This single slam features Ihsahn, Evil Scarecrow, Mechanized, Bitter Kisses, Enterprise Earth, Amaranthe, Profaned, Lord Dying, IOTA, Hana Piranha, Mutes, Neck Deep, Bloom, Darkest Hour, East Capri, and Heriot. You can read our thoughts about the latest singles from these bands below.
Ihsahn – Pilgrimage to Oblivion
Ihsahn has announced the release of his new album on 16th February 2024 via Candlelight Records. The Norwegian progressive metal visionary has dared to push the realms of creative expressionism even further with his eighth studio offering. The release will embody two melodically interlinked versions of the same album: one prog metal, one fully symphonic, both creating a cinematically-influenced masterpiece that is simply, definitively entitled Ihsahn.
Ahead of the release date, Ihsahn has shared the frenetic first single ‘Pilgrimage to Oblivion’ with accompanying video filmed by Shaun Hodson at Loki Films. For the orchestral version of the track, a visualiser by Costin Chioreanu has been created.
Commenting on the new single, Ihsahn says:
‘Pilgrimage to Oblivion’ serves as a rather immediate introduction to the overarching musical and conceptual aspects of the album. The lyrics go directly into the storyline and the video is the first in a sequel of videos portraying the whole story.
A man that embodies the words ‘musical genius’, Ihsahn delivers something as profound as always with this single. One that offers varying degrees of intensity and beauty, regardless of which version you hear. The prog metal version is epic in its own right, drawing from the man’s blackened past, and infusing brash orchestral elements to great effect. Yet, the symphonic version is startling in its grandness. It’s safe to say, based off this first taste, that this new album is going to be very special.
Evil Scarecrow – Nuclear Fallout Machine Sentience
Evil Scarecrow are back with a brand-new single called ‘Nuclear Fallout Machine Sentience’, via Deadbox Records. In 2024 the band will release their as yet untitled 5th studio album.
Explains the band about Nuclear Fallout Machine Sentience:
Do you ever worry about how many services are running on outdated software? Does the deployment of patches keep you awake at night? Do you feel dread that your IT department have become complacent about upgrades? What has been forgotten… in the depths?
Nuclear Fallout Machine Sentience is the ludicrous horror of world where nuclear submarines running on “Windows Vista” have gone inevitably mad and attempted to destroy humanity completely, all because someone in the IT department was too lazy to upgrade them.
It’s great to have Evil Scarecrow back. Back with their tongue still jammed in their cheeks, but with a renewed prospective, and a desire to create even more infectious singalongs. Which does sum up Nuclear Fallout Machine Sentience nicely, even if it’s not the most energetic track. What it does have is a thumping beat, massive chant-along vocals, and sci-fi infused melody. It’s very Evil Scarecrow and that is never a bad thing. Check it out here.
Mechanized – Lethonomia
Southwest thrash/death metallers Mechanized are thrilled to release their new single ‘Lethonomia’. The follow up to their last fast paced melodic belter ‘The Escherian Stairwell’ this is the final single in the current run of tracks also including fan favourite ‘Out of the Womb, Into the Tomb’ and debut single ‘United in Misery’. In 2024 the band will be focussed on their debut full length album of which writing is already well underway.
A head-banger through and through, with some really wicked groove. Mechanized are dropping some weighty riffs here, and showing how a combination of thrash and death metal doesn’t have to be the same old thing over and over again. It’s a banger that is deliciously listenable. Check it out here.
Bitter Kisses – Kamikaze
Bristol-based heavy-pop four-piece Bitter Kisses have released their new single ‘Kamikaze’. The band that describes themselves as “pop music you can beat your friends up to”, their previous releases have enjoyed extensive airtime on stations such as BBC Radio One, BBC Introducing in the West, The Alternative Show and Amazing Radio.
Reflecting on the inspiration behind the single the band state:
’Kamikaze’ focuses its ire against the everyday power fantasist who does their little bits to make the world a harder place to live in. We want less of that.
It’s been a good year for Bitter Kisses, helped by the fact that they’ve put out some serious bangers.
