Mar 312018


A few of my NCS comrades have been nudging me to do a round-up that includes the latest songs revealed by At the Gates, Kataklysm, and Light This City. I didn’t have time to do this yesterday when I got that nudging, but decided to do it today even though Andy’s latest Waxing Lyrical post would have given me an excuse to check out from NCS writing for the day. And since I decided to pull those three songs together, I added one pick of my own.


I suppose you’d have to be living under a rock not to know that At the Gates have a new album headed our way. For you under-rock dwellers, To Drink From the Night Itself will be released by Century Media on May 18th. Yesterday brought another single from the album, packaged with a wonderful video created by Costin Chioreanu of Twilight 13 Media. Continue reading »

Mar 312018

Photo by Maciej Pieloch Photography


(Continuing with his Saturday Waxing Lyrical series, Andy Synn questions vocalist/guitarist Nick Forkel about his approach to the writing of lyrics for Turbid North.)


As you may know, Turbid North’s fantastic Eyes Alive was one of my outstanding favourite albums of 2015, and I’ve been singing the band’s praises ever since, and trying to get as many of my friends (and even a few of my enemies) to listen to this three-piece’s unique blend of devastating Death Metal riffage, megaton metallic grooves, and psychedelic progressive melody, as possible.

Unsurprisingly I was quick to get in touch with the band’s vocalist/guitarist Nick Forkel when I first decided to pursue “Waxing Lyrical” as a regular column, and he was kind enough to furnish me with the following information regarding how he first fell into the role of lyricist, and how he’s developed as a writer over the years. Continue reading »

Mar 302018


Fourteen months ago we premiered a barbaric battle song named “The Horde” by the extreme metal band Ominous Eclipse from Ottawa, Ontario. Since then another single from their forthcoming album Sinister has surfaced, one that spiraled into insanity last fall at DECIBEL’s site. And today we bring you one more, and it’s the title track from Sinister, accompanied by a video of the band’s performance.

In that previous premiere we observed that as the evolution of Ominous Eclipse has progressed, the band have hybridized a seething core of death metal sound with elements of thrash, black metal, and melodic death metal, and with “The Horde” they reached for new levels of monstrous and electrifying destructiveness. Electrification, destructiveness, and rage are also on display in “Sinister” (the song), along with a heavy dose of body-moving grooves and scintillating guitar lunacy. Continue reading »

Mar 302018


Neutron Breed is so blindingly explosive, so uncaged in its dedication to sonic violence, and so eye-popping in the speed and technical precision of its execution that it has the capacity to suck the air from your lungs while it turbocharges your own pulse rate. Worry about breathing later… prepare now to give yourself over to a maniacally vicious death metal rocket ride.

Neutron Breed is the new EP by the Italian band Quantum Hierarchy, which is being released today by Everlasting Spew Records, and it’s our privilege to help spread the word through the premiere of a full music stream. Continue reading »

Mar 302018


Like the vast majority of all grand estates and even medium-sized garden plots on the landscape of the internet, most sites that offer writings about metal are captives of the culture of clickbait. They are honey traps for lazy flitting bees, offering precious little intellectual sustenance of any lasting value, or even much fleeting value. They mainly just make the frenetic buzzing of their visitors grow louder, but no more coherent.

But there are exceptions. The extraordinarily ambitious essay by R.M. Temin published by Toilet Ov Hell a few days ago is one of those. For most of its considerable length, it is a history of transgressive music, mainly focused on metal. It takes Black Sabbath as its starting point (after first drawing connections to the Beat Generation and “hippie counterculture”) and charts the course straight through to the present. Its overarching theme has to do with the connections between metal and politics, and ultimately about the rise and persistence of far-right politics within certain sectors of extreme music. It’s title is: “Rock Against Anything: How Metal Became So Fucking Reactionary and What To Do About It“. Continue reading »

Mar 302018


(In this month’s edition of THE SYNN REPORT, Andy reviews the three albums recorded by the Swedish band Sacramentum before their demise.)


Recommended for fans of: Dissection, Necrophobic, God Dethroned


Up until a few days ago I actually had a very different band lined up for this edition of The Synn Report but, upon remembering that I was going to be spending this weekend in Oslo enjoying the musical delights of Inferno Festival, I decided to switch things up and dig into the archives a little bit to talk about a band much more suited to my current circumstances, a band who – while perhaps not as famous (or infamous) as some of their more celebrated peers – are still something of a seminal act in the annals of Black/Death Metal.

