Nov 242020


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 2020 albums and shorter releases they enjoyed the most (we’ll be asking for those in about one week from now, so get ready). Third, we post the year-end lists of our own staff and assorted guest writers.

And fourth, I’ll again roll out my list of the year’s Most Infectious Extreme Metal Songs — which seems especially well-named this year, doesn’t it? That 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 some 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. In 2018 I stopped at 99 (double-gulp!), and in 2019 I partially came to my senses and stopped the list at 60 tracks.

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 in line with the number I had last 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. Ah yes! I’ve always loved this. And is an excuse to check the albums out with the recommendations. Here’s my tentative list on that front.
    1.Lowrider – Pipe Rider
    2.Misery Signals – Sunlifter
    3.Macbeth – In seinem Namen
    4.Vredehammer – Agressor
    5.Beggar – Blood Moon
    6.Spell – Primrose Path
    7.Orbit Culture – North Star of Nija
    8.Cirith Ungol – Fractus Promissum
    9.The Ending Cometh – Forming the Void
    10.Fellahin Fall – A Fading Whisper
    11.Axis of Light – Serpentine Smirk
    12.Frowning – The Sound of Abandonment
    13.Havukruunu – Kunnes Varjot Saa
    14.Black Crown Initiate – Years in Frigid Light
    15.Panzerfaust – Pascal’s Wager
    16.Orden Ogan – In the Dawn of AI
    17.Disavowed – The Enlightened One
    18.Haken – Prosthetic
    19.Battlemaster – Black Challenge
    20.Burden of Life – Geistesblitz
    21.Barishi – Old Smoke
    22.Polaris – Vagabond
    23.Bleed from Within – Night Crossing

  2. These too.. sorry.

    1. Descend – Blood Moon
    2. Sylosis – I Sever
    3. Ambush – Leave them to die
    4. Demonic Death Judge – Filthy as Charged
    5. Paradise Lost – Ghosts

  3. I respond to you with this list:

    1. Sweven – Mycelia

    2. Ulcerate – Dissolved Orders

    3. Grave Circles – Predominance

    4. OmegaVortex – Cosmic Horror Maelstrom

    5. Mörk Gryning – Fältherren

    6. Necrophobic – The Infernal Depths of Eternity

    7. Skeletal Remains – Congregation of Flesh

    8. Selbst – The Depths of Selfishness

    9. Bedsore – At the mountains of Madness

    10. Convocation – The Abscence of Grief

    11. Vampire – Melek-Taus

    12. Paradise Lost – Serenity

    13. Bythos – Omega Dragon

    14. Aara – Arkanum

    15. Nomad – In the hands of Progression

    16. Temple of Void – The World that Was

    17. Dark Tranquillity – Phantom Days

    18. Anaal Nathrakh – Feeding the death Machine

  4. The Breath of Chaos – Infera Bruo
    Tyende Sang – AFSKY
    The Serpent of Nastrong – Ovader
    Silvery Howling – Ymir
    Befallen Order – The Infernal Sea
    Hellish Reaping Screams – Burial

    Gnode – Atrae Bilis
    Dream Infested – Noxis
    Sadistic – Disembowel

    The Lock and The Key – Fire in the Distance
    The Eye of the End – Marche Funèbre
    Radiance – Nug
    Despair – Rannoch
    Another World – Gojira

  5. Necrophobic – Mirror Black
    Te Ruki – E Vero Teie
    Mystras – Castles Conquered and Reclaimed
    Creative Waste – Enemy
    Aeternam – Lunar Ceremony
    Aborted – Gloom and the Art of Tribulation
    Sojourner – Eulogy for the Lost
    Wolfheart – The Hammer

  6. I always get so much good music out of this series.

    The Reticent – “Stage 2: The Captive”
    Anaal Nathrahk – “Endarkenment”
    Deftones – “This Link is Dead”
    The Ocean – “Jurassic | Cretaceous”
    Ulcerate – “Exhale Ash”
    Stoned God – “Alive”
    Protest the Hero – “All Hands”
    Creature – “Fugue en Sol Mineur”
    Code Orange – “You and You Alone”
    Black Crown Initiate – “Sun of War”

  7. Jordablod – A Grand Unveiling
    Afsky – Tyende Sang
    Panzerfaust – Aereopagitica
    Lamp of Murmuur – A Burning Spear to the Heart of Dawn (Part 1)
    Μνήμα – Vomitorious Desecration
    Vonlaus – Gjaldþrot
    Uprising – Uprise Part II
    Spirit Possession – Deity of Knives and Pointed Apparitions
    Spectral Voice – Ineffable Winds
    Taake – Ubeseiret
    Fanebærer – Lad ørne kun rives
    Funeral Candies – Bapka
    Ulcerate – Stare into Death and Be Still
    Dynfari – Myrkurs er pörf
    Fluisteraars – Nasleep
    Liminal Shroud – A Hollow Visage
    Sentient Divide – Ancient Dominion
    Blood Spore – Dreading the Mycelial Mask
    Undeath – Lesions of a Different Kind
    Odraza – Bempo
    Intellect Devourer – Damian Rose from the Tomb of Jesus Christ