Kamikaze is another one. A track with a delightful amount of rock swagger, featuring a bit more bite, and having a massive sounding chorus. It’s one of their more instrumentally interesting tracks, with a lot of credit going to the drums for adding a ton of weight to the sound of it.
Enterprise Earth – The Reaper’s Servant
Enterprise Earth have released their latest heavy hitter ‘The Reaper’s Servant’, featuring the inimitable Darius Tehrani from Spite. This single is taken from the band’s forthcoming new album Death: An Anthology, out on 2nd February via MNRK Heavy.
Speaking on the news, Enterprise Earth commented:
‘Reaper’s’ is definitely for the real metal heads out there. Overall, I’d say this is the most aggressive and straight-to-the-point track on Death: An Anthology as it comes out of the gate breathing fire and does not let up until it’s over. We were elated to have Darius on the track as he absolutely nailed the vibe for his part. His unmistakable voice and energy really sent the whole track to a new level of confidence and power.
Oh yes, this is a heavy as f**k Enterprise Earth, easily the most intense thing we’ve heard from them in a while. Although that should have been fairly obvious when the likes of Darius Tehrani is guesting on it. Yet, it also continues to showcase the evolved state of this band, and the direction they are going in. It just so happens to batter the listener over the head with some of the nastiest metal sounds heard this year. Be prepared to be picking up your teeth afterwards. Check it out here.
Amaranthe – Outer Dimensions
Swedish metal virtuosos Amaranthe break through the grey November clouds, ready to cure your seasonal blues with their new uplifting track ‘Outer Dimensions’! It is the third single from Amaranthe’s forthcoming album The Catalyst, that will see the light of the day on February 23rd, 2024, via Nuclear Blast Records.
Amaranthe’s Olof Mörck states:
Dimensions and galaxies collide in our latest single ‘Outer Dimensions’, which takes you on a journey from the introspective and obscure, all the way to a sparkling cosmos of an epic chorus! We feel that it showcases ‘The Catalyst’s diversity, all in one track, while remaining very recognisably AMARANTHE. The song is masterfully counterpointed by a tour de force of a video, directed by long time collaborator Patric Ullaeus – so let us bring you the furthest reaches of your imagination with ‘Outer Dimensions’ soon!
Nothing particularly ‘out there’ with this latest Amaranthe track. Featuring all their usual enigmatic symphonic epic-ness, infectious melodies, big chorus, and wonderfully harmonised vocals. It’s a cool track, nothing special, but hardcore Amaranthe fans will likely love it.
Profaned – Majestic
Profaned, a beacon of sonic innovation in uncertain times, have released their new single ‘Majestic’. A song that tells the tale of airborne bravery, sacrifice and loss during World War 2, a theme the band also touched upon in the 2021 track ‘Enigmatic’ – retelling the tragic tale of Alan Turing.
A stunner of a track that encapsulates the story the band is telling. Its epic heavy sound gets the blood pumping and the heart pounding as the band take us on a pacey head-banging journey of heavy f**king metal. Profaned’s excitability encapsulated by a chorus that demands fists in the air.
Lord Dying – The Endless Road Home
Portland progressive sludge masters Lord Dying have unveiled their haunting new animated video for ‘The Endless Road Home’. It’s the closing track of their long-awaited new full-length, Clandestine Transcendence, which is released 19th January 2024 via MNRK Heavy.
Frontman Erik Olson comments on the latest single:
‘The Endless Road Home’ is dedicated to all the road dogs, travellers, bands, crew, people that make tours happen, people that go to shows and general rabble rousers. We salute you.
Lord Dying didn’t need to create any more anticipation for this new record, but here, they deliver such a fascinatingly progressive track, that the anticipation is just heightened even more. The thickness of the bass, the dramatic vocals, and the tempo increase of the chorus… it’s a really captivating tune. Check it out here.
IOTA – Medicine
Bristol alternative rock band IOTA have released their much-anticipated new single ‘Medicine’.
The band’s creative process for Medicine was deeply personal, drawing on the mental and physical response to a traumatic event and the feeling that is making you feel sick becoming the new norm. Lead-singer Jodie describes the event like:
I lost my business, my music studio, plus all of our equipment in a fire and the response that was and is extremely overwhelming both mentally and physically, which resulted in panic and anxiety attacks of all kinds. It really became the norm to feel these manic episodes of sickness, and I didn’t know who I was without them.
