Nov 192018


You may have noticed that on Friday we announced the beginning of our annual LISTMANIA extravaganza. For those of you new to this orgy, our LISTMANIA blockbuster comes in four parts:

First, we re-print assorted lists of the year’s best albums, leeched from other big web sites and magazines, like the one on Friday from DECIBEL, which always seems to become the starting gun. Second, we will provide a post in which our readers’ can share their lists of the 2018 albums and shorter releases they enjoyed the most (we’ll be asking for those on November 29th, so get ready). Third, we post the year-end lists of our own staff and assorted guest writers. And fourth, I’ll roll out my list of the year’s Most Infectious Extreme Metal Songs.

And that last list is the subject of this request for help.

In case you’ve become an NCS reader since this time last year, here’s what this Most Infectious Song list is all about:


This is about individual songs, not albums, EPs, demos, etc. It’s also not our list of the best individual extreme metal songs of the year — though some of the songs might actually be among the best of the year. Instead, this is a list of the most infectious extreme metal songs we’ve I’ve heard this year. Yes, it’s my list, but I do take into account ideas from others — and the idea here is to think of songs that might produce involuntary physical movement, songs that have got catchy melodies or irresistible grooves, or anything else that sticks the song in your head and makes you want to keep listening to it.

To be one of the most infectious songs of the year, it should be something that you revisit often, something you put on playlists, something you mentally replay at unexpected times — songs you go back to repeatedly for listening. “Most played” might be a good synonym.


As is true every year, I do already have my own working list of candidates — and as in every other year, there are a ton of songs on there already. I’ll get more ideas from all of our other writers. But I have no doubt we’ll overlook some songs we really liked from earlier in the year, and there are inevitably a lot more than we just never heard at all. And so here’s where I’m asking for your help:

Please leave comments to this post with your own lists of Most Infectious Songs that you think ought to be on our list — or if you’re bashful, you can e-mail your ideas to me at:

I’ll then pick what I think are the most infectious tracks of the year and start playing those songs for you in groups of two or three as we get closer to year-end. The first year we did this (2009), I limited the list to 10 songs. In 2010, I expanded it to 30. In 2011 it grew to 39. In 2012 it topped out at 56. In 2013 I worked really hard and got the list all the way down to.. gulp… 73. In 2014, life got in the way and I never finished the complete rollout, though I announced 62 songs before I gave up. In 2015  I stopped at 75. The list for 2017 included 71 tracks, and last year I stopped at 79 (you can see all of those here).

As you can tell, I have a really fuckin’ hard time making lists. Of course, I have no idea how many songs we’ll feature this year.


So, please reflect on the songs you’ve found most addictive this year and let us hear from you. By leaving your list in the comments, you’ll also help make this post a way for other metalheads to find good music from the year that’s now rushing to an end. Thanks for your help.


  1. I really don’t want to go first b/c I’m sure there’s a ton I’m not thinking of off the top of my head. But here’s what I listened to the most (that I can remember right now).

    Baest – Crosswhore
    Zeal & Ardor – Baphomet
    Eye of the Destroyer – Violent by Design
    Skeletonwitch – Fen of Shadows
    Chapel of Disease – Song of the gods
    The Monolith Deathcult – Fist of Stalin
    Mutilation Rites – Post Mortem Obsession
    Morne – Not Our Flame
    Depths Above – The Descent
    LLNN – Armada
    Psycroptic – Deadlands
    Abhorrence – Anthem for the Anthropocene
    Outre Tombe – L’Enfer des Tranchees
    Mai-Zhang – Red Annihilation
    Vermilia – Aiti Maa
    Sadistik Forest – The Hour of Dread
    Harm’s Way – Call My Name
    Black Royal – The Chosen
    Ancst – Dysthymia
    Immortal – Northern Chaos Gods
    Dopethrone – Killdozer
    Tomb Mold – Abysswalker
    Shining – Svart Ostoppbar Eld
    Cemetary Urn – Deathmask Preserver
    Mutilated by Zombies – Insanity’s Grasp
    Subtype Zero – Blinded by Light
    Uada – Cult of a Dying Sun
    Messa – Leah
    Raider – Phlebotomized
    Down Among the Dead Men – …And You Will Obey Me
    Euclidean – Increatus
    Wolf King – Greater Power
    Bailer – Tuesday Blues
    Nervosa – Kill the Silence
    Veld – Hatred Forever Dispersed
    Mutilated by Zombies – Instructions for Death
    Monstrosity – Radiated
    Koronal – A Gift of Consciousness
    Shylmagoghnar – As All Must Come to Pass
    Genocide Pact – Structural
    No One Gets Out Alive – My Rifle, My Banjo, and Me
    House of Atreus – The Madness of Ixion (but any of the others would do…most infectious aoy for me)

  2. Cirith Ungol – The Witche’s Game

  3. Spaceslug – Vialys Part II
    Slugdge – Salt Thrower
    Mesarthim – Collapse
    Trna – Earthcult
    Deafheavan – Tunnel of Tre–Oh Wait…
    Agalloch – I Am The Wooden Doors BECAUSE I LIVE IN 2002

  4. Skeletonwitch – Fen of Shadows
    High on Fire – Freebooter

    I realize it’s not extreme but Ghost – Dance Macabre is one of the most infectious songs fucking ever.

