No sooner than I started this series and quasi-promised that there would be a new installment every day than I missed the second fucking day. Let it serve as a reminder that this NCS gig isn’t a job for any of us here, just a passion that occasionally gets de-railed by other obligations and distractions.
Anyway, welcome to the second installment of our list of Most Infectious Songs from 2017, the length of which is now unknown, but which I hope will be fun for you to experience, even if neither I nor you quite knows where it’s going.
“Portrait of A Headless Man” was the first song I heard from the 2017 album from SepticFlesh. Since I’ve made a point of not showing my own head in social media photos, the title had a certain immediate appeal. But the appeal of the song went well beyond its title.
When my friend DGR wrote his extensive review of Codex Omega, he praised the opening three tracks (the third of which is the song below) as seeming “almost surgically designed to wipe away any notion of the band letting their orchestral tendencies take over their music” and instead managing “to do some of the best combining of their two main ingredients to date, weaving them together so that it doesn’t seem like one could stand separate from the other”. And of this song in particular, he wrote:
“‘Portrait Of A Headless Man’ does mess with Codex Omega’s pacing a bit, mostly because the song itself is in serious contention for the earworm category and is one of those songs that serves as a ‘repeat’ roadblock for a while. Yes, there are other songs present on Codex Omega, but what’s one more go-round with that bouncing rhythm riff that makes up most of ‘Portrait Of A Headless Man’? You can’t help but headbang to it.”
No, you really can’t. Highly infectious, and deserving of a place on this list.
TEMPLE OF VOID
When I heard the first single from Temple of Void’s 2017 album, Lords of Death (vividly reviewed here by Comrade Aleks), I wrote:
“Huge, enormous, vast, immense, large, big, mighty, great, colossal, tremendous, prodigious, gigantic, gargantuan, mammoth, monstrous, monumental, giant, towering, elephantine, mountainous, titanic”. These are all synonyms for the word “massive”. By listing them, I’ve gotten a head start on the task of describing the first single from Temple of Void’s new album.
Ooops! I forgot “humongous” and “hulking”.
And I wasn’t even talking about the Temple of Void song I decided to add to this list… but all those adjectives apply equally well to “Graven Desires“. And in addition, only the dead or the comatose could fail to move to it. And those eerie, reverberating notes that rise like ghost lights in the midst of the mauling are sublime… and the solo just past the mid-point is a thing of diseased beauty… and holy shit, that change in the vocals near the end… what a hell of a song.
As long as Acephalix continue to play live, and as long as they continue to play where I can see them, I could survive without another new Acephalix album. They could re-tread what they’ve done to date from now until Kingdom Come, and I’d be happy. Because this is one of the most fun live bands I’ve ever seen.
So, with that said, the fact that they continue to record albums as good as Decreation makes me want to prostrate myself and mewl, “I Am Not Worthy!” Though if I actually did that at a live show, I shudder to think how Dan Butler would react.
I had a devil of a time picking a song from Decreation for this list. I bounced around among the track list like a ball-bearing in a centrifuge. I especially love “Suffer (Life In Fragments)”, but in the end, the brutish chug cavalcade of “Excremental Offerings” won out (and it also has the benefit of a freight-train rush of diesel energy launched at the mid-point too). Mosh fuel like few others.