Apr 032020


(Andy Synn has again assembled reviews and streams of new albums for this release-day Friday that might not be getting the attention they deserve elsewhere.)

People seemed to enjoy this the last time I did it, so I thought to myself… why not keep the streak alive?

So here we go, trying to go two for two, with another quick round-up of releases which you may otherwise have missed! Continue reading »

Apr 022020


(We present DGR’s typically detailed review of Obscene Repressed, the new album by the French maulers in Benighted, which will be released by Season of Mist on April 10th.)

It probably doesn’t need to be stated that we’re fans of the French death metal crew Benighted and their brand of frantic mania, especially given that we’ve kept a pretty constant eye on the crew from release to release. Thus, we’ve been patiently waiting for the group’s newest album Obscene Repressed, a thematically twisted concept album that reads part horror story, part Pornhub top video statistics by State chart, and part gleeful exploration of insanity with the music stylings to back it up. Continue reading »

Apr 022020


“Imagine a cross between the brutalizing grooves of Y2K-era Metal Hardcore greats like Terror, Xibalba, Nails or Rotten Sound, and old school Swedish Death Metal breakneck riffing”. That’s part of the introduction that Death Whore gave us to their self-titled EP, along with references to Harm’s Way and Entombed. That description of the band’s amalgam of punishing hardcore and bone-mangling, neck-wrecking Swedish death metal punched all sorts of pleasure-center buttons in our brains, and then it turned out that the music fully lived up to the descriptions. And thus we were eager to help spread the word by premiering a full stream of the EP today, in advance of its April 10 release on CD and digital.

Death Whore rampage through seven tracks in 20 minutes, and every one of those compact brawlers is explosively destructive and propelled by the kind of feral and filthy savagery that will light a fire under your pulse rate. Continue reading »

Apr 022020


(This is TheMadIsraeli’s review of the new album by Germany’s Dark Fortress, which was released by Century Media on February 28th.)

This COVID-19 situation has really fucked with all of us in big and small ways.  That should go without saying, but it’s also my excuse for being so behind on NCS shit.  Quarantine prep, a tornado hitting close to home and putting me out of power for a bit, and other setbacks have kept me distracted from my NCS duties and it’s sucked. But now I’m back to full operational no-life quarantine activity and I can finally get to this.

I’m glad in the end that I’ve been held up, because it’s given me an absurd amount of time to spend with Dark Fortress in the interim.  They are definitely one of my personal favorite black metal bands, Old Mans Child and Keep Of Kalessin joining them in my top three.  Their dedication to doing a form of black metal that’s sort of amorphous while being incredibly disciplined, precise, and unafraid to consistently dive into other sub-genres of extreme metal is the kind of thing I love, just in principle.

Spectres From The Old World is a record in particular that I find fascinating, because if anything, it points to a band who are moving away from black metal as the foundation of their sound and want to re-purpose it as a flourish. Continue reading »

Apr 012020



(Andy Synn returns to a series in which he extols the virtues of new or soon-forthcoming releases by bands from the UK, and does that for three records here.)

Well, well, well… what do we have here then?

Ahem, cough, sorry, I turned into a nineteenth century cockney flatfoot there for a second.

Anyway, today’s edition of “The Best of British” features three albums which are bound to make quite an impact (and, in some cases, have done already) in the Metal world, both at home and abroad, and it’s my distinct pleasure to be able to do my small part to help raise their profile (even if just a little bit). Continue reading »

Apr 012020


(We present DGR’s detailed review of the new album by Canada’s Wake, which was just released on March 27th by Translation Loss Records.)

If you’ve been following the site recently you might’ve spotted the massive review collections fellow NCS writer Andy Synn has kicked out. Among the many groups covered (here) were Seattle black metal newcomers Izthmi and their disc The Arrows Of Our Ways. The Arrows Of Our Ways is a rare album, one amongst a packed genre that somehow manages to encapsulate the entirety of its current scene within its track list. The music presents a perfect snapshot of where their scene was at that exact moment — slight hints towards the future but mostly a perfect picture of the hive of activity and creativity that currently exists within their own spectrum, as if the band had shot an arrow of their own right through the center of it, as if competing in a musical archery event.

