Nov 192015



It’s that time of year again, when we start preparing for the frenzy of year-end Listmania. For those of you new to the frenzy, our Listmania extravaganza comes in four parts. First, we re-print assorted lists of the year’s best albums, leeched from other big web sites and magazines. Second, we will collect our readers’ lists of the 2015 albums and shorter releases they enjoyed the most. Third, we post the year-end lists of our own staff and assorted guest writers. And fourth, I’ll roll out my list of the year’s Most Infectious Extreme Metal Songs.

And that last list is the subject of this request for help (we’ll be inviting you to give us your lists of the year’s best albums as we get closer to the actual end of the year — so start thinking about that).

In case you’ve become an NCS reader since this time last year, here’s what this Most Infectious Song list is about:

This is about individual songs, not albums, EPs, demos, etc. It’s also not our list of the best individual extreme metal songs of the year — though some of the songs might actually be among the best of the year. Instead, this is a list of the most infectious extreme metal songs we’ve heard this year. The idea is to think of songs that might produce involuntary physical movement, songs that have got catchy rhythms, memorable melodies, sweet grooves, or anything else that sticks the song in your head and makes you want to keep listening to it.

To be one of the most infectious songs of the year, it should be something that’s stuck in your head, something you put on playlists, something you mentally replay at unexpected times — songs you go back to repeatedly for listening. “Most played” might be a good synonym.

I’ve already got my own working list of candidates — there are a ton of songs on there at the moment — and I’m going to collect suggestions from all of our regular writers. But no doubt we will overlook some gems, so here’s what I’m asking: Please leave comments to this post with your suggestions — or e-mail them to:

I’ll then pick what I think are the most infectious tracks of the year and start playing those songs for you in groups of two or three as we get closer to year-end. The first year we did this (2009), I limited the list to 10 songs. In 2010, I expanded it to 30. In 2011 it grew to 39. In 2012 it topped out at 56. In 2013 I worked really hard and got the list all the way down to.. gulp… 73. And last year, well, last year life got in the way and I never finished the complete rollout, though I announced 62 songs before I gave up.

As you can tell, I have a really fuckin’ hard time making lists. And of course I have no idea how many songs we’ll feature this year.

So, reflect on the music you’ve really been enjoying this year and please let us hear from you. By leaving your favorite songs in the comments, this post will also become a way for other metal fans to find good music from the year that’s rushing to an end.


  1. For me it’s easily Sodomy and Blasphemy from Rabbid Armagedon by Under the Church. The whole fucking album is the bees knees in my opinion but I find myself singing this track specifically all day.

  2. Tribulation – Strange Gateways Beckon (possibly my favorite song of the year)

    Firespawn – The Emporer

    Ram – Enslaver

    Draconian – Heavy Lies The Crown

    Horrendous – Sum of All Failures

    Avatarium – Iron Mule
    (Sorry couldn’t find a YouTube link – songs awesome though!)

    Lost Soul – Aqueous Ammonia (or anything from that album really)

    Sulphur Aeon – Into The Courts of Azathoth

    Sulphur Aeon – Seventy Steps

    With The Dead – Living With The Dead

    Clutch – X-Ray Visions

    Division Speed – Blazing Heat

    Black Breath – Slaves Beyond Death

    In Twilight’s Embrace – Gravitate Towards The Unknown

    Speedtrap – Savage The Prey
    (Sorry couldn’t find a link on YouTube)

    Ramming Speed – Don’t Let This Stay Here

    Adversarial – Dissenting The Waking Shell

    There is so much more, but that’s all I can think of at the moment! Cheers!

    • That Tribulation has so many gems. “Strange Gateways Beckon”, “Melancholia”, “In The Dreams of the Dead”, or “The Motherhood of God” could/should all make the list. Same goes for like at least half of Anareta. And I need to get to that new Clutch, especially since Earth Rocker was so damn solid.

    • Just wanted to belatedly thank you for your list (and for including links) — sorry that the comments were inadvertently turned off when you first tried to leave it here.

  3. When it comes to infectious, it’s gotta be Gorod. Either ‘Celestial Nature’ or ‘The Mystic Triad of Artistry’ for mine.

  4. Panopticon – Pale Ghosts (or almost any other song from Autumn Eternal).

  5. Havukruunu – Unien Havulinnaan

    Blind Guardian – Prophecies

    Forefather – Curse of the Cwelled

    Tsjuder – Demonic Supremacy

  6. Crypt Sermon – “Temple Doors”

    Encyrcle – “Dizzy Me Deadly”

  7. Alkaloid-Cthulhu

  8. I know it’s “no clean singing” but seriously, my most infectious song of the year is Ghost Ship Octavius-Mills of the Gods. It’s a near perfect modern metal song imho

  9. Khemmis – The Bereaved

  10. Thank you for the request, this is my list about the “Most Infectious Songs” of the year:

    1) Sarpanitum – “I Defy for I Am Free”
    2) Sulphur Aeon – “Into the Courts of Azathoth”
    3) Hate Eternal – “The Stygian Deep”
    4) Theories – “Cycle of Decay”
    5) Abhorrent Decimation – “Odious”
    6) Cattle Decapitation – “Manufactured Extinct”
    7) Rivers Of Nihil – “Terrestria II: Thrive”
    8) Abyssal – “Telomeric Erosion”
    9) Aevangelist – “Levitating Stones”
    10) Vorum – “Current Mouth”
    11) Rannoch – “Porphyria”
    12) Human Improvement Process – “Project Monarch”
    13) Cruciamentum – “Tongues of Nightshade”
    14) Slaegt – “Move in Chaos”
    15) Kaeck – “Afgod”
    16) Devouring Star – “Decayed Son of Earth”
    17) Adversarial – “Lone Wresting Hymns to the Warmoon of Chaos”
    18) Leviathan – “Within Thrall”
    19) Reverie – “Circles”
    20) Panopticon – “Oaks Ablaze”
    21) Amiensus – “One in Spirit”
    22) Vampire – “Pyre of the Harvest Queen”
    23) Tribulation – “Holy Libations”
    24) Horrendous – “Acolytes”
    25) Gruesome – “Hideous”
    26) Undead – “Voices Within”
    27) Sadistic Ritual – “Executioner”
    28) The Monolith Deathcult – “Hangmen Also Die”
    29) Mgla – “Exercises in Futility II”
    30) Misþyrming – “Songur uppljomunar”
    31) Serpents Lair – “The Serpentine Gnosis”
    32) Shrine of Insanabilis – “Invocation”
    33) Devathorn – “Cathedral of Set”
    34) Acherontas – “Therionic Transformation”
    35) Shape of Despair – “Descending Inner Night”
    36) Paradise Lost – “Beneath Broken Earth”
    37) Alkaloid – “Cthulhu”
    38) Sanzu – “Ubiety”
    39) Black Breath – “Reaping Flesh”
    40) Marduk – “Between the Wolf-Packs”
    41) Bloodstrike – “Bells of Death”
    42) Destruktor – “Forever the Blood Shall Flow”
    43) Possession – “Ceremony”
    44) Sacrificium Carmen – “Nemesis”
    45) Kampfar – “Tornekratt”
    46) Enslaved – “One Thousand Years of Rain”
    47) Drudkh – “To the Epoch of Unbowed Poets”
    48) Kroda – “Black Carpathian Spines”
    49) Khors – “Following the Ways of Blood”
    50) Outre – “Chant 4 – Lament”
    51) Serpent Noir – “Al Runa”
    52) Akhlys – “Consummation”
    53) Blaze of Perdition – “Cold Morning Fears”
    54) Creeping – “Drear”
    55) Crypt Sermon – “Heavy Riders”
    56) Windhand – “Two Urns”
    57) Hooded Menace – “Ashen With Solemn Decay”
    58) Gorrch – “Cinico Dominio”
    59) Isvind – “Boken”
    60) Abjvration – “The Clawed Redeemer”
    61) Aegrus – “Woves of Luciferian Light”
    62) Tsjuder – “Djevelens Mesterverk”
    63) Awe – “Actus Primus”
    64) Altarage – “Vortex Pyramid”
    65) Tyranny – “A Voice Given Unto Ruin”
    66) In Dread Response – “Weight”
    67) Thornesbreed – “Horns Ov Gaia”
    68) Azavatar – “Kaos”
    69) Inculter – “Death Domain”
    70) Deathhammer – “Powertrip”
    71) Byzantine – “The Agonies”
    72) Cold Cell – “Needle’s Asylum”
    73) Ghost Bath – “Golden Number”
    74) Pyrrhon – Cancer Mantra”
    75) Imperial Triumphant – “Opposing Holiness”

    • Damn, solid list man. You definitely put a lot of effort into it. Lots of great songs.

