Feb 132014

Welcome to Part 28 of our list of 2013′s Most Infectious Extreme Metal Songs. For more details about what this list is all about and how it was compiled, read the introductory post via this link. To see the selections that preceded the three songs I’m announcing today, click here.

We’re down to the last two days of this series, with three more today and 300 more tomorrow. Just kidding — but I’ll tell you, it’s awfully hard for me to let go of this series. There are so many great songs I’m going to have to omit if it’s ever going to end. As for today’s three, I’m not sure there’s any theme that would justify this grouping. I have simply found all three to be powerful, and powerfully infectious, and I need to have them on this list before it ends.


It took seven long years for this fabled Austrian band to release a new album, but it finally came in 2013: Old Morning’s Dawn. Though I am most definitely a Tolkein nerd, I’m not a Summoning nerd, having only a passing acquaintance with only shards of the band’s previous discography. Therefore, I am incapable of intelligently debating (as many others have) whether Old Morning’s Dawn stands up to so many years of building expectations. I’m also incapable of debating whether those Summoning worshippers in Utah’s Caladan Brood out-performed their masters on 2013’s Echoes of Battle, because I’ve only heard one song from that album (and I’m mentioning that comparison only because I know some of you are going to bring it up). Continue reading »

Dec 282013

Between the time I’ve spent with family and friends over the holidays and pushing out the biggest year-end LISTMANIA series our site has ever published, I’ve been constricted in my ability to listen to new songs and forthcoming releases. But I keep lists. I keep lists like a hoarder of names. Never mind that actually making it through the lists is a frail hope, given that they keep growing, and growing, and growing…

But yesterday, I made a small dent in them and came away with four songs I’m really high on. Two of them are new tracks by bands whose past work I’ve admired, and two of them come from bands who I’d never heard before. Musically, the four songs have very little in common, other than the fact that they are all winners — and they all have darkness in their souls.


Hail Spirit Noir’s first album, Pneuma (reviewed here), was unlike anything else I heard in 2012. It was exceedingly strange and yet brilliant, a splicing together of black metal, 60′s flower-power pop psychedelics, 70′s prog rock, 80′s New Wave dance beats, melodic doom, and even cool jazz. Each song was distinctively different from, though related to, the others, like cousins on a gnarled family tree. Continue reading »