Best New Songs of July – Staff Favorites + Essential Listening
Here are the best rock and metal songs of July, 2022!
It was the most stacked month of new music so far this year with some seriously huge acts all dropping fresh tunes. Even so, plenty of newcomers and other artists dominated our listening habits this month. Beyond all the essentials, the Loudwire staff has made selections for their own personal favorites from July and it's possible you may have missed some of these. There's literally hundreds of new songs coming out each week, but nothing was as good as what you'll find below!
Follow the Best of the Month playlist here.
You know these bands and you probably heard these songs the instant they came out — midnight Spotify lurkers, we see you. These were the songs that kept July roaring:
Alter Bridge, “Pawns & Kings”
Amon Amarth, “The Great Heathen Army”
Arch Enemy, “In the Eye of the Storm”
Architects, “tear gas”
Bad Wolves, “The Body”
Behemoth, “The Deathless Sun”
Blind Guardian, “Violent Shadows”
Bring Me the Horizon, “sTraNgeRs”
Bullet For My Valentine, “No More Tears to Cry”
Bush, “More Than Machines”
Dance Gavin Dance, “Die Another Day”
Dieth, “In the Hall of Hanging Serpents”
Demi Lovato, “Substance”
Demon Hunter, “Defense Mechanism” ft. Max Cavalera
The Devil Wears Prada, “Time”
Disturbed, “Hey You”
Five Finger Death Punch, “Times Like These”
Goatwhore, “Born of Satan’s Flesh”
Gogol Bordello, “Focus Coin”
Heaven’s Gate, “Jerusalem Syndrome”
Hollywood Undead, “Trap God”
I Prevail, “Bad Things”
King’s X, “Give It Up”
Lacuna Coil, “Tightrope XX”
Lamb of God, “Omens”
Lorna Shore, “Cursed To Die”
Megadeth, “Night Stalkers” ft. Ice-T
Muse, “Kill Or Be Killed”
Ozzy Osbourne, “Degradation Rules” ft. Tony Iommi
Palaye Royale, “Fever Dream”
Panic! At the Disco, “Middle of a Breakup”
Parkway Drive, “The Greatest Fear”
Revocation, “Diabolical Majesty”
Russian Circles, “Betrayal”
Seether, “What Would You Do?” ft. Gavin Rossdale
Senses Fail, “Hell Is In Your Head”
Skid Row, “Tear it Down”
Slipknot, “The Dying Song (Time to Sing)”
Soilwork, “Dreams of Nowhere”
Soulfly, “Filth Upon Filth”
Spite, “Dedication to Flesh”
Stick to Your Guns, “Hush”
Stryper, “See No Evil, Hear No Evil”
The Hu, “Black Thunder”
The Mars Volta, “Graveyard Love”
Vended, “Ded To Me”
Within Temptation, “Don’t Pray For Me”
The stuff Loudwire's team has been obsessed with.
RELEASED: July 20
From the mind of Paradise Lost’s Greg Mackintosh comes the viciously heavy, concrete-laden death metal project Strigoi. Endless fields of impaled heads and body parts on stakes set the tone for the video for “Hollow,” and frankly, a better visual does not exist for this song. Sonically, the track is scorched earth. Chugging guitars provide a doomy soundscape before the track blasts wide open into death metal fury. This is everything you want from brutal, modern metal.
BAND: Defacing God
SONG: “Rise of the Trinity”
RELEASED: July 6
This band has been lovingly described as Arch Enemy meets Dimmu Borgir, and the comparison checks out. Fierce vocals from Sandie the Lilith propel the orchestral “Rise of the Trinity” through movements of triumph and atmospheric brutality. This is the type of song that could captivate a festival crowd, fists pounding in the air, as fire cannons shoot from the stage into the night air.
BAND: Imperial Triumphant
SONG: “Tower of Glory, City of Shame”
RELEASED: July 8
This is not for everyone. Even if you’re a die-hard fan of bands such as Gorguts, Portal or Ulcerate, you’ll likely describe Imperial Triumphant as “weird.” Still, the incomparable Zachary Ezrin created an experimental death metal project that Kenny G wanted to collaborate with, so shame on you if you’ve missed out on Imperial Triumphant so far.
