Feb 082014

Welcome to Part 23 of our list of 2013’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 three songs I’m announcing today, click here.

Today’s three songs have something in common. Although the bands don’t all fit neatly together under precisely the same genre heading, to varying degrees the music falls in a place where doom, melodic death metal, and a melancholy aching intersect.


This Swedish/French collective put out their debut album Origin in 2013, and DGR reviewed it for us here. In an effort to capture its sense of devastating beauty, he wrote this:

“I know I am going to like a disc like this if it takes me to a certain place I have set aside in my head, one of empty spaces, snow falling from the sky, long-since devastated cities. Places that you just know were beautiful long ago, and the sense of fragility that these vacant places emanates makes them beautiful now….  Origin takes us to that snow-filled, cold, and desolate place where we sometimes long to be and lets us sit and watch the world move as it speaks to us.”

I owe DGR a debt of gratitude for turning me on to this band — and one of Origin’s songs belongs on this list. Its name is “Ambivalence”.





DGR also reviewed the next release that has provided a song for this list. It’s an EP by Finland’s Insomnium that included a new song — “Ephemeral” — and three instrumental bonus tracks. “Ephemeral” is my next addition to this list. It’s a departure in some ways from the style of Insomnium’s previous work — it’s more up-tempo, and it’s amazingly catchy. At times when I hear the song I even start thinking about Amon Amarth. Here are a few more words from DGR’s review:

“It’s a song that packs some serious punch, and they don’t get too philosophical this time around; each word means something, and the song is a good example of doing more with less. Each chorus is glorious in the way it builds, and the line “Dreaming doesn’t make time less real for us” is such a strong sentiment that when coupled with the line (built to be shouted live by a crowd) “One Life, One Chance, All Ephemeral”, you have an infectious as hell song.”

Yessir, I agree.





Kaunis Kuolematon are another Finnish band, composed of current or former members of Black Sun AeonSinamore, and End of Aeon. They have released a grand total of three songs so far in their brief career. Two of them appeared on a self-titled EP in November 2012 and the third was a single released last June. Both the EP and the single are available on Bandcamp for a pay-what-you-want price.

That 2013 single — “En Ole Mitään” (I Am Nothing) — is the best of the three tracks, and it’s really good. I wrote this after first hearing it:

“The musical style is the kind of melancholy, doom-influenced melodic death metal that should appeal to fans of bands such as Swallow the SunBefore the Dawn, and In Mourning. It slides back and forth between soft, sorrowful passages carried by the strong, clear tenor voice of Mikko Heikkilä (ex-Black Sun Aeon) and heavy sections in which concrete-slabbed riffs rain down and Olli Suvanto (End of Aeon) howls in anguish or roars like some void-faring behemoth. The guitar-driven melody, which feeds both the soft and the heavy measures and is enhanced ever so slightly by what sounds like an occasional synthesizer backdrop, is sublime — and highly memorable.”

So memorable — and so good — that I think it belongs on this list.



  1. I really hope Kaunis Kuolematon will be releasing a full length soon.
    (For those feeling guilt downloading pay-what-you-want’s for free, here’s a don’t-pay-what-you-want: http://kauniskuolematon.com/musiikki)

  2. Kaunis Kuolematon is fantastic, I’d never heard of them before. Enshine and Insomnium are fully deserving of their spots in this series. Getting up to part 23 really makes me realize how much good stuff came out last year.

    • I’m at the point of embarrassment over how long the list has gotten, but even cutting to the bone, I still have 5 more groups of songs left to go that I feel I must include.

  3. May I be the first to say, INSOMNIUM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So psyched for their new album.

    Kaunis Kuolematon was a nice discovery, or more likely a re-discovery (my brain is good at erasing bands from my memory, so I’ve downloaded some Bandcamp name-your-price albums multiple times).

  4. it’s crazy that Kaunis Kuolematon has only released three songs in the last two years, they’re really damn good

  5. All good stuff, but I think Kaunis Kuolematon has fucking good pancake written all over them. Hopefully they can release a full-length, but if they only come out with a song or two of the same quality, you’ll hear no complaints from me. Just another reason for me to one day head to the land of my ancestors (well, some of them).