    • Axis Of Light – Ginnel Witch
      Wytch Hazel – Reap the Harvest
      Kvaen – Revenge by Fire
      Kannustaa – Don’t Leave Me
      The Ruins of Beverast – Hunters
      Kalt Vindur – Red Glow
      Carcass – Slaughtered in Soho


  8. Nero di Marte – L’Arca
    Ulcerate – Visceral Ends
    Odraza – Najkrótsza z wieczności
    Mourning Beloveth – I Saw a Dying Child in Your Arms
    Wake – Mouth of Abolition
    Melted Bodies – 99 Scents
    Mamaleek – Elsewhere
    Hail Spirit Noir – Crossroads
    Igorrr – Himalaya Massive Ritual
    Thy Catafalque – Embersólyom
    Obsidian Kingdom – Mr. Pan
    Panzerfaust – The Faustian Pact

  9. Battlemaster – Black Challenge
    Cytotoxin – Coast of Lies
    Decoherence – Final Boundary State
    Gulch – Self-Inflicted Mental Terror
    Kvaen – Revenge by Fire
    Lamp of Murmuur – Heir of Ecliptical Romanticism
    Mountain Caller – Journey Through the Twilight Desert
    Panzerfaust – The Snare of the Fowler
    Skam – Shit Out of Luck
    Svederna – Tempelhard
    Undeath – Acidic Twilight Visions
    Warbringer – Firepower Kills
    Yaldabaoth – Megas Archon 365
    Zeal and Ardor – Vigil

  10. I turned all of these into easy Google Video search links to make it a bit easier to look up and listen to.

  11. Here are the few songs i found impressive for this year 2020

    Enslaved – Homebound
    Necrophobic – Mirror Black
    Gohrgone – Weakones Deceived
    Naglfar – Vortex Of Negativity
    Hinayana – Cold Conception ft. Nature Ganganbaigal
    Vredehammer – Aggressor & Suffocate All Light
    Heaven Shall Burn – Ubermacht
    Tombs – The Hunger
    Black Crown Initiate – Invitation
    Inferi – Aeons Torn
    Beltez – Grey Chills And A Whisper
    Yaldabaoth – Megas Archon 365
    Hellripper – Spectres Of The Black Moon
    Ezkaton – Behind The Halo No More Lights
    Paradise Lost – Darker Thoughts
    Gaerea – Conspiranoia & Urge
    Toadeater – Too Close To The Sun
    Exitium Sui – Eviscerate My Withered Soul
    Nexion – The Spirit Of Black Breath
    Pallbearer – Forgotten Days
    Soilwork – Death Diviner
    Testament -Children Of The NExt Level

  12. Regarde Les Hommes Tomber – The Renegade Son
    Wayfarer – The Iron Horse (Gallows Frontier Act II)
    Psychotic Waltz – While The Spiders Spin
    The Black Dahlia Murder – Child Of Night & Verminous
    Ulcerate – Stare Into Death And Be Still
    Skeleton Remains – Congregation Of Flesh
    Grimah – Facade Of Futile Reflections
    Mimorium – I Am What We Are
    Te Ruki – Te Nohi
    Kevel – The Apophotic

  13. Do – Gravity Sacrifice
    Necrot – Sinister Will
    Heaven Shall Burn – Ubermacht
    Konvent – Puritan Masochism
    Yatra – Sorcerer
    Plague Years – Eternal Fire
    Hellripper – Spectres of the Blood Moon Sabbath
    Sylosis – Cycle of Suffering
    Prosanctus Inferi – Dark Scarp of Hell
    Arda – To Walk with Fire
    Clouds – The Path of Sorrow
    Vredehammer – s
    Ulcerate – Disolved Orders
    Kreator – 666 – World Divided
    Enslaved – Homebound
    Fides Inversa – A Wanderer’s Call and Orison
    Skeleton – Mark of Death
    Hinayana – Cold Conception
    Havukruunu – Ja Viimein On Yo
    Vredehammer – Winds of Dysphoria
    Aeternam – Al Qassam
    Ingested – Impending Dominance
    Ripped to Shreds – White Bone Spirit
    Gojira – Another World
    Zeal & Ardor – Trust No One
    Fuming Mouth – Master of Extrmeioty
    The Corona Latern – Through this Swamp of Oblivion
    Carcass – The Living Dead at the Manchester Morgue
    Korgull the Exterminator – Inquisitor Generalis
    Cro-Mags – From the Grave
    Gravenchallice – Behind Her Veil
    Vengeful Spectre – The Expendables
    Calligram – Kenosis

