Dec 282012

(To see what this list is all about, read the introductory post via this link.)

I listened to a greater variety of metal this year than ever before, branching out more seriously into certain sub-genres that I had largely neglected in the past. It was fun, but I’m now paying a heavy price.

How heavy? Here’s how heavy: My list of candidates for this year’s selection of the Most Infectious Extreme Metal Songs, drawn from my own listening and recommendations from readers and NCS staff, consists of more than 230 songs from over 160 bands.

I’ve explained before that I don’t make my own annual list of the year’s best albums because I have so much trouble comparing large numbers of albums from different genres to each other. Also, I’m indecisive by nature. So how in the world am I going to whittle own a list of more than 230 songs into a smaller group of 20 or 30? Honestly, I have no fucking idea. However, as the Chinese philosopher Laozi wrote, “a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”.  So I’m stepping off now . . . and I hope I will find a way to finish the list before old age claims all of us.

Because I felt the need to get this thing going despite the fact that I haven’t finished the final list, I decided to start with a couple of easy decisions. We begin with two great songs by two bands who are favorites of this site and whose 2012 albums have become quite popular across much of metaldom.

Really, it was a foregone conclusion that this list would include something from Gojira’s L’Enfant Sauvage and Meshuggah’s Koloss. All of us here at NCS thoroughly enjoyed the albums. Both of them have appeared on multiple year-end lists we’ve posted here, and they both received multiple glowing reviews:

The hard part was figuring out which songs from each album should be added to the final list, because both albums are replete with songs that were strong candidates. The songs on both albums are not only very good, they’re also memorable, they get you moving, they invite repeat plays and they stand up to repeated listening.

In the end, I made these two choices as the first two entrants on our list of the year’s MOST INFECTIOUS EXTREME METAL SONGS:

[audio:|titles=Gojira – Liquid Fire]

[audio:|titles=Meshuggah – Break Those Bones Whose Sinews Gave It Motion]




  1. I agree with both of the album choices but not the songs from them. Liquid Fire is a great track but I’m hopelessly attached to The Gift of Guilt simply because of riff somewhere in the middle. As for Koloss, I think Do Not Look Down is by far the catchiest and most infectious song of that album. The rhythmic churn of that track is simply more grabbing than the ambiance of Break Those Bones. Good choices, though.

    Looking forward to the rest of the list for the stuff I inevitably missed!

    • Both of your preferences were also on the list of candidates from these two albums, and I went back and forth between the choices a lot. Your favorites could just as easily have been on here instead of the two I finally chose.

      • Do Not Look Down grew on me — I remember being really dispassionate about it the first time I heard it when it was released as a free download to generate interest in Koloss. It did the exact opposite at first and I dropped Koloss off my radar because of my lack of interest in the single.

        I kept coming back to it because it kept getting stuck in my head, and because Meshuggah was so widely respected I felt like I was missing something. Sure enough, it’s now one of my favorite songs to be released in 2012.

        The Gojira album is just full of massively catchy riffs. I don’t know how they managed to do it two consecutive albums in a row.

  2. Koloss does nothing for me. Gojira only slightly more so. Maybe 2013 will have less overhyped mediocre albums.

  3. I voted on Liquid Fire, yay! 🙂 Great to see there are people who agree with me on that song; because I saw a lot of nominations for other tracks on the same album. Though the whole album kills so I would’ve been cool with any track on the album.

  4. I’ve never really gotten into either band, but the Gojira song was far more enjoyable than I had expected it to be. Perhaps it’s time to give them another chance.

  5. ah yes.. Hmm i would have gone for ‘The Gift of Guilt’ , and ‘Liquid Fire’ is a close second. but as for Meshuggah, it’d been a touch and go between ‘Demiurge’ and ‘Marrow’.. Just my opinion though

  6. I shouted loudly for Gift of Guilt and Demiurge, but was dismissed as a crackpot.

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