You never know quite what you’re going to get with IOTA, as they are a band who really utilise the enigmatic term ‘alternative’. Case in point, Medicine, a track with strong moody vibes that give it a grunge flavour. Yet, it is still rooted in rock, and has pop-orientated touches here and there. It’s a very addictive piece of music.
Hana Piranha – Lorelei
Hana Piranha’s new single ‘Lorelei’ is out now. Taken from the forthcoming album ‘Wingspan’, ‘Lorelei’ tells Hana’s story of an abusive relationship and invites the listener to share in the healing that can be found not just in the music but in the visceral vulnerability
that drives her.
Speaking about the single, Hana Piranha said:
Lorelei was inspired by my ex-boyfriend, who I was in a really abusive relationship with. I feel lucky to have actually survived that relationship, it was just really dark, so the song is about that quite explicitly. I chose Lorelei, a mythical mermaid who lures sailors to their deaths, so it makes it a bit of a revenge song too. It’s why we chose to make the music video underwater.
How talented is Hana Piranha? If you’re not sure, this track will tell you a hell of a lot. A track with power, a track with a really honest and open story, and a wonderfully dynamic chorus. Her vocals are immense, yet the interplay of instruments and how the chorus just rises, are such memorable components too. It’s a fantastic piece of music.
Mutes – Mere Slaughter
Birmingham-based post-punk / noise-rock polymaths Mutes have released their new single ‘Mere Slaughter’, out via No Sound Records.
It is the first taste of their upcoming fourth studio album, due in 2024, and was recorded entirely live, an evident display of the band’s desire to capture the uninhibited intensity of their performances.
Discussing what inspired the single, the band explain:
‘Mere Slaughter’ was born from a need to write something ugly and dissonant – somewhat of a sonic exorcism. A lament for a society that is slowly eating itself by means of division and gaslighting.
There’s a lot to take away from the initial listen of Mere Slaughter, and even more on multiple listens. It is an abrasive piece of music, that doesn’t seem to care if it annoys our frustrates, and you can feel the punk sensibilities within its noise-based sound. Yet, the more time spent in its company, the more compelling it becomes. Mutes have crafted a track that gets under the skin. Check it out here.
Neck Deep – We Need More Bricks
UK pop-punk kings, Neck Deep, have released, ‘We Need More Bricks’, the latest single to be released from their forthcoming self-titled album, ‘Neck Deep’, released on January 19th 2024, on Hopeless Records.
Shares vocalist Ben Barlow:
‘We Need More Bricks’ is, in my opinion, Neck Deep at their political best. Touching on everything from the monarchy, immigration, protest laws and international wars. We find ourselves at a cross section in the zeitgeist where bricks could be used to build something, or to be destructive. I’m calling on punks and those that want to make a difference, to do so. As well as being our most poignant political track to date, it also features my favourite riff/ breakdown we’ve ever written, with a mosh call that, I hope, makes the listener think about their role in the world, and to speak up, take action on the many injustices the world faces today. I’m looking forward to playing this one live the most of any track on the record. If this one doesn’t get you moving then maybe Jason Derulo is more up your street.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with Neck Deep getting pretty political, especially when it results in such a fiery pop-punk banger. Yes, this is Neck Deep through and through, and it’s so damn lovable. It’s pure anthemic Neck Deep music that makes you want to jump around, sing loudly, and maybe grab a brick or two. Check it out here.
Bloom – Maybe in Another Life
Off the back of their recent signing to Pure Noise Records, Sydney melodic hardcore outfit Bloom share news of their anticipated debut album, ‘Maybe in Another Life’, out Friday February 16th via Pure Noise & Greyscale Records. The band have shared the album title track as they gear up to play Good Things Festival in December.
Told as a story in ten parts, Bloom’s forthcoming album examines longing, self-indulgence, fantasy, manipulation and despair through the eyes of a character that is constantly challenged by their reality.
