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The Metal Hammer Podcast

The Metal Hammer Podcast

All the biggest news and hottest topics from the world of metal from Merlin, Eleanor and guests at Metal Hammer magazine.


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181: The Big Review - The Metallica Blacklist

We promised you we'd do it, and we're here to deliver. On this week's episode, Merl, El and Steve review every single track on Metallica's mammoth-sized Blacklist project. Yes, that's right: all 53 Black Album covers get rated and slated, including fresh takes on Metallica classics by Ghost, Miley Cyrus, Biffy Clyro, Rina Sawayama, Volbeat, The Hu, Royal Blood, Weezer, St Vincent, David Gahan, My Morning Jacket and many, many, many more.

We also discuss what makes a great cover, why the rock bands on The Blacklist are at a disadvantage compared to everyone else and which covers might even exceed the originals. Plus, we pick our ultimate Blacklist Tracklist using just one version of each song.

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180: The History Of Metal And Horror With Mike Schiff

This week, Merl chats to Mike Schiff, director of upcoming mega-documentary The History Of Metal And Horror! Mike has spent years amassing one of the most impressive castlists ever as he talks to the likes of Slipknot's Corey Taylor, Alice Cooper, Rob Zombie, Korn's Jonathan Davis, Anthrax's Scott Ian, the maestro of horror John Carpenter, Hellraiser legend Doug Bradley, Friday The 13th favourite Kane Hodder and many, many more about the decades-long relationship between heavy metal and horror movies. Put short: Mike has such sights to show you...

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179: The Big Review ? Iron Maiden, Senjutsu

The biggest metal album of 2021 has finally arrived, and it's time to go in deep. Merl and Jonathan dissect the 17th studio album from Iron Maiden, Senjutsu, discussing Maiden's journey over the past two decades and how it's led them to this point, why they're never going to be the band that smashes out 10 five-minute bangers, the best songs on the album, how The Writing On The Wall represents Maiden's most interesting single in years, how Darkest Hour's Winston Churchill lyrics represent a unique take on an increasingly divisive character, how Death Of The Celts feels like the ultimate Clansman sequel and much, much more.

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178: Jason Newsted

It's one of the biggest Metal Hammer Podcast guests ever as Metallica legend Jason Newsted joins us for the very first time! Jason talks to Steve about some of the biggest moments of his career with Metallica, including his first reaction to hearing his (lack of) bass on ...And Justice For All, how Bob Rock helped to make him understand that less is more for The Black Album, how he feels about the fans' reaction to Metallica's drastic image change for the Load album, what planted the seeds for his eventual exit from the band, the projects with Devin Townsend and Sepultura that never came to fruition and much, much more.
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177: The Big Review ? Bloodstock 2021

Merl, Steve and Jonathan are back from Bloodstock Open Air 2021 and have just about recovered enough to give you the big review! We go deep on this year's immense bill and decide who stole the weekend, who underperformed (er, hardly anyone really) and who staked their claim as ones to watch in the future.

Featuring in-depth analysis of Judas Priest's blockbuster two-hour set - how had they never played One Shot At Glory before?! - plus Kreator's celebratory headline show, Devin Townsend By Request, Skindred, Saxon, Cradle Of Filth, Paradise Lost doing Draconian Times in full, While She Sleeps, Venom Prison, Svalbard, Bleed From Within, Napalm Death, Gloryhammer and many, many more.

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176: The Ultimate Bloodstock 2021 Preview

Bloodstock is BACK and we're excited about it! Merl and Steve run through the evolution of the festival since its humble beginnings in 2001, plus rake their mitts over this year's excellent lineup. Will Devin Townsend, Kreator or Judas Priest be the headliner of the weekend? Will While She Sleeps win over the Bloodstock crowd??? Continue reading 176: The Ultimate Bloodstock 2021 Preview
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175: Q+A Special ? Iron Maiden, Bloodstock hype, Crystal Lake + more

