The Weekly Wire playlist is still roaring, packed with 50 new songs each week and, here, we’re recapping the Best Rock + Metal Songs of the Month for July with a mix of essential songs and choice selections from the Loudwire staff. Maybe you’ll even discover a new band that rules!

The Essentials

You know these bands and you probably heard these songs the instant they came out — midnight Spotify lurkers, we see you…

  • Follow Loudwire’s ‘Best of the Month’ playlist on Spotify here.

AFI, “Caught”
Allegaeon, “Into Embers”
Arch Enemy, “Deceiver, Deceiver”
August Burns Red, “Vengeance”
Bad Wolves, “House of Cards”
Boston Manor, “Desperate Pleasures”
Circa Survive, “Imposter Syndrome”
Don Broco, “Endorphins”
Every Time I Die, “Things With Feathers”
Exodus, “The Years of Death and Dying”
Fit For an Autopsy, “Pandora”
Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes Featuring Cassyette, “Off With His Head”
Ice Nine Kills, “Funeral Derangements”
Jerry Cantrell, “Siren Song”
Knocked Loose, “God Knows”
Mastodon, “Sickle and Peace”
Nita Strauss, “Dead Inside” ft. David Draiman
Of Mice & Men, “Fighting Gravity”
Shaman’s Harvest, “Under Your Skin”
Silent Planet, “Anhedonia”
Slash feat. Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators, “The River Is Rising”
Starset, “EARTHRISE”
The Darkness, “It’s Love, Jim”
Tom Morello, “Hold the Line” ft. Grandson
Trivium, “The Phalanx”
Underoath, “Cycle” ft. Ghostemane
Veil of Maya, “Outrun”
Vended, “Burn My Misery”
Volbeat, “Becoming”
Whitechapel, “Orphan”
Zeal & Ardor, “Götterdämmerung”

STAFF PICKS

Kevin Mazur, Getty Images

Philip Trapp

BAND: Limp Bizkit
SONG: “Snacky Poo”
RELEASED: Oct. 31

Is this true? Limp Bizkit’s long-brewing comeback finally culminated on Halloween, when the Fred Durst-led act’s first album in a decade, Still Sucks, emerged on Oct. 31. With 12 new tracks, including the single “Dad Vibes,” it’s hard to pick a favorite right out of the gate. But the bouncy diss and self-diss track “Snacky Poo” — which is actually half song, half Wes Borland interview/crank call — is so fun that it actually can transport the willing listener back in time 20 years. And who’d have ever thought a Limp Bizkit tune would reference Godspeed You! Black Emperor? Such a crazy timeline we’re living in.

BAND: Ghost Bath
SONG: “A Crystal Lattice”
RELEASED: Oct. 29

Ghost Bath evince even more classic black metal influence on Self Loather, their fourth full-length effort that emerged in October. But the sonically cavernous North Dakota quintet made an early name for themselves in blackgaze, combining shimmering guitar drone with lo-fi extreme metal. Now, they take their best progressive ideas and present them more straightforwardly. There’s still plenty of earth-shattering shrieking from frontman Dennis Mikula, however, such as the squeals that color “A Crystal Lattice.” Album No. 4 is where any worthwhile band should be at their peak, and Ghost Bath are in top form here.

Lauryn Schaffner

BAND: Zaria
SONG: “Grudge”
RELEASED: Oct. 29

We’re big fans of Zaria at Loudwire, but if you’re unfamiliar with her, she’s a badass rocker that shut up a bunch of haters on TikTok who doubted her metal fandom solely because she was wearing a Metallica shirt in a clip. In response, she posted a video shredding multiple Metallica songs, and yeah, she writes her own original music, too. “Grudge” is her latest single, and it’s packed with a punch and a “fuck you” attitude that’ll have you ready to put your fist through a wall. But please don’t.

BAND: Plush
SONG: “I Don’t Care”
RELEASED: Oct. 28

To start off, Plush are one of the openers for Evanescence and Halestorm’s co-headlining tour this year, so that should already give you an idea of what they have to offer — a hard rock band with a fantastic vocalist. When you listen, you hear an old soul and an attitude reminiscent of Heart, meanwhile the band is composed entirely of women under the age of 21.

