Dec 242009

Here at NCS, we’re putting a different spin on year-end listmania. Ours isn’t a list of the best metal full-lengths of the year. It’s not even necessarily our list of the best individual extreme metal songs of the year. Ours is a list of the most infectious extreme metal songs we’ve heard this year. We’re talking about songs that produce involuntary physical movement and worm their way into your brain to such an extent you can’t get ’em out (and wouldn’t want to).

We’re not ranking our list from #10 to #1 because that would be too much fucking work (and your co-Authors would still be arguing about it this time next year). So, our list is in no particular order. We’re also dribbling the songs out one at a time because your lazy Authors are still debating what belongs in the remaining slots. (Yes, still.) Our list heretofore:

1. Asphyx: Sorbutics

2. Mastodon: Crack the Skye

3. Amorphis: Silver Bride

4. Goatwhore: Apocalyptic Havoc

5. August Burns Red: Meridian

6. Pelican: Ephemeral

7. Scale the Summit: Age of the Tide

8. Daath:  Wilting On the Vine

And to see our ninth entry on the list, continue reading after the jump.

Why do so many snooty metalheads shit all over deathcore? Can’t we all just get along? All you people who want to pour a cooler of haterade over deathcore should chill and look on the bright side: it’s music that has provided a sense of belonging and a rallying cry to a new generation of young, pissed off headbangers, and as time passes those dudes and dudettes are going to expand their metal musical horizons and help keep the scene strong and flourishing. And besides, deathcore, when done right, packs a visceral physical punch that’s fucking electric.

Maybe that’s part of the problem with deathcore. Like a lot of punk music in its heyday, it’s a style of music that’s best appreciated live, in loud, dingy, adrenaline-charged venues packed with sweaty bodies moshing to thunderous breakdowns. No CD can capture that experience. Another problem with the genre is that the barriers to entry are low: At a base level, deathcore doesn’t require much instrumental or vocal talent, and shitloads of so-called deathcore bands crank out boring songs that are indistinguishable from each other, using formulaic death vocals and breakdowns to mask a fundamental deficit in ability.

But slamming the whole genre based on its lowest common denominator is just wrong. You can play that game with just about every sub-genre of extreme metal if you want to. The truth is that lots of bands branded with the deathcore label have got great song-writing and technical chops and are putting out some sick shit. We especially liked the 2009 releases from Impending Doom, Despised Icon, Born of Osiris, Oceano, and In the Midst of Lions.  I guess it’s obvious: the genre is definitely a (not so) guilty pleasure for your NCS Co-Authors. Which is why we couldn’t provide an honest list of the songs we found most infectious this year without including a deathcore entry.

Molotov Solution is a Las Vegas-based deathcore band that’s part of the cream of the crop. Your Authors caught the band’s live act at Club Satyricon in Portland earlier this year, and they fucking tore the place up. These bomb-throwers mix politically charged lyrics with a sonic attack that’s both brutal and groove-oriented. The songs are distinctive and definitely infectious — and man, the breakdowns are massively crushing: crank it up in the privacy of your own abode and you’ll feel the urge to mosh with your furniture.

We liked lots of the tracks on the band’s 2009 release, The Harbinger, but our eighth entry on the Most Infectious list is the title track. Have a listen:

The Harbinger

The video below is no substitute for streaming the song via the link above. The audio quality ain’t great (though the breakdowns come thru with force), but it’s still kinda cool to watch:

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