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. 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

  2. 1914 – The 100 Day Offensive
    Aeolian – Immensity
    Thrashist Regime – Laughter, Then Madness, Then Death

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. Sweet and short list:

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

  6. Cvlt Ov The Svn – The Murderer

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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

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

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

  15. 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 🙂

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

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

  18. Spectral Voice – Katabatic Depths

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