Single Slam: Iron Maiden, Sense of Noise, King Zebra, Withering Soul, Black Coast, Nightblade, Underoath, LLNN, Benighted, Heligan and James Laurent!

This week’s single slam features Iron Maiden, Sense of Noise, King Zebra, Withering Soul, Black Coast, Nightblade, Underoath, LLNN, Benighted, Heligan and James Laurent. You can read our thoughts about the latest singles from these bands below.

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Iron Maiden – The Writing on the Wall

Six years since the release of new music, their 16th album ‘The Book of Souls’, the legendary British heavy metal band Iron Maiden have released a brand-new track called ‘The Writing on The Wall’.

If there’s one thing you can always expect from Iron Maiden across release after release, it is that they’re always willing to experiment. After 6 years, any new Maiden music would have been eagerly lapped up and the band could have played it super-safe.

Of course, that’s not the Iron Maiden way and what we have here is a steady but epic take on American-country folk but in the band’s unique style. The main riff is a banger, the guitar solo is killer, it sounds massive and the methodical tempo works. Even the rawer production style seems to work in the song’s favour as it sounds suitably weathered.

Sense of Noise – Zero Killed

Sense of Noise are a brand-new melodic death metal band who recently released their third single, Zero Killed. The track features guest vocals by the Swedish singer Björn “Speed” Strid from the legendary Soilwork.

Top shelf melo-death, Sense of Noise might be new but the members are anything but newcomers in the rock and metal world. That shows on this track as it is a smart, evolved and interesting take on the classic melo-death sound.

Zero Killed is a fair bit more intense than the unit’s previous release but it certainly doesn’t lack the melodic part of their melo-death sound. Even if it is more weighted towards heaviness. The melodic parts coming in the form of a clean chorus, the heavy bits coming at you in wave after wave. Guest vocalist Strid sounds great but happily, doesn’t overshadow Sense of Noise’s vocal talents. Check it out here.

King Zebra – Hot Cop Lady

Swiss hard rockers King Zebra have dropped their new single ‘Hot Cop Lady’ through Crusader Records (part of the Golden Robot Global Entertainment Group), which is now available on all digital platforms. ‘Hot Cop Lady’ is the follow up to their recent single ‘Wall of Confusion’ (featuring Guernica Mancini of Thundermother).

A throwback hard rocking tune with bundles of energy, Hot Cop Lady is like a tribute to Van Halen, Motely Crüe and Poison all rolled into one. Uncomplicated, hyper-active and fun… King Zebra know how to do it and do it very well. Roll the windows down and put the pedal to the metal. Be careful though, this Hot Cop Lady might end up pulling you over! Check it out here.

Withering Soul – Carrion Reflection

Blackened melodic death metal veterans Withering Soul have released the first song from forthcoming album Last Contact. Last Contact will be released September 24th on Mortal Music.

A layered track, get underneath the blackened death metal ferocity and you’ll find complex melodies, eye-watering shifts and a ton of sinister atmosphere. It makes for a fascinating study, albeit one that still has the ability to twist your neck off through the sheer strength of Withering Soul’s heaviness.

Black Coast – Stranger’s Skin

Stoke-On-Trent’s nu-metal bright lights Black Coast have revealed the video for new single ‘Stranger’s Skin’, the fourth track to be released ahead of their hotly anticipated debut album titled Outworld, set for release 19th November via Blood Blast Distribution.

Vocalist Charlie Hewitt explains:

Stanger’s Skin is about your perceived image. Whether that be aesthetically or how you think you come across to other people, and how you feel about that image. Feeling like you’re someone else ‘pretending to be okay with pretending’. Sometimes you can’t help it, or have to do it. Stuck in a stranger’s skin.

You can hear a lot of influences in this track, the most notable being Deftones. Thankfully, it doesn’t overshadow what makes Black Coast their own thing. Which is a blend of nu-metal soundscapes with robust guitar slams and ethereal vocals. It has groove, it has energy and it has melody. So overall, is quite enjoyable. Check it out here.

Nightblade – Wake Up

UK alt-rockers Nightblade are back with a killer single, Wake Up, out now. The song is taken from the group’s upcoming brand-new album, Unknown Territories, out everywhere on Friday 24th September.

Such a groovy effort, Nightblade bring the smiles with their rifftastic and animated rock number. There’s a bit of snark to the vocals, the guitars cut through smoothly like a hot knife through butter and the drums hammer out a foot-tapping beat. Straight-forward and fun, exactly what you need sometimes. Check it out here.