    • Good lord.

      • It was kinda funny your comment, you’re right, this list is long, I can’t wait to see your final lists about the albums and songs along with Islander and all the others writers here! 🙂

    • I know that my list is pretty long but I have three songs still:

      76) Katavasia – “Visions of the Misty Night”
      77) Just Before Dawn – “Graves Without Crosses”
      78) Cut Up – “A Butchery Improved”

  11. What I can remember now (it figures that the most infectious ones are the ones you remember), in no particular order:
    – Panopticon: Oaks Ablaze
    – Paradise Lost: No Hope In Sight
    – Hanging Garden: Whiteout
    – Draconian: Pale Tortured Blue
    – Swallow the Sun: Abandoned By the Light
    – Deafheaven: Come Back
    – Chelsea Wolfe: Simple Death
    – Barren Earth: The Vault
    – Amorphis: The Four Wise Ones
    – Keep of Kalessin: The Grand Design
    – My Dying Bride: And My Father Left Forever
    – So Hideous: The True Pierce
    – Vattnet Viskar: Impact
    – Zatokrev: Swallow the Teeth
    – Wolfheart: Resistance

  12. Mgla – “Exercises in Futility I”
    Mgla – “Exercises in Futility IV”
    Barren Earth – “A shapeless Derelict”
    Peste Noire – “Le dernier putsch”
    Shining – “Last Day”
    Diabolicum – “One Man’s War”
    Tempel: “Carvings in the Door”
    Leprous – “rewind”
    Murg – “Nejderna Brinner”
    Demonical – “To Become the Weapon”

    NOT extreme metal :
    The Night FLight Orchestra – “sail on”
    Queensrÿche – “Hellfire”
    Chelsea Wolfe – “Carrion Flowers”
    Symphony X – “kiss of Fire”

  13. I’ll give this a shot here

    Cattle Decapitation – Not Suitable For Life
    Firespawn – Lucifer Has Spoken
    Sulphur Aeon – Abysshex
    Trident – Aftermath
    Theories – Cycle Of Decay
    Sarpanitum – Glorification Upon The Powdered Bones Of The Sundered Dead
    Rivers Of Nihil – Sand Baptism
    Putridity – Conceived Through Vermination
    Dalkhu – Accepting The Burried Signs
    Elder – Compendium
    Iron Maiden – The Red And The Black
    Obsequiae – Autumnal Pyre
    Horrendous – Sum Of All Failures
    Iniquitous Deeds – Embittered Materialization
    Abhorrent – A Lightness Of Mind

  14. I’ll give this a shot here

    Cattle Decapitation – Not Suitable For Life
    Firespawn – Lucifer Has Spoken
    Sulphur Aeon – Abysshex
    Trident – Aftermath
    Theories – Cycle Of Decay
    Sarpanitum – Glorification Upon The Powdered Bones Of The Sundered Dead
    Rivers Of Nihil – Sand Baptism
    Putridity – Conceived Through Vermination
    Dalkhu – Accepting The Burried Signs
    Obsequiae – Autumnal Pyre
    Horrendous – Sum Of All Failures
    Iniquitous Deeds – Embittered Materialization
    Abhorrent – A Lightness Of Mind

  15. Every year I think “I should keep a list of awesome tracks that stick in my mind” and fail to follow through. So off the top of my leaky memory:

    Sarpanitum – By Virtuous Reclamation
    Because – there’s at least 3 or 4 great riff/melodies that would be a great addition to any song. And like kids in a candy store they went and jammed them all into their mouth, I mean song, all at once

    Second To Sun – Land of the Fearless Birds
    Because – I was sold on buying this album after hearing this streaming here on NCS… and played it over and over until the album dropped 🙂 Heavy and slightly wacky… but despite the leftfield forays along the way they keep the song flying forward, threatening to go off the rails but still maintaining a coherent song structure. Golf claps all around for these crazy gentlemen!

    Stonebringer – Rubin
    Because – early Mastodon-y riffage with soaring female vocals and an oddly downbeat but catchy as hell chanted chorus. Somehow this song just sounds like home.

