Yes, that’s right, in case you missed yesterday’s announcement I’ve resumed the roll-out of our list of last year’s Most Infectious Extreme Metal Songs — a scant five months (ugh) after the last installment in the series. If perchance you don’t know what this list is about, you can find an explanation here.
To get this thing started again, I decided to jump into the turbid and turbulent end of a very black pool. Apologies in advance if I happen to kick you in the teeth on the way in.
I’m re-launching this series with songs by two Icelandic bands, the first of which is Sinmara, whose ranks include members from other personal favorites like Svartidauði, Wormlust, and Slidhr. The song is “Verminous” and it comes from the band’s 2014 album Aphotic Womb, released last year by Terratur Possessions.
When Andy Synn reviewed performances at this spring’s INFERNO festival in Oslo, he wrote this about Sinmara:
“Conjuring a whirling vortex of hellish riffs, many-angled blasts, and warped, deformed melodies – topped off with Ólafur Guðjónsson’s bestial, cavernous bellow – they positively smashed through their set like a rampaging berserker, upping the ante in sickening style.”
That’s also an apt description of Aphotic Womb, which stood out as one of my favorite 2014 releases. And among the collection of very strong tracks on that album, “Verminous” is perhaps the best — and certainly the most infectious. There are bursts of snare beats and drum progressions in this song that get my blood pumping and my head moving every time I hear them. And the alien riffs in the song exert an undeniable (albeit reptilian) magnetism.
This next song has something in common with the last one — in addition to the fact that both bands are from Iceland and have an overlapping membership. I’ll come back to that common feature momentarily.
The song is one of two that appeared on a Svartidauði offering named The Synthesis of Whore and Beast, which was jointly released last year by Daemon Worship Productions and Terratur Possessions. We premiered one of those two tracks, “Impotent Solar Phallus”, and that one was also on my list of candidates for this series. But it’s not the one I’m adding now. As much as I like the song we premiered, it’s the other track on this superb EP that I think is the most infectious — “Venus Illegitima”.
And once again, as in the Sinmara song, a lot of the track’s infectiousness can be explained by the phenomenal (and often unorthodox) drumming. But that’s not all the song has to offer — the riffs and lead guitar notes generate a poisonous, otherworldly miasma of sound that’s as memorable as it is unsettling. As a bonus, the vocals are utterly unhinged.
For the last entry in this re-launch of the series I turn to a song by New Zealand’s Sabbatic Goat. This may strike some of you as coming out of left field. I did write about the band last year (here), but the subject was a review of their split with Trepanation. The song I’m now adding to the list, however, appeared on their 2014 demo Imprecations of Black Chaos, which was released on tape by Vault of Dried Bones and which I discovered thanks to a tip from our friend SurgicalBrute.
The song in question is named “Flesh and Might”. It’s a squall of vicious blackened death metal, loaded with flensing riff terror and horrific vocal excretions. What makes it so damned infectious, however, are the band’s segmentation of their fury with segments that boom like thunder and — once again — fantastic, tumbling drum rhythms all the way through that seem to engage some kind of harmonic resonance with your pulse.
The entire demo can be streamed here: