything heard so far. The melodrama of the build, the old west vibes and increasing intensity of the vocals, stuns. It gets stronger and stronger before erupting with immense power. A track that showcases two important things. The first being the vocals and the harmonising that Zeal & Ardor are so good at. The second being the depth this band consistently showcases in both the instruments and the lyrics. Simply amazing. Check it out here.

Villain of the Story – Losing Control

Alternative rock four-piece Villain of the Story have signed to Out of Line Music, and in celebration, have released the new single and music video for ‘Losing Control’.

The band explain:

It’s about that struggle of not feeling in control, but also how the only person that can control your mind is yourself. It’s a battle that’s sometimes very hard to fight, but the song aims to capture that moment in time when you’re trying to talk yourself down.

A rock track with heart and one hell of a catchy chorus, Losing Control has radio play written all over it. Which, of course, is never a bad thing. The strength in the track comes from the vocals that soar and ooze passion. Then, when you think you’ve got a handle on the track, it suddenly changes tact for a crunchy bit of rhythm and some downright guttural vocals. It’s brief but freshens up the latter portion of the track nicely. Check it out here.

Sedative – Vile

Perth, Western Australia’s Metallic Hardcore outfit ‘Sedative’ are getting Vile and releasing their new single into the world.

A statement made by the band reads:

Vile is the 3rd and final standalone single released in Sedative’s debut year. Accompanied by a gritty and viscerally upfront video, this speaks volumes about what ‘Vile’ represents.

With an instrumental approach that can be labelled as nothing short of relentless, incorporating punchy rhythms, down-tempo breaks and the bands intrinsic brand of sampling, balanced elegantly with the harshness of the vocal and lyrical approach, confronting the despondent nature of substance abuse and the negative effects on mind-state and self worth.

This is the last peak of Sedative before their debut record and a grand insight of what’s still to come.

This is what you call an ‘in your face’ track. Not just because the hardcore-themed vocals are spitting such barbs but also because the instruments come at you with fucking intent. Vile is an apt name but it’s a harsh dose of reality. The mix of vicious metal, hardcore anger, sampling and breakdowns, hits very hard. You’ll feel a bit punished after listening to this track. Check it out here.

ODDKO – Siren Song

Los Angeles’ industrial metal outfit, ODDKO, has returned with a new single, “Siren Song,” that takes aim at consumerism and the senseless cyclical compulsion to buy, waste and repeat. The song is accompanied by a mind-blowing VFX video masterpiece created by ODDKO visionary, award-winning director and motion designer Giovanni Bucci (Korn, Jane’s Addiction, Fleshgod Apocalypse).

Commenting on “Siren Song,” Bucci states:

‘Siren Song’ is an observation on how our consumerist society has tricked us into believing that accumulating a mass amount of products equates to a better life. We’ve been deceived by salespeople to believe that we must consistently buy new products – albeit these products often being produced to a subpar standard, henceforth forcing us into a cyclical system of repurchasing, which results in a large amount of it sitting in landfill, polluting our planet – to stay relevant within society. This leads to us overworking ourselves in order to indulge our materialistic habits, therefore, causing us to buy these products with not only our money, but with our life too.

The track’s title and theme is inspired by the Greek Mythology tale of Odysseus and the Sirens. This is a story in which a man falls under the beguiling spell of the Sirens, whose sole intention is to lure innocent sailors to their early graves for their own benefit. The Sirens represent distraction and deception; two tactics that eerily mirror those used in modern day commercialism.

‘Siren Song’ is a criticism of consumerism, so releasing it on Black Friday, a day that’s arguably the epitome of consumerism, felt like a natural fit. After hearing this track, we hope some people ask themselves, “do I really need this? How many working hours of my life will it cost me?”. That simple line of questioning will surely help your pockets, your life and the environment. Humans are powerful; it’s time we push materialism out of the driver’s seat and take the wheel ourselves.

A song that really hits harder if you’re watching the video too, Siren’s Song is a very creative listen. A blend of industrial hard rock instrumentation, effects, symphonic touches and eerie vocals. Rhythmic with a sharp point to jab you with, it has flare-ups of out and out heaviness. Resulting in a memorable listen.

Avatar – Construction of Souls

Continuing their trend of releasing stand alone singles over the past few months, Avatar have now unveiled Construction of Souls. Their version of what a festive hit should sound like.

In their own words:

Surprise, surprise! Winter brings darkness, but we bring the storm! Construction of Souls, a tale of the ultimate social engineering – the rise of the robots – is out and live. Listen in awe and admiration NOW!

Always up for giving us something unexpected, Avatar offer up a holiday tune like no other. As only Avatar can do, we have a track that is heavy, riff-driven, playful and twisted but also undeniably catchy. The chorus is grin-inducing stuff that makes you just want to chant along but the solo that leads into a momentary bit of chaos is particularly unique. It’s another great release from a band seemingly incapable of doing anything bad at the moment. Check it out here.

I Am Your God – Dead Standing Tree

Finnish metalcore five-piece I Am Your God have released new single and lyric video ‘Dead Standing Tree’, streaming now via Out Of Line Music. The second single from I Am Your God’s upcoming sophomore album, expected to be released in late 2022.