  5. Oh man I’m not ready to make lists yet! Fuck it. Here’s a few, included strictly because once I heard them I couldn’t get them out of my head:

    Panphage – Skandinawjo
    Slugdge – The Spectral Burrows
    Ungfell – Die Hexenbrut zu Nirgendheim
    War on Women – Pleasure and the Beast
    Ails – The Echoes Waned
    Sleep – Sonic Titan (technically not 2018 but whatever)
    Tomb Mold – Gored Embrace
    Khemmis – Flesh to Nothing
    Satan – Into the Mouth of Eternity
    Idle Hands – I Feel Nothing

  6. Sargeist – Unbound
    Woundvac – Crux
    Elysian Blaze – The Virtue of Suffering

  7. The Order of Apollyon – Grey Father
    Marduk – Narva
    Obscura – Emergent Evolution

  8. Apollyon – Past The Reaches of the Sun
    1914 – Arrival: The Meuse-Argonne
    Necrophobic – Tsar Bomba
    Spectral Wound – Woods from Which the Spirits Once so Loudly Howled
    Immortal – Mighty Ravendark
    Crawl – Black Ritual
    Sadistik Forest – Morbidly Majestic
    Outer Heaven – Bloodspire
    Sargeist – Hunting Eyes
    Monstrosity – Cosmic Pandemia
    Carnation – Chapel of Abhorrence
    Uada – Cult of a Dying Sun
    Destroyer 666 – Call of the Wild

  9. Heads for the Dead, either Gate Creeper or Deep Below. \m/

  10. Mire – Solar Being
    Battlesoul – All I Understand
    The Skull – The Longing
    Black Fast – Phantom I Am
    Alkaloid – Kernel Panic
    Conjurer – The Mire
    Visigoth – Steel and Silver
    Horrendous – Obolus
    Tribulation – Come, Become, To Be

  11. Hissing: Pablum Abundance
    Infernal Coil: Bodies Set In Ashen Death
    Lifelost: Incorporeal Gate
    Scorched: Exhibits Of Torture
    Lurk: Elan
    Gaerea: Extension to Nothingness
    Of Feather and Bone: Resounding From The Depths
    Tomb Mold: Abysswalker
    Our Place Of Worship Is Silence: The Decay Maxim
    Wake: Embers
    UN: Sentiment

  12. Once again, for yet another year, I’m floored by how much I’ve missed. Keep going!

  13. Hecate – Une Charogne
    Sargeist – Hunting eyes
    Convulsing – Relent
    Slugdge – Salt thrower
    Kriegmaschine – Residual blight
    Uada – Cult of a dying sun
    Firtan – Nacht Verweil

    Even the headless horseman will bang his head to Une Charogne!

  14. Aepoch – Tabula Rasa
    Aklash – Cascading Darkness
    Ataraxy – The Blackness of Eternal Night
    Behemoth – Bartzabel
    Hamferð – Hon syndrast
    Holy Fawn – Yawning
    Horrendous – Soothsayer
    Ihsahn – Wake
    Imperial Triumphant – Swarming Opulence
    Khorada – Ossify
    Møl – Penumbra
    Slugdge – Crop Killer
    Wolvhammer – Eternal Rotting Misery
    Zeal & Ardor – Don’t You Dare

  15. House Of Atreus – Zealous Inequity
    Sigh – Hunters Not Horned
    Wayfarer – Animal Crown
    Urfaust – Trail of the Conscience of the Dead
    A Forest Of Stars – Premature Invocation
    Panopticon – Snow Burdened Branches
    Vilkacis – Sixty Three
    Austacie – Dans la chênaie
    Paragon Impure – Sade II

    • Part 2

      NONE – Life Is Long Enoug
      Angantyr – Ulykke er dit nav
      Spectral Wound – Imperial Thanatosis
      Arkhtinn – 二番
      Drudkh – U Dakhiv Irzhavim Kolossyu…
      Aorlhac – Infâme Saurimonde
      Varathron – Tenebrous
      Make a Change… Kill Yourself – Shadows of a Meaningless Reality
      Mare – Blood Across the Firmament

  16. Hecate – Une Charogne
    Sargeist – Hunting eyes
    Cirith Ungol – Witch’s game
    Convulsing – Relent
    Firtan – Nacht verweil
    Slugdge – Salt thrower
    Wallfahrer – Wilde Heer

    Even the headless horseman will bang his noggin to this.

