Here’s the second installment in our “most infectious song” list. When you hear them, you might suspect that I hand-picked this particular trio to coincide with this particular day — and you would be right!
I didn’t give this band enough attention this fall. Their debut album Shadow Realms detonated late in the year, and I’m still picking the shrapnel out of my head. It was a surprise in more ways than one — the quality was no surprise, given the line-up of the band, but the style of the music was a surprise (given the line-up of the band):
Alex Friberg (Necrophobic, Unleashed) (bass)
Victor Brandt (Dominion, Entombed A.D.) (guitars)
LG Petrov (Entombed A.D.) (vocals)
Fredrik Folkare (Unleashed, Necrophobic) (guitars)
Matte Modin (Skineater, Raised Fist, Defleshed) (drums)
The particular song I’m adding to this evolving list is “Lucifer Has Spoken“. It first appeared in August as a single, along with a video. It’s a heavy, grim, mid-paced death metal monster that’s a break from the kind of music the band’s members are best known for creating in their other, better-known groups . You can headbang quite nicely to the riffs, there’s a killer solo, and LG’s trademark growls are in good form. And the song also includes what turns out to be a very nice surprise — a chorus with clean singing that enhances the music’s infernal atmosphere.
The video is also very well done — the band look like badasses, and they seem to be in their element with a church burning to the ground around them.
Marduk really don’t make missteps, despite how long they have been in business. Nor do they simply repeat themselves. Frontschwein was another strong album in an illustrious career (reviewed here by Andy Synn), and included multiple songs that I thought were good candidates for this list — though the one I chose is slower, more brooding, and more crushing than the kind of merciless blitzkriegs for which Marduk are best known. I also thought it would fit very well as a follow-on to the Firespawn track above.
The song’s lyrical content is also very good, with Mortuus raging about “Enraptured wolf-packs high on blood” and “a funeral nation with a funeral urge”, plus this final chorus:
The gentle touch of violin strings
The crows of death and ashes sing
Gently caressed by Azrael’s wings …the Blond beast
After the last two mid-paced selections, I thought I would finish this installment in the series with something more up-tempo. The song is the well-named “Onslaught Eternal“, and it comes from one of my favorite albums of the year — The Holocaust Messiah by Toronto-based Megiddo.
This was the first album from Megiddo in roughly 13 years, and it’s loaded with “riffs and lead guitar melodies that are so ingeniously crafted and so damned catchy that this music proves to be as highly addictive as it is primal in its appeal” (to quote from my review).
To quote further from my review about the following song, it’s “a blood-pumping onslaught, built from fast, slashing, thrash-and-black-metal riffs and blasting drums, segmented by heavy-grooved hammer blows and with a magnetic lead guitar motif that will really get stuck in your head. It’s an infernal jolt of red-zone energy….” And of course it’s infectious as hell.