May 042019
 

 

I did listen to these songs on a Saturday, but it wasn’t this Saturday. It was a week ago while I was in Houston, but for reasons I explained last weekend I didn’t have either the time or a clear enough head to write anything. And then, as forecast, my day job prevented me from doing anything more than write premieres last week.

So here we are, 10 days since the last round-up of new music I posted. Do I try to catch up with all the new stuff that’s come out over the last week, or just go with what I would have done last weekend if I’d had the time? I decided on the latter plan, because it will probably take me the rest of the day just to figure out what I missed. Maybe some of what’s below will be new to you anyway.

ARES KINGDOM

There are some old favorites among the bands I chose for this round-up, beginning with the veteran Kansas City collective, Ares KingdomChuck Keller (guitar), Mike Miller (drums), and Alex Blume (bass, vocals). Their fourth album, By the Light of Their Destruction, will be released on May 15th (CD and vinyl) by Nuclear War Now! Productions, and the song below is a track named “Eighteen Degrees Beneath“. Continue reading »

May 032019
 

 

(In this April 2019 edition of THE SYNN REPORT, Andy Synn enthusiastically reviews the discography to date of the Italian band Caronte.)

Recommended for fans of: Black Sabbath, Electric Wizard, Pallbearer

Don’t let your senses deceive you… it may be a few days late but this is still the April edition of The Synn Report, and one which I hope will be more than worth the extra wait, as the Satanic Stoner Doom sound of Italy’s Caronte (a band I only became familiar with/aware of thanks to their performance at this year’s edition of Inferno Festival) represents something I/we haven’t really touched on very much (if at all) in this column before now.

Active for a little over eight years now, the quartet – Dorian Bones (vocals), Tony Bones (guitar), Henry Bones (bass), and Mike De Chirico (drums) – have already built up a pretty healthy discography during their career, using their music (and their live shows) to explore and celebrate the more occult side of things, with songs addressing everything from Thelemic mysticism to Buddhist philosophy to Native American shamanism.

And while the strident clean vocals of singer Dorian Bones might seem like something you wouldn’t usually expect on this site (given their somewhat theatrical, Danzig-esque cadence) please believe me when I say that they’re a vital part of the band’s identity.

But enough jibber-jabber from me… why not read/listen further and find out for yourself? Continue reading »

Apr 232019
 

 

I’m torn between the desire to back-track and continue to catch up on new advance songs that I failed to notice over the nearly three weeks when I couldn’t devote time to round-ups, and the steady impulse to focus on things “hot off the presses”. This particular collection reflects that schism: There’s a bit of both in here.

GAAHLS WYRD

The timbre of Gaahl‘s voice dominates the opening of “Carving the Voices“, which Metal Hammer premiered a week ago. Like a prophet who might actually be clairvoyant or an ancient enchanter who has just emerged from a centuries-long imprisonment within a gnarled oak, the deep resonance of his voice conveys the possession of wisdom both profound and full of dread. Continue reading »

Apr 192019
 

 

This is a song dominated by two powerful voices, one male, one female. As you see and hear the lyrics in this video, you can interpret their interaction as a dramatic conversation that indeed happens on the edge of an abyss — one voice bitter, resigned, and hopeless, and the other offering earnest encouragement to go on. The hard-hearted among us may dismiss the encouragement as too earnest, and find the bitter resignation more familiar and realistic. But the music and the voices are so emotionally powerful that perhaps they will pierce even the hardest of hearts.

Obviously, that’s what happened to me, or you wouldn’t be seeing this premiere at our site. And it happened even though — or more accurately becauseMarianna Laba‘s soprano voice is so clean and pure, which of course makes the song (in part) an exception to the “rule” in our site’s banner. It’s only an exception in part because that other voice is harsh and harrowing — and gargantuan in its gravelly tone. Continue reading »

Mar 262019
 

 

This is another day when newcomers to our site will become confused, or will complain about “bait and switch” tactics. For those folks, let’s be clear up-front that we do make exceptions to that rule brandished in our site’s name. It doesn’t happen often, and when it does it’s well-earned, as it is in the case of the song by Portland’s Troll that we’re premiering in this post.