  17. Oh, yep, he year is going to an end…

    I prefer lists of albums, but if u insist)

    Born to Murder the World – Genesis Misconception (!!!)
    Rebel Wizard – The Poor and Ridiculous Alchemy of Christ and Lucifer and Us All
    LIK – Dr Duschanka
    Kvalvaag -Mare
    Immortal – Into Battle Ride
    Horizon Ablaze – Ghost of a Previous Nightmare
    Demonical – Towards Greater Gods
    Cist Injected Obsession
    Sentient Horror Enter Crypts Below

  18. “Luring needle” / Ezkaton
    “The Conscious Observer” / The Breathing Process
    “Mother Culture” / Avast
    “Weaponized Madness” / Grethor
    “Asubha” / Chambers
    “Calamity Choir” / Fragments of Unbecoming
    “Pulsar” / Kultist
    “Duu.velsbé.rreg” / Asgrauw
    “Wave State” / Khôrada

  19. Rivers of Nihil – The Silent Life…..That riff…need I say more…

  20. 1. Madder Mortem – Stumble On

    2. Master’s Hammer – Fascinator

    3. Sulphur Aeon – Cult of Starry Wisdom

    4. Agos – Through the Strait of Messina

    5. Alice In Chains – So Far Under

  21. Morne – Scorn
    Erdve – Atraja
    Kobra and the Lotus – Let Me Love You (sorry, but it’s so damn catchy!)

  22. Gaerea – Absent
    Twilight – This Road South
    Autokrator – Against Flesh and Blood
    Viscera/// – Marauders
    Embra – Astral Cord Severance

  23. Alkaloid – Kernel Panic
    The Armed – Witness
    Besra – Dwell in Gloom
    Between the Buried and Me – Millions
    Dead Empires – The Form
    Deafheaven – Glint
    Ghost – Rats
    Irreversible Mechanism – Footprints in the Sand
    The Ocean – Silurian: Sea of Scorpions
    Oceans of Slumber – At Dawn
    Piah Mater – Sprung from Weakness
    Prognosis – Downfall
    Rivers of Nihil – Subtle Change
    Rolo Tomasi – Rituals
    Slugdge – The Spectral Burrows
    Windhand – Grey Garden
    Zeal & Ardor – Ship on Fire

    And so, so, so many more songs I know would earn a spot on this list if I’d only found more time to listen to them.

  24. Bloodbath – Bloodicide
    Craft – Darkness falls
    Depravity – Insanity reality
    Dreadful fate – Death sentance
    Funeral mist – Cockatrice
    Master boot record – Skynet
    Necrophobic – Mark of the necrogram
    Necrophobic – Tsar Bomba
    Noose rot – Worship the crypt
    Stark denial – Stark denial
    1914 – Stosstrupp
    Vanhelgd – Så förgås världens härlighet
    Cipher – The singularity
    The Ocean – Permian (The great dying)
    The ugly – Usurpator vitae
    Atomwinter – Catacombs
    The monolith deathcult – Fist of stalin
    Anaal Nathrakh – Forward!
    Kaoteon – Venom of exalt

  25. 1914 – The 100 Day Offensive
    Aeolian – Immensity
    Thrashist Regime – Laughter, Then Madness, Then Death

  26. Sargeist – Unbound
    Stortregn – Through the Dark Gates
    Necrophobic – Tsar Bomba (favorite of the year)
    Decembre Noir – Barricades
    Amorphis – Wrong Direction
    Vreid – One Hundred Years
    Mol – Ligament
    Omnium Gatherum – Over the Battlefield
    Mantar – Age of the Absurd
    Tribulation – Lacrimosa
    Alkaloid – Kernel Panic
    Barren Earth – Further Down

  27. Nattravnen – Corvus Corax Crown
    Wormlight – Wrath Of The Wilds
    Burial Hordes – Throwness And Fallenness Of Being
    Nigredo – Mental Glimpses At Cosmic Horrors
    Ascension – Ecclesia
    In Purulence – No Retreat
    Morgengrau – Wolves Of Thirteen
    Slugdge – War Squids
    Oblivion – Concrete Thrones feat. Eddie Hermida
    A Scar For The Wicked – Unholy
    Vanhavd – Om Den Vulgara Farsens Nonsens
    Grimorium Verum – The Resurrected On The Devil’s Hands
    Varathron – Luciferian Mystical Awakening
    Mire – Lightless

    few of the killer ones superb musicianship

  28. Sweet and short list:

    Kunstzone – What The Mouth Conceals
    Zeal & Ardor – Don’t you dare
    Cypecore – The Alliance

