There’s definitely no way I can come up with any unifying theme for this latest trio of songs that I’m adding to our 2015 Most Infectious list, other than the fact (and it is a fact) that they are all highly infectious and I like the hell out of them.
We have three days left before this long list reaches the end. The other songs can be found here.
We premiered a song from Arisen New Era (though not the one I’ve chosen for this list), and DGR reviewed the album for us here. As DGR noted, this was something of a re-launch for this band whose roots extend back to the mid-’90s — their first album since 2007 and one with a new vocalist and new drummer in the ranks.
Buttressed by a drummer whose performance sounds like “a wall of Gatling guns, all spinning until their barrels have shot past red and become white-hot”, the band go lightning fast, with a “speed-groove brutal-death approach” executed “with the precision of surgeons”, yet they have the song-writing experience necessary to differentiate the songs from each other and keep listeners locked in for the entire thrill-ride.
(Yes, I borrowed some of DGR’s verbiage, but there are so many other words in his review that he won’t miss these.)
I have especially enjoyed “Aeons Titan Crown“. It’s catchy as well as lethal, and it’s now on this list:
International Blackjazz Society happens to be yet another album from which we premiered a song and for which DGR wrote a review, and once again I’m going to borrow some of his words.
With this new album, the band have indeed “become a hit-factory — pumping out catchy song after catchy song, becoming even more straightforward and on-the-nose than before”. It’s a “hard-rocking, kick-your-foot-out, jazz and metal head-on collision”.
But while Shining definitely proved (again) that they know how to write songs with massive hooks and punchy rhythms, it would go waaay too far to say that they’ve become “radio friendly”. There are still bursts of viciousness and insanity lurking within the songs — speaking of which, once you see the video for “The Last Stand”, you can’t un-see it.
That song was one of my finalists for this list, but after bouncing back and forth like a ping-pong ball I decided to go with “Last Day“, which became the basis for yet another unforgettable video.
Unlike the first two albums featured in this post, we failed to review the first and only release by Sweden’s Murg — Varg & Björn — and I am so damned glad that it’s not a crime to omit reviews of fantastic albums, because overlooking this one would be punishable by decades of hard labor.
In thinking about this list, I was as tempted as an ophiophilist in a herpetarium by all the venomous beauties in this album, including mid-tempo tracks like “Massvandring & blodbad” and “Den starkes rätt” and rippers like “Grannon ar din fiende”.
But in the end, I went with the first song I heard from the album, and here I can borrow my own words instead of DGR’s:
“‘Nejderna brinner‘ does something very well that may be the defining musical hallmark of much of the expanding black metal genre as a whole: it wraps a memorable, atmospheric melody within a thorned membrane of savagery. The song drives super-hard right from the start, like a gale-force wind, but eventually a shivering, serpentine melody surfaces that really sinks its fangs into your veins. The music slows and becomes morose and sombre at the finish, and that works, too.”