The band’s frontman, Rainbo, really does have a remarkable voice — clear, strong, and capable of channeling varieties of emotional intensity with gripping force. In this new song, as in others from Troll’s new album, Legend Master, he pairs parts of his range to create harmonies of haunting power. His voice is a dominant presence in the music, but it’s far from the only appealing ingredient in the music, as you’re about to discover. Continue reading »

Feb 222019
 

 

Here are six songs and videos that stood out from the pack in my seeing-and-hearing session last night and this morning. Some other items also stood out, and perhaps I’ll get to those tomorrow (perhaps along with other things I’ll find today). Everything below is new, except for the second song and video, which is newly discovered.

DEVIN TOWNSEND

This first video is actually a last-minute addition. I had this round-up nearly ready to go when I noticed a message from my comrade DGR that read as follows: “New Devin Townsend video out in the wild. Does a good job highlighting how batshit the songwriting is. Still has its ‘Space Enya’ moments”. Continue reading »

Feb 142019
 

 

(Andy Synn prepared this trio of album reviews, catching up on recommended albums from last year.)

With a small (and rapidly closing) window in my schedule of upcoming reviews/releases, I’ve decided now is the perfect opportunity to cover three artists/albums from last year that, for various reasons, I didn’t get a chance to cover at the time.

So, without further ado… Continue reading »

Feb 112019
 

 

With the weekend now behind us we’re resuming the rollout of this list, beginning the 6th week of the trek, with a self-imposed stopping point looming closer (by the end of this month, and possibly earlier — not sure which, since I haven’t finished compiling the list).

Almost every year I’ve shoe-horned music into this annual escapade that doesn’t really fit the label of “extreme metal”, and I’m doing it again today (and might do it yet again before I’m finished this year). Among other things, these two songs have plenty of (very good) clean singing. But although they may not be as extreme as almost everything else, they’re heavy enough — and they’re also damned memorable

KHEMMIS

I’m very happy to say that we’ve been backing this Colorado band since long before they became household names — and if they’re not yet at household name status, they can’t be far away, after three such exceptional and broadly appealing albums — Absolution, Hunted, and now Desolation. Among the core group of NCS writers, Andy Synn was the last to tumble to how good Khemmis‘ music is, though he tumbled pretty hard once he gave it a chance following the band’s performance last year at Maryland Deathfest. Continue reading »

Feb 072019
 

 

This week has been ridiculous. With the exception of the year-end holiday season, when releases slow down a bit, every week now brings a flood of new music from metal bands and labels, but this week seems to be turning into a typhoon. With most of Thursday (as I write this) and all of Friday still to come, it’s only going to get worse/better. So once again, I’m resorting to a two-part round-up.

But even with a two-part collection I’m still not going to be able to comprehensively cover the (rising) waterfront. I’ve still had to make some choices, and so in Part 2, in addition to the usual write-ups, I’m just going to link you to additional streams of music that I’m not writing about in more detail. I’m doing that then instead of now, because I haven’t yet figured out where to draw that line.

MISERY INDEX

Two days ago, via Loudwire, Misery Index released a lyric video for another new track off their forthcoming album Rituals of Power. As the band explain: “‘The Choir Invisible‘ is a euphemism for the dead, or those who have passed on. In the context of this song, it is an anthem of the dispossessed and the hopeless. Many across the world exist in an ‘in-between’ state that is often ignored and/or washed over because they lack the power and voice to plead their case as human beings. The song takes up this theme and tells it from the somber view of those who risk their lives, board ships and cross oceans in order to find a better life.” Continue reading »

Feb 032019
 


Ellende

There’s quite a lot of new music I’m recommending in this Sunday’s column — three full EP streams (one of which is an EP-length single composition), plus advance tracks from three forthcoming albums. Coincidentally, four of the featured bands are essentially solo projects.

As usual, I picked these selections in part to provide some listening variety, though there’s certainly more than a fair share of melancholy and grandeur to be found herein, along with a fair share of ripping and tearing. I also positioned one selection to provide a bit of a diversionary interlude through its interweaving of Neo-Folk elements (and clean singing) among heavier sounds.

ELLENDE

I discovered this Austrian atmospheric/post-black metal band through a 2016 video of the title track from their 2014 EP, Weltennacht. I couldn’t get the song out of my head, and the video was hard to forget, too, since it included film of the 1987 public suicide of a Pennsylvania politician (Budd Dwyer) at a press conference he conducted the day before he was to be sentenced to prison following a conviction for bribery. Continue reading »