  29. Cvlt Ov The Svn – The Murderer

  30. Wolvennest – La Mort
    Burial Invocation – Phantasmagoric Transcendence
    Manes – Chemical Heritage
    Insect Ark – Skin Walker
    Ascension – Thalassophobia

  31. Alkaloid – Kernel Panic. That intro is awesome.
    Horrendous – Threnody… Instrumental greatness.
    The Ocean – Permian: the great dying. Epic.
    Slugdge – Limo Vincit Omnia. That riff at 4.35 makes me hit play again and again.
    Oh, and Skar’s metal cover of Daughter of the Sea from the latest WoW expansion is a real ear worm too.

  32. Slugdge – Crop Killer
    Horizon Ablaze – Insidious
    Amiensus – Now Enters Dusk
    Gaerea – Absent
    Allfather – Lord Betrayer
    Altars of Grief – Iris
    Mantar – Midgard Serpent (Seasons of Failure)
    The Crown – In the Name of Death
    Skeletonwitch – Temple of the Sun
    Hinayana – The Window
    Svalbard – Unpaid Intern
    Ancst – Dying Embers
    The Atlas Moth – Actual Human Blood

  33. Grave lines – Failed Skin
    Allfather – Citadel
    Lagos – Dead Sun
    Madder Mortem – Moonlight Over Silver White
    Imperial Triumphant – Lower World
    De Profundis – Opiate For The Masses

  34. Djevel – Banker som doedningeknoker
    Funeral Mist – Metamorphosis
    Ribbonhead – Gutfuck
    All my Sins – Zov iz Magle
    Paara – Viimeinen Virta
    Glorior Belli – The Apostates
    Lustre – The First Snow
    Svalbard – How Do We Stop It
    Kjeld – Wanskepsel
    Crippled Black Phoenix – To You I Give
    The Ocean – Permian: The Great Dying
    Orkan – I Flammar Skal Du Eldast
    Svartmálm – Deytt Ljós
    Eagle Twin – Heavy Hoof

  35. A Forest of Stars – Precipice Pirouette
    Abraham – Dead Cities
    Agrypnie – Grenzgænger
    Amorphis – The Golden Elk
    Barren Earth – The Ruby
    Behemoth – God = Dog
    Carpe Noctem – Söngurinn sem ómar á milli stjarnanna
    Distances – Perfect Is the Enemy
    Hamferð – Stygd
    Harakiri for the Sky – You Are the Scars
    Karg – Petrichor
    Mephorash – 777: Third Woe
    Monolithe – Delta Scuti
    Skeletonwitch – Fen of Shadows
    Sylvaine – Abeyance
    The Ocean – Cambrian II: Eternal Recurrence
    Wiegedood – Doodskalm
    Wolfheart – Breakwater

    And also some exceptions to the rule:
    Crippled Black Phoenix – Times, They Are a’Raging
    Doomina – Sonett
    God Is an Astronaut – Epitaph
    Riverside – Vale of Tears
    Silent Stream of Godless Elegy – Ptakoprav

  36. UADA – Mirrors
    Rivers of Nihil – The silent life
    Dödsrit – Aura
    Wayfarer – Animal crown
    Agrypnie – Die längste nacht
    Ecloss – L’abattoir des comètes

  37. Solium Fatalis – Threshold
    Rivers of Nihil – A Home (and even though it’s an ‘interlude’ track: Terrestria III- Wither)

  38. I was about to post a late addition – then realized I never posted an earlier edition! Ah well, here’s my picks:

    Rivers of Nihil – A Home; it seems everyone is going for The Silent Life, which is also fantastic. But the lyric “you can never call this home” drives home every time (see what I did there 😉 ?)
    …also, although an “interlude” track, I keep coming back to Terrestria III- Wither
    Solium Fatalis – Threshold…mmm…groovy
    Aegaeon – Ruination; this song has it all: spasmodic stop-start rhythms, synth work, pick slides, melody and a guitar solo 🙂

  39. Behemoth – Ecclesia diabolica catholica. Killller riff and beat. Seriously, that whole album has been widely under appreciated.

  40. Panegyrist – To Quicke Stone
    Imperial Triumphant – Swarming Opulence
    Howling Sycamore – Decent to Light
    Dewfall – The Abomination Throne

  41. Spectral Voice – Katabatic Depths

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