Welcome to Part 28 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.
We’re down to the last two days of this series, with three more today and 300 more tomorrow. Just kidding — but I’ll tell you, it’s awfully hard for me to let go of this series. There are so many great songs I’m going to have to omit if it’s ever going to end. As for today’s three, I’m not sure there’s any theme that would justify this grouping. I have simply found all three to be powerful, and powerfully infectious, and I need to have them on this list before it ends.
It took seven long years for this fabled Austrian band to release a new album, but it finally came in 2013: Old Morning’s Dawn. Though I am most definitely a Tolkein nerd, I’m not a Summoning nerd, having only a passing acquaintance with only shards of the band’s previous discography. Therefore, I am incapable of intelligently debating (as many others have) whether Old Morning’s Dawn stands up to so many years of building expectations. I’m also incapable of debating whether those Summoning worshippers in Utah’s Caladan Brood out-performed their masters on 2013’s Echoes of Battle, because I’ve only heard one song from that album (and I’m mentioning that comparison only because I know some of you are going to bring it up).
What I do know is that the title track to Old Morning’s Dawn has hooked me hard — from the glorious opening seconds straight through to the end. They work that epic, pagan/folk melodic theme relentlessly, and it’s so gripping that by the end it has become firmly stuck. Along the way the bombastic riffs, the floating flute notes, the scarring harsh vocals and the dramatic choral ones, and the pealing keyboards help inject the virus straight into the blood.
This Serbian duo, both of whom are also members of an excellent long-running band named The Stone, put out a hell of an EP in 2013 — Null: The Acheron of Multiform Negation (though at 35 minutes long, calling it an EP may short-change what it offers). It’s a gripping, original, and multi-faceted album. My favorite song on the EP is “Time, Neglected In the Wound of A Martyr”, and it’s a good example of the diversity I’m talking about — in addition to being highly infectious.
It’s almost like two songs in one. The opening and closing segments are devoted to an urgent, racing, jabbing — and highly compulsive — riff flurry, accompanied by excellent drumwork and raw, passionate, roaring vocals. But in the middle you find a somber, sedate melodic interlude that has an almost pagan/folk quality, accompanied by choral voices. Yet, unquestionably, those two diverse parts of the song combine naturally and very effectively.
Of all the bands on this list, I’m pretty sure that Thrall was the last one whose album I discovered before 2013 came to an end. Born in Tasmania but now residing in Melbourne, they released their third album last October through Moribund Records. Its title is, Aokigahara Jukai, which refers to a forest at the base of Mount Fuji that is reportedly the most popular place in Japan for suicides. The music crosses genres, with black metal the most dominant, but with doom, sludge, and even post-metal in the mix as well.
The song from the album that I’ve chosen for this list is “Longing For Death”. It’s a dark, intense, often discordant piece of music. It rages and storms in a fury of cutting guitars and pummeling drumbeats, with a vocalist who sounds like he’s being skinned alive. But the song includes some powerful locomotive riffs that will not be denied.