Best Metal Releases of 2024 (So Far)


Judas Priest posted in dark lighting

Judas Priest has one of the best metal releases of 2024 (so far) – Author Anne Erickson, Courtesy photo

We’re only a few months into the year. But, the metal world has already bestowed upon us a plethora of fantastic new music. This is really a year unlike any other I remember. Metal bands have served up more new music in January, February and early March that in some entire years combined. It’s a great time to be a metalhead. So, while there’s much more new metal music on the way for 2024, it’s not too early to highlight the best metal albums of 2024, so far.

The Best Early Metal Releases of 2024

Judas Priest, “Invincible Shield”

This week is simply the week of Judas Priest. The legendary metal band released their 19th studio album on Friday (March 8), “Invincible Shield.” Fans are absolutely loving this release. Reading some of the comments on our official Facebook page, fans are calling it a “masterpiece” and the band’s “best album since the ’80s.” Others are commenting, “contender for album of the year,” “Riche’s guitar work is incredible” and “the new album is brilliant.”

I reviewed the new Judas Priest album for Audio Ink Radio and gave it a 9.5/10 stars. “This is anything but a ‘plug-and-play’ record,'” I write. “Halford and company are making a statement with ‘Invincible Shield,’ and it’s one that’s going to be heard around the world.” I also interviewed Judas Priest guitarist Richie Faulkner about the release. ” I think that’s just the natural progression, coming from ‘Firepower,’ to do something that- it’s definitely not a radio single format. It’s not three-minute singles,” he said.

Saxon, “Hell, Fire and Damnation”

Sticking with the British metal theme, Saxon also made major waves this year with their new release, “Hell, Fire and Damnation.” As with Judas Priest, Saxon turned to longtime metal producer Andy Sneap to handle production duties. While Saxon is certainly a different band than Judas Priest, this album carries the same power and polished quality. It’s easily one of the best metal albums of the year, so far. I interviewed Saxon vocalist Biff Byford, and he commented on what would make up the perfect British “Big 4.” His picks were, “Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Saxon and one more… let’s see… UFO.”

Bruce Dickinson, “The Mandrake Project”

When Bruce Dickinson releases a solo album, everyone takes note. He’s a trailblazer in the metal world. His new release is unique, in that it really doesn’t sound like Iron Maiden. If you listen to especially the last three songs on here, they’re nothing like the galloping sounds of Maiden. This is a great album, but I admit, nothing tops Maiden.

Static-X, “Project Regeneration: Vol. 2”

So, this isn’t a classic heavy metal band. But, they still deserver to be on this list. What Static-X did with bringing back the late Wayne Static’s lost vocals and writing songs around those vocals was incredible. The band’s second and final installment with Static’s vocals on it, “Project Regeneration: Vol. 2,” is a must-listen for any industrial metal fan.

Infected Rain, “Time”

It’s been great to watch Infected Rain get bigger and bigger around the world. The band has a unique power metal sound, but still sounds commercial and adds in nu-metal flourishes. Their new release “Time” is the best in their catalog so far.

Mick Mars, “The Other Side of Mars”

Not really heavy metal, more hard rock, but I still have to give Mars major props. His first release post-Motley Crue is imaginative and exciting. It’s great to hear him solo and doing the kind of music that he wants to do. I’m glad he has some music left in him. Hopefully, someday, he and the Crue can patch things up. There’s too much history there to let it go.

Anne Erickson
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Posted by Anne Erickson | Features, Metal, Music