There are certain bands who have become masters at performing this specific act, adding to and molding their musical core to often reflect where the band members’ heads are at that exact moment, as well as providing the musical snapshot discussed above. If Izthmi managed to do so for their specific subset of black metal, so too have Canada’s Wake. They have become experts at providing deep musical looks into their world at the specific moments when each of their five albums has been released, including their newest album Devouring Ruin — a disc that captures much of the current crust, grind, and overall underground metal scene by adapting and molding it to their own noisy purposes, and in the process releasing an album almost twice as long as its noise- and grind-heavy predecessor Misery Rites. Continue reading »

Mar 312020


(For the March 2020 edition of The Synn Report, Andy Synn has combined reviews and streams of all the releases by the Australian black metal band Wardaemonic, including their newest album Acts of Repentance, which was released by Transcending Obscurity Records on March 20th.)

Recommended for fans of: Immortal, Mayhem, 1349

From its humble beginnings in the streets and suburbs of Norway, Black Metal has stretched its eldritch tendrils far and wide, resulting in new cults and covens springing up all over the world.

There is, perhaps, no better example of how the genre has metastasised and infected practically every corner of the globe than Wardaemonic, who, despite hailing from the Western coast of Australia – about as far, both in distance and climate, from the Norwegian fjords as it’s possible to get – have spent the last fifteen years establishing their own place in the ever-growing legacy of Black Metal.

The group’s fourth (and possibly finest) album, Acts of Repentance, was released just over a week ago, so now seemed like the perfect time to bring their work to a wider audience. Continue reading »

Mar 302020


Sometimes when a band pull from as broad and deep a well of musical inspirations as Ritual Dictates have done on their debut album, the results can be disjointed and chaotically jarring. But when the interweaving of stylistic ingredients is as masterfully and naturally accomplished as it is here, the results can stand out from the pack, and provide a multi-faceted experience that’s an enormous thrill. And that’s the best single word I can think of for Give In To Despair — it’s a thriller, from beginning to end.

The singles released from the album so far have already attracted a lot of excited attention around the web, but for those who might be encountering this band for the first time (and it’s a good time, because we’re streaming the whole album today), it’s a project formed by ex-3 Inches of Blood members Justin Hagberg and Ash Pearson (who’s also the drummer of Revocation), both of whom have also been members of Allfather (Canada) and Angel Grinder, respectively. And for this grand debut, they also enlisted an eye-opening group of guest performers from metal and rock, whose names are worth listing before we go further: Continue reading »

Mar 282020


Thanks to the amazing Zoom service, I participated in a couple of virtual happy-hour celebrations last night, woke up woozy as a result of that, and then had to do a work-related Zoom conference for an hour and a half this morning. So I’m getting a very late start on this post.

I thought about just not posting anything this Saturday due to the lateness of the hour and my still-hungover condition, but then remembered this recent comment by a regular reader: “Especially now, when days morph into each other and life has slowed down considerably – and we have time to think about perhaps less pleasant facets to our lives – structure and regularity are important. New music, to me at least, is an important element to this….” I feel the same way. And so I decided to at least make a brief start on another giant collection of new music, and then finish it in a MUCH larger Part 2 of this tomorrow.

KREATOR (Germany)

I was helpless to resist beginning this collection with “666-World Divided“. It’s such a blood-pumping, neck-wrecking blast to listen to, with wonderfully vicious vocals, a glorious chorus (that puts me in mind of Scandinavian melodic death metal), delicious soloing, and a segue into very sinister territory with choral voices. The video for the song is also a blast to watch. Continue reading »

Mar 272020



(Andy Synn prepared this collection of reviews, all addressing fine albums that are being released today.)

It’s a very busy Friday for releases this week, both big and small. Some of them we’ve covered here already (Aodon, Perdition Temple, The Malice), some of them we’ll probably get to over the next couple of weeks… maybe… and some of them have already received significant coverage elsewhere.

The purpose of today’s column however is to highlight a handful of bands/albums which might not necessarily receive the same amount of attention and/or adoration as some of the bigger or more high-profile releases, beginning with… drum roll please… Continue reading »