  14. Aeternam – Lunar Ceremony
    Afterbirth – Black Hole Kaleidoscope
    Akurion – Bedsores to the Bone
    Aseitas – Impermanence
    Atrae Bilis – Ectopian
    Avoidance – Deathcall of an Evil World pt.2
    Beneath the Massacre – Hidden in Plain Sight
    Binary Code – Notion of Gravity
    The Black Dahlia Murder – Removal of the Oaken Stake
    Carnosus – Lost to Funereal Desires
    Constellatia – All Nights Belong To You
    Convocation – The Absence Of Grief
    Cosmic Putrefaction – Abysmal Resonance Projection
    Cosmovore – Vessel
    Cult of Lilith – Cosmic Maelstrom
    Cytotoxin – Nuklearth
    Defeated Sanity – Propelled into Sacrilege
    Descend – Lily
    Diabolic Oath – Apocryphal Manifestations
    Exgenesis – Embers
    Fluisteraars – Nasleep
    I the Intruder – A.L.M. (A Loathing Message)
    Inanem – Blackwork
    Irist – Severed
    Koronal – A Gift Of Consciousness
    Kunstzone – Merciless
    Mephistophelian – The Purge
    Midnight Odyssey – Cold Winds Are a Distant Dream
    Nero Di Marte – La Casa Del Diavolo
    Perfecitizen – Humanipulation
    Quasarborn – Bastion
    Rannoch – The Dream
    Serpent Column – Άράχναιν
    Serpent Column – Splinters of Departure
    Spectrum of Delusion – Into Another Formation
    Sutrah – Lethe
    Sweven – Mycelia
    Valdrin – Red Burning Candles of Hatred
    Wyrmwoods – Subterrane
    Xenobiotic – Light that Burns the Sky
    Zan – Wedding Gazebo Placebo

  15. This has been a good year in my book for infectious viru.. ehh metal songs!

    1. Katatonia – Untrodden
    2. Paradise Lost – Darker Thoughts
    3. Countless Skies – Glow – Part I: Resolution
    4. Xenobiotic – Saphris
    5. Sylosis – I Sever
    6. Dawn of Ouroboros – Serpent’s Charm
    7. Sunken – Ensomhed
    8. Draconian – Claw Marks on the Grave
    9. Dawn of Solace – Lead Wings
    10. Lethian Dreams – Tidal
    11. Shores of Null – Beyond the Shores (On Death and Dying)
    12. The Ocean – Pleistocene
    13. Aeternam – Ithyphallic Spirits of Procreation
    14. God Dethroned – Book of Lies
    15. Marche Funebre – When All Is Said
    16. Wolfheart – Ashes
    17. Dark Tranquillity – Remain in the Unknown
    18. … And Oceans – Cosmis World Mother
    19. Aleah – Breathe
    20. Ashtar – Aeolus
    21. Clouds – Images and Memories
    22. Hanging Garden – Chance Encounters (Navigator)
    23. Rotten Monarch – Winds over Ash
    24. Wake – This Abyssal Pain
    25. Mountaineer – Bloodletting
    26. Selbst – The Depths of Selfishness
    27. Kvaen – Septem Peccata Mortalia
    28. Hail Spirit Noir – Alien Lip Reading
    29. Gaerea – To Ain
    30. Invernoir – Suspended Alive

  16. I can’t stop listening to “Chains” by Nite

  17. The lists have already started, but here are some of my picks (as always I’m frothing with anticipation for all the stuff I didn’t get to hear as of yet. Somehow Vredehammer has slipped past me, so I’m sure there’ll be many more great songs to be found from well-known bands and underground ones alike in the lists to come):

    Inquisition – Triumphant cosmic death
    Uada – Djinn
    Funeral Candies – Буря над Пслом
    Hail Spirit Noir – Incense swirls
    Thy Catafalque – Tsitsushka
    Anaal Nathrakh -Libidinous
    Make them die slowly – The terror begins
    Svederna – Folkets blod
    Malokarpatan – V brezových hájech poblíž Babinej zjavoval sa nám podsvetný velmož
    Tool – Pneuma
    Rebel Wizard – dance of the duchess in the pale pink light
    Gaerea – Conspiranoia
    Toadeater – Crows and sparrows
    Havukruunu – Pohjolan tytär

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