Today we bring you Part 14 in the continuing rollout 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.
Some of you might question the appearance of today’s two songs on a list whose title includes the words “extreme” and “metal”, appearing on a site whose name abjures clean singing. I have a simple answer for you: It’s my list, and there’s no fuckin’ way I’m leaving these songs off of it.
Last month Iceland’s Sólstafir paid a visit to Seattle and performed a show at a cozy venue called Barboza, and I watched it from the second rank of people in front of the stage. I’d seen the band’s amazing set at MDF last year, but it was this show that made me realize something I hadn’t yet admitted to myself — that they are, right now, my favorite band on the planet.
Their latest album, Ótta, has elevated their profile to the point where I suspect, at last, they have become a name around the world. That’s a very good thing, and a not-so-good thing from a selfish perspective, because it probably means I’ll never get to see them in a small club again. But I’ll go see them wherever they play next, and I’ll be impatient waiting for that next opportunity.
Every song on Ótta means something to me. But by my lights the most memorable, the most infectious, of them all is the title track. On the afternoon before the night when the band played that show at Barboza they played another live set in the studios of Seattle’s KEXP. Yesterday KEXP put the individual songs, and a single stream of the whole set, up on YouTube. Go here to see all of those videos. I’m using one of them below, for this new addition to MY list.
San Francisco’s Lotus Thief consists of two members, Bezaelith (Botanist, Mina Loy, The Night Falls) and Otrebor (Botanist, Ordo Obsidium). Their debut album Rervm isn’t quite like anything I’ve heard before, and I’ve come to be entranced by every song on it.
This is yet another album that furnished multiple candidates for this list — including “Aeternvm” and “Lvx”. But there’s one other that I think is the most infectious on the album (but only by a hair), and it’s the song we premiered here last November: “Miseras”.
“Miseras” crushes with a heavy bass beat and distorted chords coming down in a torrential pour, with cosmic ambient sounds swirling around the storming beat — and with beautiful vocal harmonies rising up, as ethereal and soaring as the instrumentation is concrete heavy. The riff that appears about 3 minutes into the song is especially catchy, but the whole song is memorable.
The music drives with power, but it’s driving the space lanes rather than any earthbound highway — a course that become unmistakably clear with three minutes left, when the pistons stop and the song glides like a satellite in orbit, a cosmic dream unfolding.