Jan 082015


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 (BotanistMina LoyThe Night Falls) and Otrebor (BotanistOrdo 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.



  1. Botanist involvement? I will have to check out Lotus Thief! I didn’t know this existed. Thank you so much for sharing!

  2. Oh man, I had totally forgotten about that Lotus Thief album! I really need to listen to that. And yeah, Ótta is a monster of an album..definitely in my top 5 for 2014. I discovered Solstafir with Svartir Sandar about a year ago, and I have yet to listen to their back catalog. Unforgivable, I know. 😀

  3. the Lotus Thief track is great : )

  4. Just watched the full KEXP performance on good speakers, full screen, with the lights off. 15/10 would recommend.

    But yeah, the title track is definitely the most infectious – DAT BANJO LINE – though the whole album’s bloody gorgeous.

  5. I was standing right in front of the little stage at Barboza that night as well, neighbor. Man, that was an excellent show. My first time seeing Solstafir…simply amazing. Having no interest in Pallbearer whatsoever also afforded me an early escape. Love when that happens. Can’t wait for Enslaved in a short while!

    • I’m still SO MAD that that tour came through Chicago a week after I went back home for winter break. At least I’ll be around for Enslaved’s tour.

  6. dat Solstafir is pretty fvckin’ RAD!

  7. Lotus Thief sounds like Ghost & The Devil’s Blood

 Leave a Reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>



This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.