As promised yesterday, I’m now adding two more songs to my woefully delayed roll-out of our list of last year’s Most Infectious Extreme Metal Songs. Bad enough that five months went by before I resumed the roll-out after starting it late last year, but then I let three weeks go by since the last installment in the series. With two songs added yesterday and two more today, I hope to be a little more consistent in completing it.
For an explanation of what this list is about, go here. To see the songs named to the list so far, use this link. The titles of today’s two songs happen to refer to ashes, and they both happen to be affiliated with black metal.
I thoroughly enjoyed this Bergen, Norway, band’s second album, Solace. I wrote separately about two of the tracks when they premiered in advance of the album’s release last year, and they were both candidates for this list (“Fathom” and “Dysphoria”). But the one I picked is the album’s wonderful second track, “Ash Alight”.
It’s a high-energy, blood-pumping piece of melodic black metal with racing riffs that are as memorable as the song is electrifying to hear. And kudos to the band (again) for giving the bass such a prominent place in the mix of this guitar-driven song — a place that it certainly earns.
Autumn’s Dawn was a relatively new project when Eisenwald released the band’s debut album Gone last year, but its two members were not novices. Tim Yatras (who uses the name “Sorrow” in this project) had made a name for himself in such bands as Germ, Austere, Woods of Desolation, and Grey Waters, while Matthew Bell (“Anguish”) was a member of Rise of Avernus and Troldhaugen.
We had the pleasure of premiering a full stream of the entire album last year, and of interviewing Tim Yatras as a companion to that premiere. It became one of my favorite albums of 2014, one full of varied music that displays a range of musical interests and influences — from post-punk in the vein of The Cure and Joy Division to dark gothic metal a la latter-day Sentenced to alt-rock and slow, depressive black metal.
But one song in particular has stuck with me. I’ve gone back to it more than any other on the album, and although I won’t say that it’s overall the best song on the record, I do think it’s the most infectious. This list wouldn’t be complete without it, even though it’s an exception to our usual “rule”: “The Ashes Of A Life” (which is the album’s opening track, below).