Nov 192019


You may have noticed that last week 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 last week 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 2019 albums and shorter releases they enjoyed the most (we’ll be asking for those on December 2nd, 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 that 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 2016 included 71 tracks, and I included 78 of them in 2017. Last year I stopped at 99 (double-gulp!).

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, although I’m aiming for something significantly more limited than 99.


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. Warforged – “We’ve Been Here Before” is my #1 pick. A truly infectious song that I’ve replayed an absurd number of times.

  2. Nile – Long Shadows of Dread
    Dawn Ray’d – To All! To All! To All!
    Aephanemer – The Sovereign
    Car Bomb – Scattered Sprites

    A bit of variety here.


  4. Bewitcher – Hexenkireg. Amazing Satanic Speed Metal from Portland. Fast and furious like the best of early Venom and Bathory.

    • That whole album slays. “Too Fast for the Flames” and “In the Sign of the Goat” are a couple more I’d enter from that record.

  5. Wachenfeldt – “The Interpreter”
    Krater – “Prayer for Demise”
    Ashen Horde – “Face of the Enmity
    Warcrab – “Blood for the Blood God”
    The Offering – “Ultraviolence”
    Drottnar – “Subterranean Sun”
    Bewitcher – “Too Fast for the Flames”
    Witch Vomit – “Fumes of Dying Bodies”
    Nightfell – “The Swallowing of Flies”
    Mortiferum – “Funereal Hallucinations”
    Inculter – “Shepherd of Evil”
    High Command – “The Commander’s Code”
    Graveyard – “Hurled Unto Damnation”

  6. Misery Index – New Salem
    Hath – Usurpation
    Hellripper – All Hail the Goat
    Cattle Decap – One Day Closer to the End of the World
    Vitriol – The Parting of a Neck
    Gomorrah – Frailty
    Amon Amarth – Shield Wall
    Insomnium – Valediction
    High Command – Visions from the Blade
    Tomb Mold – Infinite Resurrection
    Arallu – Guard of Sheol
    Calyx – Loarre
    Vehemence – La Sorciere du Bois Lunerive
    Fleshgod Apocalypse – Sugar
    Aephanemer – Unstoppable
    Belzebubs – Cathedrals of Mourning
    Witch Vomit – Fumes of Dying Bodies
    Zuriaake – Evil Spirit
    Xoth – Mountain Machines
    Necropanther – Doomed City
    Ossuary – Lured by Cadence of Wraiths
    Blue Hummingbird on the Left – Hail Huitzilopochtli
    Warcrab – Halo of Flies
    Obsequiae – Palms of Sorrowed Kings
    Warforged – We’ve Been Here Before
    Green Lung – Let the Devil In

  7. Darkthrone – The Hardship of the Scots

  8. Vanum – Jaws Of Rapture
    Misþyrming – Með svipur á lofti
    Serpent Column – Amphiclasm
    Funereal Presence – Wherein Achatius is Awakened and Called Upon
    Sinmara – Crimson Stars
    Véheménce – Par Le Sang Versé
    ORM – Klippens Lyle Hal
    Yellow Eyes – No Dust

  9. Hooo boy, ok. Time to backtrack through the reviews archive until I find the first one of 2019 to even remember what the fuck happened during this giant shitfire of a year.

  10. The Great Old Ones- The Omniscient
    Yellow Eyes- No Dust
    Aara- Aare
    Deafheaven- Black Brick
    Latitudes- Moorland Is the Sea
    Serpent Column- Ausweg
    Adrift- Mist
    Abigail Williams- Ever So Bold

  11. Spirit Adrift – Angel and Abyss
    Mastiff – Quarantine
    Ares Kingdom – Talis Chimera Est
    Second to Sun – Pages from a Manuscript
    Rimfrost – At the Blessing of the Dammed

  12. Oh yeah, also Dream Tröll – Chrome Skull Viper

  13. Asagraum – They crawl from the broken circle
    Atlantean kodex – People of the moon
    Atlantean kodex – Lion of Chaldea
    Atlantean kodex – Chariots (yes, I really love this album)
    The Hu – Wolf totem
    Malakhim – In the rays of a new sun
    Mephorash – 777 The third woe
    Mephorash – King of kings, lord of lords
    Misthyrming – Og er haustið líður undir lok
    Nordligblåst – Black wings
    Our survival depends on us – Gold and silver
    The Watcher – Diva of divinity
    Ultra silvam – Birth of a mountain
    Батюшка – Песнь 4 (The real Batushka)
    Lifvsleda – II
    Daymares – Anti
    Blut aus Nord – Nomos nebuleam
    Mgla – Age of excuse III
    Ibex moon – 暗霧翻湧 Dark Fogs Billow
    Deus mortem – The soul of the worlds

  14. Aegrus – Ascending Shadows
    Downcross – Reviving The Ancient Darkness
    Krater- Zwischen den Worten & Stellar Sparks
    Martelo Perpetuo – Sob O Fioda Espoda
    Naer Mataron – Le Martin des Magiciens
    Noctem – The Black Consecration
    Vukari – Abrasive Hallucinations
    The Great Old Ones – Nyarlathotep
    Funeral Storm – The Origin Of Utter Evil
    Idle Hands – Give Me To The Night
    High Command – Visions From The Blade
    Plateau Sigma – A Parody Of Medea
    Darkened – The Offering
    In Mourning – Black Storm
    Nightbearer – Lycanthropic Death Squad
    The Drowning – Prometheus Blinded
    Sidious – Serpent King
    Hate – Sobereign Sanctity
    Blood Incantation – Slave Species Of Gods
    Black Beast – Your Cold Grave
    Arkona – Age Of Capricorn
    Ungoliantha – Ghost Wanderer and
    Warcrab – Kraken Arise

  15. Volahn – El tigre del sur. Boom! Done.

    That’s also What’s 2019s best ep answered!

    • Okay.

      Borknagar – Up North (the track, obv) is massively infectious as well!

      I find this such a tall order, as metal’s enjoyment, especially the extremer variations, is often best experienced by listening to an entire album, rather than to just one song….

  16. Malignant Altar – Retribution of Jealous Gods

  17. Bölzer – A Shepherd in Wolven Skin

    Infectious as hell for me, not sure why it was not covered here yet

  18. Acheronian Scar – Darkness Prevails
    Sacred Reich – Awakening
    Deadspace – As Time. Moves Backwards
    Premature Burial – Back To Zero
    Panzerfaust – The Men Of Noman’s Land
    Sovereign – Transmission From Kingdom
    Khnum – Invocato Deo Plaga
    Finsterforst – Ecce Homo (Single Version)
    Crypt Sermon – The Snake Handler
    Tomb Mold – Infinity Resurrection
    Spirit Adrift – Hear Her
    Vastum – Reveries In Autophagia
    Nova – Noi Mai Vinti
    Cadaver Soiree – Aeon Of Lies
    Structural – Turn On The Lights
    Nocturnus A. D. – Procession Of Equinoxes
    Black Royal – Pagan Saviour
    Horror Chamber – The Edge Of Existence
    Fellahin Fall – Of Fallen Words
    Obriz – Beyond Horizon
    1349- Dodskamp and many more
    Such a great year for extreme metal kudos to ncs for its extensive coverage of em on this planet earth

  19. First time poster, long time lurker. Here’s 5 tracks I really love:

    “The Shamanic Vision” – Waste of Space Orchestra
    “Echoes Emanate Forms” – Krypts
    “Leprous Fire” – Teitanblood
    “A7V Mephisto” – 1914
    “Casting the Sigil” – Xoth

    And while this song didn’t come out this year you know what’s a great track that should never be forgotten? 1985’s “Things Can Only Get Better” by Howard Jones. Definitely better than anything he did with Killswitch Engage.

    • I would like to update my list to include EVERY SONG on the new Blood Incantation album that just dropped today. Pardon my language, but holy fudging shucks. This album is INCREDIBLE.

  20. Still waiting to hear the new Lord Mantis, but the title track from Witch Vomit’s Buried Deep in a Bottomless Grave has got a great hummable riff.

