Welcome to Part 3 of our list of 2015’s Most Infectious Extreme Metal Songs. For the third day in a row, I’m adding three songs to the list, and I’ve again combined three selections because I think they sound good together.
For more info about the criteria I’ve used in picking these songs and to check out the preceding songs on the list, click this link.
By this time of the year I would guess that most fans of heavy music have at least heard the name Tau Cross, especially since their debut album has been popping up frequently on lots of year-end lists. But for those who may still be unaware, it includes Amebix vocalist/bassist Rob “The Baron” Miller, Voivod drummer Michel “Away” Langevin, Misery guitarist Jon Misery, and War//Plague guitarist Andy Lefton.
That debut album deserves all the praise it has received, and I feel sort of like a shit for never reviewing it despite how often I’ve listened to it. The song that pulls me back most often is the first track from the album that was made available for streaming, long before its release.
The core drum and bass rhythms and chugging riffs in “Lazarus” are powerfully addictive, as are the little melodic hooks that the lead guitar sticks in your mouth. And there’s nothing like the raw, gritty, torn quality of The Baron’s voice.
I did manage to write some words about the latest EP (Embers’ Grave) by Ruinebell, a band that’s a collaboration between Lasse Pyykkö (guitars) and Pekka Koskelo (drums) from Finland’s Hooded Menace, and former Machetazo and Dishammer vocalist Dopi (now performing in Bodybag):
“No one ingredient of the music stands out above the others — because all the ingredients are so damned good. The powerhouse riffs are pure gold, from the ridiculously infectious chugging and pneumatic jabbing in “Inexistence” to the freight-train locomotion in “The Hermit” to the mix of slashing chords and industrial rhythms in “Temple of Isolation” to the thrash-influenced gallop of “Flesh Bone Catacomb”.
“The often dissonant and almost always grim melodies lend an air of imminent catastrophe to the songs (though the ringing notes and keyboard ambience that appear here and there are beautiful as well as bleak). The drumming hits like cannonballs fired into your guts, with sublime timing and variations in the progressions that match up with the riffs like hands in tailor-made gloves.
“And Dopi’s high, harsh vocals are incredibly distinctive. Many metaphors come to mind: the bellow of a wounded elephant; the sound of a poisoned man trying to vomit up his lungs; the deranged ravings of a street-corner prophet.”
I’ll add that Dopi’s vocals and The Baron’s in the last song make these two tracks a fine pair to hear one after the other.
All the songs on Embers’ Grave are ear worms, but “Inexistence” is the one I’ve chosen for this list.
I first heard about Moloken two years ago from an NCS guest post by Johan P. that focused exclusively on bands from the town of Umeå in northern Sweden. Of Moloken, he wrote: “Out of all the bands in Umeå that have emerged since I moved here 13 years ago I think Moloken are the most interesting and fresh, and I dearly hope more people will discover them.”
This fall they released their latest album, All Is Left To See, and it’s the first installment in a concept trilogy that the band have named Mörkrets Kärna, which is “about falling down a pit of your darkest being, losing yourself completely and desperately trying to make sense of it”.
I really like this album, and it includes a song named “Subliminal Hymns” that’s the next addition to this list. As I wrote when I first heard the song: “[I]t rumbles like big tank, with a kind of cold, mechanistic atmosphere to the music, laced with guitar dissonance and throat-rupturing howls. But then the song takes a sharp turn into a parallel dimension in which ominous ambient sounds hold sway.”
This interesting song gets into your head very easily, so easily that I’d be happy if it were twice as long. I also think it goes well with the first two songs in this post.