Merl and Steve tackle some questions from you lot - our lovely, loyal listeners! We discuss how new Iron Maiden album Senjutsu will affect their Legacy Of The Beast setlist, the upcoming gigs and festivals we're most excited about (bring on Bloodstock!), underrated musicians, the best five years for metal ever, instrumentals, cover bands, Crystal?? Continue reading 175: Q+A Special ? Iron Maiden, Bloodstock hype, Crystal Lake + more
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174: A Tribute To Joey Jordison

Merl, El and Steve react to the devastating news that Slipknot legend Joey Jordison has died at the age of 46. We discuss his amazing legacy with Slipknot, from standing out as an anomaly of a drummer in the nu metal era to becoming one of metal's most beloved figures. Plus, we chat about Murderdolls and what a bizarre left turn they were for him, his short-lived Scar The Martyr project, his acrimonious departure from Slipknot, his return to music with Vimic and Sinsaenum and his emotional night at the Metal Hammer Golden God Awards in 2016.

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173: Review Round-Up ? Iron Maiden, Beartooth, At The Gates, Backxwash, Times Of Grace

Merl and Steve dig into the latest issue of Metal Hammer - a huge celebration of 20 years of System Of A Down's classic second album, Toxicity! Oh, and we also have a similarly massive review round-up to dig into. As well as analysing new Iron Maiden single The Writing On The Wall, we cast our ears over Beartooth's Below album, analyse all the crazy experimentation from latest At The Gates album, The Nightmare Of Being, discuss how Jesse and Adam from Killswitch Engage managed to shift gears for a new Times Of Grace album and froth over the amazing new Backxwash LP. Music's good, isn't it?!

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172: The 10 Greatest Festival Sets (That Aren't Slipknot At Download 2009)

In honour of Bloodstock officially going ahead (though we hope you're all gonna continue to be careful out there...), Merl and Steve count down the 10 greatest festival sets they've ever seen. The only rules? They have to be Metal Hammer-friendly (sorry, Faithless at Glasto 2010), and Slipknot from Download 2009 is exempt because we've talked about it loads already and it's just not fair!

Featuring nostalgic trips back through iconic sets by Limp Bizkit, Iron Maiden, Faith No More, Rage Against The Machine, Killswitch Engage and many more.

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171: Nu Metal ?Godfather' Ross Robinson

In a world exclusive new interview, Metal Hammer Deputy Editor Eleanor Goodman talks to the legendary 'Godfather Of Nu Metal' himself, Ross Robinson! The influential producer opens up about his turbulent time recording Slipknot's second and explosive album Iowa, from the serious injury that left him in chronic pain during the recording process to the mental state of the band themselves over the course of what proved to be a life-altering experience.

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170: Within Temptation's Sharon Den Adel

Joining Merl on this week's show is the legendary Sharon Den Adel from everyone's favourite Dutch symphonic metal megastars, Within Temptation! Sharon and Merl discuss Within Temptation's upcoming livestream extravaganza, the band's recent new single Shed My Skin (and how they ended up teaming with Annisokay for it), the long awaited Within Temptation / Evanescence tour and the countries Sharon is still hoping to hit up before all is said and done.

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169: Download Pilot 2021 Review

It's a monstrous two-hour podcast today as Merl, El and Steve review this past weekend's history-making Download Pilot Festival. They discuss how the testing and entry conditions worked to get 10,000 people safely back on the sacred grounds of Donington, how it felt to be back in a field with a load of mates again and the experience of seeing a band walk out on a festival stage for the first time in two years. Oh, and there was also plenty more music! The trio review some all-time great sets from While She Sleeps, Creeper, Skindred, Enter Shikari, Bullet For My Valentine, Loathe, Bleed From Within, Employed To Serve and more. One of these bands even got Merl to come out of circle pit retirement, but you'll never guess for which song.

We also reveal the brand new issue of Metal Hammer starring Slipknot and get psyched for Metallica's epic Black Album celebrations.

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168: Skindred's Benji Webbe Gets Hyped For Download Pilot

Merl chats to the one and only Benji Webbe from Skindred! We find out what Benji has been up to in lockdown, what prompted his son to put him on a strict, life-changing new regime, why he returned to Earache Records with Skindred over twenty years since first joining them with Dub War and what?? Continue reading 168: Skindred's Benji Webbe Gets Hyped For Download Pilot
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167: Review Round-Up ? Fear Factory, Atreyu, Perturbator & more

Merl, Steve and Jonathan take in some of the latest metal releases you need to know about. We discuss the clusterfuck around Fear Factory ahead of their new album, Aggression Continuum, and debate whether the record lives up to their legacy. Plus, we rate the new Perturbator album and decide whether it's done enough to?? Continue reading 167: Review Round-Up ? Fear Factory, Atreyu, Perturbator & more
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166: Trivium Hall Of Fame

It's a big one as Merl, El and Steve pick one Trivium album to enter into the Metal Hammer Podcast Hall Of Fame! It's two classics as Ascendancy faces off against Shogun. Ascendancy was the album that put Trivium on the world stage with classic anthems such as Pull Harder On The Strings Of Your Martyr and A Gunshot To The Head Of Trepidation turning the band into metal's newest superstars. Shogun, meanwhile, was the album that put Trivium back on the horse after the misstep of The Crusade, and might still be their most ambitious album to this day. But which one makes it in? The Metal Hammer trio debate and decide. Plus, we have new sponsors ? welcome KILLSTAR!

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165: Ten Years Of Babymetal

To celebrate our blockbuster new issue, Merl, El and Steve take a look back at the whirlwind career of Babymetal so far, from their origins in a completely different, teen J-pop group, to their breakthrough in the UK with Gimme Chocolate!!, to stealing the show at Sonisphere Festival and the 2015 Golden Gods, to breaking Wembley records and what might come next. We also celebrate the news that Download Festival is launching an event that's taking place next month! Hooray!

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164: Gojira Talk Fortitude

In an exclusive interview, Eleanor talks to Gojira's Joe and Mario Duplantier about the making of their amazing new album, Fortitude. The brothers open up on the influences that made the album, the philosophies that shape their worldview, why they're not scared of dying, what people misunderstand the most about them and more. To get the full interview, pick up the latest copy of Metal Hammer, out now.
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163: WWE Raw Women's Champion Rhea Ripley

Days before she defends the Raw Women's Championship against Asuka and Charlotte Flair at Wrestlemania Backlash, Merl chats to WWE superstar and diehard metalhead Rhea Ripley! They discuss her amazing rise through the ranks of WWE (and what it was like doing so without any fans in the building), her discovery of metal through hearing a Papa Roach song on Monday Night Raw, her love of Suicide Silence and how the death of Mitch Lucker affected her and her friends, why Ash Costello from New Years Day ended up singing her theme song, how Motionless In White became her favourite modern metal band and why WWE is more metal than ever!

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162: Review Round-Up ? Cannibal Corpse, Tetrarch, Evile, Grave Miasma

Merl, El and Jonathan sift through some of the recent big releases in metal (plus a couple of underground bangers yet to come). What's brought so much love out for this Cannibal Corpse album? Has the new Evile record been worth the wait? And are Tetrarch lovingly reigniting nu metal or just ripping it off? All that and more...
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161: The Big Review ? Gojira, Fortitude

Merl and El dissect the fantastic new Gojira album, Fortitude. Is it the album that'll take them up festival bills, and is it a big enough evolutionary leap from Magma? El also reviews Korn's epic livestream, and the duo take a look at the big Download lineup announcement and the epic new issue of Metal Hammer.
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160: Reader Q+A ? Mudvayne, Poppy, Lord Of The Rings

Merl, El and Steve field some questions from the Metal Hammer faithful! We work out how Mudvayne have ended up headlining major festivals on their comeback, ponder why bands like Ghost, Poppy and Babymetal continue to get grief from metalheads, declare which fantasy world we'd love to live in and invent some fantasy band beers. Bark At The Moonshine? Sure.

