Nov 292012

We’re getting closer and closer to the onset of full-throttle year-end listmania at NCS. Really close. So close I can smell it, and I mean to tell you, it smells so much better than I do.

Which reminds me that if you haven’t donated to us, free of charge, your own personal list of favorite releases during 2012, then please GO HERE and do that in the comments, so that I and other readers can leech off your recommendations. Seriously, I don’t know about anyone else, but I read those lists, and I particularly keep an eye out for albums or EPs that seem to be getting repeat attention.

But this post isn’t about getting lists of the year’s best releases, or even about our upcoming series of posts on the subject. No, this post is about a different kind of list: The Most Infectious Extreme Metal Songs of 2012. And as usual, we’d like your help.

In case you’ve forgotten, or you’ve become an NCS reader since this time last year, here’s what this is about:

To repeat, this isn’t a list of the best metal albums of the year. It’s not even our list of the best individual extreme metal songs of the year. Though some of the songs might actually be among the best of the year, creating that kind of list isn’t the objective. That would tax my brain way too much, and frankly this is the time of year when devoting serious effort to anything makes me queasy.

Instead, 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, songs that have got catchy rhythms, memorable melodies, sweet grooves, or anything else that sticks the song in your head and makes you want to keep listening to it.

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 for listening.

Maybe it’s the kind of song that has become one of your favorites for some kind of activity — whether it be drinking or smoking a bowl, working out, humping, rolling down the road in some kind of wheeled vehicle with the volume turned up, doing your laundry, doing school work, doing actual paying work, pleasuring yourself while gazing at a photo of me, getting into the right kind of mood or out of the wrong one, or even just day-dreaming.

I’ve already got my own working list of candidates and I’ve collected suggestions from our regular writers, but no doubt we’ve overlooked some gems. So, here’s what we want: Please leave comments to this post with your suggestions — or e-mail them to:

I’ll then pick what I think are the most infectious tracks of the year and start playing those songs for you in groups of two as we get closer to year-end. The first year we did this, I limited the list to 10 songs. In 2010, I expanded it to 30. Last year it grew to 39. I really have a difficult time making decisions. I don’t know how many songs we’ll feature this year. We’ll see . . .

So, reflect on the music you’ve really been enjoying this year and please let us hear from you.



  1. High on Fire’s King of Days sticks in my head every time I hear it. Maybe it’s just me.

  2. I know of three real candidates (though they are not in the order of say, Keep of Kalessin’s Dragon Iconography (2010) or Ouroboros’s Edifice of Tyranny (2011)):

    De Lirium’s Order – Autistic Savant (“Vi veri veniversum vivus vici”, and other awesome lyrics)
    Haemic – Cold Within (I like the instrumental version best)
    Konkeror – Creator / Destroyer (“I am the bringer of… DEATH”)

    It seems like I have simply encountered less awesomeness this year. At least, I found NCS, which counts for something.

  3. Personally, not a huge year for metal when it comes to quantity.

    However, Finnish trash sung in finnish from Mokoma. Album’s abit meh, but a track that’s been stuck in my head, especially that Iron Maiden-like solo.

    Kuollut, Kuolleempi, Kuollein

    Bon appetit!

  4. While we’re on Finland, dude… Before the Dawn’s “Phoenix Rising.” I’ve had that song stuck in my head for literally WEEKS at a time. Stupidly catchy.

  5. Also Cattle’s “A Living, Breathing Piece of Defecating Meat.”

  6. You Make Wonderful Pictures by Exotic Animal Petting Zoo is catchy as fuck. The whole album is as well. Fantastic release.

  7. “Tyrannical Decay,” by Pathology
    “Souls for Belial,” “Damnation’s Gold,” “Hail Mary (Piss-Soaked Genuflexion),” and “World of Blades,” by Marduk
    “Sarcophagic Frenzy,” “Scourge of Iron,” “As Deep as the Knife Will Go,” and “Crucifier Avenged,” by Cannibal Corpse
    “Subjected to a Beating,” “In the Trenches,” and “Devout Atrocity,” by Dying Fetus
    “The Promethean,” by Dyscarnate
    “Sis,” “The Diplomat,” and “The Bug,” by Pig Destroyer
    “Enlightened Submission” by Hour of Penance

  8. If I’m being honest:

    Turbonegro – You Give Me Worms // or Dude Without a Face. Either is suitable, though definitely not extreme metal, haha.

    Winterfylleth – The Swart Raven. Dat Amesours-esque intro, every time.

    Torche – Walk It Off

    Les Discrets – La Traversee

    Der Weg einer Freiheit – Zeichen

    Burzum – Joln or Alfadanz, equally catchy

    Porta Nigra – Megalomaniac or Fin de Siecle

  9. The Contortionist – “Holomovement”
    Dyscarnate – “The Promethean”
    Converge – “Sadness Comes Home”
    Enslaved – “Thoughts like Hammers”
    Gojira – “Mouth of Kala”
    Gorod – “5000 at the Funeral” (Such a weird song, it’s the fucking best).
    High on Fire – “Spiritual Rites” or “King of Days”
    Lamb of God – “The Undertow”
    Meshuggah – “The Demon’s Name is Surveillance”
    Psycroptic – “Carriers of the Plague”

  10. Almost anything from the albums I’m listing here, but I’m naming the tracks that stand out the strongest for me:

    “Nachteule” from Hoagascht by Lunar Aurora (probably my favorite album of 2012).
    “Deathhammer” from the album of the same name by Asphyx.
    “Serpent Sermon” from the album of the same name by Marduk.
    “Mountain of Horror” from Pneuma by Hail Spirit Noir.
    “Dawn over the Ruins of Jerusalem” from Silencing Machine by Nachtmystium.
    “Thoughts Like Hammers” from Riitiir by Enslaved.

    And for a track from late 2011 that I didn’t hear until 2012 (it’s still import-only in the US), “Komeetta” from Kosmonument by Oranssi Pazuzu.

    • Oh hell, based on how much I like the picks I know, I definitely have to hear the tracks from Lunar Aurora and Oranssi Pazuzu. All the rest of your choices are on my list — along with two other Hail Spirit Noir tracks (I really love that fuckin’ album).

    • Oooh, I forgot about “Deathhammer.” Good choice. I would have put that on mine if I’d remembered it.

    • Yes! Lunar Aurora! I would go with Beagliachda or Håbergoaß from their new one.

      • I had a hard time choosing. I ended up picking “Nachteule” because the keyboard part totally gets stuck in my head. But I love the whole album. Sinfully.

  11. Gorod – Birds of Sulfur
    Woods of Ypres – Kiss My Ashes Goodbye and Career Suicide
    Down – Witchtripper
    Dyscarnate – The Promethean

    and (with an epic Clean Singing alert attached)

    Seven Kingdoms – After the Fall

  12. “Trespasses” by Converge
    It’s especially effective coming out of the preceding track, “Aimless Arrow”, but stands well alone. The opening riff with those pounding drums are the very definition of heavy, and then they up the insanity in the final 30 seconds with Kurt’s vicious hell-bark “BURN AT BOTH ENDS!” If this track doesn’t make you want to destroy something, nothing will.

    “Thorough. Modern” by Exotic Animal Petting Zoo
    Equal parts catchy and crushing, this is the kind of music that make me want to move. As with the Converge song, it’s a late game vocal performance that grabs me. The singer delivers the vocal once through semi-melodically, then again with his best hardcore vomit. “I had a much, much better plan that that!” So good.

    “Bloom” by Between the Buried and Me
    It’s like the band wrote an a standard album’s worth of their signature genre-defying tics, and then shoved them all into one song. An unexpected piano line introduces Tommy’s famous Mike Patton impression and then – what? Surf rock? I know some people can’t stand that crap, but I’m a bitch for it.

    “A Sheep in Wolf’s Clothing” by The Odious
    There’s practically 12 songs in this one 9-minute tune, so whatever you like, one of them is bound to stick. I’m partial to a mid-track speech-singing section: “Evil is real. It’s everywhere you don’t look. It’s everywhere you do. And if you don’t fucking believe it, you’ll find out soon enough.”

    • Man, the second mention so far for Exotic Animal Petting Zoo, and I’ve never heard a note of their music.

      • They’re really not extreme metal at all, so I’m not sure they’re the right fit for this list. But they put out a terrific album, and this song is textbook “infectious” as far as I’m concerned. Some Guy’s recommendations – “You Make Wonderful Pictures” – would have been my second choice from the album for this column, so that was spot-on too.

  13. Picking out individual songs is always harder than picking albums..but here goes

    Chapel – Hell Breaks Loose…if this dosnt make your list, I may just have to take a little trip out to Seattle so we can talk

    Hellbringer – Satanic Destructor….good album, but not good enough to make my year end list..this song kicks ass though

    Triddana – The Beginning..heavy/power/celtic music (I know right)…catchy as hell

  14. Just off the top of my head:

    Gorod – ‘Varangian Paradise’
    Anaal Nathrakh – ‘Forging Toward The Sunset’
    Bloodshot Dawn – ‘Godless’
    Tetrafusion – ‘Impetus’
    Sigh – ‘The Transfiguration Fear’
    Katatonia – ‘Dead Letters’
    Xenocide – ‘I, Warning’
    Between The Buried And Me – ‘Silent Flight Parliament’
    Ensiferum – ‘In My Sword I Trust’
    Huntress – ‘Eight Of Swords’
    Gojira – ‘Born In Winter’
    Ihsahn – ‘The Paranoid’
    Diablo Swing Orchestra – ‘Voodoo Mon Amour’

    I wager there are others I am missing, and this doesn’t even consider my favorite non-metal songs (El-P and Aesop Rock would both be quite high on that list).

  15. Earthship’s “Catharsis” off Iron Chest is catchy as fuck.

    Also, “Green Theme” from the new Baroness record – a lot of clean singing on that album, but no singing at all on that song and the dynamics of it are insane.

    • Was just bumping “Green Theme” earlier today. One of the best tunes off Yellow & Green, and probably my favorite off of Green specifically.

  16. Gojira – “L’Enfant Sauvage”
    Periphery – “Make Total Destroy”
    Meshuggah – “Don’t Look Down”
    Monuments – “Doxa”
    Converge – “Aimless Arrow”
    Elysian – “Sigma”
    Eluveitie – “Helvetios” (Rose for Epona is catchier, but not very extreme)
    Whitechapel – “Hate Creation”
    Woods of Ypres – “Lightning & Snow”
    God Forbid – “Don’t Tell Me What to Dream”
    Stealing Axion – “Everything or Nothing”
    Parkway Drive – “Dark Days”

  17. Avenger – “Vstříc dálkám”
    Besatt – “Fallen”
    King of Asgard – “Nordvegr”
    Marduk – “World of Blades”
    Naglfar – “An Extension of His Arm and Will”
    Svyatogor – “Inevitability”
    Verdunkeln – “Unsre Richter”

    • Damn, I’m beginning to wonder why I asked for suggestions. SO many good songs showing up on this page that I’d forgotten about (eg, Avenger, King of Asgard, Svyatogor, and Verdunkeln) and so many others I now want to hear (Besatt).

      • It has been a busy year (at work) and I am woefully behind in trying to hear all the new stuff out there, I’ll have to bookmark this article and try to catch up – just started to listen to the Hail Spirit Noir album, how did I miss this?!?!,

  18. Jess and the Ancient Ones – Come Crimson Death
    Antropofagus – Sanguinis Bestiae Solium
    Swallow The Sun – Cathedral Walls
    Royal Thunder – Shake and Shift
    Ne Obliiviscaris – Of Petrichor Weaves Black Noise
    Luca Triulli’s Rhapsody – Ascending To Infinity
    Enslaved – Roots of the Mountain
    Hour of Penance – Decimate the Ancestry of the Only God
    Desultor – Black Monday
    Devour the Unborn – Dissected Inhumation
    Gojira – The Axe
    Ex Deo – I, Caligvla
    Ereb Altor – Dance of Darkness
    Conan – Hawk As Weapon
    Asphyx – Of Days When Blades Turned Blunt

    Heavy rotation!

