Feb 072022


In compiling my list of 2021’s Most Infectious Extreme Metal songs I had a big rebound from the year before. The 2020 list died a sad death, withering away from neglect. I made it from Part 1 through Part 17, which collectively included 47 songs, and then I just never got back to it, thanks to my day job crushing me. This year the day job pretty much left me alone and I made it through 25 Parts and 99 (!) songs before voluntarily choosing to end the list.

99 songs is a ton of music, but it’s not the only time I’ve gone that far. My 2018 list also included 99 songs — compared to the 47 songs on the 2020 list, the 60 songs on the 2019 list, the 78 from 2017, and the 71 from the year before that. There’s no consistency in the numbers because I pretty much make up these lists as I go and am not always able to post new installments every day (as I was able to do  this year) . Continue reading »

Feb 042022


Today I must bring this list to an end. It’s not because I’m really finished — I have dozens more songs I’d like to add and write about. It’s because we’re now a week into February and I really ought to spend more time focusing on the songs of this year instead of yesteryear.

So, please do me a favor and hold your fire. I know I didn’t include some of the songs you’ve been waiting to see, and please don’t question how the hell I chose the ones I did include, at the cost of your own favorites, because it was anything but an organized, scientific, and well-thought-out process. I’m happy with what I chose, but easily could have chosen others.

That statement is as true of today’s final songs as all the ones that came before. I picked a few — okay, more than a few (though accompanied by fewer words and no artwork) — but in coming down to the wire I yielded even more to random impulse than probably ever before.

On Monday I’ll add a “wrap up” post that compiles everything on the list from eager beginning to anguished end, all in one place. And with that, here are the final choices, this time arranged alphabetically. Continue reading »

Feb 032022


Even if you didn’t already know, the fact that today’s installment of this list includes seven songs would be a clear sign that I’m about to bring it to an end (really, I am).

Unlike some of the more recent segments, this one focuses on a single but fairly broad sub-genre, which for want of a better term could be called “melodic black metal”. But that still doesn’t mean these songs sound alike, and in fact they’re quite different from each other. The appearance of many of them shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone who hung around our site last year, but this group does include one big surprise; it surprised the hell out of me, that’s for sure.


My compatriot DGR wrote of Necronautical‘s latest album that it’s one “you’ll be buckling up for as wave after wave of black metal buttressed by a healthy dose of keyboard synth washes over you in an attempt to drag you under the tide”. He also wrote that “it’s also easy to understand how they band would make the title track one of the keystone songs of the disc”: Continue reading »

Feb 022022

The Amenta


When I announced that I was blowing past Monday’s deadline for completing this list I wrote that I might possibly continue it through Friday. Now I would say that’s a certainty. Which means I have three days, including this one, to finish the list.

Today’s choices are a musical smorgasbord, wide-ranging in their styles and moods, and “infectious” in different ways. To check out the songs that preceded these four on the list, GO HERE.

THE AMENTA (Australia)

Release-wise, The Amenta had a busy 2021 after allowing 8 years to go by since their preceding album, Flesh Is Heir. They brought forth the new album Revelator, a split with Aborym, and an EP named Solipschism.

We’re big fans of The Amenta around these parts and accordingly devoted quite a lot of attention to them last year, but our man DGR is probably the most devoted fan. He reviewed both the full album and the EP, and so even though I’m solely responsible for this list, I deferred to him in the choice of song (among several that were strong candidates). Continue reading »

Feb 012022

First Fragment

As explained yesterday, I decided to plow through my self-imposed end-of-January deadline for finishing this list because it became apparent to me that I had overlooked a number of tracks that really needed to be included. Worse than that, I had really given short-shrift to a few entire genres of extreme metal. Since one of my objectives for the list has been to give a snapshot of what the preceding year brought us across a range of genres, that deficiency needed to be remedied, at least to some extent.

Technical death metal is one of the genres that hasn’t really gotten the exposure it deserves in the list as it exists so far. Today’s installment is an effort to at least partially make up for that, and I’ve also included a technically adept band whose music is often classified as melodic black/death.