BAND: Silversun Pickups
SONG: “Scared Together”
RELEASED: July 11
I can’t remember the last time I found the intro to a song so intriguing that I restarted it over and over just to hear it again. Silversun Pickups’ latest drop “Scared Together” has such a funky groove that you almost don’t care to pay attention to the words, but vocalist Brian Aubert comes in with such a gentle swagger that you’re left with no choice. And who doesn’t love a plot twist? Just before the two-minute mark, the track practically triples in tempo and leaves you wondering whether it’s still the same one you started listening to. This switch happens a couple of times throughout the song’s four minutes, making for a wild listening ride overall.
BAND: Pretty Sick
SONG: “Human Condition”
RELEASED: July 20
Waiting over 50 seconds to hear any vocals in a song can tend to turn off listeners, but Pretty Sick’s new song “Human Condition” has such an infectious, twangy guitar intro that it had me dying to hear what the singer would sound like. This song served as my introduction to Pretty Sick, and I’m sure I’ll be back for more. It’s not easy to sound grungy in 2022 when everything is polished and produced to perfection, but this song is like a trippy trek through a time machine back to the mid-’90s.
RELEASED: July 19
Six years removed from their glorious self-titled debut, traditional metal heroes Sumerlands, featuring producer extraordinaire Arthur Rizk on guitar, are back. Not returning, however, is singer Phil Swanson and, in his place, they’ve tapped the ever capable Brendan Radigan, formerly of trad doomsters Magic Circle, and the band is no worse for the wear because of it.
Sumerlands’ first album greatly appealed to my adoration of the riffing style of former Ozzy guitarist Jake E. Lee and “Dreamkiller” still manages to check this box, though not quite as on the nose as before. That’s fine though because this track, which comes off the forthcoming record of the same name, is among the highest quality NWOTHM (New Wave of Traditional Heavy Metal) to come about over the last decade-plus.
SONG: “Swords Into Flesh”
RELEASED: July 14
Krisiun are a band that should be among the “Essentials” grouping in our monthly roundup of the best new rock and metal songs, but it’s Leo season and I’m going to live up to the selfish aspect of my star chart. Simply put, I fucking love Krisiun and can’t balk at another opportunity to single them out and hype them up.
The intensity of this Brazilian death metal trio never dips below a 9 out of 10 and whenever I’m in the mood for the most adrenalized, inhumanly fast metal, Krisiun are always the go-to. “Swords Into Flesh,” taken from the Mortem Solis album, doesn’t do anything terribly different from the last 25-plus years of Krisiun, but the Motorhead mentality continues to pay off for this group.
SONG: “Storm of the Unborn”
RELEASED: July 22
For nearly 25 years, blackened thrashers Witchery have been toiling in the underground, always the benefactor of favorable chatter, but their name just doesn’t come up as often as it should. Their style is unlike many other artists who fall under the same genre tag, really leaning into campy horror vibes with traditional metal enthusiasm to boot.
“Storm of the Unborn” has a Manowar-type swagger as black metal dissonance infects triumphant chord progressions, laying the perfect musical foundation for the gurgling, ghastly vocal performance from Angus Norder, who stars on his second Witchery album with the newly released Nightside.
BAND: Cinnamon Babe
SONG: “Rock ‘N’ Roll Is Black”
RELEASED: July 13
With the shouted refrain of “I'm taking my culture back!” Cinnamon Babe is letting everyone know where she stands at the crossroads of rock and race. “Rock ‘N’ Roll Is Black” is a clear statement on the history of music from triple threat (musician/actress/social media influencer) Stormi Maya. The infectious nu-metal groove is supposed to make your ears and brain work, and it doesn't hurt that the chorus is spat like a Rage Against the Machine cadence either.
BAND: Dead Cross
SONG: “Reign of Error”
RELEASED: July 19
Let me be straight: This is one of the most fucked up videos I’ve ever seen. And I’ve seen all of Tool’s. The Mike Patton and Dave Lombardo-led Dead Cross is back with album number II, and their first single is a scathing rebuke of the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. Clocking just under two minutes, the video is jam-packed full of visuals that are the stuff of nightmares. It’s also on the verge of a parental or governmental group lawsuit. So… Highly recommended!
RELEASED: July 29
This one from Baltimore soulpunks nightlife came in just under the wire this month to remind you that rock ‘n’ roll is ass shakin’ music. Pulling together influences from rock’s different eras (everything from funk, soul and jazz to more modern alt rock and post-hardcore) for something that is uniquely nightlife and impossible to sit still during. So crank it up and move your hips or take your boring ass somewhere else.