Joe DiVita

BAND: Darkwoods My Betrothed
SONG: “Murktide and Midnight Sun”
RELEASED: Oct. 6

It’s been *checks notes* 23 years since Finland’s black metal extraordinaires Darkwoods My Betrothed last released a new album. Longtime contributor and Nightwish mastermind Tuomas Holopainen has now been made a full time member — the cherry on top. “Murktide and Midnight Sun” is the second single off the forthcoming Angel of Carnage Unleashed and is considerably less reminiscent than the biting, of-the-era black metal that came earlier in the band’s career, and, earlier this month when “In Evil, Sickness and In Grief” arrived.

Here, we’ve got post-Twilight of the Gods era Bathory mingling with traces of Falkenbach set against a steady, marching tempo that sets the tone for this warrior-like mini-epic that comes in at a neat four minutes and 10 seconds.

BAND: Sarke
SONG: “Grim Awakening”
RELEASED: Oct. 21

Over the last few years, I haven’t been able to scratch my uncontrollable black ‘n’ roll itch anywhere near enough and have worked my fingernails down to the bone trying. Sarke, who count members of Darkthrone (Nocturno Culto) and Tulus/Khold (Sarke, whom the band is named after) and an Enslaved alumni (Cato Bekkevold), unite a morbid, depressive attitude with flashes of classic metal and lumbering rock ‘n’ roll that’ll have you doing a two-step shuffle, staring at your feet like the goth kids in South Park.

BAND: The KVB
SONG: “Unité”
RELEASED: Oct. 5

Okay, you caught me — The KVB don’t really fall under the rock/metal umbrella, but it’s October and “Unité” is worthy of any Halloween playlist. I also really, really love Kraftwerk and since the pandemic wiped out my chance to see them on their 3D tour, having this song as a consolation prize at least gives me something to get excited over.

More than 50 years later, Kraftwerk’s unrivaled influence over electronic music continues to be a force and with The KVB, it hopefully opens the portal for more listeners to go back through the decades to the one true source. For straight up heavy music fans not yet tuned into Kraftwerk’s brilliance, the best comparison here would be Puscifer’s 2020 record, Existential Reckonings.

Rabab Al-Sharif

BAND: Thornhill
SONG: “Casanova”
Released: Oct. 28

The fact that any other music even registered for me in a month where we were blessed with both new Every Time I Die and Limp Bizkit albums is a miracle in and of itself. But, it’s impossible to ignore this new track from Thornhill. It’s definitely an exploration of new territory (and a lot of it) for them and I’m just glad to be along for the journey.

BAND: Nova Twins
SONG: “Antagonist”
Released: Oct. 28

This is your last chance to get into Nova Twins before the rest of the world figures out that they are the coolest band of modern times. Don’t you want to get flattened by their riffs before everyone else?

Toni Gonzalez

BAND: DED
SONG: “Lost”
RELEASED: October 15

DED’s second full-length album, School Of Thought, was released digitally on Oct.15 with the physical release dropping on Nov. 19. I recently spent some time with the album while prepping for my interview with their frontman Joe Cotela. The album closer “Lost” really stood out to me because at its core it’s a love song, although not a ballad. Come to find out he wrote and recorded that song acoustically for his “love” Maria Brink of In This Moment, and then he decided to turn it into a rocking song. It’s a heavy song with a Korn type riff and a bit of a rap flow that leaves the listener with a smile on their face. As Joe put it, “I wanted to end the record in a place of gratitude.” For that I too am grateful, awesome track.

Graham Hartmann

BAND: MØL
SONG: “Vestige”
RELEASED: Oct. 1

Wait, another excuse to push MØL onto the masses? I’ll take it! Black metal purists hate this band, which is all the more reason to check them out. If you’re not afraid of a little melody in your black metal or pine for the days when Deafheaven put the ‘black’ in blackgaze, MØL is your answer. Put on your best pair of headphones and float into the nether realm with this gorgeous piece of harsh art.

BAND: Psycho Synner
SONG: “Love on the Grave”
RELEASED: Oct. 1

Jeremy Spencer’s Devil Daddy/Grym Synner character is the Broken Matt Hardy of music. Like Hardy’s ridiculous alter ego in Impact Wrestling, Psycho Synner has turned the corner (in my stunted mind) from being painfully cringy to utterly magnificent. With zero creative direction and a complete lack of self-awareness or identity, Psycho Synner (formerly Psychosexual) have deleted their entire discography TWICE in less than two years only to release more of the same critically-panned gothic boner metal, and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed every stop of the ride. “Love on the Grave” is one of Psycho Synner’s yet-to-be-deleted masterworks, and it’s left me raging for the release of the band’s nine (yes, NINE) new albums on Nov. 5. Metal needs its own Ed Wood or Tommy Wiseau… and Jeremy Spencer is it.

