Feb 012018


Yesterday I ended the roll-out of our annual list of Most Infectious Extreme Metal Songs. As I’ve explained, it was more of an arbitrary halt than an orderly conclusion. When I began the rollout back on January 11 I had a big group of songs I knew would be on this list, but I hadn’t finished the selection. I started the rollout, and then continued to make up the list as I went along. I’m still not finished, but decided that we shouldn’t be continuing with a 2017 year-end list past the end of January in the new year.

Although many more songs could easily still be added, I do think the list, as it is, provides a decent snapshot of both the quality and the diversity of metal in 2017. And I think that’s true even though I only focused on the most “infectious” songs (some of the best songs and albums released in 2017 weren’t really “infectious”, but were stunning listening experiences nonetheless).

Jan 312018


It pains me to say it, but this is not only the 20th installment of this list, it’s the last one. I’m feeling some pain because I haven’t really finished the list, but if I don’t stop now I’m afraid you’ll be reading Part 50 at some point in March. Tomorrow I’ll have a “wrap up” for the list, with links to all the tracks I’ve called out since beginning it earlier this month. Please hold off scorching me for not naming your own favorites until tomorrow. Thanks.

Unlike most of the previous installments in this series, there’s no real rhyme or reason to why I grouped these five songs together. It was just one last frantic effort to load in a few more beloved passengers before the train left the station.


“Fall on your knees! Take the oath!” How can you resist the chorus in this track? I can’t. I know that the words are part of Possession’s skewering of the Church, but I like to think of the words as an exhortation to the metal faithful, sort of like, “Swear to the dark, you unwashed bastards!”

Jan 312018


We have come at last to the final day of this list, which I began rolling out on January 11th, and which I pledged to myself I would finish before February. Like yesterday, there will be two large installments today.

In this one the songs have certain stylistic connections, as I hear them (at least until you reach the final track) — which probably means nothing more than me thinking they make an interesting and powerful playlist.


It seems that every year, at least in recent memory, brings reunions and revivals. The latest Godflesh album, Post Self, wasn’t exactly a reunion or a revival — A World Lit Only By Fire did come out only three years earlier — but it still seemed like a revival, or at least a resurgence, a vivid rekindling of memories without sounding like a cash grab.

Jan 302018



This is the second installment of the list today, with two more coming on the final day tomorrow. And once again, because time is running out, I’m loading up this post, with six songs from six great 2017 releases.

Anyone who has followed our putrid site over the 8+ years of our existence has no doubt noticed our continually increasing attraction to black metal, and so it should come as no surprise that in one of these final parts of this latest MOST INFECTIOUS SONG list I’ve decided to focus on shades of black, beginning with a name that surely every metalhead knows, and then moving into increasingly more obscure releases that are deserving of greater attention.


“North” is a direction that figures prominently in the trajectory of black metal, perhaps most famously in Darkthrone’s magnificent A Blaze In the Northern Sky. Sweden’s Witchery aligned their own compass to “True North” in the first song I’ve chosen for this post. It comes from their eighth album, I Am Legion.

Jan 302018


We’re coming down to the wire, and I’m in a frantic state of mind. I’ve now firmly decided to end this list on January 31, but I realized this morning that January 31 IS TOMORROW!!!

I spent hours yesterday afternoon and last night listening to many of the remaining candidates for the list, and reached the conclusion that I have to double-down on these posts. In other words, there will be two installments of this list today and two more tomorrow, and each one is going to include a lot of songs.

This one, as forecast by the title of the post, is devoted to Exceptions to Our Rule (the one in the site’s title). I’ve done this before in previous years, and have already named a few songs to the list this year that include clean vocals. There are some beautiful voices in this post, and a lot of highly addictive music as well (of course).

Jan 292018


I’m continuing to stack these installments of the list pretty deep, in an effort to prevent the onset of depression when I have to stop it. However, I’m confident I’ll be depressed and frustrated anyway, because I’ll still be forced to leave a lot of great 2017 songs on the cutting-room floor when I do stop.

Today you’ll again notice some stylistic connections among the songs I’ve packaged together, and because of that I again think I’ve compiled a grouping that makes for a nice, stand-alone playlist.


The first song in this collection is another rare example of a long-form track that I think is immensely infectious despite its significant length. It hooked me the first time I heard it, and I’m still hooked.

Jan 282018


My NCS time has been constricted by other activities this weekend, so I won’t have time to prepare the usual Sunday SHADES OF BLACK column, but to (sort of) make up for that I did decide to focus on black metal in this 15th Part of my Most Infectious Song list. And I also decided to pack five songs into this installment rather than the usual smaller number.

Hope you enjoy these choices, especially because it was so tough for me to pick just one song from each of the albums released by these bands last year. I think they make a pretty damned powerful playlist.


I delivered an impulsive though compact review of Kong Vinter very soon after listening to it for the first time, and proclaimed it one of my favorite albums of 2017. My impression now, two months later, is that it was under-appreciated in the froth of year-end lists, perhaps because it came out so late in the year and was preceded by the release of only one single (“Inntrenger”).

Jan 272018


It’s a shitty situation. Here I am, posting more of this list on a Saturday, the weakest day of the week, measured by how may eyes alight on our site. But I’m doing my best to finish this list by February.

Still, the three songs here deserve a fireworks display more grand than what our Saturday traffic usually provides. Life isn’t fair, and it’s too damned short and miserable, too.


I read through my list of candidates for this series every day, because I’m still trying to figure out what to include. When I come to this one, I see 10 asterisk marks next to it. I have a vague memory that I was trying to tell myself many months ago, “Your mind is a sieve, it loses important things every day, but don’t forget this one, you fractured motherfucker, this one you FUCKING HAVE TO REMEMBER.” And so I have.

Jan 262018



As you can probably tell, I’m beginning to feel the pressure of time running out. If I’m going to finish this list by the end of January I may have to do more of what I’m doing today — packing more songs into each of these posts than I’ve been doing. Although I doubt I’ll have time to add five each day, I’m able to do that today.

And the key word for today’s installment of the list is “crushing”.


There’s heavy, and then there’s HEAVY.  As metals go, Lead is heavy, but Iridium is twice as heavy as lead. As metal bands go, Jupiterian is the Iridium of heavy music.

Jan 252018


Another day, another edition of our Most Infectious Song list, with a trio of black metal tracks and a song that might be a bit of a cheat.


With their 2015 debut album, As All Light Leaves Her, Australia’s Advent Sorrow made a beneficial change in their sound. As Andy Synn wrote in his review, they “shed the symphonic grandeur that permeated their debut EP in favour of an all-round darker and more desperate form of borderline DSBM-style sonic despair… resulting in an album of bleak, harrowing melody and torturous metallic agony that errs closer to the sound of Infestus or early Shining than it does the more dramatic Dimmu Borgir-isms with which the band first made their name”.

© 2009-2017 NO CLEAN SINGING Banner design by Dan Dubois, background design by groverXIII. Suffusion WordPress theme by Sayontan Sinha