OUR LIST OF 2016’S MOST INFECTIOUS EXTREME METAL SONGS (PART 2): VREDEHAMMER, DESTRÖYER 666, ROTTING CHRIST
As you can see, this is the second installment of our Most Infectious Song rollout, following hot on the heels of yesterday’s launch. As was true yesterday, each of today’s picks came from albums that were home to more than one song that could easily be on this list, and I won’t be surprised if some of you think I made the wrong pick. Hell, if I made the picks tomorrow, they might be different.
There are a few other connections between this particular threesome, one of which is that all three albums came out in the first quarter of last year, long enough ago that, for me, revisiting these songs was like a reunion with some old friends. Other connections will become obvious.
We didn’t give enough attention to Vredehammer’s 2016 album Violator. I wrote about its first advance track (“Spawn Tyrant”), and we published Karina Cifuentes’ interview of Per Valla, though even that focused more on his time as a session guitarist with Abbath and his personal Valla project than it did on Vredehammer.
I do regret the inattention because I enjoy the hell out of Violator. I enjoy the hell out of the song “Violator”, too (it narrowly edged out “Ursus”). That’s the next song on this list. Damned catchy, damned ferocious, and with a dark and devilish atmosphere as well.
Of the three albums that were the source of songs on this list, I think Wildfire has received the most attention in year-end lists that I’ve seen. It has certainly appeared on many we’ve posted or re-posted at NCS, though once again it’s an album we failed to review.
I did spill some words about individual advance tracks from the album, including the next one on this list, “Live and Burn”. Here again, I was torn among multiple songs on the album, and only after repeat listening to my three candidate tracks did I finally conclude this one was the most virally infectious agent.
We did review Rotting Christ’s latest album, Rituals — or rather, DGR did. I’ll excerpt here a few of his sentiments, which which I certainly agree:
“I would argue that the band, even limited to the group’s previous three albums (not counting today’s subject), have written some insanely catchy music, working in complete tandem with the part of the band that gives itself so completely over to its chosen subject matter, which 96% of the time is Satan….”
“Collected on Rituals are ten songs that continue Rotting Christ’s trend of being one of the best guitar-centric bands around. The group’s writing style on their past few discs has been intensely rhythmic, and that tradition continues in full force on Rituals.”
And here’s what he had to say about the song I’ve chosen (which again was the result of a wrestling match with myself over multiple candidates from the album):
““λθὲ κύριε (Elthe Kyrie)” is another fast-moving track that sees vocal duties rotating between the manic delivery of Danai Katsameni — who delivers the lion’s share of the song as it is partially screamed and ranted — and Sakis, who picks up the chorus sections of the song. From the first word it seems like each verse is accelarating toward oblivion. It’s one of the handful of times when Rituals goes truly fast, before moving back into a more martial and mid-tempo chorus section.”
And perhaps its the song’s speed and surging, dramatic power that pushed me to choose it — and to include it with the other two tracks in today’s collection.
Three brilliant picks!
I was a wee bit disappointed when Rituals were released. I considered it a bit safe. But I also thought of it as an album for the right mood. I’m currently putting the penultimate finishing touches on my 2016 list, and my brain is boiling. Listening to this hypnotic ritualistic music right now is effective like dipping my head in soothing water only to hear the sizzling sound as the temperatures are evened out. Thanks for the “cold shower”.
You’re welcome! I found Rituals less immediately exhilarating as compared to many of their other albums (though I wouldn’t call it “safe” — I think the music is simply true to the album’s name and concept). And after repeated immersion, it really grew on me. I also greatly admire the band’s dedication to their art and their refusal to just put out the same album over and over again, as many of their peers seem to do.
Violator is killer! There’s so much infectiousness on that Rotting Christ album it’s a difficult pick, but I too love the semi-hysterical ranting nature of Elthe Kyrie
The more I’ve listened to Rituals, the more I’ve concluded that every song on the album is infectious, though each in different ways. And I love the description you gave of it. 🙂