Best Metal Songs of 2017 (So Far)
If you're the "I can't remember what I had for breakfast" type, you undoubtedly struggle to keep up with the rapid pace of new metal releases. Often times, bands will release upwards of four or five songs before their new album hits, offering a massive preview and, honestly, it is tough to keep up with it all. That's where we come in.
Rather than scouring the Internet, trying to track down what has already come out and what has yet to be released, we've compiled a running tab of the Best Metal Songs of 2017 (So Far) to ease the workload. As you're well aware, there's dozens of different metal subgenres and we've attacked this task from all angles ranging from thrash, doom, death metal, power metal and more, meaning there's something in here for everybody!
Keep this page handy as we'll be updating it with the newest songs that just won't leave our heads and you'll never have to worry about missing out on the best this year has to offer. What are you waiting for? Take a look at the Best Metal Songs of 2017 (So Far) below and start headbanging!
If you're looking for the standout albums of 2017, check out our Best Metal Albums of 2017 (So Far).
Belphegor are 11 albums into their career now and the Austrian blackened death metal tyrants are still churning out outright sonic malevolence. "Apophis - Black Dragon" does not deviate from the band's tried and true formula (and we're not asking them to), replete with rapturous melodies, countered by unhinged blasts and start-stop chugs accented by nimble cymbal catches. Blasphemy eternal!
If there were any naysayers left on the legitimacy of Body Count, “No Lives Matter” slapped their mouths shut immediately. The punchy, hardcore-infused metal track attacks the listener with social messages while imploring them not to “fall for the bait and switch” of political spin. You can really feel the frustration in Ice-T’s voice throughout the cut and with the U.S. almost hopelessly divided, “No Lives Matter” dropped at the perfect time.
There was no doubt Jeremy Wagner and the rest of Broken Hope were going to deliver with their new album, Mutilated and Assimilated. Why’s that? Because Wagner bought a bunch of Jeff Hanneman’s guitars and wrote the album, including killer cuts like “The Carrion Eaters,” with them! Criminally underrated, Broken Hope never fall victim to tech-death’s typical stylistic trapping, keeping the meaty riffs flowing, accented by bright lead breaks and memorable melodies, all enveloped by the gristle-chewing vocal splatter of Damian ‘Tom’ Leski.
Disgusting ... absolutely disgusting -- in a good way! The title track to Code Orange’s Forever album immediately takes over the listener’s body, causing mass destruction to anything nearby. You can thank Converge’s Kurt Ballou for that nasty tone, but Code Orange is much more than an over-distorted hardcore/metal hybrid. “Forever” is a welcome nightmare, constantly dropping in and out to make way for inventive flashes of sonic violence. The twists on “Forever” turn the song from a solid hardcore rager into a conceptual thrill ride.
There’s just something about the new DragonForce that finds the band sounding truly reinvigorated. “Ashes of the Dawn” leads off the record after an intro track, gleaming with simple, triumphant melodies while still finding time to unleash flawless sweeps and frenetic solos, keeping them in check rather than going for the shock and awe approach. With a focus on hooks (not just in the chorus), a playful nature steers the track around hairpin guitar turns, speeding off once again on the straightaway.
Don your most tattered pair of camo shorts and jump in the pit! In 2017, Dying Fetus are the Wrong One to F--k With and songs like “Die With Integrity” make it clear why. It’s tough to match the knuckle-dragging pit-perfect intensity of Killing on Adrenaline and Destroy the Opposition, but this song feels like it’s late ‘90s/early ‘00s slam all over again, cutting into groove after groove, only to stomp on the accelerator with technical flourishes and artillery-fire blast beats.
Enslaved are one of Norway's most thought-provoking black metal acts. On "Storm Son," they've introduced an array of new elements, finding comfort in the more ritualistic side of their viking mentality. This song is an absolute must regarding headphones, with brilliant attention to detail in the production. "Storm Son" is whimsical yet still carries that barbaric, marauding attitude Enslaved have never abandoned.
Welcome to a new chapter in the GWAR saga! The Blood of Gods will be the first album from the blood-spilling scumdogs not to feature iconic singer Oderus Urungus (Dave Brockie). Blothar has taken over for the late frontman and commands the new material quite well. There's plenty of vocal character in "F--k This Place," a track that takes on a bit of the band's more punk-enthused classic sound with an infinitely catchy lead.
Immolation have consistently churned out twisted, malevolent and blasphemous death metal for over 20 years, still walking the same path they cleared in the early to mid-’90s. On “Fostering the Divide,” they slow things down to a crawl of sorts as the song hinges on a lungeing riff, utilizing empty space with great effect. Sinister yet melodic undertones keep the track moving forward, accented by familiar off-kilter pinch harmonics and Ross Dolan’s guttural howl.
Internal Bleeding’s 2017 has been wrought with tragedy as the band lost drummer Bill Tolley following an accident where he fell from a ladder while on the job as a firefighter. Shortly after his death, the band released “Final Justice,” which instantly stood among the best of their career. Alternating between bobbing slams and more rigid moments, there’s a forceful push and pull at play, highlighted by vocal trade-offs for more of a gang mentality.