“Let’s face it, 2021 has been a ridiculous year for the Tech Death scene.” That’s how Andy Synn began his review of First Fragment’s Gloire Éternelle, and who could argue with that? But it’s also fair to say that despite the intensity of the competition First Fragment still stood out. Continue reading »

Jan 312022

The Lurking Fear


We’ve had an unusually high volume of content at NCS on this last day of January, but our flood of posts on this Monday now comes to an end with this one, though not in the way I originally expected.

I had vowed to myself and to you  to close the rollout of this Most Infectious Song list today. But over the weekend I realized just how much I had overlooked, even after 20 installments and 65 songs (all of which you can find here). In part this was a result of consulting with my long-time NCS comrades Andy Synn and DGR (this is, after all, called “Our List”, even though the song choices are always my own decision). And so I’ve decided, after all, not to end the list today.

How much longer I’ll continue isn’t something I’ve figured out yet, but at least for a few more days and possibly to the end of the week, but not past that.

With all that said, here are five more songs for the list. Continue reading »

Jan 302022


Before we get to the music I have a few announcements:

First, Sundays at NCS are usually reserved for the SHADES OF BLACK column. I’ve made the music selections for it today, but it’s only partially written. Hopefully I’ll finish and post it before I have to depart the site this morning. Whether I do or don’t, my traditional efforts to blacken the sabbath influenced my picks for today’s installment of this list (to see the preceding picks, go here).

Second, my song choices for today’s segment are unusual because I’m opening and closing with two very long songs. Long songs can be fantastic, but I think it’s rare for them to strike people as “infectious”. I think both of these are, in the sense that they are both so memorable.

Third, I’ve been persuaded to break my self-imposed rule that this list must end on the last day of January. I’m going to keep it going for a few more days into February. More on that in what was supposed to be the last installment of the list tomorrow. Now let’s get to today’s selections…. Continue reading »

Jan 292022


We’re getting down to the wire for the completion of this list, so I’m doing my best to pack in as much as I can before I post the final installment on Monday — hence, this Saturday segment, and I’ll add another one on Sunday. I’m also again expanding the remaining segments to include four songs instead of the usual three.

For most of these posts I’ve had some kind of reason for grouping the songs together, even if they may not always be clear to others. But today there’s no reason at all. I’m just flailing around trying not to forget things as the list rushes to a close. To check out all the preceding songs on the list, click this link.

SARKE (Norway)

Darkthrone put out a well-received new album last year and there’s still a chance I might pick something from it for this list, but today I’m adding something from a different Nocturno Culto project, i.e., Sarke. The fact that I’m now including this song should come as no surprise, because I did actually guarantee it when I first commented on the track back in October. Continue reading »

Jan 282022

Dormant Ordeal


In an effort to make up for failing to post an installment of the list yesterday I’ve posted two today, this being the second. All the other installments are collected HERE. As you can see, I’ve also included four songs in this segment instead of the usual three. There ain’t much time left before I need to stop adding to the list, and I’m trying to get as much into it as I can before the clock runs out.

Speaking of which, I’m planning to post another installment on Saturday and one on Sunday, leading up to the last grouping on Monday. Pretty sure I’ll add four songs in each of these three remaining segments. Twelve more to go, and it’s going to be a struggle to figure out the last eight of them (I already know what I’m doing tomorrow).


It should come as no surprise to anyone who frequents NCS that there is (finally) a Dormant Ordeal track on this list. Most of us around here don’t agree on everything, but there was a pretty emphatic consensus among us that Dormant Ordeal’s The Grand Scheme of Things was one of the best albums of 2021. Continue reading »

Jan 282022

Temple of Dread


You may have noticed that I didn’t post one of these installments yesterday. What can I say? I write these things on a “day of” basis instead of the night before, and yesterday was just a fucked-up day. One of those days when one unexpected distraction after another slashed into my NCS time. To make up for that, my plan is to post two of these installments today, provided that the universe doesn’t throw any more knives at me.

I’m leaning into death metal with these three picks. I get a big kick out of every one of these songs, and listening to them one after the other is an even bigger kick. I hope you’ll agree that it’s a hell of a three-song rush. To check out the 49 songs that have preceded these on the list, go HERE.


I had the pleasure of reviewing and premiering a full stream of Temple of Dread‘s 2021 album Hades Unleashed, and quickly became addicted to the whole thing. It’s so packed with infectious songs that I thought the only way I could pick just one for this list would be to tape the track list to a wall, close my eyes, and throw a dart at it. Continue reading »