Nov 222017


Well, here we are again. It’s the time of year when we are beginning our year-end LISTMANIA extravaganza. For those of you new to this orgy, our LISTMANIA blockbuster comes in four parts:

First, we re-print assorted lists of the year’s best albums, leeched from other big web sites and magazines, like this one a couple days ago which launched that part of LISTMANIA 2017. Second, we will provide a post in which our readers’ can share their lists of the 2017 albums and shorter releases they enjoyed the most (we’ll be asking for those on December 1, so get ready). Third, we post the year-end lists of our own staff and assorted guest writers. And fourth, I’ll roll out my list of the year’s Most Infectious Extreme Metal Songs.

And that last list is the subject of this request for help.

In case you’ve become an NCS reader since this time last year, here’s what this Most Infectious Song list is all about:


This is about individual songs, not albums, EPs, demos, etc. It’s also not our list of the best individual extreme metal songs of the year — though some of the songs might actually be among the best of the year. Instead, this is a list of the most infectious extreme metal songs we’ve heard this year. The idea is to think of songs that might produce involuntary physical movement, songs that have got catchy melodies or irresistible grooves, or anything else that sticks the song in your head and makes you want to keep listening to it.

To be one of the most infectious songs of the year, it should be something that you revisit often, something you put on playlists, something you mentally replay at unexpected times — songs you go back to repeatedly for listening. “Most played” might be a good synonym.


I’ve already got my own working list of candidates — as in every other year, there are a ton of songs on there already. I’ll get more ideas from all of our other writers. But I have no doubt we’ll overlook some songs we really liked from earlier in the year, and there are inevitably a lot more than we just never heard at all. And so here’s where I’m asking for your help:

Please leave comments to this post with your own lists of Most Infectious Songs that you think ought to be on our list — or if you’re bashful, you can e-mail your ideas to me at:

I’ll then pick what I think are the most infectious tracks of the year and start playing those songs for you in groups of two or three as we get closer to year-end. The first year we did this (2009), I limited the list to 10 songs. In 2010, I expanded it to 30. In 2011 it grew to 39. In 2012 it topped out at 56. In 2013 I worked really hard and got the list all the way down to.. gulp… 73. In 2014, life got in the way and I never finished the complete rollout, though I announced 62 songs before I gave up. In 2015  I stopped at 75. Last year’s list included 71 tracks (you can see all of those here).

As you can tell, I have a really fuckin’ hard time making lists. Of course, I have no idea how many songs we’ll feature this year.


So, please reflect on the songs you’ve found most addictive this year and let us hear from you. By leaving your list in the comments, you’ll also help make this post a way for other metalheads to find good music from the year that’s now rushing to an end. Thanks for your help.


  1. Alberto says:

    1. Wolves in the Throne Room – Born from the Serpent’s Eyes
    2. Medico Peste – Hallucinating Warmth and Bliss
    3. Satyricon – Deep Calleth Upon Deep

    For some reasons I’ve listened to the above mentioned songs dozens and dozens of times in the past months

  2. Lord Bumchasm says:

    Ulsect – Our Trivial Toil. Ye gods, but the way that chorus thing crashes in is astonishingly confident.

  3. Gregory Kelly says:

    Power Trip – Executioner’s Tax
    best song of 2017 hands down

  4. Ivan says:

    Anything off the new Kohti Tuhoa record.

  5. Eli says:

    Crypt Sermon- De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas

    yeah yeah it’s a cover, but it beats the absolute shit out of the Mayhem version and it’s my Song O’ the Year.

  6. Vacuity says:

    Acrimonious – Northern Portal or/and Elder of the Nashiym (this probably being my most played song this year)

    Ende – The Black Hen’s Blood (that opening riff, so simple, but with a classic feel)

    Immolation – Rise the Heretics (that middle part, really epic stuff)

  7. HDG says:

    Here are some of my suggestions:

    Dyscarnate – Iron Strengthens Iron: With this one it’s the groove that really gets me. To me it’s a great example of how you can take one (pretty simple) riff and use variations of it to construct a catchy-as-hell song that makes you want to move your head to it from start to finish.

    Witchery – True North/An Unexpected Guest: Couldn’t really separate these two songs off of the latest Witchery album. They just have this really anthemic quality to them; the chorus to True North has more or less burrowed it’s way deep into my brain at this point. As for An Unexpected Guest, the section of the song immediately after the solos is one of the catchiest things I’ve heard all year.

