Dec 022010

We need help. No, we’re not referring to psychiatric counseling. Of course, we do need that, but we’re afraid that if we got it, this site would become as dull as dishwater. So no psychiatric counseling.

Instead, we need help with music. Two kinds of help, to be specific:

FIRST, we’re going to make an attempt to reprise something we did last December — creating a list of the Ten Most Infectious Extreme Metal Songs of the year. After the jump, we’ll reprint last year’s description of what that “Most Infectious” label means. What we’d really like you to do is send us your nominations.

We’ve got our own ideas, but there were a ton of new metal albums released this year, and we sure didn’t hear all of them. Hearing from you would reduce the chances that we’re overlooking songs that really ought to be on our list. Plus, this seems like a good way for all of us to discover some new tunes.

SECOND, without meaning to, we’re on a Finnish metal roll. We certainly didn’t plan it that way, but hey, flexibility’s a good thing, even if you’re not a contortionist. Yesterday we featured Amorphis, and earlier today a band called Before the Dawn. And in one of the comments we got, our UK contributor Andy Synn suggested we have a week-long tribute to Finland.  He may have only been half-serious, but it sounded good to us — so we’re gonna roll with that.  (more after the jump about what we want from you . . .)

So, without meaning to, we’re two days into a Finland tribute week. Five days to go. Five Finnish bands to spotlight. We write about Finnish bands all the time on this site, but what we’d really like to do is focus on some bands we haven’t written about previously. So please help us out with your ideas. Who should we check out?

And as for that first appeal for help, here’s a reprint of what we wrote when we launched last year’s Ten Most Infectious List. It will give you a better idea what we’re after. One easy way to approach this is just to think about the 2010 songs you find yourself going back to for repeat listening.

Please send us suggestions in response to either or both of our pathetic pleas for help either by leaving a comment on this post, or if you’re the shy and retiring sort, by e-mailing me at:


Ours isn’t a list of the best metal full-lengths of the year. It’s not even our list of the best individual extreme metal songs of the year. That would tax our brains way too much work, and frankly this is the time of year when devoting serious effort to anything is just fucking difficult.

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. Even on a crowded bus, subway, or ferry, your head starts banging, your fingers start tapping, your foot starts thumping, your legs start twitching — different people have got different body parts that start convulsing when they hear something that’s got a groove to it.

And to be one of the most infectious songs of the year, it’s got to be something that worms its way into your brain to such an extent you can’t get it out (and wouldn’t want to) — you mentally replay it at unexpected times and you go back to the song repeatedly. You know, when the shit is sick. When it infects you like a disease with no available cure. Again, not necessarily the best of the year, but the most infectious. (And because this is NO CLEAN SINGING, it’s got to be NCS Metal or an “Exception to the Rule” to make our list.)

  89 Responses to “HELP A BROTHER OUT!”

  1. For your Finland-project: try The Jasser Arafats. Not only have they got a great name (how the hell did they come up with that?!), they’ve also got a delicious piece of death-thrash going on!

    As for your infectious list: I’d like to stick Animals as Leaders’ CAFO on there. Decrepit Birth’s Polarity should be on it too. Soilwork’s Epitome. Another Perfect Day: In the End… The End. Those are my modest suggestions. For now at least.

  2. Good song recommendations — I know all of them except Another Perfect Day (which we’ll check out). We’re fans of the Jasser Arafats for sure:

  3. Don’t listen to me! Dear God, don’t ever listen to ME!!!

    But in all seriousness…. if you don’t include a retrospective on SENTENCED then you deserve a painful, painful death.

    Oh and FALL OF THE LEAFE. Seriously under-rated. Their last 3 albums before they broke up were awesome. Like a positive version of Katatonia/Sentenced.

    And, stemming from that, I would recommend the weirdly Russian-Doom (although they ARE Finnish) of KYRSK and the sheer awesomeness of THE MAN-EATING TREE.

    Oh, and INSOMNIUM are better than you.

    • I’m not listening to you. But you are right — INSOMNIUM are better than me. SENTENCED are better than me, too. Thanks for the reminders about KYPCK and THE MAN-EATING TREE, and I’ll check FALL OF THE LEAFE. Perhaps I am better than them?

    • Finland week is okay by me. Hell, Finland Month wouldn’t be so bad.

      And yes, Sentenced deserves mention, even if they are no more. Early stuff is NCS, later stuff not. But still kicks ass. And yes, there’s The Man-Eating Tree (who were mentioned here in a Miscellany post). Vine is an outstanding album that’s really grown on me. They also have a new video, this one for “Amended”. Certainly another exception to the rule, but I think if you went at length with Finnish bands, a lot of them would fall into that category.

      I’m going to have to go back and see what all you’ve written this past year before I throw out any more names for you.

      • In today’s post (about Ghost Brigade), I tried to collect all the Finnish bands we’ve already mentioned in posts this year — amazing that you remembered we’d said something about Man-Eating Tree! I’d forgotten that we had.

  4. I’m a doomster so I’ll suggest TYRANNY for your Suomi-PERKELE-Finland-week. Album: ‘Tides of Awakening’. This is crushing funeral doom at its best. If you put this album on and sit down while it plays, you’ll find it hard to get up again after it’s finished. That’s how heavy it is.

  5. Good Finnish metal: Medicated, Demilich, Crystalic, Chromatic Dark and all these guys want you to have their music for free!!

  6. I am sure that if my new Evocation CD had turned up by now I would be throwing one of their tracks in your direction for the top ten. Looking through my iTunes it would appear I don’t actually have many albums that I have revisited much that were released this year, I could suggest a song off Witchery’s Witchkrieg but it seems almost unfair as that album was beginning to end fantastic, but gun to my head I’d say my favourite track was “The God Who Fell From Earth”.
    If this was a 2009 list I could probably easily knock a top 10 of my own together, still plenty of 2009 albums that are kicking my ass again and again………………like Bringer Of Death from Disparaged’s The Wrath Of God album, in fact fuck it, I’m bunging it on now.

  7. Personal favorite right now is Sargeist with their recent “Let The Devil In”, very catchy black metal.

    Same people are in Behexen, their 2008 “My Soul For His Glory” is fucking great (old school black metal with almost a punk vibe at times)

    List of more obvious bands: Archgoat, Impaled Nazarene, Satanic Warmaster, Rotten Sound

    • Thanks Johan — we were missing the black-metal side of the equation until now.

    • Just to clarify, this was just for Finish stuff, although some songs from the Sargeist album could really easily make most infectious as well, but I’ll need more time to put that list together.

      • Understood. If you’ve got time, I’d like to see your song list for sure.

        • ok, this took some thinking, and I want to warn that my sense of “groove” probably isn’t that of most readers of this blog 🙂

          That said I could only really come up with five songs right now that once they’re in my head I can’t get out and that causes involuntary actions. List is alphabetical by band name with album name in parenthesis.

          Canopy – Inward Burst (Menhir)
          Deathspell Omega – Apokatastasis Pantôn (Paracletus)
          Misery Index – You Lose (Heirs to Thievery)
          Sargeist – Empire of Suffering (Let The Devil In)
          Watain – Waters of Ain (Lawless Darkness)

    • This feels relevant both to Finland and the fucking xmas post(elf, troll – same shit right?):

      • Oh hell yes! I was just thinking about Impaled Nazarene. In the current issue of DECIBEL, they use Mika Luttinen as the guinea pig in their “Call & Response” column, where they give him MP3s to listen to and comment on without telling him what they are. His reactions are interesting, and sometimes pretty fucking funny.

  8. fear factory, annotations of an autopsy, dimmu borgir, and kataklysm all came out with good albums this year. gateways by dimmu is one that always gets stuck in my head and it fuckin rocked when they played it live

  9. Lots of great Finnish bands have been mentioned here already. I’ll second the endorsements for Rotten Sound, Insomnium, KYPYK, Fall Of The Leafe. Most of the Firebox/Firedoom roster seem to hail from Finland and have the quality funeral doom market more or less cornered (Colosseum, Ablaze In Hatred being standouts). You’ve covered Swallow The Sun and Barren Earth here already – vocalist Mikko Kotamäki is also in Alghazanth, serving up a frozen hammerblow of icy black metal.

    Fatal Frame (death/doom) and Lucidity (melodic DM) are a couple of new up and comers worth a listen.

    If you like Insomnium, Ghost Brigade might hit the spot for you as well.

  10. So, apart from all the good bands already listed, here’s more:

    ..and Oceans – Thier first two albums are more in the “black metal” vein, later on they got quite odd and industrial, but still good.
    Cause for effect – Fusiongrind…yeah…its wierd as all fuck, but entertaining
    Horna – Finnish black metal, they have 44 releases (including EPs, demos, live CDs, etc, 7 full lengths)
    Pimentola – I only have “Hämärän Seppele”, but according to MA they have released more stuff. Not very metal always, but nice to mellow out to.
    Skepticism – Funeral doom. Nothing short of amazing, saw them at BrutalAssault 2009 (last day of the festival, at like 2AM), it was mesmerizing.

    As for most infectious…hrm, I’ll come back in another comment on that I think.

  11. Here are some you should check out:

    Sadistik Forest

  12. “The Eclipse” from Fractal Gates, “Federal Death Alliance” from IDW, and “Rules of Engagement” from Living Sacrifice get my votes for infection…

    • Worthy additions to the list — “Rules of Engagement” was already on mine and the IDW song is certainly worth considering. I love “The Eclipse”, but isn’t that from an earlier year?

      • Maybe so, not sure, it was from here that I found them. Another album that came out this year that I love is Invade from Within the Ruins, hard to pick a single song though… maybe “Behold the Harlot”. Also, “The
        Contaminated” from Oceano’s new one Contagion.

        • I’ll re-check the Fractal Gates release date. Good calls on Within the Ruins and the new Oceano. I’m waiting for more deathcore recommendations from my collaborator IntoTheDarkness, but we need to have at least one on the list.

          • I know both of these bands have been around for a while….and they’re nothing new and exciting to you…..but…..Swallow the Sun and CHILDREN OF FRIKKEN BODOM!!!!!!!
            ~I need to find a finnish husband….then those 3 out of 4 odds will be mine and I can have freaky talented music babies.

      • ENGAGE!!!

        Consider my vote cast for that one.

        • Dude, help a brother out — more info please!

          • Ok, well apart from Living Sacrifice’s “Rules Of Engagement” I would suggest the songs which have been most infectious this year (disregarding their relative quality as you said) have been…

            Keep Of Kalessin – The Dragontower
            The Crown – Blood O.D.
            Demon Hunter – Collapsing
            Soilwork – Epitome
            Witchery – Witchkrieg!!!! (exclamations added for emphasis)
            Rotting Christ – Noctis Era
            Dimmu Borgir – Gateways (how can this NOT make the list? It’s pleased and pissed off pretty much everyone in the world – well played boys)
            Engel – Sense The Fire
            The Showdown – Blood In The Gears
            Arsis – Beyond Forlorn

            • EXXcellent list, though: I’d put KoK’s “Dragon Iconography” above Dragontower (because I think it’s catchy, in addition to being more extreme); I have a tough time deciding among “Epitome”, “Two Lives Worth of Reckoning”, and “Let This River Flow” on the Soilwork album; and I have a really tough time picking a “most infectious” off of “Witchkrieg” because so many of the songs are such worthy candidates. I do need to hear that Engel song.

              I’m guessing you’re giving Semargl a pass this year? 🙂

              • Top album fo the year. No doubt.

                For Soilwork it was between “Epitome” and “Late For The Kill…” (actually, can I change my vote? lol).

                • Hell, I forgot about that song. Now this is even more complicated. I think it’s fair to say that The Panic Broadcast’s infection quotient is pretty high, whatever else one might think about the album.

                  • Oh and “The Dragontower” isn’t even my favourite song off Reptilian, or the one that actually gets to me msot instantly, I just think it’s clearly got the widest potential for infection and procreation.

                    • I think you’re now talking about an entirely different list — but I’m willing to think about that one. It would probably be a very short list: The Ten 2010 Extreme Metal Songs Most Conducive To Procreation.

  13. Hey Folks
    Infectious songs that have really gotten me this year… hmmm

    Exhale – Fools =

    Dagoba – I Sea Red =

    Decrepit Birth – (A Departure Of The Sun) Ignite The Tesla Coil =

    Wormrot – Fix Your Broken Mind =

    Fleshgod Apocalypse – Thru Your Scars =

    Ghost – Ritual =

  14. Lordi!

    Yes I’m trolling.

    • Damn, I completely forgot Lordi are Finns. Is there any genre of metal they haven’t staked out as their own domain?

      • And don’t forget Nightwish!

        • Nothing wrong with Nightwish, but why not also throw in HIM for shits and giggles?

          • I’m shitting but not giggling. And trying to forget that HIM are Finnish.

            • I am now going to say something that may make you want to call down the full wrath of the Cube on me.

              They aren’t really all that bad – I even liked a few songs from Dark Light. Not a band I’d listen to very much, though.

              And still, they’re better than the majority of crapcore that oozes forth worldwide.

              • I have no ability to command the mercurial Cube, nor would I call it down on you if I could. I actually bought an HIM album once, can’t remember which one. It was years ago, back before my musical tastes had evolved/devolved to what they are now. I thought they were tolerable then. Now? Not so much. A friend of mine (who isn’t into metal) was roped into taking his niece to an HIM show in Seattle a couple months ago. He was dreading it, but said they actually played a great set. He had tried to get me to go with them to keep him company. I’ll do almost anything for a friend, but you gotta draw the line somewhere, right?

  15. I’m still compiling a list of Finnish bands for you to explore, but in the meantime, here are some picks for infectious songs.

    While I haven’t been able to get much new music on my own, I’m not oblivious to what’s out there, but I do rely on blogs, myspace (btw, this my_____ beta shit bugs the fuck out of me – get rid of the spammers, friend whores and excessive graphics first before tweaking your services) and promos to review for most new stuff I get to listen to. Since the bulk of my listening this year has leaned towards power and progressive metal, the NCS worthy entries are mostly based on what I’ve heard here. But that’s not all I’ve included.

    Yes, these picks may be more along the lines of my favorite songs this past year, but fuck it, I’m still going with it. There are many more great songs I could have thrown in, but they lack the oomph that I think these do, no matter how good they may be. Sometimes songs are stronger than albums, so albums that I’ve really enjoyed may not be represented – else, Orphaned Land, Barren Earth and The Man-Eating Tree would probably be included here as well, all of whom put out albums that are contenders for album of the year in my mind.

    But enough rambling. On to rambling of a different sort.

    Incarnia – “Yersinia Pestis”

    Sure, you didn’t quite an avalanche of entries for the contest, but any song good enough to inspire marathon listening sessions to decipher the lyrics has to be doing something right. And it lead us in the direction of Canopy on a tangent. Plus, the song still kicks ass – I haven’t gotten tired of listening to it yet, even after all I put my ears through to figure out what the lyrics were.

    Goat The Head – “This Tube Is The Gospel”

    How in the Cube’s name could you forget this? For shame! Even without the illicit love affair we have with the malevolent hexahedron, Goat The Head has all the qualities of a memorable band.

    Fleshgod Apocalypse – “Thru Our Scars”

    If Goat The Head and the Cube are the mascots of NCS and the loris the official animal, Fleshgod Apocalypse surely must supply the NCS Anthem. I didn’t care for it at first, but a few more times in Winamp and it’s received a lasting spot in my listening habits.

    Byfrost – “Desire”

    Still awesome to listen to. Is any further explanation really needed?

    Nekrogoblikon – “Goblins Are Better Than Trolls”

    Just a really catchy tune that’s hard to not like. People may be put off by the goblin shtick, but is it really any worse than some of the other stuff out there in metal these days?

    Canopy – “Menhir”

    I think the bouncy bass does it for me (and the fact that I can hear it), but picking only one song from Menhir wasn’t easy. Some bands put their best song forward first, some wait for it. Last year, they bookended Will And Perception with the best tracks, while Menhir is front heavy.

    And for a few songs that haven’t been featured here (clean singing, btw)…

    Borknagar – “My Domain”

    I like Vintersorg’s voice, but ICS Vortex has the edge. “My Domain” is easily one of the better songs from Universal and is considered by many to be the albums standout track, which is hard to deny. I really hope Bork keeps both singers around instead and doesn’t give Vintersorg the boot to make room for Vortex now that he’s away from Dimmu Borgir and Snowygate. They could make it work if they wanted to, with both men getting to (or still getting to, as the case is with Vintersorg) songs originally done by the other. And the two together? ’nuff said.

    The Shadow Theory – “Welcome”

    I’ve only been listening to this album (Behind The Black Veil) for a few days (it just came out), but this is easily the best track here and a strong contender as my favorite song of the year. I think it’s that good. But more than that, it’s bored into my mind and kept me coming back for more. After I heard this song the first time, I kept playing it over and over for a couple hours before letting myself move on to the rest of the album (or perhaps forcing myself to do so). Devon Graves’ voice is a big part of it, but he’s surrounded himself with exceptional musicians. I dunno if it’s enough to catch anyone else’s attention, but something about it has grabbed me by parts unmentionable and not let go easily.

    Orden Ogan – “Of Downfall And Decline”
    (Sorry, no link)

    The closing track from Easton Hope, the heaviest of the bunch. Power metal with a heavy edge not typically found in the genre. The vocals are top notch and the guitars made me have to check to make sure I was still listening to the same band when this song came on. Along with the dive bombing, the solo in the middle is probably capable of shredding one’s fingers if they’re not careful.

