Best Rock + Metal Songs of April – Staff Favorites + Essential Listening
The Weekly Wire playlist is taking its once a month detour from recapping the newest rock and metal songs of the week to bring you not only the best April had to give us, but choice picks from the Loudwire staff so you can dig a bit deeper. Maybe you'll even discover a new band that rules!
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 April roaring:
Architects, “When We Were Young”
Boston Manor, “Foxglove”
Bring Me the Horizon featuring Sigrid, “Bad Life”
Bullet For My Valentine, “Omen”
Clutch, “Red Alert (Boss Metal Zone)”
Crobot, “Set You Free”
Decapitated, “Hello Death” ft. Jinjer’s Tatiana Shmayluk
Def Leppard, “Take What You Want”
Electric Callboy, “Spaceman” ft. FiNCH
Five Finger Death Punch, “Afterlife”
Grey Daze, “Saturation (Strange Love)”
GWAR, “Mother Fucking Liar”
Hollywood Undead, “Wild in These Streets”
Ice Nine Kills, “Hunting Season”
Jack White, “What’s the Trick?”
Journey, “You Got the Best of Me”
Kirk Hammett, “High Plains Drifter”
Kreator, “Strongest of the Strong”
Lamb of God + Megadeth, “Wake Up Dead”
Liam Gallagher, “Better Days”
Machine Head, “Choke on the Ashes of Your Hate”
Motionless in White, “Masterpiece”
Municipal Waste, “Grave Dive”
Nothing More, “Tired of Winning”
Papa Roach, “No Apologies”
Pink Floyd, “Hey Hey Rise Up”
Pop Evil, “Eye of the Storm”
Rammstein, “Zick Zack”
Rotting Christ, “Holy Mountain”
Silverstein, “Die Alone”
State Champs, “Eventually”
The Smile, “Pana-Vision”
Three Days Grace, “Lifetime”
We Came As Romans, “Darbloom” ft. Brand of Sacrifice
While She Sleeps, “Eye to Eye”
Follow the Weekly Wire playlist on Spotify here.
The stuff Loudwire's team has been obsessed with.
RELEASED: April 8
I’m not sure if I like this yet, but I’m definitely fascinated by it. OU (pronounced “O”) is a prog metal act from China that recently signed to InsideOut Music. Mixing futuristic pop vocals with modern groove and prog instrumentals, OU immediately turned my head with their new single “Mountain.” This may take a few listens to wrap your head around, since “Mountain” never really sticks with a single groove, but if you’re up for a challenge, give this unique track a spin.
RELEASED: April 28
Debemur Morti Productions never disappoints. The label consistently puts out hypnotic, blackened, brutal and phenomenally produced metal… and Hexis’ “Exhaurire” is yet another feather in the label’s black hat. Accompanied by a mesmerizing visualizer, “Exhaurire” is a deep dive toward the brilliant edges of the extreme metal iceberg. Headphones recommended.
SONG: “A Beautiful Life”
RELEASED: April 22
Another month, another Dorothy song — but this time, a new Dorothy album, too, and I’m obsessed with it. Gifts From the Holy Ghost is the rocker’s most fierce, badass record to date, and opening track “A Beautiful Life” sets the stage for how guitar-driven and powerful the rest of the songs are that follow.
BAND: Marcus King
SONG: “Hard Working Man”
RELEASED: April 22
I can’t lie, I’m a sucker for southern rock. I’m a big fan of Lynyrd Skynyrd and the likes, so a bluesy, rock ‘n’ roll song with a southern twang always puts me in a good mood. That’s what Marcus King brings on his latest single “Hard Working Man,” which almost sounds like Chris Stapleton meets hard rock. It’s the kind of song you blast on your drive home from work on a sunny Friday afternoon, when you’re preparing to unwind — or not — for the weekend.
SONG: “Back to the Rhythm”
RELEASED: April 8
On the very same day Skid Row debuted their new single with former H.E.A.T. frontman Erik Grönwall, the Swedish glam/arena rock enthusiasts showcased their own new frontman, Kenny Leckremo, who was originally in the band from 2007 through 2010, on their second new offering, “Back to the Rhythm.” There’s a bit of a HammerFall feel to this one (no complaints there) and it perfectly bridges the anthemic arena feel of hit ‘80s acts such as Journey with a modern power metal heft.
SONG: “Four Walls”
RELEASED: April 12
A virulent dose of thrashing hardcore punk, “Four Walls” is a racous pit-starter from New York’s Warthog. We’ve all been pent up with rage, frustration, anger and discontent over the last couple years and this song, which comes from the band’s three-track 7” release, and this title alone amplifies how we’ve all felt. Musically, “Four Walls” is the ideal release of all that built-up tension from all those fights you’ve wanted to get into but have managed to demonstrate at least a modicum of self-restraint. Time to let it loose!
