Aug 312017

 

I saw a status by a Facebook friend today commenting that 2017 has been a shit year for people but a magnificent year for new records. It’s hard to argue with either of those propositions. And the latter truth has made the former one at least a little more tolerable, because good music has the capacity (at least temporarily) to carry us away from the woes of the world, or at least to offer a form of catharsis for those woes.

The year, of course, is not nearly over yet, and no doubt it will continue to rain down more shit on people and will also continue to see the release of more excellent music — including the debut album by the one-man Australian band Alder Glade. The album’s name is Spine of the World, and today we’re sharing its title track with you in advance of the album’s release tomorrow.

Aug 312017

 

(In this August 2017 edition of THE SYNN REPORT, Andy Synn reviews all three of the albums released to date by the German black metal band Fyrnask, the most recent of which was 2016’s Fórn.)

Recommended for fans of: Altar of Plagues, Leviathan, The Great Old Ones

It doesn’t seem like a full month has passed, does it? I swear it feels like only yesterday I was putting the final coat of paint and polish on the 87th edition of The Synn Report, and yet here I am again, scrambling to get #88 finished.

Heavy on atmosphere, yet equally heavy in terms of metallic venom and visceral aggression, Fyrnask neatly sidestep the introverted navel-gazing that afflicts much of the “Post-“ scene by virtue of a single-minded focus on ravenous creative expression and pure, primal catharsis.

Over the course of three impressively multifaceted and multilayered albums, the most recent of which, Fórn, came out just last year, Fyrnask mainman Fyrnd (who handles all instruments and vocals) has continued to explore and expand his sonic palette, incorporating a wealth of exotic instrumentation and esoteric ambience into the mix, although the foundation of the band’s sound remains grounded in bloody and raw-boned Black Metal.

So if you’re looking for something which offers both an instant spark and a deeper, longer-lasting burn, then please… read on.

Aug 312017


Jupiterian

 

I’m in the same situation I was in yesterday, with my fucking day job squeezing the life out of my NCS time, except now I’m being squeezed on the east coast of the U.S. instead of the west coast. As a result, this post, plus one forthcoming premiere, will be the only ones you’ll see at our site today.

Before entering the Land of Nod late last night I spent about an hour listening to new music selected at random, and heard one more stunner this morning over coffee. And because time is short I’ve picked only three of those to write about.

JUPITERIAN

I’ve written about this Brazilian band frequently in the past. The last time, when the subject was a new EP of cover songs, I referred to the band’s ability “to club a listener senseless” and to channel “pure evil — cask-strength and undiluted”, the “stark, desolate, and devastating” sensations of their music, and the capacity of the vocals alone “to give any normal person a shivering case of the night terrors”.

Little wonder that I nearly spilled my morning coffee when I saw a bunch of exciting news this morning about their new album Terraforming — including the revealing of a new song.

Aug 302017

 

(Andy Synn wrote this review of the just-released split by the German bands Ancst and King Apathy.)

If you’ve been hanging around NCS for a while you’ll doubtless be familiar, at least in passing, with the names Ancst and King Apathy.

Both are part of a loose-knit scene of Post/Black/Hardcore influenced Metal bands operating in and around Northern Germany, and both have been featured on this little blog of ours several times before, the most recent of which was my review of the latest Ancst EP, Furnace.

However, on the off chance that you don’t recognise the latter name perhaps it’s worth me pointing out that, until very recently, King Apathy were actually called Thränenkind, and released two albums under this particular moniker, the most recent of which (reviewed here) was itself called King Apathy.

Confused?

Don’t be. All you really need to know is that both bands make some intensely emotional, and emotionally intense, music, and that they’ve now teamed up for a split EP.

Aug 302017

 

It’s been a long time since my fucking day job has severely impinged on my blog life, but it’s happening again. The interference began on Monday and the situation has gotten increasingly worse since then.

I’ve fallen far behind in searching out new music and barely had time to listen to anything yesterday. This morning I have to get on an airplane and fly across the country, and when I get where I’m going I’ll be buried in work until turning around and flying back on Friday. So the volume of stuff at our site will dwindle over the remaining days of this week.

My brief listening session last night did lead to the discovery of excellent music by the two bands I’m writing about now. And so, without further ado, let’s get to them.

CONVOCATION

Convocation is a relatively new Finnish project consisting of L. Laaksonen, who writes the music and performs all the instruments, and M. Neuman, who handles the lyrics and vocals. Laaksonen is also the musician behind Desolate Shrine, and Neuman is also the vocalist for Dark Buddha Rising.