    Sign of Cain – To Be Drawn And To Drown: The title track of an album that hasn’t really gotten any coverage. For those unaware, Sign of Cain are a band made up of members of Viscera Trail and Equilibrium with Tomas Lindberg on vocals. If I had to describe their sound, it would be a crustier, somewhat less technical version of early At The Gates meets My Dying Bride. I don’t know whether a song can be depressing and infectious at the same time, but for me this one manages to do both.

    Cloak – The Hunger: As a fan of the gothic tinged extreme metal Tribulation does so well the music these guys are putting out hits the sweet spot. Basically black metal played by guys with a love of 1970s hard rock.

    Malokarpatan – V hustej hore na stračích nohách striga chalupu svoju ukrýva: There’s been a lot of buzz around these guys recently, and deservedly so IMO. I love how this song starts out with a intro that could come straight out of Swan Lake and then suddenly turns into a raging thrasher of a track. There’s also this really unexpected interlude midway through that sounds like the aural equivalent of the trip you would experience after eating a bunch of psychedelic mushrooms in the Slovakian wilderness.

  8. jay majesty says:

    1) Au Dessus – VI (the first song)
    From the album “End of a Chapter

    2)) Havukruunu – Jo Nakyvi Pohjan Portit (the solo is so infectious)
    From the album “Kelle Surut Soi”

    3) Sublime Cadaveric Decomposition – The day they dissect me (osdm + grind +stoner riffs)
    From the album ” Raping Angels in Hell”

  9. Klein says:

    Barathrum – Hellspawn
    Witchery – True North
    Belphegor – Baphomet
    Sarke – Dagger Entombed
    Rimfrost – A Clash under the Nothern Wind
    Asagraum – Black Sun Prayer
    Asagraum – Carried by Lucifer’s Wings
    Gods of Death – Dead Man’s Scream
    Cavalera Conspiracy – Insane
    F.K.Ü – Friday the 13th Part. 2
    Power Trip – Executioner’s Tax

  10. Buddy says:

    Amenra – A Solitude Reign

  11. Wesselbr says:

    I got a little overenthousiastic, so here’s twenty songs I’ve been listening and nodding my head to a lot this year:

    Akercocke – Dissapear (progressive extreme metal)
    Cannibal Corpse – Red Before Black (death metal)
    Decapitated – Kill The Cult (groove/death metal)
    Decrepit Birth – Spirit Guide (technical death metal)
    Dyscarnate – Of Mice And Mountains (modern groove/death metal)
    Enslaved – The River’s Mouth (progressive/black metal)
    Goatwhore – Chaos Arcane (old school extreme metal)
    God Dethroned – Annihilation Crusade (blackened death metal)
    Gorephilia – Interplanar (death metal)
    Immolation – Fostering The Divide (death metal)
    Morbid Angel – The Righteous Voice (death metal)
    Necrophobic – Pesta (blackened death metal)
    Necrowretch – Sprawl Of Sin (blackened death metal)
    Paradise Lost – Blood And Chaos (doom metal)
    Pillorian – By The Light Of A Black Sun (Cascadian black metal)
    Power Trip – Firing Squad (thrash/hardcore)
    Satyricon – Black Winds And Withering Gloom (black metal/black ’n roll)
    Suffocation – Return To The Abyss (technical/brutal death metal)
    Warbringer – Silhouettes (thrash metal)
    Wolves In The Throne Room – Angrboda (Cascadian black metal)

  12. Sopadeloro says:

    Xanthochroid- The spund wich has no name
    Archspire – Involuntary Doppelganger
    Full Of Hell – Crawling back to God
    Obituary – Sentence Day
    Converge – Eve
    Shroud Eater – Futile Exile
    Dying Fetus- anything on the album
    Temple Ov Void – Graven Desires
    Monolord – Where Death meets the Sea
    Year Of The Cobra – The Descent

  13. Bill Flo says:

    Although I’m certain a dozen more will spring to mind the moment I hit SUBMIT COMMENT, here are two I don’t even have to think about, since they’ve been constant companions since I first heard them:

    SELBST “Instrument of My Own Destruction” Probably my favorite metal album of the year, and this song is close to perfect. A study in how to maintain mean-ass momentum without ever getting boring. I’m always out of breath by the time it’s over.

    AKERCOCKE “A Particularly Cold September” It’s really really hard to make a sax (I think it’s a sax?) solo work in a metal song, but this album is chock full of shit that shouldn’t work for me but does. The guitar at the end is sheer epicosity.