Operating as a three-piece for the majority of their career, Swedish riffmeisters Sacramentum were contemporaries of (and some might even say friendly rivals with) both Dissection and Necrophobic, and helped form one of the primary pillars of the Swedish Black Metal scene during its early development. And while their fame may have been somewhat overshadowed over the years, in the right circles the band are held up as just as important, just as influential, and just as impressive as any of their peers… and rightfully so. Continue reading »

Mar 292018


Vahrzaw’s first demo turned 23 years old earlier this year, relatively young in human years but relatively ancient in the annals of extreme metal. After a couple of other releases of a similar vintage, the band’s recording endeavors went quiet for about a decade, but they re-emerged in 2006 and discharged a trio of EPs, several splits, and two albums over the next decade. However, after roughly 25 rough years of inflicting black/death violence, it appears they’ve “really had enough of the bullshit associated with producing albums, and even EPs” — so says Blood Harvest Records, who will be releasing what will likely be this Australian group’s final recording on April 23rd.

This probable swan-song is an eight-track album named Husk. Despite what the title might suggest, and despite the band having bitterly reached the end of their long rope, it’s not a hollowed-out or desiccated affair. To the contrary, it leaves us thinking that it would be a damned shame if this in fact proves to be Vahrzaw’s last hurrah. If it is, they’ve definitely not made their exit meekly or half-heartedly. As Exhibit A, we offer “King In Yellow“. Continue reading »

Mar 292018


(The multinational band Sojourner released their second album earlier this month through Avantgarde Music, and in this post our Norway-based contributor Karina Noctum provides thoughts about the music and also elicitsthoughts from vocalist Emilio Crespo about his approach to the crafting of Sojourner’s lyrics. You’ll have a chance to listen to the music as well.)


I don’t remember precisely how I found Sojourner, but what I do remember is that the cover of the first album dragged me to them first. When I saw it, I thought it had to be some sort of atmospheric band and I had to check it out. Yes it was, and a very impressive one. The best atmospheric music (for me) is created by a combination of all the musical instruments and the vocals, layered in such a way as to create the effect, rather than elevating one layer “above” it all — such as something ambient thrown in for good measure — which feels disconnected from everything else.

That discovery of Sojourner was in 2016 when they released Empires of Ash, but now they have released a new album, The Shadowed Road, which again reveals a good production that has rendered a layering to my liking. This album has been carefully made, and particular care has been taken in preserving a contemplative mood throughout the album, while including a variety of rhythms and dynamic song structures. Continue reading »

Mar 292018


This makes the third time I’ve written about the Finnish band Hukutus at our putrid site. The first occasion (here) was at Thanksgiving 2016 when I discovered their unusual video (in which the band take off their clothes and run through forests, pausing for t’ai chi routines with glow sticks before pushing on toward the shores of frigid lakes) for a single called “Nadiirit“. The second time was almost exactly one year ago when we premiered a track named “Metsä ja yö“. And now we have another premiere.

Koitus” is the band’s third single, and also the final harbinger of the band’s debut album, which we can announce is entitled Oksitosiini (“Oxytocin” in Finnish) and will be released by My Fate Music on April 27, 2018. Like the first two singles, this one is a riveting experience. Once again, Hukutus have proven themselves to be wicked mutagenic agents, altering the DNA of metal in arresting ways. Continue reading »

Mar 292018


Here we are just past hump day for this week, and I have a big mountainous hump of music to choose from for this round-up. Much has been left on the cutting room floor, but this particular collection of recent songs and videos by seven bands felt like a good musical trip, one with changing moods and varied forms of intensity, and of course I quite enjoyed all of it. If you find just one thing that gets you excited, then my time here will have been well spent.


Who Is The Konsortium?” That was the title of a post I wrote back in May of 2011 after coming across a striking track named “Lik Ulven” by a mysterious Norwegian group whose line-up included guitarist Teloch (from Mayhem and Nigingr) but was otherwise masked and shrouded in secrecy. I still didn’t know who was in the band when I reviewed their self-titled debut album the following month, but the music spoke for itself in quite charismatic tones.

Roughly a year later, still masked, The Konsortium played Inferno Fest in Oslo, and yesterday I enjoyed re-reading Andy Synn’s comments about their performance: Continue reading »