We're at the halfway point for 2019, and already we've heard a lot of heavy-as-hell bangers from metal's elite. Following our picks for this year's best albums so far, we asked you to name your favorites, and you came through with a diverse list of records from Baroness to Death Angel to Rammstein. That got us thinking: What is the best single of 2019 so far? So we asked you, and once again you delivered a wide range of cuts: from absolute ass-kickers that act as album previews to record-defining songs featuring fallen heroes and more. See what you voted for the top spot in the ranked list below.
Unreleased material by a beloved artist after their death is always a gift for fans who continue to mourn their loss. Mark Morton gave listeners just that with the release "Cross Off" featuring late Linkin Park frontman Chester Bennington. The track, from the Lamb of God guitarist's solo record Anesthetic, is a furious ripper over which Bennington soars and screams in practiced, skillful measure; a fitting and beautiful final cry from the gone-too-soon talent.
Korn came back with a bang in "You'll Never Find Me," a darkly catchy track stacked with riffs, hooks and the band's inimitable signature angst. Pleasing diehards and drawing in new listeners alike, the Bakersfield outfit delivered an impressive showing on the lead single from their coming 13th album The Nothing. This one's especially enticing for fans who really connected with Korn's Issues era.
Whitechapel's latest album, The Valley, has been earning the band resounding praise from fans. And it makes total sense — the record's inspired use of extensive heaviness and rich textures make it an engaging listen from front to back. Standout track, "Doom Woods" really uses the heavy elements to create a sonic narrative, opening up with a groove that continues to build as it goes on. At times, the crew dip into drone-metal territory, casting a veneer of hopelessness and sadness over what's going on, before the song ends in an outpouring of melody. It's a real stunner.
Killswitch Engage have stayed consistently heavy and compelling through their two-decade career, and their single "Unleashed" feels like a real summation of what they've accomplished through the years. It opens with a machine-gun rhythm of hard riffing while singer Jesse Leach switches back and forth between belting out clean and harsh vocals. You can hear the straight-up anguish and passion in Leach's voice, which helps lead the song to an intense place. After some quiet melody breaks, the band hits an enormous, crushing breakdown that's hard not to immediately love.
Slipknot's incredible build-up to the release of "Unsainted" was well-rewarded when the track dropped and quickly garnered millions on millions of views, listens and downloads. Epic in its cherubic introduction that builds steam with a rumbling percussion line and Corey Taylor's enormously dynamic voice, the song quickly breaks out into Slipknot at their best: vicious and resentful but never without sacrificing a catchy, anthemic chorus.