Underoath – Damn Excuses

Underoath has been a formative voice in progressive, heavy rock for almost two decades. Now, they share their blistering new single “Damn Excuses” out on Fearless Records. This release marks the first new music from Underoath since 2018’s Grammy-nominated full-length, Erase Me, and launches a brand-new chapter in the band’s career.

Speaking on the track, keyboardist Chris Dudley states:

This song came out of nowhere for us. In hindsight, it probably stems emotionally from the anxiousness that a year of isolation will give you, and that ‘wanting-to-explode’ feeling came out with zero effort. It was therapeutic. This is us ready to get back into a loud room with sweaty people and experience something real together.

Combining the eras of Underoath, this track is a combination of the band’s sound over their many years. The mushing together of the old and the new, the end result being a track that is beastly and intense but layered with emotive value and desperation. Not as ‘radio friendly’ as some of their most recent release but not quite as raw and visceral as the earliest stuff. A damn good heavy showcase of where they are at now.

LLNN – Interloper

‘Interloper’ is taken from dark atmospheric post band LLNN’s upcoming 3rd album ‘Unmaker’. Vocalist and guitarist Christian Bonnesen comments:

It’s a song about feeling worthless. Forever doomed to sit with the kids at the dinner table, fed with scraps from banquets of kings.

A heavy music masterpiece, LLNN’s Interloper is unforgivingly crushing but littered with their atmospheric and dream-like penchant for effects and melodies. A cold and dark intro and outro, the middle portion has the band letting rip and testing the limits of heaviness. It absolutely slays but also features such incredible musical depth. If this is what the whole album will be like then we’re all in for a damn good time.

Benighted – A Personified Evil

Benighted is back with a brand-new track ‘A Personified Evil’, containing special guest Francesco Paoli from Fleshgod Apocalypse.

Vocalist Julien Truchan comments:

Here we go with “A Personified Evil”, our brand-new single featuring none but our amazing brother Francesco Paoli from Fleshgod Apocalypse!! 2’53 of pure violence available in this lyrics video released by our friend Guilherme who did a great job! Tell us what you think about this new piece of insanity and please spread it everywhere you can, not only on the beach!! Thank you for your support and let’s dance! We want to thank Francesco, Remy Headsplit Design who released this beautiful artwork, Frek from La Forme du Son who recorded my vocals and of course Kohle from the Kohlekeller Studio who made the mix and master of this track! SHARE SHARE SHARE!

A blistering burst of modern death metal, Benighted come screaming (literally) out of the darkness to smash skulls and break spirits. An unrelenting tempo, every instrument sounds insane but most will immediately pick out the drums as being top of the pile.

A second under three minutes, such unrelenting death metal has that universal appeal for all metalheads. Check it out here.

Heligan – Castaways

Heligan are a 3-piece progressive punk band from Perth, Western Australia. Their debut single, Castaways, will be independently released on July 16th.

If your reading ‘progressive punk’ and wondering what the hell that is, then Castaways is worthy of a spin to find out. Think the energy, snark and pacing of punk with a few twists and turns. What starts off sounding like early Offspring transforms into its own, weird thing. Albeit with foot-tapping catchiness and memorable rhythms. Check it out here.

James Laurent – Metamorphosis

Inside and outside of the studio, James Laurent has become a revolutionary in the Midwest Emo and Punk scene. Born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, James has the true punk rock looks with lifestyle and sound to match. James Laurent is now releasing his most authentic and personal track yet, ‘Metamorphosis’. The track encapsulates life lessons James has been forced to face at a young age.

There’s a lot of emotion in this track. A lot of honesty and heart. You can hear it but more importantly, you can feel it. Pretty and thought-provoking with a strong ‘emo’ edge but also punky and hopeful. Laurent clearly has a lot to express and music like this is going to connect with many out there.

Single Slam: Iron Maiden, Sense of Noise, King Zebra, Withering Soul, Black Coast, Nightblade, Underoath, LLNN, Benighted, Heligan and James Laurent!
  • Iron Maiden – The Writing on the Wall - 8.5/10
  • Sense of Noise – Zero Killed - 8/10
  • Withering Soul – Carrion Reflection - 9/10
  • Black Coast – Stranger’s Skin - 7/10
  • Nightblade – Wake Up - 7.5/10
  • Underoath – Damn Excuses - 8/10
  • LLNN – Interloper - 10/10
  • Benighted – A Personified Evil - 9/10
  • Heligan - Castaways - 8/10
  • James Laurent – Metamorphosis - 9/10
  • King Zebra – Hot Cop Lady - 7.5/10