On the new single, vocalist Julius Vetämäjärvi states:

‘Dead Standing Tree’ is a tenacious beast of a song, which is full of symptoms and consequences of living on the edge and making poor choices in life. The song tells a story about driving it all to the absolute maximum limit, but still being ready as ever to take it all one step further just to see what rock bottom feels like, because what else could one do?

The first step to this song was the groovy and spiteful riffs and rhythms, but it ended up being surprisingly versatile with the beautiful melodies of the chorus and ominous synths and small details in the breakdown parts. It’s an amazing track to play live!

An ass-kicking blast of modern metalcore, the really special thing about Dead Standing Tree is just how bloody catchy it is. Sure, I Am Your God hit hard in the verses but the chorus is absolute fire. It worms its way into your brain and takes up residence there for the foreseeable future.

The band has seemingly boundless energy, hitting hard from the start and not letting up with the stompy groove and face-melting metalcore rhythm. A weird bit of synth and the following blistering breakdown are the just the icing on the cake. Check it out here.

Young Medicine – Cold Blooded

Young Medicine craft horror-inspired synth rock opus with new single ‘Cold Blooded’, out now via FiXT.

The band says:

Cold Blooded is definitely more of a slow burn and build compared to some of our more recent singles, focusing more on telling a story than on crafting a conventional YM track.

Describing it as a slow burn is accurate as the eerie and cold start takes its time before exploding into more upbeat synth and a foot-tapping rhythm. Leading to a chorus that will be stuck in your head for days. It’s super-synthy all the way through but the blend of nostalgic sounds and modern rockiness works quite nicely.

Fight the Fade – Composure

Fight the Fade get through troubling times with new metalcore single, “Composure”, out now via FiXT. Inspired by the feeling of having to maintain to the outside world when everything is collapsing around you.

The band says:

There’s a stigma that (especially when you’re on a stage) you have to appear like you’ve got it all together. Truthfully, I tend to spread myself too thin, and I end up overwhelmed and broken. If you’ve ever felt that way too, then “Composure” is for you.

The emotional weight behind this track is what most will remember once it is over. However, don’t think for a second that it’s the only thing to enjoy here. Fight the Fade’s melodrama comes predominantly from the soaring vocals but that is backed up by rocking guitars, clever effects and absolutely thumping percussion. It’s a track you’ll want to hit play on, again and again. Check it out here.

Thrown – fast forward

Brand new Swedish quartet Thrown, fronted by ex-Grieved vocalist Marcus Lundqvist, drop their neck-breaking new single ‘fast forward’, streaming now via Arising Empire.

Two minutes of chaos, ferocity and fury. Thrown is a nasty, filthy blast of hardcore to snap you out of your self-imposed daydream. The aggression in this track is simply startling and the manner in which Thrown get in, fuck shit up and get back out makes it all the more impactful. Check it out here.

Hammerfall – Hammer of Dawn

Swedish saviours of heavy metal Hammerfall let the hammer strike again with their twelfth studio album, Hammer of Dawn, set to be released on 25th February via Napalm Records. The album’s release is preceded by the arrival of the first single and title track, ‘Hammer of Dawn’, accompanied by a music video filmed at Liseberg amusement park in Gothenburg, and by famed director Patric Ullaeus.

Oscar Dronjak comments on the single:

The song itself was initially conceived in Germany during the World Dominion tour, with the rest of the work being done at home. I immediately knew this had the potential to be something important, and when Joacim added his vocal melodies we both felt it would be the perfect single. One with substance and power but also one you can’t stop singing when the music fades out.

Power metal glory… Hammerfall are back and with a track that has a lot of their old-school sound to it. A classic Hammerfall song for the modern times, it is every bit as epic as you would except. The galloping riff work, the deep percussion and of course, those wonderful vocals. The chorus is a sing-along for sure but the guitar solo is truly the track’s most outstanding moment.




Blind Guardian, Zeal & Ardor, Villain of the Story, Sedative, ODDKO, Avatar, I Am Your God, Young Medicine, Fight the Fade, Thrown and Hammerfall!
  • Blind Guardian - Deliver Us from Evil - 8/10
    8/10
  • Zeal & Ardor – Golden Liar - 9/10
    9/10
  • Villain of the Story – Losing Control - 8/10
    8/10
  • Sedative - Vile - 8.5/10
    8.5/10
  • ODDKO – Siren Song - 7/10
    7/10
  • Avatar – Construction of Souls - 8/10
    8/10
  • I Am Your God – Dead Standing Tree - 9/10
    9/10
  • Young Medicine – Cold Blooded - 7/10
    7/10
  • Fight the Fade - Composure - 7.5/10
    7.5/10
  • Thrown – fast forward - 9/10
    9/10
  • Hammerfall – Hammer of Dawn - 9/10
    9/10
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    Blind Guardian - Deliver Us from Evil
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    Zeal & Ardor – Golden Liar
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    Villain of the Story – Losing Control
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    Sedative - Vile
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    ODDKO – Siren Song
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    Avatar – Construction of Souls
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    I Am Your God – Dead Standing Tree
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    Young Medicine – Cold Blooded
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    Fight the Fade - Composure
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    Thrown – fast forward
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    Hammerfall – Hammer of Dawn