Dec 292015

Mgla-Exercises In Futility


Here are two more songs that I’m adding to our evolving list of 2015’s Most Infectious Extreme Metal Songs. They come from albums that I heard before most people did and then promptly reviewed — which says something about how powerfully they both affected me, given how few reviews I write and how delayed most of them turn out to be. I’ve been delighted to see how often both albums have appeared on year-end metal lists; they richly deserve the acclaim they have been receiving.

(To see the other songs that have been named to this list so far and to read about the criteria for the list as a whole, go HERE.)


I doubt anyone who follows our site on even a semi-regular basis will be surprised or disgruntled to see a song from Exercises In Futility on this list. However, I won’t be surprised if some of you prefer a different song. That’s inevitable, because the album is so loaded with infectious songs. As I wrote in my review:

“If there were any doubt before, Exercise In Futility proves that Żentara is a riff-making genius. Every one of these songs is intense and intensely infectious. It’s heavy metal made for adrenaline junkies, black metal for people who want lashing, slashing chords and hornet swarms of transfixing lead-guitar melody wrapped around a huge rhythmic drive train that could only fail to move the dead….

“[I]t is in select company as one of the best and most consistent albums I’ve heard in 2015, a triumphant work that I expect to return to many times in the coming years.”

As I struggled with which song I wanted to put on this list, I eventually narrowed it down to the ones identified as “I” and “IV”. I could have flipped a coin, but I chose the opening track because it’s the longer of the two — and the more Mgła, the better.






Panopticon-Autumn Eternal


Austin Lunn made the very personal choice not to engage in the usual promotional activity for Autumn Eternal. Among other things, only a few reviewers were given a chance to hear the album before it came out. As it turns out, that didn’t seem to hinder the album’s success in the slightest. Word spread, and of course it didn’t hurt that Panopticon’s previous releases were themselves so strong and so widely noticed. And now this one too has achieved high positions on many year-end lists.

As I did with Mgła‘s 2015 album, I struggled in deciding which song from Autumn Eternal to put on this list. All of them are vital, all of them mean something to me. Oddly enough (as I mentioned in my review), of all the memorable songs on the album, even the instrumental closing track (“The Winds Farewell”) unexpectedly pops into my head as often as any other. But out of all the good candidates on this album, “Oaks Ablaze” is the one I’m adding to this list today.


P.S. For those wondering what Panopticon will do next, 2016 will bring (at a minimum) a split CD and 12″ by Panopticon and Waldgefluster.



  1. “Oaks Ablaze” is my favourite song from the stunning “Autumn Eternal” and “Exercises In Futility II” is another song in personal list. Two of my favourites album but speaking about the MGLA I consider their latest album the top of this year, so, any song is truly stunning, great picks!

  2. You honestly could’ve picked any song from Exercises in Futility. II, V, and VI are also tops for me, and III and IV certainly ain’t too shabby.

  3. These 2 albums made up a good portion of my listening time in 2015.
    They even sound good played back to back.

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