This is Part 3 of our list of the year’s most infectious extreme metal songs. Each day until the list is finished, I’m posting two songs that made the cut. For more details about what this list is all about and how it was compiled, read the introductory post via this link. To see the selections that preceded the two we’re announcing today, click here.
2012 was a great year for melancholy, doom-influenced melodic death metal, and both Finland’s Before the Dawn and Sweden’s In Mourning can claim two of the best releases in that genre. Both of their albums supplied multiple candidates for this list, and it seemed like a natural fit to pair the two that I ultimately selected.
BEFORE THE DAWN
The dulcet clean vocals of Lars Eikind may be gone, but Tuomas Saukkonen is still at the helm of Before the Dawn, and on Rise of the Phoenix he masterfully charted a new post-Eikind course that proved to be tremendously satisfying. As Andy Synn wrote in our review of the album, “at its best this album marries melodic power and precision in a way few others can match.”
My initial temptation was to put the song “Phoenix Rising” on this list, but ultimately I couldn’t resist the siren’s call of “Throne of Ice”.
I like Andy’s description of the track in his review: “’Throne of Ice’ begins with an extended acoustic intro, a gorgeous piece of music in and of itself, matched by an elegant lead part of simple purity. This serves perfectly as the calm before the storm, the song erupting in a blizzard of speed and grandiose, frost-ridden melody. Equal parts groaning, glacial groove and hailstorm velocity, the song takes its time building steadily toward a monolithic chorus refrain which crowns the track with imperial majesty.”
In a nutshell, that majestic, epic aura surrounding “Throne of Ice” is what eventually pushed it ahead of “Phoenix Rising” for me. And of course, it’s also really infectious.
“THRONE OF ICE”[audio:https://www.nocleansinging.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/05-Throne-Of-Ice.mp3|titles=Before the Dawn – Throne of Ice]
The Weight of Oceans by In Mourning boasts what has remained one of my favorite album covers of 2012, thanks to the legendary talents of Kristian Whålin (Necrolord). The album also boasts a collection of fine songs that are beautifully performed, emotionally resonant, and extremely memorable. For a more detailed assessment, check out TheMadIsraeli’s review here.
I didn’t have much trouble picking a song from this album for the MOST INFECTIOUS list. As much as I enjoyed all the tracks, the first one I heard remains the one that got stuck most firmly in my head. For me, it has been one of the most-played songs of 2012.
“Colossus” sets the hook early with a combo of thumping bass and a simple-but-viral guitar lead, and then the power builds with booming chugs and deliciously cavernous growls. The song includes an irresistible vocal chorus and a pair of magnetic guitar solos, including the ethereal one that carries the song to its conclusion over the rolling rumble of double kicks.
“COLOSSUS”[audio:https://www.nocleansinging.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/01-Colossus.mp3|titles=In Mourning – Colossus]