RELEASED: April 20
Three of Khold’s four members double as Tulus, both acts being rooted in black metal with first wave influences including Hellhammer/Celtic Frost and Venom. After turning their attention back to Tulus in 2020, the members have flipped things back over to Khold with the new single, “Apostel.” Their more groove-centric approach to black metal has always been a standout and this track offers a lot of promise for the Svartsyn album, which will be Khold’s first since 2014.
BAND: 3rd Secret
SONG: “I Choose Me”
RELEASED: April 9
Grunge supergroup 3rd Secret sounds surprisingly fresh while retaining a vintage Seattle sound. The band is composed of members of Soundgarden, Nirvana, and Pearl Jam. Specifically they are Jillian Raye (vocals, lyrics), Jennifer Johnson (vocals), Krist Novoselić (bass), Bubba Dupree (guitar), Kim Thayil (guitar) and Matt Cameron (drums). The two women create a raw and ethereal vocal feel together and Kim’s guitar shreds and winds its way through this song of post break-up empowerment.
SONG: Follow The Fool
RELEASED: April 22
This one bumbles and stumbles along into the vein of the classic and quirky Primus. With maybe a bit of Ween and Martin, Medeski & Wood thrown in for some jam. How these guys can be so weird and still form a cohesive and dancably funky groove is part of their magic. Les’ vocals can barely be understood (it’s a bit of wordplay asking who is the bigger fool? Is it the fool or the fool that follows the fool?) but it doesn't matter. Looking forward to the rest of the album Conspiranoid out Aug. 5.
In a world of table salt metalcore bands, Paledusk are everything bagel seasoning. This heavy Japanese band first had my jaw on the floor with the over stimulating (but like, in a really good way) “Black Ice” video. Now, we have another banger that meets at the crossroads of catchy and chaotic with “BBB.” At this point it’s a real treat to come across this level of creativity in the genre, and I can honestly say Paledusk are unlike anything I’ve ever heard (and I’ve been listening to metalcore for a long time).
RELEASED: April 22 (Ok, the song came out March 11, sue me)
These guys listened to Every Time I Die and then hailed Satan, and that’s the true story of how Foxbat was born… probably. All right, I’ll admit that I am cheating with this pick. I do realize the song came out in March, however, it’s flown under the radar and is on an album that came out in April (Due South dropped April 22) and also I can do what I want. If you’re into sleazy rock with a sense of humor and a little Satan then you can thank me later.
BAND: Call in Dead
RELEASED: April 27
Here’s a friendly, 68 second reminder that the partiarchy can fuck all the way off. Oh, and ‘fuck your gender norms.’ :)
BAND: The Black Moods
RELEASED: April 7
The Black Moods continue to raise our expectations in advance of their June 3 street date for the Into the Night album. Their latest offering, “Hollywood,” is a darker song, delving into the seedier side of Tinsel Town. But though it takes its name from California’s status symbol central, it’s a solid reminder to not to get caught up in surface trappings, digging deeper and realizing that the grass is not always greener no matter where your location may be.
BAND: Motor Sister
SONG: “Right There Just Like That”
RELEASED: April 13
If you need a mission statement, it comes in the opening seconds when Jim Wilson shouts, “The world’s going to fucking hell, and we’re making rock ’n’ roll.” It doesn’t get much clearer than that, and with muscular guitar riffs the band hits the sweet spot “right there, just like that,” which also is the name of the song. This one deserves to be played at full volume, bouncing your head and tapping your feet to the chug of the rhythm. And there’s more where this comes from, as their Get Off album arrives May 6.
BAND: Mystery Schools
SONG: “Don’t Look Back”
RELEASED: April 21
There’s enough negativity in the world. Sometimes you just need a song to uplift and propel you forward and newcomers Mystery Schools provide just that with “Don’t Look Back,” a punk-ish anthem with an undeniably dancy beat that urges the listener to not let the ghosts of the past keep them from enjoying the present and future. Though a newer band, the group does include Alien Ant Farm’s Mike Cosgrove, The Urgency singer Tyler Gurwicz and Subrosa Union guitarist Michael Anaya.
BAND: The Subways
SONG: “You Kill My Cool”
RELEASED: April 20
The wait is over, and though there’s been a lineup change with Camille Phillips taking over behind the kit, The Subways are still delivering like no time has passed since their most recent album in 2015. “You Kill My Cool” is the first taste of the band’s forthcoming fall album, delivering an infinitely catchy and gritty lament about surrendering to infatuation. “I recognized a self-effacement in this feeling [of love],” says singer Billy Lunn, “As if it was a willing submission or surrender that was as much destructive as it was productive. You become ecstatic, beside yourself, and not what you were before.” Not gonna lie, sharing some of those feelings toward this song as well.
