Welcome to the 20th installment of our list of last year’s Most Infectious Extreme Metal Songs. We’ll be finished with the rollout of this list next Sunday. To hear the other songs on the list up until now, click this link.
Today we have three diverse pieces of metal, each of them from albums that were the source of multiple candidates for this list.
In the early part of last year we devoted quite a lot of attention to this Greek band’s 2015 album Sacrilegious Testament, and still more attention when year-end-list time rolled around — which is not surprising, given who’s in the band:
Vocalist Necroabyssious from Varathron), guitarist/bassist Achilleas C from Varathron and Aenaon), drummer Foivos of Agnes Vein, and keyboardist Haris from Hail Spirit Noir and Transcending Bizarre?. And in addition to them, the album also features includes guest appearances by Sakis of Rotting Christ and Sotiris Vayenas of Septic Flesh.
The first song I heard from the album was “Visions of the Misty Night”. It’s a blood-pumping song to say the least, driven hard by drum rhythms that alternate between rocking back-beats and blasts, and by urgent bass notes and gripping riffs. There are also some gripping melodic hooks in the song, the kind of rippling guitar leads that get stuck in your head very fast. And man, the vocals are amazing — an array of truly lycanthropic growls and howls that have range as well as bestial passion.
And guess what? It has lost none of its allure in the year that has passed since then. I really never had much doubt that I would find a place for it on this list.
Unlike some of my colleagues at this site who’ve been steadfast fans of Paradise Lost, I’ve had an on-again, off-again relationship with the band. But after I heard The Plague Within, it was definitely on again — and more on than it had been for a very long time.
DGR reviewed the album for us and put into words much of what I was feeling about the album, praising it as a relentlessly heavy doom and death disc that had Paradise Lost “sounding “feral and violent” and “out to prove that they can still crush your spirit into dust”.
There are several irresistibly infectious songs on the album, and I hope you’ll forgive me if I’ve failed to pick one of your favorites — this wasn’t an easy choice. But “No Hope In Sight” is the song I chose (with “Beneath Broken Earth” a very close second).
We enjoyed the privilege of premiering a full album stream of the 2015 full-length by Germany’s Sulphur Aeon, Gateway To the Antisphere. In the review that accompanied it, I had a hard time restraining my enthusiasm:
“Sulphur Aeon have mastered the art of seizing the listener’s imagination and hurling it through an inter-dimensional membrane into a dark place where you feel the writhing presence of monstrous forms. They seem to have a direct channel to R’lyeh and the Outer Gods. At the same time, they are equally adept at crafting immensely powerful and electrifying death metal songs….
“I can think of a few bands — and only a few — who are truly driving death metal in fascinating new directions, and Sulphur Aeon are in the vanguard of that movement. Both vividly atmospheric and almost physically arresting in its impact, Gateway To the Antisphere is Sulphur Aeon’s crowning achievement and will surely stand as one of this year’s best extreme metal albums.”
I had a hellish time selecting a song from the album for my list — though there was never any question that I had to have something from the album on here. The one I’ve chosen is “Devotion To the Cosmic Chaos“: