(As the title suggests, Andy Synn prepared the following list of some of the albums (though certainly not all of them) he’s eagerly awaiting in the coming year.)
Well, it happened, it’s now the third week of January and I’ve already fallen behind when it comes to reviewing new albums.
Honestly, I can think of at least five records from the last week or two that I really want to write about and that a big proportion of our readers would probably get a real kick out of… but instead of doing that I’m going to publish a list of some of my most anticipated new releases of the year still to come… because logical consistency and common sense were never my strong points.
Now, as it so happens the final version of the article you’re reading is slightly different from the first draft, as I managed to get a hold of new albums from Stortregn, Autarkh, and Suffering Hour while I was writing it, and since I’m definitely going to be writing about each of them in full at some point soon I decided to switch them out for three other selections instead.
Obviously this list is in no way comprehensive. There’s a lot more than ten artists/albums I’m really looking forward to hearing over the next twelve months But I’ve tried to purposefully avoid many of the bigger names in order to focus in on a bunch of bands who I personally love but whom many of our readers may not have been aware were going to be bringing something out this year.
The last album from Polish Death Metallers Redemptor was one of my favourite records of 2017, drawing well-earned comparisons to Immolation, Soreption, Rivers of Nihil, and more, and leading me to feature them as the focus of the 93rd edition of The Synn Report.
The long-awaited follow-up was meant to be released late last year but was, for obvious reasons, delayed, but we shouldn’t have to wait much longer to find out what the next stage of their evolution sounds like. Until then, here’s a taste of Artheneum, to get you in the mood.
The Negative Bias
Another album that made a big impression on me, big enough to be featured in my Personal Top Ten of 2019 in fact, was Narcissus Rising, by Austrian alchemystics The Negative Bias.
It’s such a stunningly immersive, insidiously infectious album – not in the sense of being “catchy” as much as in the sense that it feels like it infiltrates and infects every cell, and every atom, of your body while it’s playing – that I absolutely cannot wait to hear what they come up with next.
Anyone who’s been paying any sort of attention to this site over the last few years will probably know just how much I love Dvne, and their utterly outstanding 2017 album Asheran, so to say I’m looking forward to hearing the follow-up would be a major understatement.
And with the recently-released Omega Severer EP serving as an important primer/reminder, suggesting that the band may have, somehow, gotten even better and expanded their powerful, progressive, and cinematic sound even further, well… let’s just say my excitement couldn’t be higher.
Similarly, although it’s now been six long years since we last heard anything from them, I’ve never stopped listening to, or extolling the virtues of, Aussie groove-mongers Sanzu and their humongously heavy, abstractly poetic, debut, Heavy Over the Home.
And, thankfully, my faith and patience appears as though it’s about to be rewarded, as all signs indicate that the band are finally… finally… going to deliver the long-awaited follow-up to Heavy…, and I expect it to be just as much of a monster.
I know I’m not the only fan of Blackened Death-Sludge brutes Withered here on the NCS staff, and I’m pretty sure a lot of our readers probably feel the same way about the Georgian quartet.
And while it may have been five years since their last album – 2015’s splenetic Grief Ritual – the release of their 2018 single “Somnium Decay” suggested that the band have lost none of their bite or spite in the intervening years, meaning this is one album that you should all be looking out for.
It’s quite probable that Hatalom will be a new name to a lot of our audience. After all, the band only have the one EP to their name so far (2018’s Of Sorrow and Human Dust) and have only been featured here at NCS once (with a review of that very same EP).
But as the band recently revealed that their debut album, Occhiolism, is scheduled for release on the 19th of March, now is the perfect time to familiarise yourself with their particular brand of bleeding-edge Tech-Death terror.
Terzij de Horde
The last time we heard from Dutch (Post?) Black Metal quintet Terzij de Horde was in 2015 when they released their first – and currently only – full-length album, the absolutely stunning Self.
I never forgot about them though (I even featured them prominently in an article just last year), and a little bird recently told me that, time and tide being favourable, the long-gestating follow-up is almost ready to be birthed into the world. What is it going to sound like? Who knows!? But you can bet that I’ll be right there, ready and waiting to hear it, the moment it appears.
If it seems like a lot of the albums featured here are from bands we haven’t heard much from in a few years… that’s because they are. But, then, how else do you define “most anticipated” except by looking at those albums/artists you’ve been waiting the longest to finally hear more from?
Case in point, Ingurgitating Oblivion are one of the unsung pioneers of the increasingly popular “Disso-Death” sound, and their most recent album, 2017’s ambitious, angular, abrasive Vision Wallows In Symphonies of Light, is an undeniable underground classic, which is why my anticipation for the soon-to-be-released follow-up is practically sky-high (and still rising).
The third album from atmospheric, d-beat driven Black Metal punks Dödsrit is another one of those records that’s been stuck in release/development hell since late last year, but thankfully there now appears to be a light at the end of the tunnel as the band themselves have announced that the (as yet untitled) new record is finally going to see the light of day sometime soon.
So now is the right time to reacquaint yourself with the group and their high-voltage, high-adrenaline, high-velocity brand of raging metallic melancholy.
Last, but by no means least, I want to end things with a band whose music is definitely a little bit outside of our usual remit, but whose approach and execution is just as vital, vibrant, and visceral in its own way.
Make no mistake about it, the band’s second album, Nest, was definitely my favourite, and most listened to, record of 2019, both for its unabashed energy and fearless emotional intelligence. And, since the band themselves have been working on new songs for some time now, if we’re very lucky we might just get another dose of musical magic from them again before the year is up.
As I said earlier, this list barely even scratches the surface of everything I’m looking forward to this year, but hopefully it demonstrates just how much there is to look forward to in 2021… and you can guarantee that we’ll be here, as always, to cover as much of it as we possibly can!