I decided to dispense with the usual Sunday installment of The Rearview Mirror in order to spend the time writing this thing. I spent several hours yesterday listening to new metal (when I wasn’t talking calls from world leaders anxious for help in solving their many problems), and these five songs and videos pounced on me like the vicious head-wrecking predators they are. I found a lot of other things to like in my listening excursions, but it just made sense to my addled mind to package these together so as to inflict maximum trauma on you, our beloved readers.
I’m afraid these won’t be the only audio assaults I intend to facilitate today, since I also have a Shades of Black post in progress. Between that post and this one, it will add up to a lot of listening. Just ignore your friends and/or your families and/or food, water, and bathroom breaks, and you’ll be able to take it all in.
MAN MUST DIE
We have been writing about Scotland’s Man Must Die for many years (beginning in December 2009 when we were only one month old)… but years have passed since MMD released an album (the last one being 2013’s Peace Was Never An Option). Two years ago they did release a single called “Slave To the Animal” (which we dutifully covered here), and last year they released a video for a cover of the song “Milk” by S.O.D. (featured here). And now, finally, they seem close to releasing a new EP named Gagging Order.
(NCS writer Andy Synn pauses after the 30th installment of THE SYNN REPORT to take a look back at the first two years of the series.)
Ok, so we’ve now had 30 ‘official’ entries in The Synn Report. I hope that a good number of you have discovered new bands and gone out and shown your support for them, buying music, merch, gig tickets, etc.
I thought, since the year (and the world!!!) is coming to an end, it might be a good time to provide a quick one-stop summation of all the previous entries, for those of you who maybe missed a couple, or for new devotees of the site who have yet to encounter the earlier editions and the bands contained therein.
Did you know that the genesis for The Synn Report was not entirely down to me? There’s a post that I consider ‘The Synn Report: Year Zero” which was written by Islander himself, in response to my recommendation of a particular band. That post is included here, as I think it’s an important foundation stone in the genesis of The Synn Report, and because I think the band in question are utterly phenomenal.
So there we go, after the jump there’s a tiny entry on each band from each edition of The Synn Report, with a short genre description and a re-iteration of the “Recommended for fans of:” section. Which ones did you miss? Which ones should you give another shot to? Click each one to be linked to the appropriate article, where you’ll find the full write-ups and sample songs from each release!
(Yesterday’s SYNN REPORT brought us almost up to date on the discography of Sweden’s Insision. Today, Andy Synn finishes the job with his review of the band’s new EP — End of All.)
It’s always a great thing to be able to draw comparisons between the physical art that adorns a band’s release and the music contained therein. The cover for the EP melds elements of gruesome, physical morbidity and disturbing, spiritual horror, sick and decaying human figures haunted by tormented, ghostly faces displaying unimaginable terror and suffering – condemned to the void and an eternity of pain that goes beyond the physical realm.
Echoes of this duality permeate the EP, mixing as it does elements of the band’s early, gore-soaked malevolence with their more recent forays into transcendent, inhuman malice. Cold and dehumanised in its fury, this is the sound of a band teetering on the edge of madness, unable to convey the extent of the horrors they have seen or the agonies that they have suffered.
The skulking, horror movie ambience of the intro builds an eerie death-march which serves as the calm before the chaos storm of “Expire” is unleashed. Seething with misanthropic passion and deadly intent, its fractured, ragged guitars scrape and weave through a series of crooked twists and turns, while mind-bending leads and helter-skelter drums spin their tale of inevitable collapse. (more after the jump . . .)
(NSC scribe Andy Synn turns in his 14th SYNN REPORT with a focus on the discography of Sweden’s Insision.)
The grotesque, mutated beast calling itself Insision was expelled from the womb in 1997, an unnatural combination of blood-soaked Floridian death metal violence and Swedish death metal malevolence. Since that time they have unleashed upon the world one EP, 3 albums, and numerous split releases with like-minded deviants. Though perhaps some of you may have heard their name due to the presence of renowned metal author Daniel Ekeroth on bass (although he has recently departed due to his hectic publishing schedule), the group have also shared stages with death metal royalty like Suffocation and Vader, tightening their vicious live show through a hectic and extensive touring schedule, leaving a trail of devastation across Europe.
Yet for all their straightforward, blood-drenched barbarism, to dismiss the group as merely another in a long line of Cro-Magnon misanthropists, eager to express their own bile and misogyny through the medium of down-tuned brutality, is to miss out on the subtle, insidious growth the band have demonstrated since their inception. From their early years where an unfocussed, yet unrelenting attack was the key to their sound’s success – giving their audience little time to think and inspiring a visceral, instinctive reaction from their willing victims – the band have steadily developed their technical prowess and compositional skills, constructing an ever more warped and twisted vision of angular, incorporeal guitar work and bone-cracking drumming.
Their sound evokes ungodly visions of towering monoliths of mangled flesh and distorted bone sculptures, their progression from thuggish nihilism, through psychotic, serial killer chic, to the possessed ravings of their current, demonic incarnation evident in the channelling torrents of iniquity and incoherent horror which flow through and tie together each album they have regurgitated from the depths of their decaying souls. (more after the jump, including sample songs with which to wreck your ears . . .)
To start your weekend off right — NCS style — I’ve got four songs for you. Two of them are old (and set to riveting videos) and two of them are brand new. They may seem like a random selection, but there are connections:
(1) The two older songs involve bands that have just cross-pollinated; (2) all four songs will jar something loose in your heads (you weren’t really planning on doing anything with your heads this weekend anyway, were you?); and (3) this music is perfect if you want to be part of the metal IN crowd, because the names of all four bands include the letters “IN”.
Okay, I didn’t say all the connections would necessarily be meaningful. Meaningless connections work for me, too. Anyway, the music I’ve collected is from Origin (U.S.), Skinless (U.S.), Insision (Sweden), and Insense (Norway). Rattle your head . . . after the jump.
The first month of the year has come and gone. January brought those of us in Seattle some typically ass-sucking winter weather, though it wasn’t nearly as bad as the brutality dished out by the weather gods on our metal brothers and sisters in the Midwest and Northeast of the U.S. And of course, our readers ins places like Russia, and Finland, and Sweden are probably laughing their asses off reading our complaints about our winter weather. So, we’ll just shut up about that.
Besides, January brought all sorts of great new metal to our tender ears, so who gives a shit about the weather anyway? And you know what else January brought? It brought news of still more metal goodness on the way — great bursts of audio sunshine in our collective futures that will part these winter clouds and leave them whimpering in cloudy tatters.
Okay, maybe we should leave poetry to the poets and just get on with this next monthly installment of METAL IN THE FORGE, where we collect news blurbs and press releases we’ve seen over the last 30 days about forthcoming new albums from bands we know and like, or from bands that look interesting, even though we don’t know them yet. And in this post, we’ve cut and pasted the announcements and compiled them in alphabetical order. Look for your favorite bands, or get intrigued about some new ones:
AJATARRA: “AJATTARA — the Finnish band featuring former AMORPHIS frontman Pasi Koskinen (a.k.a. Itse Ruoja Suruntuoj) — will release its seventh album, Murhat (“Murders”) on February 2 via Osasto-A Records. Murhat is available for streaming in its entirety on the AJATTARA Facebook page.” (much more after the jump . . .)