    Dreyelands – “Pretending”
    (Again, I’m not seeing it online to link to)

    Decent song, but the keyboard solo in the middle sent chills up and down my spine and it still does. The rest of Rooms Of Revelation is great, but there are moments that hit the 11 mark in between periods of 8’s and 9’s. This is the first of them.

    Honorable mention to Nothnegal’s “Now I’ve Waken” and Negura Bunget – “Tara de Dincolo de Negura”, songs which are still in heavy rotation on my computer and the iPod.

    If videos count, I think AAL’s “CAFO” and Heaven Shall Burn’s “Combat” deserve a nod.

    • Fuck… That was longer than I thought. Hope you have eye drops.

    • Holy shit dude! Thanks for doing this. We were planning to go back through everything we’ve written this year to add candidates from the albums we’ve really gushed about, and you’ve pretty much done it for us. And of course, we’ll check out the new material you featured as well (I haven’t heard any of those.)

      • As I said, I kind of went a bit more on the favorites side, so I don’t know if they meet your criteria for infectious songs, although “Yersinia Pestis” has another kind of infectious quality – it is the name of a disease, after all! With my listening, any lists I try to come up with are going to be (hopefully) balanced. Here, it’s 6 to four. A ‘best of’ list or swapping out songs to put in albums would probably have similar results.

        • I’m waiting on input from my two collaborators and I’m continuing to monitor the comments here, but the list already has 75 songs on it. I’ve started reducing the current list through listening, but man, this is going to be really tough (though the listening part is fun).

          • You sure you can whittle it down to only ten this year?

            • Actually, I really don’t — or at least I don’t really want to go through that much mental work/anguish. I’ve been thinking about just making a longer list, something like 15 or maybe 20! Hell, DECIBEL’s Best of 2010 list is 40 albums long.

  16. You want Finnish metal..hah, do you have a month. I’ll give you so many bands you won’t know what hit you.

    Try: Abhorrence, Flame, Phlegethon, Purtenance, Funebre, Rippikoulu, Slugathor, Disgrace, Mordicus, Depravity, Claws, Krypts, Stench of Decay, Mythos, Nerlich…is there a limit to how many I can list because I have more

    • Holy shit! I’m gonna drown in Finnish metal. But what a way to go. No limit — keep going!

      • Okay then…..Azaghal, Beherit, Satanic Warmaster, Hooded Menace, Impaled Nazarene, Carnifex (being the Finnish one, obviously this isnt the deathcore band), Cartilage, Karelian Warcry, Stabat Mater, Coprolith,…I’ll stop there as Im probably getting a little obnoxious with this list now. Some of these bands only released a few demo’s or maybe a EP before breaking up, so you may not be able to find any samples by them.

        • I like Metal-Archives too…

          • Hah..thats clever..except, you know…Ive heard/own albums by these bands. Instead of flapping your lips, why dont you check them out.

            • What an angry response.

              • Your post seems to be implying I went to metal archives and listed a bunch of random bands. Maybe thats just how you say hi around here, but most people dont take to being called a poseur on their very first post. If you meant nothing by it, then my mistake.

                • Ha, I was implying that. But only jokingly as it was an EXTENSIVE list of names you supplied.

                  I myself used Metal-Archives to double-check a couple of my suggestions just to make sure that they were Finnish in origin (or at least a high-percentage Finnish in membership).

                  I didn’t call you a poseur (or poser? I am not sure which would be the appropriate spelling here) at akll and it was entirely meant in jest.

                  • Then like I said, I took it out of context….my apologies. My reading of it was, “Anyone could have used metal archives to list a bunch of bands, you dont know what you’re talking about” (hence the poseur/poser assumption)

                    I have no problem with metal archives. I use it all the time to look up bands Im not familiar with. In fact I was using it for a few of the bands in this article.

                    It was a long list, but a lot of my favorite bands come from Finland. I tend to like their version of death metal even more then the Swedish stuff.

            • I’m grateful for your suggestions (I did encourage you to keep ’em coming) and am checking them out. Hope you’ll leave more comments in the future! I like the music I’m hearing so far.

  17. Damn. Just realised two songs were missing from my “Infectious Songs” list. Both very much apposite to one another.

    As I Lay Dying – The Only Constant Is Change
    Triptykon – Myopic Empire

    • I had that As I Lay Dying song on the master list (great minds, etc.). I will have to listen to the Triptykon. I know I will call down wrath upon my head for saying this, but I didn’t enjoy the release before this one and so I haven’t listened to the latest yet.

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