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159: The Big Review ? While She Sleeps

Merl, El (er, eventually) and Steve pull apart the new album from While She Sleeps, Sleeps Society, and take a look at the Sheffield metalcore mainstays' fascinating career so far. They reflect on While She Sleeps' emergence on the scene as one of the most exciting bands of their generation, what went wrong (and right!) along the way and how this new album compares to the wild experimentations of So What?
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158: Review Round-Up ? Pupil Slicer, Dvne, The Crown and more

Merl, Steve and Jonathan review some of the best recent releases in metal. Have The Crown put out a contender for the best death metal album of 2021? Plus, the boys dissect new albums from two of the most exciting young UK bands in Dvne and Pupil Slicer, and Jonathan takes us on a trip to Italy to find some of Europe's most out-there new records!

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157: Metallica Hall Of Fame

It's one of our biggest shows ever as Merl, Steve and Jonathan decide which Metallica album gets inducted into the sacred Metal Hammer Podcast Hall Of Fame - Ride The Lightning or Master Of Puppets? The lads reveal how they first each discovered Metallica, discuss why these two albums were so important to metal's evolution,?? Continue reading 157: Metallica Hall Of Fame
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156: Metal Influencer Kiki Wong

Metal is taking over TikTok and Instagram, and Kiki Wong is leading the way! One of metal's biggest influencers tells us about her love of heavy music, how she first learned to play guitar, her early bands, how she ended up playing with Bret Michaels, Usher and Taylor Swift, her first forays into influencing as a travel expert, why she almost gave up guitar for good, why she decided to embrace her love of metal again and how social media is helping young fans discover rock music in a whole new way.

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155: The Ultimate 21st Century Playlist

The new issue of Metal Hammer celebrates the 100 Greatest Songs Of The Century So Far. In honour of that, Merl, El and Steve gather to create the ultimate 21st century playlist, cutting the list of 100 down to just 10 songs! It's hard work, but someone's got to do it. Did Slipknot's Duality make the cut? What about System Of A Down's Chop Suey? And which track from the last five years does Merl hail an 'instant classic'? Find out now...
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154: LG Petrov And The Legacy Of Entombed

Merl, Steve and Jonathan pay tribute to Entombed legend LG Petrov, who died aged 49 this week following a cancer diagnosis last year. The guys dissect the legacy of Entombed as one of metal's most influential bands of the 90s, discuss their fascinating evolution from death metal trailblazers to alt rock-baiters in the late 90s, and what LG was like as a person away from the stage.
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153: Epica's Simone Simons Talks Omega

Merl sits down with Epica singer Simone Simons to talk about the unique recording process behind their bombastic new album Omega, whether they thought twice about releasing an album during a pandemic, why it took so long to get a new album together at all, how Disney and Nightwish helped Simone's journey into singing and what she misses most about touring. 
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152: The Big Review ? Architects

Merl, El and Steve dissect the immense new Architects album, For Those That Wish To Exist, looking into their history so far and what this album means for their career from here. The dynamic, er, trio decide which guest spot worked the best - Parkway Drive's Winston McCall, Royal Blood's Mike Kerr or Biffy Clyro's Simon Neil - pick our favourite tracks and discuss whether there's a glass ceiling for a band like Architects.

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151: Gojira are back! Plus a Q+A special

Merl and El celebrate the news that Gojira are returning with a new album, plus answer a ton of your questions, including our ultimate metal compilation (with a gruelling twist...), how much we miss gigs, our favourite Iron Maiden songs post-2000, best and worst guest spots on metal records and much, much more.
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150: Iron Maiden Vs The Hall Of Fame

Merl and El discuss the news that Iron Maiden are finally getting a nomination for induction into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. Will the band change their stance on it now? And why exactly did it take so long? Plus, they review two big new albums out this week - the resurrected Love And Death project from Korn guitarist Head (featuring an inexplicable Justin Bieber cover - yes, really), and the newie from Taylor Momsen's The Pretty Reckless. Who is definitely not Dr Karl Kennedy.
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149: Marilyn Manson, Serj Tankian, The Ruins Of Beverast

