Nov 182022


You might not have noticed, but our annual LISTMANIA extravaganza at NCS has begun, as evidenced by this post from a week ago. But we didn’t really give this project a proper introduction, so we’re doing that now. For those of you new to the orgy, our LISTMANIA blockbuster comes in four parts:

First, like that post linked above, we re-print assorted lists of the year’s best albums, leeched from other big web sites and magazines. Second, we will provide a post in which our readers can share their lists of the 2022 albums and shorter releases they enjoyed the most (we’ll be asking for those on December 1st, so get ready). Third, we will post the year-end lists of our own staff and assorted guest writers, and that will begin on December 9th.

And fourth, I’ll again roll out my list of the year’s Most Infectious Extreme Metal Songs — which still seems especially well-named in this third year of covid, 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.

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, especially 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. In 2020 I stopped at 47 tracks — again because I simply ran out of time. Last year the list swelled again, to 99 tracks, tying the 2018 record.

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 and because I can’t foresee the extent to which outside interferences in my work or personal life might distract me.

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. Here Are The Ones I Found To Be More Infectioust Ones…
    1.Aborted / Infinite Terror
    2.Behemoth / The Deathless Sun
    3.Immolation / The Age Of No Light
    4.Obituary / The Wrong Time
    5.Exodus / The Fires Of Division
    6.Misery Index / The Eaters And The Eaten
    7.Goatwhore / Angels Hung From The Arches Of Heaven
    8.Ultar / Innsmouth
    9.Noctem / Credo Certe Ne Cros
    10.Invictus / Get Up
    11.Abduction / Kernos Crown
    12.Deviser / Absence Of Heaven
    13.Maceration / Epiphany Of The Past
    14.Meshuggah / The Abysmal Eye
    15.Torture Killer / Dead Inside
    16.Decapitated / Iconoclast feat. Robb Flynn
    17.Revocation / Nihilistic Violence
    18.Tallah / For The Recognition
    19.Nordjevel / Spores Of Gnosis
    20.Dysgnostic (Denmark) / Beneath Abysmal Plains

  2. Ultha – Rats Gorged the Moon…and All Fell Silent
    Gudsforladt – Heads Bowed in Silent Prayer
    Wiegedood – FN SCAR 16
    Grave Pilgrim – Molten Hands Reach West
    Lune – Hymns to the Lunar Realm
    Vananidr – The Watcher
    Vital Spirit – Lord of the Plains
    Glyph – Lost Beyond Time
    Uzlaga – The Lighthouse
    Saccage – Charogne
    Northmoon – Jagdpanzer 666
    Vimur – Transcendental Violence
    Orm – Floden, som kan skabe
    Daeva – The Architect and the Monument
    Bad Manor – The Study, Filled with Books
    Devouring Famine – The Mentor’s Skull
    Tomb Mold – Prestige of Rebirth
    Autonoesis – Moon of Foul Magics
    Serpent Antique – La Mue
    Kostnatění – Plevne Marşı

  3. Goatwhore – Ruinous Liturgy

    Coathanger Abortion- Millville Madness

  4. Blood incantation – Ea
    Astral Tomb – Transversing the Wandering Star
    Amon Amarth – Saxons and Vikings
    Temple of void – Deathtouch
    Botch – One Twenty Two
    Worm – Shadowside Kingdom
    Mother of Graves – Where Shadows Adorn
    Vacuous – Matriarchal Blood (more cowbell!)

  5. Laparatomy – Ascendancy Through Hypnagogic Thought Process
    Universally Estranged – Universally Estranged
    Disillusion – Tormento
    Floating – Gag
    Kathaaria – The Judas Principle
    Battlegrave – We Die Here
    Vexation – Hadean Eternity
    Magnatar – Event Horizon
    Moon Tooth – Back Burner
    Furis Ignis – Guarding The Gate
    Ashenspire – Tragic Heroin
    Gutvoid – Delivered To The Altar Lich

  6. Swampborn: Muscarum
    White Ward: Leviathan
    Worm: Shadowside Kingdom
    Wake: Venerate (The Undoing of All)
    Gevurah: Memento Homo …
    Immolation: Noose of Thorns
    Nostromo: IED (Intermittent Explosive Disorder)
    Haserot: Incantations at Dusk
    Aeviterne: Penitent
    Veilburner: VI (Vulgar Incantations)
    Blut Aus Nord: The Apotheosis of the Unnamable
    An Abstract Illusion: Tear Down This Holy Mountain

    A terrific year for metal, and a terrible one for almost anything else.
    Thank you NCS for all your efforts!

    • ‘Incantations at Dusk’ immediately made me think of the breakdown riff on ‘flying whales’ by Gojira, but of course it is quite different in the end.

  7. Deathless Void – Crossing the Threshold
    Bekor Qilish – Self-Destructed Destruction
    Decapitated – No Cure / Suicidal Space Programme
    Undeath – Human Chandelier

    : )

  8. My song of the year is for sure, Shadow Haven from MMXX. Dan’s vocals are amazing, he should sing wayyy more often.

  9. Every song on Acts of God by Immolation.

  10. Misery Index – Complete Control
    Immolation – The Age of No Light
    Brutus – Victoria
    Undeath – Bone Wrought

    Every 200 Stab Wounds songs even if it’s late 2021!!!!!

