Jan 112011

Today we reach the end of the line — the last two songs on our MOST INFECTIOUS list. Our list this year was three times as long as our 2009 list, but even so there were lots of other worthy candidates we omitted — including many recommendations we got from lots of you. Truth be told, 2010 was filled with great metal releases. Picking the catchiest songs wasn’t easy, and undoubtedly we fucked it up by leaving off some winners. But hey — we fuck up a lot.

No fucking up today, though. Our last two songs are from two blazingly hot bands who produced smoking hot cauldrons of metal in 2010. We saved them for the finale on purpose because they’re two particular favorites of ours. Both bands are from Italy and when their 2010 releases were recorded, they shared a common member (though no longer). Let’s get to it.

FLESHGOD APOCALYPSE

We hope our list included at least a few surprises for you, but this isn’t likely to be one of them. Out of all the bands we could have fantasized about paying to be at our beck and call once we get the jillions of dollars that African philanthropists have promised us, this is the one we picked. (more after the jump, including the songs . . .)

Jan 102011

We’re down to the next-to-last installment in our list of last year’s most infectious metal songs. (Read this for our definition of “most infectious” and click the Category link called MOST INFECTIOUS SONGS-2010 to see the other listed songs to date). Two more songs today and two more tomorrow, and we’re done.

MISERY INDEX

Heirs To Thievery is another one of 2010′s best albums that we never got around to reviewing, though it appeared on several of our guest contributors’ lists of last year’s noteworthy releases. Johan Huldtgren gave it the No. 6 spot on his list and wrote: “More polished (good), less grindy (bad) than before this, it is still an amazing album.” Andy Synn included it on his list of the year’s “good” albums, explaining: “[A]t times [it] comes across as a good, but slightly less balanced, cousin to the career defining Traitors. Heirs To Thievery is not as strongly tied together as Traitors and lacks some of the gusto that was such a shock to many ears, perhaps exactly because we’d all been effectively spoiled by the superior goods offered up by Traitors.”

Although we agreed with Johan that the album is less grindy and more thrashy death than some of the band’s earlier works, it’s still a mauling dose of aggression with blazing, intricate riffage and over-the-top drum-pummeling. At the same time, despite the turbo-charged rage that screams through every song, the music triggers the need to move (as well as the desire to punch the shit out of something). The best song on the album — “You Lose” — is also one of the most infectious extreme metal songs we heard last year.  (more after the jump, including the music . . .)

Jan 092011

We’re not superstitious. The fact that this is the 13th installment of our Most Infectious song list means nothing to us. Hotels skip the 13th floor, but only the weak-minded would skip from Part 12 to Part 14 on a list of songs. In fact, just to show how un-superstitious we are, we’re doubling down by including The Cube in this 13th part.

We did make sure our wills were in order before publishing this post. That’s not superstition. That’s just being prudent. Because The Cube is not superstition. Its existence is a documented fact. So is the uncontrollable destruction it causes. But more about that later.

Now, let’s get on with the first song we’re adding to our list — and if you’re new to this series and want to understand what we’re doing, read this and check out the other songs on the list by visiting the Category link on the right of this page called MOST INFECTIOUS SONGS-2010.

NOCTIFERIA

Noctiferia is a long-running band from The Republic of Slovenia whose 2010 album, Death Culture, we reviewed in July, summing up our reaction with these words: “Noctiferia takes a rock-solid foundation of syncopated death metal, adorns it with everything from industrial to ethnic stylings, and then sets the whole thing on fire in a spirited romp. Noctiferia blazes with speed and fury, but prays at the altar of groove.”  (more after the jump . . .)

Jan 082011

Today we have two more additions to our list of most infectious songs.  Just in case you’re visiting NCS for the first time today, read this if you want to know our definition of “most infectious” and visit the Category link on the right of this page called MOST INFECTIOUS SONGS – 2010 to see and hear the other 22 songs we’ve named to the list so far. And to cut the suspense and get to the point, today’s songs are from Enslaved and God Dethroned.

ENSLAVED

Sometimes we don’t review albums because we know they’re going to be swamped with critical attention from all quarters, including net sites and magazines with massively larger audiences than we have here. Those albums don’t need our help, and so usually (though not always) we tend to focus more on bands that might slip under the radar of those other media outlets. And so it was with the 2010 release from Enslaved.

The absence of an NCS review didn’t mean we were meh about Axioma Ethica Odini. Far from it. In our opinion, the album was one of last year’s highlights. We weren’t alone in thinking that.  Several of our guest contributors who provided Best of 2010 lists for us — including Fredrik Huldtgren and Andy Synn — also raved about the album.  (more after the jump, including those tracks we like so much . . .)

Jan 072011

As of yesterday, we had rolled out, in no particular order, 20 of the metal songs released in 2010 that we thought were the most infectious (and if you’re just joining us, read this to find out what we’re talking about). Here’s the list so far:

Byfrost: “Desire”
Evocation: “Sweet Obsession”
Keep of Kalessin: “Dragon iconography”
Living Sacrifice: “Rules of Engagement”
Kataklysm: “Suicide River”
Kalmah: “Bullets Are Blind”
Finntroll: “Solsagan”
Eluveitie: “Thousandfold”
Coliseum: “Blind In One Eye”
Kvelertak: “Blodtørst”
Demonic Resurrection: “The Unrelenting Surge of Vengeance”
Sargeist: “Empire of Suffering”
Heaven Shall Burn: “Combat”
Kenos: “Revolver Revival”
Soilwork: “Epitome”
As I Lay Dying: “Anodyne Sea”
Cloudkicker: “We’re goin’ in. We’re going down”
King Conquer: “Wasted Potential”
Canopy: “Menhir”
Incarnia: “Yersinia Pestis”

We’re now starting on the home stretch, with 10 songs left to go. Yes, we finally gave up trying to chop the list down below 30; just too painful. Today’s new entries on the list are from Rotting Christ and Arise. They’re quite different from each other, but they’re both guaranteed to get your head banging.  (hear the songs after the jump . . .)

