Tomorrow we will officially announce the beginning of our annual LISTMANIA extravaganza at NCS. 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 you’ll see tomorrow. Second, we will provide a post in which our readers can share their lists of the 2021 albums and shorter releases they enjoyed the most (we’ll be asking for those on December 1, so get ready). Third, we will 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 in this latest plague 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 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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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. Last year I stopped at 47 tracks — again because I simply ran out of time.
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, because I tend to make it up as I go along.
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.