Mike Stern

BAND: Jack White
SONG: “Taking Me Back”
RELEASED: Oct 18

After nearly four years, Jack White resurfaces with a new solo track jam packed with his signature guitar sound. The song, which is featured in the trailer for the latest edition in the Call of Duty video game series, features White on vocals and all instruments. It’s not quite vintage White Stripes but it’s pretty close and that’s good enough for me. True fans will also want to hunt down the acoustic version of the song “Taking Me Back (Gently),” which provides a fascinating alternative version of the harder, guitar-packed official version.

BAND: Coin
SONG: “Chapstick”
RELEASED: Oct. 8

Take a break from heavy guitars and screaming vocals. It’s time to get up and move your hips to the funky groove of Coin’s new song “Chapstick.” Channeling Beck, the Talking Heads, Daft Punk and maybe even Prince, the new song is their first release on the 10K/Projects label and lands ahead of a 26-city American tour. The band has already been written up in Peoplemagazine in a piece about “Talented Emerging Artists Making Their Mark in 2021,” so it’s a good time to hop on the train and dance.

Chad Childers

BAND: Frank Turner
SONG: “Non Serviam”
RELEASED: Oct. 28

Sometimes you just need to rage, and Frank Turner has approximately 1 minute and 58 seconds worth of music guaranteed to let you get it all out in his new song “Non Serviam.” This unrelenting and defiant new track keeps the foot decidedly pressed to the metal and never lets up. Turner’s out for blood on this one, pulling no punches in the process. Crank it and watch the pit just form, ready for askew limbs everywhere ready to connect.

BAND: Orson Wilds
SONG: “Dec. 19”
RELEASED: Oct. 6

The song may be titled “Dec. 19,” but up-and-comers Orson Wilds have a song on their hands that feels more fitting for just hitting the open road on a nice day with the windows down. A high energy track perfectly blending jangly Strokes-y guitars and synths, “Dec. 19” is a catchy gem serving as a stellar intro to their What Is It That You Won’t Let Go? EP. It’s also worth noting that while guitarist Eric Reid handles lead vocals here, the group also just issued a second song “A hundred million things” to close out the month that finds keyboardist Brianna Bordihn taking the lead on a more somber and vulnerable follow-up and showing some of the group’s range.

BAND: Wooli, Trivecta & Scott Stapp
SONG: “Light Up the Sky”
RELEASED: Oct. 8

Scott Stapp may not be the first name that comes to mind when you think of electronic music, but damn if his collaboration with DJs/producers Wooli and Trivecta on “Light Up the Sky” doesn’t work marvelously. As shown through his years with Creed and as a solo artist, Stapp can definitely find the dramatic moments in his voice, and it fits just perfectly with the initially soul-baring then anthemic and soaring soundscape Wooli and Trivecta add. The end result is a song that sounds cinematically big in scope, just begging to be snagged for a soundtrack somewhere.

BAND: Kills Birds
SONG: “Cough Up Cherries”
RELEASED: Oct. 11

Two months running for newcomers Kills Birds in my staff picks, but there’s no denying they’ve tapped into my love for all things hypnotically dark. Their latest, “Cough Up Cherries,” finds singer Nina Ljeti stirring up a vibe reminiscent of Courtney Love circa “Violet.” There’s a storm brewing in her vocals just waiting to erupt as she unburdens her feelings of loneliness and paranoia that emerged over pandemic lockdown. Combined with the watery, shoegazy lush nature of last month’s pick “Glisten,” it makes me anxious to check out their sophomore set, Married, due Nov. 12.

BAND: Jim Lindberg
SONG: “You’re Not Alone”
RELEASED: Oct. 13

For years, Jim Lindberg has brought us some of the 21st century’s most poignant and pointed punk as the frontman for Pennywise, but he’s stripping back the aggression and showing a more vulnerable side on his solo acoustic album Songs From the Elkhorn Trail. Many of the songs were born in reflection as Lindberg examined his own life after his father’s passing. Our pick here is “You’re Not Alone,” a strummy gem written optimistically for those making the decision to remove yourself from an untenable situation to start living life fresh on your own terms. Need a pick-me-up? Let this song be your guide.

78 Rock + Metal Artists Turned Into Funko Pop! Figures

Funko Pops — the small-bodied, big-headed little toys made to resemble pop culture icons — have included numerous rock and metal musicians over the years. Check out some of them below.

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