Jan 062011

If you’ve been a regular reader of NCS since August, then you’ll know there was no way we would finish this list of “most infectious” songs without including today’s two additions to the list. It seemed like the whole month of August at NCS was devoted to these two bands — and with good reason: The music just grabbed us by the throat, the back of the neck, and other body parts that will go unmentioned, and wouldn’t let go.

Neither band has yet achieved the level of global visibility captured by most of the other bands whose songs are on this list, but that’s simply a sign of how much good metal is being created that, for one reason or another, hasn’t yet made the kind of big cannonball splash that the music deserves. We count ourselves lucky that we found these bands. We hope we’ve done our picayune part to expand their audience. Selfishly, we hope they continue to create the kind of music we’re featuring here today.

If you happen to be tuning into this series for the first time and wonder what we mean by “most infectious”, read this. To see the 18 songs we named to the list before today, click the Category link over on the right called MOST INFECTIOUS SONGS-2010. And to read more about the next two songs — and hear them, if you haven’t already — follow us after the jump for todays’s songs from Canopy and Incarnia.

Jan 052011

So far, our list of most infectious songs has been heavily weighted with music from European bands. But today we’re adding selections by two bands from the good old U.S. of A (though the word “band” is a misnomer in the case of one of the artists). And if you happen to be tuning into this series for the first time and wonder what we mean by “most infectious”, read this. To see the 16 songs we named to the list before today, click the Category link over on the right called MOST INFECTIOUS SONGS-2010.

CLOUDKICKER

Here at NCS, we were latecomers to the musical phenomenon known as Cloudkicker. But late is better than never, and when we had our eyes opened, they opened wide. NCS co-founder and occasional contributor IntoTheDarkness put Cloudkicker’s 2010 album, Beacons, at No. 3 on his personal list of the year’s Top 25 releases, calling it “the best instrumental album all year.”

Our regular contributor BadWolf had it at No. 6 on his list of the year’s best, calling it “one of the first pieces of genuinely brilliant metal-as-art to be released not only outside of the label system but outside of capitalism period.”

And another of our frequent contributors, The Artist Formerly Known As Dan, assigned it to the No. 8 position on his best-of-2010 list, with these words: “He doesn’t need a label because he can already do everything he needs to by himself.  And he’s beyond talented.”  (more after the jump . . .)

Jan 042011

So far, we’ve named 14 songs to our list of 2010′s most infectious tunes, and so far the songs have been without clean singing. No shock there, of course. But today we’re including a couple of exceptions to the normal rule around here, with songs from Soilwork and As I Lay Dying.

Both of these bands have been favorites of this site’s founders for many years. We’ve always found something to like in their albums, even when the overall album strength has dipped a bit, and 2010 was no exception. Plus, both bands put on great live shows, and we snap up tickets whenever they venture into the PNW.

Both bands released new albums in 2010 that we reviewed, and both albums contained multiple songs that made our master list of “most infectious” candidates. In the end, we picked one song from each. For a full explanation of what we mean by “most infectious”, read this. And to see the songs we’ve named so far, click the Category link over on the right called MOST INFECTIOUS SONGS-2010.

To read about and hear the songs we picked for our final list from Soilwork and As I Lay Dying, continue on after the jump.

Jan 032011

Ah, too bad — the holidays are behind us. For most U.S. denizens, school and work resume today, and consequently the suck quotient of life will rapidly escalate back into the normal zone. We will do our best to help soften the blow by rolling out the next two entries on our list of 2010′s most infectious extreme metal songs.  For a full explanation of what we mean by “most infectious”, read this. And to see the songs we’ve named so far, click the Category link over on the right called MOST INFECTIOUS SONGS-2010.

In a nutshell, what we’re doing is listing, in no particular order, the catchiest songs from a wide range of extreme metal sub-genres — not necessarily the best metal of the year (though lots of these songs would qualify for that kind of list), but the ones that most effectively got our heads and other parts of our bodies moving, and then got stuck in our skulls on mental replay long after they ended.

The two songs we’re adding today are by Germany’s Heaven Shall Burn and Kenos, from Italy. Heaven Shall Burn has been a band whose music we’ve liked for years, and their 2010 album was no exception. Kenos is a much more recent discovery for us, but we immediately got addicted to their music, particularly the song we’ve chosen for this list. To read about the selections and hear the songs, follow along with us after the jump . . .

Jan 022011

As of yesterday, we’d finished rolling out, in no particular order, the first 10 entries on our list of 2010′s most infectious extreme songs. (For a full explanation of what we mean by “most infectious”, read this.) So far, here’s what we’ve got:

Byfrost: “Desire”
Evocation: “Sweet Obsession”
Keep of Kalessin: “Dragon iconography”
Living Sacrifice: “Rules of Engagement”
Kataklysm: “Suicide River”
Kalmah: “Bullets Are Blind”
Finntroll: “Solsagan”
Eluveitie: “Thousandfold”
Coliseum: “Blind In One Eye”
Kvelertak: “Blodtørst”

Today, we’re starting on the next 10. Does that mean we’re stopping at 20? Not necessarily. We’re still futzing with our list. If we had to place a bet today, we’d bet the final list will be closer to 30. Just depends on whether our naturally lazy natures succeed in stopping us from trying to shave the list down to something shorter.

Today’s additions to the list begin to draw us into black-metal territory — but trust us, they’re damned infectious.  Stay with us after the jump as we roll out songs by Demonic Resurrection and Sargeist.

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