  19. If Meshuggah’s “Do Not Look Down” doesn’t top this list, y’all need to look up the meaning of “infectious”.

    I nominate ANY song from Koloss (esp. DNLD and “Marrow”) plus:
    “Subjected to a Beating” – Dying Fetus
    “We are Not Afraid of Ruins” – Liberteer
    “Hell and Back” – Metallica
    “Liber Lilith” – Weapon
    “Aimless Arrow” – Converge
    “Catch-22” – Wolfbrigade

  20. Woods of Ypres- “Travelling Alone”
    Baroness- “Take My Bones Away” “March to the Sea”
    Witchcraft- “It’s Not Because of You”
    Royal Thunder- “Parsonz Curse” “Whispering World”
    Huntress- “Eight of Swords”
    3 Inches of Blood- “Metal Woman”
    Christian Mistress- “Black to Gold”
    Red Fang- “Crows in Swine”
    Abigail Williams- “Ascension Sickness” “Beyond the Veil”
    Nachtmystium- “Silencing Machine” “Give Me the Grave”
    Down- “Open Coffins”

  21. Arkhamin Kirjasto- “Sleeping Beauty”
    Forefather- “Shadows of the Dead” **
    Forgotten Tomb- “Let’s Torture Each Other”
    Horn of the Rhino- “Pile of Severed Heads”
    Lunar Aurora- “Håbergoaß”
    Loch Vostok- “A Tale of Two Kings” **
    Sigh- “The Transfiguration Fear”

    **- Clean singing warning

  22. Deathspell Omega – The Crackled Book of Life
    Master’s Hammer – Flammarion Fatal Mix
    Enslaved – Death in the Eyes of Dawn
    A Forest of Stars – Prophet For a Pound of Flesh
    Bloodbound – Metalheads Unite (clean singing warning)
    Revenge – Retaliation (Fallout Prayer)

  23. King Parrot – Epileptic Butcher
    The Levitation Hex – The Longest Path Possible
    Be’lakor – Remnants
    High on Fire – Serums of Liao
    King of Asgard – Nine Worlds Burn
    Psycroptic – The Sleepers Have Awoken
    Meshuggah – Do Not Look Down
    Woods of Ypres – Keeper of the Ledger
    Orange Goblin – Red Tide Rising

    • Just remember 6 more:
      Kreator – Phantom Antichrist
      Ne Obliviscaris – And Plague Flowers the Kaleidoscope
      Nekromantheon – The Usurper Command
      Eluveitie – Helvetios
      Korpiklaani – Kunnia
      Knightmare – Cazador De Hombres

  24. After viewing the nominations thus far, One has decided to present a few which haven’t been so far:
    Cthulhu by Beastwars [Empire and Tower of Skulls were One’s two other candidates. Also, Clean Singing warning, and stuff]
    Go Fuck a Duck by Artists are Idiots [Not sure if metal. But, what the heck…]
    Latent Thistle by Aquilus
    Gods of Eden by Gods of Eden
    Trapeze by Above the Earth [More clean singing.]
    Lazy Boy or Fences of Reality by Special Providence [The second one is really just the same song with vocals. So, if really want no clean singing at all, pick the first one]

    Other nominations by Oneself, which have appeared in previous comments, would be songs by Gorod, Gojira, Meshuggah, Exotic Animal Petting Zoo, Baroness, Ne Obliviscaris, Diablo Swing Orchestra, Bloodshot Dawn, The Odious, Pig Destroyer, Before the Dawn and Haemic.

  25. There were a lot of infectious songs this year, but these were most infectious to me (in no particular order):

    Ne Obliviscaris – “Forget Not”
    Inborn Suffering – “Born Guilty”
    Zatokrev – “Goddamn Lights”
    Gojira – “Liquid Fire”
    Swallow the Sun – “Night Will Forgive Us”
    Okera – “The Black Rain”
    Cradle of Filth – “Huge Onyx Wings Behind Despair”
    In Mourning – “From A Tidal Sleep”
    Lamb of God – “King Me”
    Before the Dawn – “Phoenix Rising”
    Moonspell – “Versus”
    Deftones – “Leathers”

  26. high on fire – king of days

    best song of 2012

  27. also, lamb of god – ghost walking

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