Explains vocalist Jono Hawkey:
Maybe in Another Life contains our heaviest moments and most memorable choruses to date, and brandishes the full range of the sound we have been crafting since we began as a group.
A darker and deeper Bloom has really begun to come forward on this upcoming album and this new single is a strong showcase of this direction. Bloom are filled with intensity, so much so, that even the chorus sounds hard, even if it is deliciously catchy. This is a track you can go a little wild to, but also appreciate the depth that it has.
Darkest Hour – Perpetual | Terminal
Darkest Hour have announced their tenth album, ‘Perpetual | Terminal’ will be released on 23rd February 2024 via MNRK Heavy. The band have introduced the new album by sharing the video for the title track.
Says the band:
This is a whole Darkest Hour album in one song. It felt like the perfect album opener, eventually became the title track, and therefore is the perfect place to start as we present this new album to the world. Lyrically, it touches on all of the themes of the record — an album centered around the duality of survival and rebirth. Or, you could just say, some new music from old friends who just won’t ever give up.
The reliability of Darkest Hour continues to impress, but equally, how they evolve and freshen things up with each release, is simply staggering. This new single encapsulates the band’s extensive career, but also the place they find themselves in right now. Furious and frenetic heaviness, with massive melodic riffing, and a huge sounding chorus. It’s a great track. Check it out here.
East Capri – Veil Vision
Brisbane alt rock trio East Capri have shared their slick new single ‘Veil Vision’.
Tackling the emotional turmoil experienced when dealing with the fallout of a relationship and later reflecting on the red flags hiding in plain sight, Veil Vision is a track about being momentarily blinded by love and lust.
Explains songwriter and vocalist Eden Cartwright:
Veil Vision is about being unable to see or admit to the toxicity that was ever-present in the relationship. It’s about that constant battle between intense deep emotional connection and passion, versus self-doubt, emotional depletion and the intoxicating addiction to her approval.
Taking first place for the most unique sounding and challenging tracks out this week, East Capri are the changing face of alternative rock. A style that leans more and more into the pop world, without dropping heavier and bouncier rock rhythms. The balancing act can be hit and miss, but here, it’s mostly hit. The crossover appeal is so obvious, and a lot of people are going to love this. Check it out here.
Heriot – Soul Chasm
The UK’s most exciting new heavy band, Heriot, have revealed their new single ‘Soul Chasm’, and announced their signing with Century Media.
The band comment:
‘Soul Chasm’ illustrates the internal struggle for peace, revealing our tendency to be unkind to ourselves and how the fear of failure can dim the vibrancy of our existence.
We are proud to announce our signing with Century Media! The label is a monumental force within the metal world, and we are honoured to now become part of such an incredible legacy. We cannot wait to see what the future holds.
Massive congratulations are in order for Heriot on their recent signing to Century Media, something that is more than deserved. This new era doesn’t mean Heriot are about to change, in fact, this new track might be one of their heaviest offerings. A beast with many different faucets, such as doom and sludge, along with familiar abrasive power violence and metallic hardcore sounds. It’s a Heriot banger, and their future is insanely bright.
Ihsahn, Evil Scarecrow, Mechanized, Bitter Kisses, Enterprise Earth, Amaranthe, Profaned, Lord Dying, IOTA, Hana Piranha, Mutes, Neck Deep, Bloom, Darkest Hour, East Capri, and Heriot!
Ihsahn – Pilgrimage to Oblivion - 9/10
Evil Scarecrow – Nuclear Fallout Machine Sentience - 8/10
Mechanized – Lethonomia - 8/10
Bitter Kisses – Kamikaze - 8.5/10
Enterprise Earth – The Reaper’s Servant - 8.5/10
Amaranthe – Outer Dimensions - 7/10
Profaned – Majestic - 9/10
Lord Dying – The Endless Road Home - 8.5/10
IOTA – Medicine - 7.5/10
Hana Piranha – Lorelei - 9/10
Mutes – Mere Slaughter - 8/10
Neck Deep – We Need More Bricks - 8/10
Bloom – Maybe in Another Life - 7.5/10
Darkest Hour – Perpetual | Terminal - 8.5/10
East Capri – Veil Vision - 7/10
Heriot – Soul Chasm - 9/10