    Off to check some of the other suggestions. Cheers for the work y’all do!

  14. Mindriven says:

    So many songs!

    The Ones We Lost by Woe – As catchy and anthemic as black metal gets.
    Everlasting Lie by Wormwitch – Just rocks so hard.
    Attrition by Black Harvest – Whole EP could be on my own personal list of most infectious songs.
    Crawling Back To God by Full of Hell – ON BENT KNEES CRAWLING BACK TO GOD
    Show Yourself by Mastodon – Of course it’s annoying. But holy shit is it catchy.

  15. byrd36 says:

    Bill&Phil – Dirty Eye
    Mastodon – Toe to Toes
    Scour – Barricade
    Goatwhore – Mankind Will Have No Mercy
    Mastodon – Show Yourself

  16. Dgr says:

    Obviously, I’ll be providing my full list when we hash the thing out with everyone else’s suggestions later, but goddamnit, Antigama’s Division of Lonely Crows is fucking great and I will yell at people about this song every chance I get.

  17. ZackFlag says:

    Kreator – Gods of Violence
    Firespawn – Serpent of the Ocean
    Cannibal Corpse – Code of the Slashers
    Warcrab – In the Shadow of Grief
    Obituary – End it Now
    Havukruunu – Myrskynkutsuja
    Decapitated – Earth Scar
    Cloak – To Venomous Depths/Where No Light Shines
    Acid Witch – Hardrock Halloween

  18. Booker says:

    Order Ov Riven Cathedrals – damn this album is blistering. Both tracks 2 (Combination Formula For The Creation Ov Our World Ov Hate) and 3 (Dead Sea Scrolls Revelations) have had many rotations on my player. Hard to name which is more infectious:

    Ulvegr – Throne Among the Void. What’s so great about this track is it features the usual suspects: blast beats, double bass drumming, raspy vocals, etc. but then just dials right back to a straight alternating bass/snare rocky drum line and shows that simple is still damn heavy and catchy: (When Stars Will Turn to Ashes is a fine contender with a similar groove too).

    Septic Flesh – Portrait of a Headless Man. The spooky intro is a nice start, but it’s the bounce in the main line that stays in your head.

    Two – Calcutta. “And now for something completely different”. I don’t often end up liking many releases from Basick Records enough to buy them, but I like to keep an eye on what they have on offer as I love how they’re not afraid to delve into the borderlands of what could pass as metal. This track caught me from the start, and ends up sounding like gospel music with a strangely desperate undercurrent. There’s only a few “metal” segments in it, but the video made me realize I wasn’t just imaging a dark side to those beautiful vocals:

  19. Wesselbr says:

    One last contribution from my side, from an album that is best listened to as a whole but still deserves a spot on this list:

    Spectral Voice – Thresholds Beyond (death/doom)

  20. Gaia says:

    If we’re talking about songs I’ve awkwardly hummed in the elevator then it would be:

    Ulver’s ‘Rolling Stone’ had a great chorus (Poor little sister, I hope you understand, the babe in the woods will be taken by a wolf’).

    Death From Above 1979’s ‘Holy Books’ had a great chorus (‘I don’t go no holy books, those ancient rhymes ain’t got no hooks’).

    All Them Witches’ ‘Don’t Bring Me Coffee’ had great chorus (‘Don’t bring me no coffee, ‘Cause I don’t wanna hear it, And I don’t like the taste!).

    I’m sorry, I like it when they sing.

  21. _spiffy says:

    Premises of a Miracle by Aosoth has been stuck in my noggin since the album dropped.

    I also frequently hum El Presidente by GWAR

  22. Orsaeth says:

    The River’s Mouth by Enslaved
    No Blood Has Honour by Woe
    Take My Picture by Exist

  23. Eivind says:

    In no particular order.
    Awaken From the Dark Slumber by Wintersun
    In the Light of the Sabbat Moon by Tyrannosorceress
    Hi Ball by Aiming for Enrike
    Abrahamic Contagion by Dumal
    Black Wings and Withering Gloom by Satyricon
    Aufbruch by Der Weg Einer Freiheit
    Jernhaand by Taake
    De Zefepraal van Satan by Kwade Droes
    Morast by Wolves Carry My Name
    Eremittens Dal by Mork
    Isolert by Isolert
    X by Au-Dessus
    Fyrstens Land by Whoredom Rife

  24. DevilDog says:

    Uhtcearu – “Tower of Silence”
    Lęk – “Absencja Ducha”

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