I have been following two blogs
metalhead and proud
The former is a great blog where there are exhaustive lists of new records and singles, and quick track listings and reviews. It's an absolute goldmine for discovering new bands.
The latter is an email column from Dig, who is a legend in the metal world and top guy (having done a neat little internship at Earache I can confirm this), where he gives links and views, and is well worth a read if the heavy is your taste.
I've also heard two exciting new songs
Here's one by Amon Amarth
Viking metal! How excited am I? This tune has what I look for in a heavy tune. Driving kick drums and that punchy snare sound forming the heart beat of the track, setting the rhythm for the headbanging. A guitar riff which runs into a yowl. And the main guitar riff is extremely melodic - I think the test for heavy metal of this type is whether you can imagine the guitar being switched out with a choir without losing the menace.
Here's one by Shadows Fall
I just think this is quality dancefloor filler. A punchy opening and then a vocal drop, with a melodic hook which you can pull cool shapes to and puff your chest out like an undead parrot. This is important to me.
That is all