Jan 292014

Here we present Part 14 our list of the year’s most infectious extreme metal songs. 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.

You may have noticed that some of the fun I have in compiling this list comes from decisions about how to group together the 2 or 3 songs presented in each installment. Today, for example, the unifying theme is the “formula” that each band uses in its music (and I put that word in quotes because the music is far from formulaic):  Riffs + Poison


I like to think I’m very egalitarian in my outlook about most things, including metal. But every now and then I find myself instinctively falling prey to the disease of “metal elitism” — something to which I’m usually immune. For example, when I saw Inquisition’s 2013 album appearing on one after another year-end list from the so-called “big-platform sites”, I grumbled to myself, “they’re just doing this in an effort to prove they’re cool”.

And then I remembered: The riffs on that album are about as close as you can get to an orgasm without someone rubbing on your nether parts. Anyone can appreciate that!

Despite the fact that I wrote no fewer than six features about this album, we somehow never published our own review. I hang my head in shame. Because it deserves all the many accolades it has received and all of its high placements on year-end lists from… well… almost everyone. It has riffs galore, the kind of riffs that most people would kill to write in such abundance. And it has much else besides.

You could pretty much throw a dart at the track list and come up with a legitimate pick for this list. I used a somewhat less random mental process and selected the title track, and here it is:





We did manage to review the 2013 album by Skeletonwitch, and so I’ll borrow the words of BadWolf:

“After four years of replacement drummers and studio experimentation, this record feels like the defining moment for the band, the most assured record in their catalog next to 2009′s Breathing the Fire…. [I]ts genre-hopping frenzy is equal parts aggression, melody, and energy—a simple recipe for a great party metal album.”

I would agree that this is a great party metal album… if you’re partying with razor-wielding serpents with bared fangs and a head full of speed. Because as undeniably infectious and galvanizing as the music is, and as top-shelf as the musical performances are, it’s also plenty poisonous — which is one reason why I like it so much.

It’s also one more album from which a song could be selected for this list by using darts. But my favorite neck-breaker is “Beneath Dead Leaves”. “That’s right!!!”



  1. Serpent’s Unleashed is another one of those albums where you really could have picked any of the songs. Every single track on there can get stuck in your head.

    • Agreed. The title track and “I Am Of Death (Hell Has Arrived)” have been particularly catchy for me at the moment, but that could easily change.


  3. the Skeletonwitch is fantastic, awesome song and album. my son’s 21st birthday is coming up on the 8th and i got him tickets to the AmonAmarth/Enslaved/Skeletonwitch show on the 9th 🙂 but keep it quiet, he thinks i’m just taking him out for a beer that night.

    • Wow — now THAT’S a birthday present. I’m still sick about the fact that this tour is skipping Seattle. I know my whining isn’t terribly sympathetic given how many shows come through here compared to where you are, but that is one hell of a line-up.

      • yeah, i spoil that kid rotten 🙂 i’m still amazed this tour is actually making a stop here! i just read that Ghost is actually coming to our little town as well, but unfortunately i just don’t have the money to spare for another show that soon.

        • In a rare turn, San Diego, a city also oft-forgotten in tour itineraries, is also getting both of these shows. SD Metal.com is getting me into the AA/Skeletonwitch show free (‘cept there’s no Enslaved down here, ‘cuz there had to be a silver lining to a show this awesome for San Diego), and the Ghost show for us is on the same day as the San Diego Metal Swap Meet, at which I got a Bolt Thrower shirt last time it was put on (two years ago) for TWELVE BUCKS, maybe even less. Didn’t even have to wait in a ridiculuous line.

  4. I love my hometown boys, Skeletonwitch, getting some more love. It brings a tear to my eye. Also, the fact that the “THAT”S RIIIGHT!!” is the most supremely bad ass part of the album (and it’s indisputable) says nothing about the quality of the album. The rest of it is incredibly awesome, too!

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