    • Though I’m technically Irish by blood, I like to think that I have some Scandinavian in me somewhere, considering that the Vikings pillaged and procreated with us back in their raiding days. Also, because I’m just as frighteningly pale.

      • I’ve got that too. Finnish-Irish makes for one hell of a combination, but on the plus side, I have a legitimate claim to both St. Patrick’s Day and St. Urho’s Day. Okay, I don’t go out much (or truth be told, at all) and I don’t drink very often. But if I did…

        • My other half is Russian Jew. If my dad had followed his faith (and he nearly did) then I would have been a true Irish Jew.

          • Based on no scientific study at all, I have to believe that would be a very small Irish minority.

            • There’s actually a good deal of Jews (and their descendants) living in Ireland who came over as children during WWII in boats to Ireland, sent off to avert concentration camps by their parents. My great-aunt used to tell my mom stories about how the port in the town outside Dublin where my great-aunt lived, Dun Laoghaire, would many times have boats arrive with essentially orphaned children, and a bunch of families would gather at the port, each yelling out how many children their dirt-poor wages and accommodations could handle. Her family already had eight kids of their own, so they never took any, but plenty of Jewish boys and girls grew up, and, if their parents never returned, stayed in Ireland. They were often called the “Black Irish” for their dark hair and generally not-as-pale complexion.

              • A fascinating story I’d never heard before. I’ve read about the term “Black Irish” before, which seems to have pre-dated the diaspora you’re taking about, but I guess it applies to any Irish people with dark hair and dark eyes, regardless of when or how their ancestors reached the island.


                • I think the Black Irish term also has something to do with some escapees of the disastrous 1588 Spanish Armada invasion, some Spaniards who fled to Ireland. Not as sure about that one though. If ever I get the time, talent, experience, and resources, I’d love to write a book about the whole phenomenon.

  6. This list just keeps making me realize that I missed so much last year, even with the amount of music I did hear and buy. I have bought probably 5 or 6 albums just based off songs from this list so far and Enshine might be the next. Killer track!

    • I’m also digging Enshine; I’ve been playing them in the background as I dick around online and they’ve been added to “The List”. Maybe with my next paycheck – or what’s left of it.

      • This site could easily be held responsible for obliterating sizable amounts of my paychecks. Every time I read another one of the “most infectious” posts, I add another album or two to the “must buy” pile, unless I already own all the albums in that day’s post. Then, I am oddly disappointed that I have no new listening material, but also relieved that my bank account can exhale for a day.

        • You have no idea how long my “must buy” and “must listen” piles are, mostly because of content posted here.

          • Last time I checked mine, I have about 10 pages typed at 10pt to get through. Plus a couple hundred bookmarks at Amazon, Bandcamp and various labels’ sites. Not all courtesy of NCS, but a good chunk of it is. Maybe this year I’ll spend more on music than on video games. So many of those I’ve bought and hardly played, if at all.

        • Part of me wants to be happy that I’ve succeeded in turning people on to music that’s appealing to them. Part of me feels guilty for the added impoverishment. When faced with such conflicting emotions, the only solution is to begin drinking heavily.

  7. Oh shit I really dug all three of those releases last year 🙂

    I gotta say I think Menneisyyteen Kahlittu remains the best song thus far from Kaunis Kuolematon, but I’m with the people who want them to release a LP!

    And I’m totally fucking looking foward to Insomnium’s new album somewhere this year 🙂

    • I’ve been a huge Insomnium fan since first hearing Above the Weeping World. I’m very curious to see whether Ephemeral was a foreshadowing of further changes in their sound.

      • Same here. Above the Weeping World is what got me enticed 🙂 I will never forget how magical it was to listen to that album the first couple of times. I was slightly disappointed by Across the Dark but I really liked One For Sorrow though. I’m sure they’ll make one hell of a record!

      • I was actually pretty disappointed with Ephemeral. It’s a good enough song, but seems to be drifting back into the pack a bit (along with a bit of a KsE-feel, oddly enough). So I for one am hoping it’s not indicative of the future!

        I look forward to being proven wrong however!

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