BAND: Tombstones in Their Eyes
SONG: “I Know Why”
RELEASED: April 26
Simply put, I’m a sucker for hypnotic melodies and if it’s got a psychedelic vibe, all the better. So when sifting through the music coming my way this month, I was immediately pulled into the orbit of Tombstones in Their Eyes. These fuzzed-out shoegazers just released their excellent six-song A Higher Place album that includes such standouts as “I’m Not Living in Fear” and “Dreaming,” but it was the album opener “I Know Why” with its strummy melodic presence that sent me down the rabbit hole, eager to see where this journey took me. Tune in, zone out and enjoy the ride.
BAND: Hyro The Hero feat. Corey Taylor
SONG: “Kids Against The Monsters”
RELEASED: April 15
Sometimes it takes a feature from a superstar to get people's ears on a song worth listening to, and this track is a perfect example. "Kids Against The Monsters'' is about the problems that get passed along from generation to generation and that's what really spoke to me. Allow me to go off on a brief tangent. Lately I've been obsessed with the Youtube series Soft White Underbelly. It taught me that many who struggle today never stood a chance. The homeless people some regard as lazy, or the drug addict that can't seem to get clean, tend to have a hell of a backstory of dysfunction.
Our universal problems are no different. When he sings, "We go against goliaths on a daily basis / Struggles we facing caused from the past generations / And we the ones they blamin', it's up to us to change it / I'm just saying" I understood it fully. Whether it's a personal battle that was planted within us as children, the environmental issues we face or the cesspool that is social media, the list goes on. The ball is in the court of the young, and what an uphill battle we have handed them. Love this song.
BAND: Mark Tremonti
SONG: “Fly Me to the Moon”
RELEASED: April 22
If you haven't heard Mark Tremonti cover Frank Sinatra yet, stop everything and do so immediately. It’s something that genuinely needs to be experienced to be believed. Did you do it? Ok, so now the back story. Mark Tremonti Sings Frank Sinatra is an album of covers that will raise money for the National Down Syndrome Society.
Recently had Tremonti on Loudwire Nights and he spoke to us all about his daughter inspiring the project, how overwhelmingly positive the reaction has been (best of his career), and how amazingly the stars aligned to make this record a go. It was truly meant to be, almost as if he was given his massive talent for a greater purpose than just helping/entertaining us listeners. His goal is to raise as much money as humanly possible to help those with Down Syndrome and with that voice, the moon is just the start. It's out May 27 so be sure to pick it up and read up on his "Take a Chance on Charity" initiative. There's an awesome interview on this site with Mark from March 21.
SONG: "Carmine (Fills the Hollow)"
RELEASED: April 29
Metalcore is in the most exciting place since, who knows, maybe the initial firestorm that started 30 years ago. And bolstering the current power-packed wave of heavy-breakdown bands led by END, Knocked Loose and Vein.fm are experimenters taking things further afield. Such as the U.K. post-hardcore combo Hariot, whose latest effort, this month's Profound Morality (essentially a single that became an EP that's now eight songs in total), combines beat-down riffs with boiler room industrial beats to hair-raising effect. Keep your ear to the ground for this band.
SONG: "The Seal of the Eight-Pointed Star"
RELEASED: April 22
Miseration return in a blaze of glory with their first album in 10 years, Black Miracles and Dark Wonders, a stout but cerebral fourth studio entry from the Swedish death metal act that unites vocalist Christian Alvestam (Solution .45, ex-Scar Symmetry) with guitarist Jani Stefanovic (Solution .45, ex-Crimson Moonlight). Singles "Reign of Fate" and "Enuma Elish" preceded the album's April release, but opener "The Seal of the Eight-Pointed Star" gives an equally powerful overview of the concrete dynamics on display — steely growls over jackhammer riffs and blast beat-backed orations in kind. Hope you like headbanging.
BAND: The Interrupters
SONG: “In the Mirror”
RELEASED: April 12
It’s the first ever, no-fee monthly ska subscription courtesy of The Interrupters. Finally following up the 2018 hit “She’s Kerosene,” the band announced a new album, called In the Wild, will be coming in August. They dropped the first single “In The Mirror” along with a promise to debut a new song from the album each month until the release.
BAND: Simple Plan
SONG: “Wake Me Up (When This Nightmare’s Over)”
RELEASED: April 7
At first listen Simple Plan’s new single “Wake Me Up (When This Nightmare’s Over)” seems like another ode to struggling through the pandemic. However, the band recently released a video that relates the song to a more timely, difficult situation, the war in Ukraine. The band worked on the video with a Ukrainian filmmaker, cast and crew in partnership with Unicef Ukraine. Talking about the video they said, “we hope that this song and video will act as a platform to raise awareness, as well as money, to help children and families affected by the war in Ukraine.”