  11. Firtan – Mentekel
    Disillusion – Abide the Storm
    White Ward – Leviathan
    Cavernous Gate – Old Graves Stir
    Cult of Luna – The Long Road North
    Aenaon – Trauma Cultura
    Swampborn – Transitions
    Perish – Sleepless
    Panzerfaust The Far Bank at the River Styx
    Wallfahrer – Denunziantendoktrin
    Negative Plane – Three Doors to the West
    Ultha – Bathed in Lightning, Bathed in Heat
    Zeal & Ardor – Götterdämmerung
    Persefone – Katabasis

  12. Wormrot – When Talkin Fails, It’s Time For Violence

  13. Plague Years – Suffer
    Cult of Luna – Cold Burn
    Messa – Pilgrim
    Misery Index – The Eaters and the Eaten
    Blackbraind – Barefoot Ghost Dance on Blood Soaked Soil
    The Otolith – Andromeda’s Wing
    Obsidious – Sense of Lust
    Konvent – Grains
    Kanonenfieber – Stop the War
    Wiegedood – FN Scar 16
    Obituary – The Wrong Time
    I AM – Surrender to the Blade
    Veilburner – Lo! Heirs to the Serpent
    Absent in Body – Rise from Ruins
    The Black Moriah – Just a Taste
    Entrails – Possessed
    Conan – Righteous Alliance
    Cruz – Als Peus de la Creu
    Gaerea – Mantle

  14. Autonoesis ‘Moon of Foul Magics’
    Autonoesis ‘Nihility, Endless Winter’
    White Ward ‘Leviathan’
    Venator ‘The Seventh Seal’
    Lurid ‘Unchained’
    Riot City ‘Eye of the Jaguar’
    Vorga ‘Starless Sky’
    Disillusion ‘Am Abgrund’

  15. Feminazgul – A Las Barricadas
    Kanonenfieber – Der Fusilier I & II
    Spider God – Baby
    deafheaven – Mombasa
    Forelunar – Seraph
    The Callous Daoboys – Star Baby
    Bloodywood – Gaddaar
    Lune – Lustrous Gates

  16. Gudsforladt – The Prisoner and His Willing Sacrifice in Repentance
    Blackbraid – Barefoot Ghost Dance on Bloodsoaked Soil
    Hulder – Sylvan Awakening
    Lamp of Murmuur – Nocturnal Vengeance
    Falls of Rauros – Poverty Hymn
    Krallice – Arrokoth Trieme

  17. Glass Ox – Aisle Contact
    Suffering Hour – Crawling Embers
    Might – Lucky Me
    Veilburner – Repulsed by the Light
    The Callous Daoboys – Title Track
    Sigh – Kuroi Kage
    Haunter – Overgrown with the Moss
    Cosmic Putrefaction – Cradle Wrecked, Curtains Unfurled
    White Ward – Cronus
    Cult Of Luna – Cold Burn
    Bekor Qilish – Ocean of Malice
    The Mars Volta – Black Light Shine
    Wormgod – Blossom of Fear
    Atruta – Pustata, Što Zaviecca Budučyniaj
    Bedsore – At the Mountains of Madness
    Voak – Atemzüge Der Wölfe
    Et Moriemur- Haneda+Sagami
    Downcross – Invariant Fall of The Doomed
    Arkheth – Clarity Came with A Cool Summer’s Breeze
    Worm Shepherd – Ritual Hymns
    Kanonenfieber – Der Füsilier II
    Maul – Of Human Frailty
    Final Light (Perturbator X Johannes Persson) – Final Light
    Synteleia- Harvest the Forest
    Vengeur – Imitatory Tenets
    Nachtrab – Nachtrab
    Incantvm- Lamie
    Tzompantli – Ohtlatocopailcahualuztli
    Predatory Light – Death and The Twilight Hours
    Acephalix – Abyssal
    Daeva – The Architect And The Monument

    • more:

      Devil Master – Neverending night
      Disinter – The hell we’ve become
      Swampborn – Beyond ratio
      Unto others – Heroin
      Messa – Dark horse
      Acid mammoth – Black rites

  18. Mantar – Odysseus
    White Ward – Silence Circles
    Deathspell Omega – Our Life is Your Death

  19. An Abstract Illusion: Slaves
    An Abstract Illusion: Tear Down This Holy Mountain
    Tomarum: Condemned to a life of grief
    Inexorum : Creation myth
    Djevel: naa skrider natten sort
    Drudkh : thé nocturnal one
    Audrey Horne: Devil’s bell

  20. A Blank Canvas of Flesh – Sensory Amusia

  21. Neolithic – Shattering Vessels
    Tishina – Iz Mrtvog Ugla [Из Мртвог Угла]
    Doldrum – The Knocking
    Falls of Rauros – Known World Narrows
    Worm – Bluenothing
    The Callous Daoboys – A Brief Article Regarding Time Loops
    In Silence – Kvaen

  22. Celeste – de tes yeux bleus perlés
    Hanging garden – On the Shore of Eternity
    Dawn of solace – Skyline
    Tersivel – Moving On
    Hath – All That Was Promised
    Gloson – Tirsa Vassals
    Rammstein – Dicke Titten
    Rise to the Sky – Every Day, a Funeral
    Septicflesh – A Desert Throne
    Kardashev – Glass Phantoms
    Winds of Ruin – A Cold Grave
    Darkane – Inhuman Spirits
    White Ward – False Light
    Wake – Bleeding Eyes of the Watcher
    Rolo Tomassi – Presience
    The Halo effect – Shadowminds
    Machine Head – Slaughter the Martyr
    An Abstract Illusion – Tear Down this Holy Mountain
    Wolfheart – Desolated Land
    Gaerea – Mirage
    Crone – No One is Ever Alive
    Evadne – Silhouettes of a Faceless Sun (this was technically released last year, but so late they missed the opportunity to be mentioned then)
    Disillusion – Tormento
    Strigoi – Redeemer
    Ultar – Through the Golden Gates of Dawn
    Karg, E-L-R – EBBE//FLUT
    Harakiri for the Sky – Homecoming: Denied!

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