  21. Owl Woods Graves – Citizenship of the Abyss
    Sedimentum – L’océan Encéphalique
    Ultra Silvam – Birth of a Mountain
    Darkthrone – I Muffle Your Inner Choir
    Green Lung – The Ritual Tree
    Flesh of the Stars – Mercy
    Csejthe – Lycanthropie Misanthropie
    Suffering Hour – Dwell

  22. My apologies for the repeats, but goddamn even I nearly forgot about Mr. Nekrasov’s wizardry on Hark!Hark!Hark!

    White Ward – Love exchange failure
    Blut Aus Nord – Sibelius
    Alcest – Sapphire
    Nocturnal Departure – Dismal existence
    Abigail Williams – I will depart
    Blue hummingbird on the left – Sun/Warclub
    Asagraum – They crawl from the broken circle
    Rebel Wizard – hair, wet soil, metallic taste

  23. In no particular order:

    Lost in Grey – Far Beyond and Further
    Swallow the Sun – Firelights
    Sulphur Aeon – Thou Shalt Not Speak His Name
    Soen – Covenant
    Янтарные Слезы – Там, Где Нет Весны
    Rammstein – Puppe
    Thenighttimeproject – Rotting Eden
    An Isolated Mind – Afraid of Dissonance
    Ashbringer – Dreamscape
    Eternal Storm – Embracing Waves
    The Fifth Alliance – Aleister
    Cult of Luna – The Silent Man
    Insomnium – Heart Like a Grave
    In Mourning – Yields of Sand
    Borknagar – Voices
    The Great Old Ones – The Omniscient
    Hanging Garden – Into That Good Night
    Bewailer – Thorngates
    Slipknot – Solway Firth

  24. Mayhem – Agenda Ignis
    Waste of Space Orchestra – Wake up the Possessor
    Wolvennest – The Storm
    Blood Incantation – Awakening from the Dream…(Mirror of the Soul)
    Oozing Wound – Tween Shitbag

  25. Dyphtê – Lame noire
    Serpent Column – Apophenia
    Sinmara – Crimson Stars
    Gjendød – Når sårene er renset
    Kostnatění – Hrůza zvítězí
    Deathspell Omega – Renegade Ashes

  26. Abyssal – Khyphotic Suzerains
    Aeon Winds – Beyond All Empty Places
    Alcest – Protection
    Altarage – Knowledge
    Car Bomb – Scattered Sprites
    Ceremony of Silence – Ceremony of a Thousand Stars
    Cognizance – Strychnine Shift
    Dawn of Nil – Our Crusade
    Devourment – Cognitive Sedation Butchery
    Dissentient – Blood Digital
    Elephant Watchtower – Psalm of Indoctrine
    Hath – Usurpation
    Haunter – Dispossessed Phrenic Antiquity
    Infant Annihilator – The Kingdom Sitteth Lonely Beneath Thine Hollowed Heavens
    Midnight Odyssey – When Titans Fall
    Mo’ynoq – These Once Tranquil Grounds
    Noctambulist – Atmospheres of Desolation
    Singularity – Ritual of Regret
    Sorathian Dawn – Adversarial Iconoclast
    Warforged – Cellar
    Wretched Fate – Heading for Beheading

  27. Cattle Decapitation – Bring Back The Plague
    Tool – Pneuma
    Leprous – The Sky Is Red
    Devin Townsend – Sprite
    Lo-Pan – Everything Burns
    The Odious – Arbiter of Taste (this whole album rules)
    Cult of Luna – The Silent Man

  28. Some exceptions to the rule here, but…

    Arctos – The Ancestor’s Path
    Chrome Waves – Past the Lights
    Esogenesi – Decadimento Astrale
    Eternal Storm – The Scarlet Lake
    Fvneral Fvkk – The Hallowed Leech
    Idle Hands – Give Me to the Night
    Judiciary – Social Crusade
    Netherbird – Mercury Skies
    Obscure Infinity – Grotesque Face
    Pallbearer – Atlantis
    Sanhedrin – In from the Outside
    Solstrom – Eklips
    Tomb Mold – Infinite Resurrection
    Venom Prison – Sadistic Rituals
    Vukari – Disparity (The Great Works)

  29. False – A Victual For Our Dead Selves

  30. I’m just going to drop this one that premiered here back in April: HLX1 – Taaar Jurkhaath Miykht

  31. Cult of Luna – The Fall

  32. I really Like metal songs but sometimes I like rock bands! nice your article


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