King Woman is a band who haunts you. Their stunning debut full-length, Created in the Image of Suffering, is a crushing yet bleak listen and “Deny” is perhaps the most powerful piece of the album. A creeping guitar lead sets the mood immediately while Kristina Esfandiari’s multilayered vocals never let the listener feel completely comfortable. Once those giant chords in the chorus hit, there’s no chance of escaping King Woman’s grasp.
Mastodon unleashed perhaps their greatest album of the 2010s with Emperor of Sand… and it all starts with a curse. Fans knew Emperor of Sand would be special immediately as they heard “Sultan’s Curse,” which kicks off Mastodon’s seventh full-length. Each Masto member is placed on a pedestal at some point throughout the song, with the band’s double-guitar and triple-vocal attack on glorious display. “Sultan’s Curse” has just about everything fans want from Mastodon, from crushing leads and soaring vocals to progressive structures and killer solos.
Where has the time gone? It’s been five years since we last heard from Municipal Waste, but if that’s what it takes to wring out a punchy thrash hymn like “Amateur Sketch,” we’re content waiting. Fun is the hallmark of Waste and this track adheres to this simple value with melodically-infused rhythms and bouncing, choppy riffing conducive to irresistible bedroom moshes. What? You’ve gotta practice for the pit somewhere!
Obituary are never going to mess with their primeval formula and nobody will ever ask them too as they continue to play some of the purest meat and potatoes death metal out there. Their self-titled 10th studio album has been met with critical acclaim thanks to punishers like “Sentence Day.” Those low-slung grooves are in place, given a new flair with driving, whammy-intensive solos acting like a fireworks warehouse was just engulfed in a blazing inferno.
Blue-collar thrashers Overkill have never failed to deliver street-ready anthems throughout their career. Scrappy as ever, the Jersey vets found themselves in some “Goddamn Trouble” on their latest album, The Grinding Wheel. Does the song come off as just a bit hokey at first? Sure, but that’s where the fun lies! You can’t take everything seriously 100 percent of the time and here, Overkill let loose with infectious, frisky riffs, given a break when some drilling breakdown moments take charge.
And the riff of the year (so far) goes to… “I Saw the End.” That lead is seriously on a Tony Iommi level of doom riffage. The six-minute album opener to ‘Heartless’ is a stunning composition, revealing gorgeous vocal harmonies, creative mood changes and a truly excellent guitar solo finishing out the track. “I Saw the End” is a prime example as to why Pallbearer are leading the doom realm in the 2010s.
Two years removed from the critically-acclaimed The Plague Within, Paradise Lost continue to dominate the death / doom realm. Medusa will be the 15th studio album from the group, featuring one of the best songs in their esteemed career, "The Longest Winter." There's a Type O Negative / Woods of Ypres vibe in the air as the song crawls forward, guided by Nick Holmes' dual-threat vocals and an aching, watery guitar lead.
Power Trip are looking to be the breakout metal act of the year, slaying crowds to the tune of some pit-happy thrashing on Nightmare Logic. The album deals with those consumed by power, greed and wealth, exemplified by the throat-slicing “Executioner’s Tax (Swing of the Axe). This thing is as lean as they come, with not one extra note in place, stripping away any excess to keep their riffing values at their core.
Death metal newcomers Replacire are poised to become one of the genre’s rising groups after the release of their second album (and first on a label), Do Not Deviate. Each song has its own identity and “Moonbred Chains” is one of the absolute highlights. After a dizzying riff, the band transitions into one of the catchiest riffs of the year, using jerking guitar slides accented by rigid tom strikes, later ramped up by the addition of double kicks. Guided by start and stop rhythms, this one’s just ferocious.
Four years removed from their eponymous release, Satyricon have returned, promising a complete reinvention of their style. The Norwegian act has always been on the cusp of innovation and on the Deep Calleth Upon Deep title track, the notion is apparent. Satyricon blend the black 'n' roll style the've largely implemented in the new millennium with traditional black metal elements and indomitably catchy hooks.
Settling in with a revamped lineup, Suffocation hit the studio to track ...Of the Dark Light, their eighth album. It may be too early to judge, but this one has the making of what is arguably the band’s best of the reunion era with gut-check songs like “Return to the Abyss” marking a continued pursuit of all things heavy. Frank Mullen’s guttural roar opens the song, backed by machine gun blasts and jackhammering riffs and more of those world-class breakdowns.
A new release from Trivium is always exciting. Matt Heafy and his crew are always conscious of taking steps in new directions and they ventured down yet another fresh path with "The Sin and the Sentence." There's the classic alt-picking and Heafy's growling vocal might alongside his crisp cleans as well as some dreamy tremolo-picked moments, highly nuanced drumming along all enveloped within an adventurous arrangement.
Tackling the theme of police brutality in America, Warbringer became the face of resistance to hostile authoritative treatment on “Remain Violent.” The mid-tempo bruiser chugs its way through incisive riffs as John Kevill’s raspy death rattle takes on a highly memorable cadence, ensuring this will be a new fan favorite when the band takes the stage.