Jan 092014

Welcome to Part 3 of my list of the year’s most infectious extreme metal songs. Each day (more or less) until the list is finished, I’m posting at least 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 I’m announcing today, click here.


When the members of the NCS staff got the chance for an advance listen to Soilwork’s 2013 album The Living Infinite, it was greeted by the sound of bodies falling off chairs and hitting the floor. Before hearing it, I think it’s fair to say that we were all highly skeptical. It was, after all, a double-album from a band whose recent track record had not inspired tremendous confidence in their ability to create two albums’ worth of high-quality music. Man, were we wrong.

As described in three different reviews (posted here and here), The Living Infinite is a tremendous and very welcome surprise. In DGR’s words, “On The Living Infinite Soilwork sound like a band full of life and with something to prove, combining all of their best elements as they’ve changed throughout the years into one great cohesive package.” The new guitar tag team of Sylvain Caudret and David Andersson are truly impressive, Dirk Verbeuren sounds as monstrous as ever behind the kit, and  Speed Strid’s vocals (both clean or harsh) are the best he’s ever done.

The album is loaded with candidates for this “most infectious song” list. There are so many melodic choruses that took root in my head, it was difficult to pick a winner. For a long time I thought the catchiest of them all was “This Momentary Bliss”, but after continued listening I’ve settled on a different choice. I’ll probably take heat for it, but “Tongue” is the song that I’m now adding to our list. Check it out:




This Swiss band’s 2013 EP Aura has made many year-end lists, and for good reason: Somehow, they managed to create music that really doesn’t sound like anyone else’s, and the songs are striking. The music is built around transfixing riffs that slither, groan, and growl, and the guitar and bass tone is both massive and somehow different from the norm.

“Entranced By the Wolfshook” is the best of the songs on the EP, and it’s insidiously infectious — a galvanizing piece of music that’s inventive, unexpected, and highly memorable. Listen below, in either YouTube or Bandcamp format.



  1. I would’ve chosen “Spectrum of Eternity” off of The Living Infinite personally, but you had a ton of good choices, including “Tongue”.

  2. I agree that “Tongue” is the most infectious song on “The Living Infinite” although there are a ton of great candidates on that album; nonetheless I think it comes down between “This Momentary Bliss” and “Tongue.”

    Bölzer song is unreasonably catchy. I don’t quite understand how it does that.

    • “Hpw are they doing this?” was a question I asked myself over and over again as I made my way through Bolzer’s EP. I still can’t articulate an explanation. 🙂

  3. Both songs are “Infectious”especially the one about “Bölzer”.

  4. The Living Infinite is just an odyssey of melodic death metal wonder. I’m still discovering more and more after almost a year! Glad you posted the Boelzer, really want that.

  5. “Tongue” is pretty great, but i think i would have picked “Rise Above The Sentiment”. awesome song

    • “Rise Above the Sentiment” is tremendously infectious, too, and one of my favorites on the album. I was a little more partial to “This Momentary Bliss” and “Tongue” because they seemed a little less like the Soilwork “formula” from previous recent albums.

    • “Rise Above The Sentiment” is also a strong contender. I almost said that over “Spectrum Of Eternity”.

  6. I believe almost any song from “The Living Infinite” could have been chosen. I like “Tongue,” but I would have gone with “Antidotes In Passing.” With so many tracks from which to choose, there are no wrong answers.

  7. I agree entirely about The Living Infinite being full of infectious tunes; “This Momentary Bliss” probably takes the cake for me (DAT RIFF). I’m late to the Bölzer party, only picking it up recently thanks to all these year-end mentions, but I dig it big time.

    • It’s great to see the positive response to Bolzer in these comments. They might seem like an odd pairing with a band like Soilwork for some people, but in a very different way, I think they’ve created something equally “catchy”.

  8. Vesta will remember this betrayal!

  9. I think “Vesta” and “The Windswept Mercy” were my personal favorites in that respect.

  10. I jumped off the Soilwork ride after A Predator’s Portrait, but that track is probably enough to make me jump back on again. Verbeuren is always great, and I can hardly believe that’s Strid singing the clean parts.

    I also think ‘Entranced by the Wolfshook’ is just about the song of the year.

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