Jun 242019


(This is Andy Synn‘s review of a new album by the Moscow-based metal band Morokh.)

I originally had this album lined up as part of a double-review alongside the latest release from a band who, due to various factors, have ended up becoming this month’s focus of The Synn Report (keep an eye out for that later this week).

But, due to changing circumstances, it’s Russian Blackened Hardcore crew Morokh who are getting top billing today, and will hopefully also garner themselves a few new fans (and sales) from being featured here. Continue reading »

Jun 212019


(What follows is Andy Synn’s review of the new album by the UK’s Abyssal, which is being released today by Profound Lore Records.)

Over the years only three bands have been deemed worthy of making repeat appearances in my end of the year “Critical Top Ten” list.

Those bands are Alkaloid (The Malkuth Grimoire, Liquid Anatomy), Cattle Decapitation (Monolith of Inhumanity, The Anthropocene Extinction), and Sulphur Aeon (Gateway to the Antisphere, The Scythe of Cosmic Chaos).

But, with the release of A Beacon In The Husk, out today via Profound Lore, there’s a very good chance that Abyssal – whose third album, Antikatastaseis, made an appearance on my 2015 list alongside several of the other records mentioned above – might just be joining them. Continue reading »

Jun 202019


And now for something completely different, and quite extraordinary on multiple levels — a smorgasbord of strange delights, mind-warping delicacies, and blood-freezing terrors for the adventurous listener, a work of mad and marvelous genius that discerning consumers of sound will not soon forget. This is Flawed Synchronization With Reality, the debut album by an experimental black metal project that has taken the name Deemtee.

Deemtee is the work of Spanish multi-instrumental artist NHT from Garth Arum, As Light Dies, and Aegri Somnia — though one should not be misled into guessing that this record will be in the vein of any of those other bands. Perhaps the best way to begin (succinctly) is to share some of the descriptive references in the press materials that have paved the way for the record’s June 22 release (by GrimmDistribution and Suprachaotic Records): Continue reading »

Jun 172019


(This is Vonlughlio’s review of the new album by the Maltese death metal band Beheaded, which features cover art by Daniel Corcuero (Nekronikon). It was released by Agonia Records on June 14th.)

It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these small write-ups here in NCS, due to life (family and job), but I always follow the amazing posts from the writers and Mr. Islander, to whom I am forever grateful for letting me contribute my year-end list and these reviews.

This time around I’m writing about Beheaded from Malta. I’ve been a fan for quite some time now — for around 17 years. As I write this they are about to release their sixth album Only Death Can Save You through Agonia Records. Continue reading »

Jun 142019


(This is Andy Synn‘s review of the fantastic new album by the black metal band Idolatry from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada — which was released on May 31st via Humanity’s Plague Production.)

One of my favourite discoveries of the last several weeks was this little blackened gem from Canadian chaos-weavers Idolatry, which by turns brings to mind the very best of Inquisition and Necrophobic (with maybe even a little bit of Emperor thrown in for good measure) without sounding overly in thrall to, or derivative of, any of them.

And while they may not be doing much to truly break the mould, there’s definitely something to be said for finding your evolutionary niche and filling it to perfection… and, in that respect, Idolatry are well on their way to becoming an apex predator in their own right. Continue reading »

Jun 132019


(Andy Synn wrote this review of the new album by the Floridian death metal wrecking crew NEKROÍ THEOÍ, which was recently released by Prosthetic Records.)

Last week was a surprisingly busy week for new releases, which is why you’ll probably notice that I’ve dedicated all of this week (and possibly a big chunk of the next) to catching up on some of the artists/albums which we missed.

You’ll (hopefully) already have cast your beady eyes over my review of the new Enthroned album, and now it’s time to turn your attention to this stomp-happy slab of deathly delights from Nekroi Theoi. Continue reading »

Jun 132019


Bear with me, please. I need to indulge in a personal back-story, which is a partial explanation for why I’m so excited to present the premiere of Winterwolf’s new album, oh-so-fittingly entitled Lycanthropic Metal of Death. Or don’t bear with me, and just skip to the bottom and hit the play button (as long as you eventually do that, sooner or later, I’ll be a happy camper).

In December 2010, a month lost in the mists of time when this site was barely one year old, I impulsively embarked on a project impulsively named Finland Tribute Week. At that time, having become fascinated with (and eventually addicted to) extreme metal late in life, I was still trying to become educated about what I’d missed (a process that continues to this day).

I chose Finnish metal for a deep dive in part because I was so dumbfounded that a nation of such small population (relatively speaking) had succeeded in spawning sooooo many metal bands of soooo many different styles. Continue reading »

Jun 102019


Beneath the Cosmic Silence, the new album by the Florida progressive death metal band Atlas Entity, proves to be appealing on many levels. For those with a taste for fleet-fingered guitar technicality and agile, astute, and creative drumwork, it will deliver enormous smiles — in part because the top-shelf performance skill isn’t brandished for its own sake, but employed in the service of well-crafted songs. For listeners who enjoy becoming immersed in memorable, mood-changing melodies, both introspective and riotous, it offers that too. People who relish biting savagery will also get their fix. But perhaps above all else, the music is bursting with life — the kind of album whose irrepressible vitality makes you feel good to be alive, no matter how shitty your personal circumstances might be going into it.

The album also incorporates some evolutions in sound as compared to the band’s previous release, the 2015 EP Enceladus, even though the same two people are at the helm — composer, multi-instrumentalist, and vocalist Alex Gallegos and session drummer Samus Paulicelli (Decrepit Birth, Devin Townsend). And as compared to that first release, this one represents a big step forward. We’re very happy to present a full stream of it today in advance of its release on June 14th. Continue reading »

Jun 102019


(This is Andy Synn‘s review of the new album by the Belgian black metal band Enthroned, which was releasd by Season of Mist on Friday, June 7.)

The human brain works in some funny ways (well, mine does anyway).

Conditioned as it is, by thousands upon thousands of years of evolution, to discern patterns in the surrounding world, sometimes it makes unconscious connections between things which the conscious mind would never have thought to put together.

For instance, ever since receiving the promo for Cold Black Suns I’ve been unable to shake this idea that, on a certain level, Enthroned have a lot in common with Sepultura.

Not musically of course – the two bands could hardly be more different – but it’s undeniable that the careers of both groups are defined/delineated by two distinct phases, each with their respective fans and detractors, and that the split between the two eras can, in simple (and far from comprehensive) terms be put down to a dramatic change in vocalist/frontman.

The difference, however, is that while latter-day Sepultura has proven rather divisive and uneven over the years (though not without its high points), the modern version of Enthroned have only gone from strength to strength, to the point where it seems like a majority of the band’s fans now recognise their current incarnation as the definitive one. Continue reading »

Jun 102019


I wasn’t able to complete the second Part of this week’s SHADES OF BLACK in time to further despoil the Sabbath with it, but as promised, I have at least used it to begin sending the new work-week deep into the void.

Part 1 consisted of advance tracks from forthcoming albums, but for this one I’ve chosen four complete album-length releases that in all but one case arrived last week. As you’ll discover, there are other marked differences between the selections here and those in Part 1, which is another reason I chose this division.


As many of you already know, Fallen Empire Records has permanently ceased activity, but its proprietor has not. Instead, he has joined forces with Mystískaos Records, whose previous releases have included music by Chaos Moon, Entheogen, and Vonlaus. The first three releases of this new collaboration include two of the albums in Part 2 of this week’s black metal column. The first of those is Undir skyggðarhaldi, the debut record by the Icelandic band Andavald. Continue reading »