BAND: Electric Callboy / Conquer Divide
RELEASED: July 8
Pop punk is definitely having a moment in mainstream music, and while a lot of it is very good (disrespect Olivia Rodrigo in my presence and you WILL catch these hands) it can often feel too pretty and polished. This track from Electric Callboy and Conquer Divide strikes much more of a balance and captures the energy of the genre’s heyday perfectly. It’ll remind you of the days you spent slurping Icees at your mall’s food court or at the local skate park because you literally had nothing else to do.
SONG: “Light It Up”
RELEASED: July 27
Yes, Orianthi’s got the riffs, but the guitarist gives us some undeniable bluesy swing on her latest single, “Light It Up.” You’d be hard pressed not to get caught up in the rhythm of this motivational rocker, in which she reminds us all, “You can’t see the lights when you’re looking down.” So might as well meet this song head on and let it take you in.
BAND: Krooked Tongue
SONG: “When the Beaches Bleed”
RELEASED: July 29
Get ready to ride the wave, and trust us, things are gonna get a little choppy! Krooked Tongue drop “When the Beaches Bleed,” a dark, doomy ode to the mavericks of big wave surfing. This fuzzed out favorite takes you right up to the abyss, holding on for dear life amidst the guitar wails. But much like the chaos of the big wave itself, there’s a sense of beauty and relief once the chaotic climax passes and you’re able to ease into reflection.
BAND: The Virginmarys
SONG: “You’re a Killer”
RELEASED: July 22
The Virginmarys showed great promise in the 2010s, seemingly on the verge of a major rock breakout with songs such as “Just a Ride” and “Into Dust.” Now four years removed from their third album, the band has been paired down to the duo of singer-guitarist Ally Dickaty and drummer Danny Dolan. But they’ve retained that sense of unbridled aggression and biting commentary with “You’re a Killer,” a song displaying their disdain for the division and distraction of today’s modern society.
SONG: “Record Store”
RELEASED: July 6
Just as a record store can be filled with vintage treasures, it feels like we’ve found a vintage gem in Vixen77. “Record Store” has a rich, vibrant guitar tone, ‘80s-esque punk sass and a kickass groove that you can’t help but bounce around to. Plus, you get a cleverly thought out dissection of a relationship and the ties that bring it all full circle.
SONG: "Whispers of Your Death"
RELEASED: July 26
It's heartwarming for this writer to know that, in 2022, bands are still trying to sound like Shai Hulud. After all, Shai Hulud is one of my favorite hardcore bands ever. And I feel like Hulud bandleader Matt Fox — a sweetheart of a musician much like Counterparts vocalist Brendan Murphy — would heartily approve of the inspiration behind "Whispers of Your Death." Written about Murphy's pet cat, the music video even shows the feline seemingly listening to the track. (If you like this, check out Shai Hulud's That Within Blood Ill-Tempered.) "Whispers of Your Death" is slated for Counterparts' A Eulogy for Those Still Here, out this October.
SONG: "Survival Is Vengeance"
RELEASED: July 22
Can you tell I like hardcore yet? Though the term for aggressive punk music is now soft and malleable — how many differences can there really be between "tough guy," "thrashcore," "classic" hardcore, etc. — the New York hardcore act Mindforce are the cream of the crop, however you talk about it. Most call them something like, um, crossover hardcore. So we'll go with that. Mindforce's first studio album in four years, Mind Lords, comes out in September. Listen to their new single "Survival Is Vengeance" and get fuckin' stoked.
SONG: “More Than Machines”
RELEASED: July 27
Bush was my first. The first concert I bought a ticket for with my hard-earned mall job money. I will always support and check out their new music. With their latest track "More Than Machines," Rossdale and company tackle three big topics: women’s reproductive rights, the destruction of the planet and the move for A.I. Many have discussed, far better than I ever can, the importance of male allyship on the first of those issues. Well, here it is — in our little corner of our world, conveyed in the art we love. That alone is worth a listen. The group also announced that their ninth studio album, titled The Art of Survival, will arrive Oct. 7.
BAND: David Lee Roth
SONG: “Nothing Could Have Stopped Us Then Anyway”
RELEASED: July 28
This is the song John 5, who contributed to the track, has wanted David Lee Roth to release for a minute now. It was recorded around 2016, but the inspiration for it takes us back to the ‘70s and ‘80s when Roth and Van Halen were one. I personally like to dig into song lyrics to try to better understand musicians, or in this case, the relationship musicians had with each other at their peak. The song is about Van Halen, so tell me you don't want to hear the story behind the line: "Kicked out the restaurant to make the night complete. Six-pack and a happy meal on a park bench down the street." I want to know all the memories, all the stories, and all the music the legendary Van Halen inspired.