Merl, El and Jonathan talk through the allegations directed at Marilyn Manson, plus reveal the latest issue - a tribute to Children Of Bodom's Alexi Laiho.
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148: Tribulation, Divide And Dissolve, Fred Bin Boy Durst

Merl, El and Jonathan shed a light on the problems facing metal bars in the UK (and how we can help), plus review the astounding new albums from Tribulation and Divide And Dissolve. They also battle for the soul of bin-bound Limp Bizkit. Poor Fred.
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147: Brain Rollercoaster

Merl and El fight off deadline fatigue to review the new Wardruna album, discuss the postponement of Glastonbury 2020 and much more!
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146: Make Metal, Not War

Merl and Steve discuss the shocking situation surrounding Iced Earth's Jon Schaffer, plus the debate around politics and metal that has erupted in its wake. We also talk Marko's departure from Nightwish, review the new release from Emma Ruth Rundle and Thou, and more!
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145: Alexi Laiho RIP

Merl and El pay tribute to beloved Children Of Bodom guitarist Alexi Laiho, who recently passed away at the age of 41, as well as preview the year ahead in metal.
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144: End Of 2020 Special

It's the biggest podcast of the year! Merl, El, Steve and Jonathan count down the 20 best albums of 2020, featuring Deftones, Code Orange, Trivium, Enslaved, Napalm Death and many more, plus pick some extra albums from across the year that made a big impact. See you in 2021, yeah?
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143: The Hu, Metallica and Strictly Come Dancing

Merl, El and Steve rate the recent new videos from The Hu and Architects, unveil the big end of year issue of Metal Hammer and a whole heap more!
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142: Slipknot, Limp Bizkit and, er, Boney M

Merl, El and Jonathan discuss recent updates on new Slipknot and Limp Bizkit albums (hint: one's more likely than the other), pick their favourite Christmas bangers and review the debut album from Pothamus.
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141: Metallica And Architects Do A Stream

Merl, El and Steve review the recent livestreams by Metallica and Architects, plus rate this year's Grammy nominations and review new and recent albums from Palm Reader, Killer Be Killed, Hatebreed and more.
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140: Hall Of Fame ? System Of A Down

Merl, El and Steve review the new King 810 album, decide who from the metal world would make it into their government, and induct a System Of A Down album into the Hall Of Fame - but which one?
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Bonus Podcast: New System Of A Down ? The First Reaction

Merl, El and Steve jump on a special bonus podcast to talk through the surprise news that System Of A Down have released two new songs, what this means for their future and, most importantly, whether the songs are any good!
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139: Cake At Gigs

El, Jonathan and Steve review the new Solstafir album, rate a bumper crop of livestreams, and discuss what what we'd change if we were appointed the God of metal.
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138: Shitty Pumpkins

Merl, El and Steve review the new Bring Me The Horizon EP, celebrate/commiserate 20 years of Hybrid Theory, rate the recent Fever 333 stream and a whole lot more.
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137: Happy Birthday Chocolate Starfish

Merl, El and Steve celebrate 20 years of Chocolate Starfish And The Hot Dog Flavored Water, rate new songs from Architects, While She Sleeps and Employed To Serve, and much more.
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136: Peanut Butter And Honey

Merl, El and Jonathan talk up the latest round of livestream announcements, review the mind-bending new album from Molassess, get into a heated debate about toast toppings and much more.
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135: Long Live Van Halen

Merl, El and Steve pay tribute to Eddie Van Halen, plus review the Greg Puciato album and question whether CDs will ever make an almighty comeback.
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134: If I Ruled The World (Well, London)

Merl, Steve and Jonathan review new albums from Corey Taylor and Enslaved, discuss what the music industry will look like after COVID and a whole heap more. 
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133: Deftones Are Good

Merl, El and Steve (but mostly El and Steve) review the new Deftones album and explain why there's basically no such thing as bad Deftones. The crew also mourn the loss of London's mighty Crobar, review the recent Lamb Of God stream and much more. 
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