Here at Revolver, we're always on the hunt for new songs to bang our heads to — indeed, it's a big part of our jobs. With that in mind, here are the tracks released this week in metal, hard rock and hardcore that have been on heavy rotation at Revolver HQ. For your listening pleasure, we've also compiled the songs in a Spotify playlist, which will grow each week.
Whitechapel - "Hickory Creek (acoustic)"
Could you ever have imagined an acoustic Whitechapel song? While many a deathcore bands have plodded down the clean vox road — often to land squarely on their faces — the Tennessee-based band explored that path with skill and grace on 2019's adventurous The Valley. Whitechapel's stunning new "unplugged" version of album standout "Hickory Creek" takes the group even further afield from their aggro roots, and cements their status as the most evolved and mature band to emerge from their scene.
The Acacia Strain - "I breathed in the smoke deeply it tasted like death and I smiled"
This past week, with C, the Acacia Strain continued their string of two-song seven-inch releases named for a single letter of the alphabet, and this, the second track off of it, is totally vile. Driven by a pounding drum beat, it's atmospheric, dizzying and spacey — and it includes a ferocious guest shot from Left Behind singer Zach Hatfield. "We are living hell," TAS frontman Vincent Bennett commented of the song; hell has rarely sounded so good.
Umbra Vitae - "Mantra of Madness"
There are supergroups, and then there's Umbra Vitae, the death-metal collective comprised of Converge's Jacob Bannon and dudes from his post-rock project Wear Your Wounds, Sean Martin and Mike McKenzie, plus the Red Chord's Greg Weeks and Job for a Cowboy's Jon Rice. The result is way more than the sum of its part, as heard on "Mantra of Madness," which churns and chugs ahead with relentless speed and severity.
Vile Creature - "You Who Has Never Slept"
Self-described "angry queer gloom cult" Vile Creature were supposed to play the now-canceled Roadburn festival in the Netherlands this past week, performing a commissioned piece "A Hymn of Loss and Hope" with fellow doomsayers Bismuth; instead the duo dropped the lead single off their forthcoming album Glory, Glory! Apathy Took Helm! It's no small consolation: Tribal, epic and sludgy as fuck, the seething, explosive seven-minute-plus cut evokes early Neurosis at their nastiest.
Trivium - "Amongst the Shadows & the Stones"
Matt Heafy and Co.'s third single off their forthcoming LP What the Dead Men Say is their finest yet. An immediately gripping headbanger that's sure to please fans of both old and new Trivium, "Amongst the Shadows & the Stones" is a hard-hitting anthem you'll want to shout along to at the top of your lungs while doing your best air-guitar shredding. Chances are, you won't be able to keep up.
Protest the Hero - "The Canary"
The Canadian prog rockers are back and we are so not let down. "The Canary" is an fascinating, vertigo-inducing prog-metal rollercoaster ride with an abundance of high-pitched vocal fun from frontman Rody Walker along the way. But what does it all mean? Apparently, the song's about Amelia Earhart: "Oh, I'm no baggage/No willing passenger/Those women who came before me/Ain't nothing like me, sir."