Aug 292017

 

“The Cares of a Family Man” is a short story written between 1914 and 1917 by Franz Kafka about a creature called Odradek. According to The Font of All Human Knowledge, “The creature has drawn the attention of many philosophers and literary critics, who have all attempted to interpret its meaning”.

At first glance the creature appears to be “only a broken-down remnant”, “old, broken-off bits of thread, knotted and tangled together” but with odd wooden crossbars that allow it to “stand upright as if on two legs”. Yet although “the whole thing looks senseless enough”, it is “in its own way perfectly finished”. When it laughs, “it is only the kind of laughter that has no lungs behind it”, with a sound “rather like the rustling of fallen leaves”. To the narrator, “the idea that he is likely to survive me I find almost painful”.

It is from that perplexing story, and that word Odradek of uncertain origin, that the Ukrainian band Odradek Room chose their own name, a vehicle for creating progressive metal with a foundation of doom. Hypnotic Dirge released their debut album Bardo. Relative Reality in 2013, and on October 10 they will release the band’s second album, A Man of Silt, in conjunction with BadMoodMan Music (a side label of Solitude Productions). What we have for you today is the premiere of a song from the new album named “Mirror Labyrinth“.

Aug 292017

 

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary tells us that no one is completely sure where the word flummox comes from, though its first known use was in Charles Dickens’ debut novel, The Pickwick Papers, published in 1837. It means “to confuse”, and among its synonyms are “baffle”, “perplex”, “bewilder”, “bemuse”, and “mystify”. And when you understand all that, it’s not confusing at all why this Tennessee band chose Flummox as their name — because flummoxing listeners seems to be their primary mission.

We’ve devoted attention to Flummox in past years, with Austin Weber calling their debut album Phlummoxygen “a modern classic” and then premiering a song from their second album Selcouth.

The band’s most recent release is a four-song demo that emerged in June under the name Garage Prog, and the second song on that demo, “Tom Walker Blues“, has become the basis for the band’s first music video (directed by Matt Rose), which we are about to present for the first time to a completely unprepared public audience.

Aug 292017

 

(DGR is experiencing the opposite of writer’s block. After a review and a round-up yesterday, he returns with another review. Today the subject is the new album by California death metal band Inanimate Existence, released on August 25 by The Artisan Era.)

Releasing an album a little bit under year after your last disc is a tall order for a lot of bands. There are a handful of prolific artists out there who seemingly have all the time and creativity in the world, able to put out new releases year-over-year; hell, even the ones who manage to do a new release any time under two years since the last one still seem impressive.

Bay Area tech-death group Inanimate Existence recently found themselves at the most difficult version of that challenge yet, recording and releasing their new disc Underneath A Melting Sky (via The Artisen Era) in the year since their last album, Calling From A Dream, came out. On top of that, the band did that despite some lineup shifts taking place, recording Underneath A Melting Sky as a three-piece. Considering that the band had just recently been a complete five-piece group, Inanimate Existence had a tall order ahead of them as a newly slimmed down trio (slimmed down almost to their first album’s core members, with Cameron Porras and Ron Casey being the tenured members still left).

Aug 282017

 

Worm was given birth in Florida, emerging from the stench of what must have been the most fetid and leech-ridden swamp in the State, the unnatural offspring of gators and ghouls, a hungering and heartless entity reeking of carrion decay and slavering for human flesh.

Or at least that’s what your imagination may tell you after you’ve listened to the song we’re premiering today. “Winged Beast of the Phantom Crypt” is one of the horrifying tracks from Worm’s 42-minute debut album Evocation of the Black Marsh, which will be released by Iron Bonehead Productions on September 29th.

Aug 282017

 

Storms of Demogorgon” reminds us that few (if any) genres of music can match metal in channeling surges of delirious, unchained emotion, the kind of frenzied, near-chaotic abandon that’s part Bacchanalian orgy and part rampant killing spree. Living within a constricting multitude of legal rules and social conventions cages the wild animals that dwell within us; a song like “Storms of Demogorgon” smashes those cages apart like a sledgehammer.

It’s also a huge shot of undiluted adrenaline injected straight into the neck. The only problem is, it ends so soon that you’re left with your pulse still pumping like a jackhammer and wondering, “What the hell am I supposed to do with all this energy now?”

“Storms of Demogorgon”, the track we’re about to premiere, comes from the debut album of Affliktor, a blazing new project by a veteran musician which is scheduled for release by Transcending Obscurity Records on October 20.

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