Andy Synn

Jan 312023
 

Recommended for fans of: Alcest, Lantlôs, An Autumn For Crippled Children

Call it what you will – call it “Atmospheric Black Metal”, “Post Black Metal”, “Blackgaze” – the music of Italian duo Falaise remains as searing, as soulful, and as spellbinding now as it was when they first stepped out onto the proverbial stage a little under ten years ago.

And to prove the validity of this statement, I’ve selected them as the focus of this month’s Synn Report, which covers all four of their albums, up to and including their latest record, After All This Time, which was released just last week.

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Jan 272023
 

(Andy Synn takes another look back at another album from last year that went unheralded and unsung)

There’s lots of reasons why a band might not get the attention and exposure they deserve (trust me, I know), and I could write reams upon reams about all the different factors which come into play when promoting a new album (successfully or unsuccessfully).

But, ultimately, sometimes it just comes down to “wrong place” and/or “wrong time”.

That certainly seems to be the case when it comes to Darrva and their second album, Ōviš, as not only does the band hail from a location (Latvia) that’s often overlooked, but their decision to release the record right in the middle of the festive season last year meant it was quickly lost in the shuffle, and it was only by mere chance that I stumbled across it a few weeks ago myself.

I’m very glad I did though, as the band’s sound – an intriguing mix of Black, Death, and Progressive elements that doesn’t fit neatly into any one particular box – is well worth shouting about and, hopefully, at least some of you will agree with me.

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Jan 242023
 

(The sky may be on fire, but Andy Synn still has new music to share with you all)

While the start of 2023 has (thankfully) been relatively calm – release-wise, at least – allowing us all to take a metaphorical (and also literal) breather before the inevitable onslaught of new albums begins again, there have already been a handful of highly-anticipated, and justifiably hyped, which have received the lion’s share of the coverage over the past few weeks.

As a result, there’s also been a fair few more underground and/or underappreciated artists/albums which haven’t received their due, including (but by no means limited to) the new album from Poland’s Death Crusade – eleven tracks of crusty grindy, Punk-infused Death Metal (and I know some may argue with this description, but I hear at least as much Entombed in this album as I do Extreme Noise Terror and their ilk) whose gnarly riffs and gravel-gargling vocals disguise a keenly-honed sense of structure and flow.

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Jan 192023
 

(Andy Synn dives into the thrilling third album from France’s Death Engine)

Broadly speaking, there are two types of “Post-Metal” bands – there are the Post-Rock bands who discover the power of massive metallic distortion, and the Hardcore bands who discover that ambience and atmosphere can actually make you sound even heavier.

And, let me tell you, Death Engine are very much the latter sort of band.

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Jan 112023
 

(Andy Synn digs into the upcoming third album by long-time NCS favourites Turbid North)

Pick up a coin, any coin, and take a look at it.

Now, turn it over. What’s changed?

In some ways, not much. It’s still the same object, after all. Still the same size and shape, still composed of the same elements and materials.

Yet, at the same time, it’s now showing you a whole new side of itself, a whole other face that you couldn’t see before, even though you knew it was there.

And that’s a surprisingly fitting metaphor for what Turbid North have done on The Decline.

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Jan 062023
 

(Andy Synn provides a short but sweet review of a mesmerising EP from last year)

As the grinding gears of another year begin to slowly spin once again, I’m going to be taking some time over the rest of this month – in between reviewing new and/or upcoming releases – to feature some of the albums and artists from 2022 that I wasn’t able to cover properly last year, beginning with an EP that I totally missed out on by dreamlike “Doomgaze” chanteuse Suvi Savikko, aka Shedfromthebody.

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Jan 042023
 

(Andy Synn kicks off 2022 with the highly-anticipated new album from Australia’s Ashen)

As I’ve stated before, 2022 was a good year for Death Metal. Occasionally a very good year for Death Metal. But not necessarily a great year for Death Metal.

That being said, there were definitely some albums which hit harder, and aimed higher, than others, and if Ashen‘s debut had been released in December of last year (as it was originally meant to be) it definitely would have ranked among them.

As it stands, however, Ritual of Ash has the distinction of being the first truly great Death Metal record of 2023.

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Dec 312022
 

Recommended for fans of: Grave, Lock Up, Exhumed

Choosing what band to feature for the last edition of The Synn Report for 2022 wasn’t an easy task.

While I knew I wanted to use this as an opportunity to highlight one of the many bands I didn’t get to write about properly this year, there were so many bands that fit that description that I almost didn’t know where to start.

But, ultimately, there could be only one, and that one had to be Ripped to Shreds, as not only was their latest album arguably the best true/classic/old-school Death Metal record of 2022, but it was also high time we gave their entire back catalogue the attention and acclaim it so richly deserves.

So let’s get to it, shall we?

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Dec 222022
 

(Andy Synn chooses the new album from Iceland’s Misþyrming as his final review of the year)

It’s crazy to think, now that I’m forced to reflect upon it, how long my (admittedly one-sided) relationship with Misþyrming has been going on.

After discovering them just prior to the 2015 edition of Inferno Festival (where I was fortunate enough to see them perform as part of a truly stacked three-band line-up of them, Sinmara, and Svartidauði), I’ve since written glowingly about them multiple times (and included both their previous albums in my annual “Great” list without hesitation) and also caught them live on several subsequent (and, arguably, superior) occasions.

And now, once again, Misþyrming have returned – almost without warning, and with very little fanfare – with a new album (and a new drummer) to give us all the punishment we deserve.

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