This is Part 19 — the final Part — of our list of the most infectious extreme metal songs released in 2011. Each day since we started this list, I’ve been posting two songs that made the cut. For more details about what this list is all about and how it was compiled, read the Introduction via this link. To see the selections that preceded this one, click the Category link on the right side of the page called MOST INFECTIOUS SONGS-2011.
All good things must come to an end, and today I’m ending this list with the final three songs. Yes, there are three songs today instead of the two per-day that appeared in every previous installment of this series. And that means the list is ending with 39 songs — an odd number for a list (in both senses of the word) — but wtf, I myself am odd.
In the next day or two, we’ll pull together every song we’ve named to this 2011 list in a single post where all of them can be streamed, and with links for each one back to the original features where we added them to the list. Tomorrow, we’ll also have an “Honorable Mention” list, though it’s not really a list of extreme metal songs that narrowly missed being included here. I’ll explain tomorrow. Now, let’s wrap this thing up.
Schwarzpfad is probably my favorite 2011 black metal album of all the ones I heard last year. You could probably figure that out based on how often we wrote about Kroda last year. Our latest mention was in a post that included video of the band playing a live set on December 18 at the OSKOREI festival in Kiev, Ukraine. Before that, Schwarzpfad showed up on Andy Synn’s list of the year’s Critical Top 10 albums, as well as his list of 2011’s Great Albums.
I reviewed Schwarzpfad last July, praising it as “an immaculate marriage of beautiful, folk-influenced melodies, black ‘n’ roll strut, and bestial voraciousness” and “a brilliantly conceived, complex work that yields something new with every listen.” As I wrote then, the music is “both serious-minded and bloody-minded.” “It kicks out the jams with a vengeance just as often as it carries you away on horseback through dark northern forests.” I’m still particularly amazed at the album because it was the creation of a single multi-talented individual (Eisenslav).
The first track on Schwarzpfad remains my favorite. Its memorable melodies and powerful rhythms are the ones that jump to mind whenever I think about the album. It belongs on this list:
“Schwarzpfad I: First Snow”[audio:https://www.nocleansinging.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/1.Schwarzpfad-I-First-Snow.mp3|titles=Kroda – Schwarzpfad I (First Snow)]
WORLD UNDER BLOOD
I bet you didn’t see this one coming. I didn’t really see it coming either. Tactical made groverXIII’s “honorable mention” list in his guest post on the best album’s of 2011, but otherwise we didn’t mention it here at NCS last year. I decided to listen to the song I’m adding to this MOST INFECTIOUS list only after seeing it recommended by byrd36 (loyal NCS reader and Death Metal Baboon scribe) when we asked readers for their “most infectious” suggestions.
I didn’t know what to expect, given that World Under Blood is the melodic death metal side project of the frontman for CKY, Deron Miller. Not that I’m slamming CKY, but their style of music just isn’t within the realm of what I spend most of my time jamming. But man, did I get a pleasant surprise.
Miller, with excellent help from drummer Tim Yeung (Divine Heresy, Morbid Angel), guitrist Luke Jaeger (Sleep Terror), and bassist Risha Eryavec (ex-Decrepit Birth), has put together a more-than-credible rendition of melodic death metal without coming off as anyone’s copycat. The album isn’t of equal strength from start to finish, but when it’s strong, it’s really strong. Here’s the song that byrd36 recommended. I’ve gotten so hooked on it that I think it deserves a place on this list before we’re done:[audio:https://www.nocleansinging.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/04-Dead-And-Still-In-Pain.mp3|titles=World Under Blood – Dead And Still In Pain]
Well, here we are, last song on the list. I’m going to end this 39-song line-up in the way I began it, with some fucking death metal. But not just any death metal, no sir. This is fucking Immolation death metal.
More than 20 years on, and this standard-bearer of NYDM isn’t getting tired, stale, or morphing into a cliche of themselves, as unfortunately has happened with other bands of similar longevity. They just seem to move from strength to strength.
They didn’t release an album in 2011, but the free EP they created for Scion A/V (Providence) was monstrously good. When I heard that Immolation was doing this, I knew they wouldn’t phone it in, because that is definitely not this band’s style. On the other hand, I honestly didn’t expect the music to be this good, for a five-song, in-between-albums offering. I enjoyed the description that Van666 (Architecture of Aggression) provided when he named the EP to his list of 2011’s best metal: “Hypnotic, brutal, heavy, slithering Death metal.”
The Baby Killer provided a detailed guest review of the EP for us, and he named “Illumination” as the highlight of the EP. In finishing this list, I wrestled back and forth between that song and the opening track, “What They Bring”. Both songs are ominous, crushing, physically powerful numbers with compulsive riffs. Tough choice for me, but I ultimately agreed with The Baby Killer.
And so here’s the final addition to our list of 2011’s MOST INFECTIOUS EXTREME METAL SONGS. Thanks for staying with us as this list has unfolded — and please don’t beat me up too bad for failing to include all the 2011 songs you thought were most infectious. I bruise easily.
“Illumination”[audio:https://www.nocleansinging.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/02-Illumination.mp3|titles=Immolation – Illumination]