Welcome to Part 17 of our list of the year’s most infectious extreme metal songs. In each installment, I’ve been posting at least two songs that made the cut. For more details about what this list is all about and how it was compiled, read the introductory post via this link. To see the selections that preceded the three I’m announcing today, click here.
I’ve been tramping through the forest of black metal the last couple of days and decided to stay there at least one more day. I’ve been pretty sure for a while that this list would include music from each of today’s three very different albums. The hard part came in picking just one song from each.
This NOLA band’s 2102 album Blood For the Master was reviewed for us here by Andy Synn. It was loaded with great metal, but I ultimately picked “When Steel and Bone Meet” for this list. To borrow Andy’s word, “When Steel… is a bar-room brawl set to music, chains and fists flying in a drunken, grooving orgy of violence that manages to cram in a swaggering groove, pummeling power-riffage, and some switchblade soloing in barely more than 3 minutes.”
I think that about sums it up. Here’s your orgy:
“WHEN STEEL AND BONE MEET”
We also reviewed this Chicago band’s 2012 return-to-form, Silencing Machine, with BadWolf doing the honors (here). I included three tracks on my list of candidates for this series — “Silencing Machine”, “Dawn Over the Ruins of Jerusalem”, and the one I finally picked — “Give Me the Grave”.
Interestingly, that track is one that BadWolf never mentioned in his review, maybe because he wasn’t as taken with it as I’ve become. I will say that it’s a song that grew on me over time — but it has now become firmly rooted in my cranium.
It doles out a bouncing rock beat anchored by a beefy low-slung riff that comes and goes. Killer guitar leads and soloing and Blake Judd’s vocals, blowing like a dry, scouring sandstorm, seal the deal.
“GIVE ME THE GRAVE”
Andy Synn also reviewed this iconic Swedish band’s 2012 release, Serpent Sermon (I know you’re beginning to wonder whether I do any work around here, and the answer is fuck no). As in the case of the previous two records, I was torn between multiple songs, with “Damnation’s Gold”, “Hail Mary (Piss-Soaked Genuflexion)”, and “Souls For Belial” all in the running. The one I chose was the title track. I’ll steal Andy’s words again:
“The martial, ominous beginning of “Serpent Sermon”, all blood-spattered cymbals and necrotic riffs, leads into a precision carpet-bombing of blasting snare and contorted tremolo melodies, the lethally calculated deployment of scything riffs and bone-crushing slowdowns a real throwback to the Panzer Division… era, with Mortuus adopting the dual role of both poet and preacher to lead his congregation in a downward spiral into damnation.”
Quite true — and I’m damned if this song doesn’t come back to prick my memory with regularity. Here’s the latest addition to this list: