Jan 042017


This is Part 3 of our continuing list of 2016’s Most Infectious Extreme Metal Songs. To see the first two installments and an explanation of the criteria for making the selections, go here.


Anyone who saw my review of List won’t be surprised to find a song from the album on this list. I came close to embarrassing myself with how effusively I praised it. Hands down, it’s one of my favorite releases in an incredibly strong year for metal.

And if I were to tell you which of the songs on List is my favorite track from the album, it would be “Handlöst Fallen Ängel”. But that’s not the one I picked. I’m forced to admit that the track which immediately precedes it, “Harmagedon“, edges it out (only narrowly) in terms of infectiousness. And like “Handlöst Fallen Ängel”, it also surges with power and burns with raw passion.









The next song also comes from one of my personal favorites of 2016, Ode To the Flame by Germany’s Mantar. And I’m not the only one around here who thinks the album kicks all sorts of ass. Here are a few words from Andy Synn’s review:

“When I say that Ode to the Flame, the second album by German blackened sludgemeisters Mantar, is one badass motherfucker, you’d best believe that I mean it.

“Fueled by rage and empowered by the divine spirit of ‘the riff’, practically every aspect of it – from its punishing, stone-cold grooves, snarling, punked-up hooks, and monstrously heavy guitar sound – is a huge step up from the band’s debut, with Messrs. Hanno (vocals/guitars) and Erinc (drums/vocals) upping their game on pretty much every level.”

There are a lot of damned catchy songs on the album, but this is a rare case when I didn’t have to think twice about which track would be on this list. To borrow more of Andy’s words:

“Vividly, venomously, viciously virulent… ‘Era Borealis‘ is a morbid masterpiece of strutting, rock-star villainy and stadium-level malice, with a ballsy, shamelessly shout-along chorus refrain that’s guaranteed to get lodged in your head.”

Below is the official track stream, and then below that is a decent-quality video I made of the band performing the song at last fall’s California Deathfest.






  1. That Mantar album rips. There’s this part in “Born Reversed” about 2 minutes in where it goes from their uptempo sludge style, pauses for a second, then slows down, and it’s just fucking PERFECT.

  2. “Wow that Martyrdod song was pretty awesome, it’s gonna be hard to be catchier than that…” Holy hell that Mantar is good stuff! I feel actually disappointed in myself for not having listened to it sooner.

    I feel like it’s gonna take me most of 2017 to catch up on all the stuff on your guys’ “Great” and “Good” albums lists.

    • One of the things I enjoy about putting together this series is that it’s a trip through some of the best music from the year before, one song at a time (or at least the stuff I really liked). And it seems like every year it introduces people to some things they hadn’t checked out yet. Glad you’re into it.

  3. That Martyrdod album is hard! Been spinning that one a lot lately. I didn’t know D beat could rip so hard and be so melodic too haha

  4. “Best” is hard to quantify, but I’ve spun–digitally speaking–the two albums represented here more than anything else released in 2016. They just rock.

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