Today we bring you Part 5 of our list of 2014′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. For the other songs we’ve previously named to the list, go here.
Up to now, every song on the list has come from an album that we reviewed at this site. Today’s entries come from two albums we failed to review, though they are both excellent. However, we did write about individual songs from both albums, so we’re not complete failures. And I thought both songs would make for a nice pairing because of certain stylistic similarities in the music — but you be the judge of that.
Wolvhammer is one of those few bands who made a striking start with their debut album (The Obsidian Plains) and then just continued to make strong and steady progress with each successive release. Their third album, 2014’s Clawing Into Black Sun, is not only their high-water mark, it was also one of my favorite albums of this year.
It’s often bleak, blasted, and hopeless in its atmosphere, but it’s thoroughly gripping music from start to finish. The band proved themselves equally adept at commanding attention regardless of whether they were churning out pulverizing, sludge-heavy dirges or kicking out the jams in a juggernaut roll. And if that weren’t enough to keep you rooted in place, the album is also laced with guitar melodies that manage to shine with morose beauty in the midst of all the surrounding darkness.
Some of my favorite tracks of 2014 are to be found on this album. The one I’ve picked for this list may not be the best song on the album (that honor probably goes to the long, wrenching anthem “A Light That Doesn’t Yield”), but I think it’s the most infectious. Listen below to the title track, “Clawing Into Black Sun”.
I discovered Mantar’s debut album Death By Burning as a result of the cover art by Aron Wiesenfeld, which I still find strange and fascinating. It proved to be a fortunate discovery, because the album is a compelling one.
Mantar are a two-piece band, half German and half Turkish (Hanno Klänhardt and Erinc Sakarya), who limit themselves to guitar, drums, and voice on Death By Burning. Even without a bass in the mix, the music is plenty heavy. And it’s plenty interesting, too — an amalgamation of sludge, black metal, punk, and more fat riffs than you can shake a stick at. The album takes lots of twists and turns from track to track, and even within individuals songs the music doesn’t always take predictable paths either. It’s a real kick in the head to hear, and it’s also dark as night and serious as a sucking chest wound.
“Spit” is the album’s opener, and it has stuck with me throughout the year so strongly that I had to give it a place on this list. It’s a black, hammering rocker with a boatload of thick, distorted riffs and a striking drum attack that seems bent on fracturing skulls. Klänhardt’s voice also has the kind of raw, scarring tone that leaves faces in shreds — a warning that while you’re rocking out, you may be just seconds away from a knife fight.