    Fear Factory – Anodised
    This is album is pretty catchy really, but this chorus just stuck in my head. The perfect accompaniment to watching a bit of ‘Humans’ or ‘Ex Machina’

    Mechina – On The Wings of Nefeli.
    Because – I think they just invented a new genre of ‘cyber space J-pop’… even though that’s probably not Japenese she’s singing… all I know is it sounds good passing into my earholes, hammering my hammer and staples 😉 Mel Rose nails it on this album.

    Opensight – The Chase:
    Because – it should have been on the James Bond soundtrack, timed to coincide with a cameo from Sean Connery just to mindfuck everyone with a retro throwback 🙂

    In Dread Response – Earthen Bonds
    The first song on the album and they make it clear they’re not here to fuck around! Riffs, velocity, solos, double bass fills = involuntary headbanging

    Mephorash – Riphyon – The Tree of Assiyah Putrescent
    Because – dark, luciferian chants that dig into the depths of my mind, combined with solid heavy tunes…mmmmmm

    Finsterforst – Zeit für Hass
    Because – big band metal! For the life of me I can’t find a stream of it anywhere though… 🙁

    Lost Soul – Aqueous Ammonia:
    Because – fury

  16. .. knew I’d forget something!

    Ladybaby – Nippon Manju
    For all those fans of Babymetal out there!

  17. Here we go, I’ll fill out a Side A and Side B for you from this year.

    A: Belzebong – ‘Diabolical Dopenosis’
    A: Goatsnake – ‘Coffee & Whiskey’
    A: Turbowolf – ‘American Mirrors’
    A: Cult Leader – ‘Walking Wastelands’

    B: Sigh – ‘Kaedit Nos Pestis’
    B: Wilderun – ‘Bite the Wound’
    B: Monolord – ‘Cursing the Lord’

  18. My List so far
    Nightfell – Collapse
    Keep Of Kalessin – Dark Divinity
    Hegemon – Interpreting Signs For War: Aruspicine
    Wolfheart – Aeon Of Cold
    Vampire – Pyre Of The Harvest Queen
    Orchid – Under The Sign Of The Witch
    Black Flame – Under The Bridge Of illusions
    Invoker – Across The Abyss
    Inglorious – My Death
    In Twilights Embrace – No
    Tribulation – Holy Libations
    Graveworm – The Death Heritage
    Enslaved – One Thousand Years Of Rain

  19. Skinless – Serpenticide
    Moan – Exempt
    Hooded Menace – Elysium of Dripping Death
    My Dying Bride – To Shiver in Empty Halls
    Bloody Tyrant – Flesh Roots
    Bloody Tyrant – Ode to the Falling Rain
    My Funeral – Violence Academy
    Paradise Lost – No Hope in SIght
    Tribulation – The Motherhood of God
    Non-extreme metal
    Venomous Maximus – My Machine
    Uncle Acid and the Dead Beats – Melody Lane

  20. Love this series. I find so much cool stuff from this.

    Alkaloid – “The Malkuth Grimoire”
    The Armed – “Dead Actress”
    Between the Buried and Me – “The Coma Machine”
    Byzantine – “God Forsaken”
    Cattle Decapitation – “Manufactured Extinct”
    Deafheaven – “Baby Blue”
    Gods of Eden – “The Overseer”
    Intronaut – “Fast Worms”
    Rivers of Nihil – “Sand Baptism”
    Slice the Cake – “Stone and Silver i. The Mountains of Man”
    Slugdge – “The Toxic Salts”
    Turbid North – “Eyes Alive”
    Ur Draugr – “Unseen Golgotha”
    Wrvth – “Harrowing Winds”

  21. Akhlys – The Dreaming I
    Alkaloid – Carbon Phrases
    Barren Earth – Set Alight
    Lychgate – I Am Contempt
    Sigh – Kaedit Non Pestis
    Oxxo Xoox – Abym

    Just a few.

  22. Looking over these lists is like a horrific reminder of all the releases I’ve missed this year… sigh… only one lifetime and so much good metal!

  23. Mechina – On the Wings of Nefeli
    Der Weg einer Freiheit – Einkehr
    Cattle Decapitation – Manufactured Exctinct
    Lamb of God – 512

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