Sep 282018


(Andy Synn brings us this review of the crushing new EP by California’s Armed For Apocalypse on the day of its release.)

While I’m still slaving away on this month’s edition of The Synn Report (it’s a big one, and I think you’ll all be very pleased with how it turns out) I’ve realised that, in all likelihood, I’m probably not going to get it done in time for posting today.

It will probably make an appearance early next week, however, so don’t worry.

As a result of this realisation I decided to take a quick look around the ol’ interweb and see what else I might be able to write about in the meantime, so as to tide you all over until Monday.

And, wouldn’t you know it, but the long-awaited comeback EP from Californian Sludgecore quarter Armed For Apocalypse drops today! Continue reading »

Sep 242018


I returned from a three-day vacation in Eastern Washington’s wine country last night. For three days I listened to no new music of any kind, other than a few songs from a gypsy rock band named Diego’s Umbrella because that’s what one fascinating young winemaker started streaming when I asked him what music he would pick to go along with the art on his label and the fabulous Portuguese red wine in his bottles. When I returned to metal for a couple of hours last night, I experienced an episode of synchronicity (or serendipity — I’m never quite sure how those words differ from each other and am too lazy to look up the definitions).

I don’t mean to suggest that the following three selections of music sound alike (they really don’t). But they nevertheless sounded to me as if they belonged together, in part because they’re unconventional, in part because they reveal technical adroitness harnessed to creative adventurousness, and in part because they tend to twist your thought patterns into different shapes while also triggering more primitive responses.


Before Geryon, before Krallice, before Nicholas McMaster and Lev Weinstein moved to New York from Chicago, there was Astomatous. That was the band that these two talented folks used as a vehicle for their creative impulses before moving on to other projects (including the two mentioned in the previous sentence). Astomatous released one album in 2006 (The Beauty of Reason), and they had developed material for a second one, but never brought it to fruition. However, they decided to use some of that material as the basis for a new Geryon EP (Astomatous), which they released through Bandcamp not long ago, without advance fanfare. Continue reading »

Sep 182018


I was afraid something unfortunate had happened to Verminlord — death, dismemberment, or even worse, a decision to stop writing and recording music. An entire year had passed since this usually prolific musician’s last release (a track recorded for a Crushing Intolerance compilation), a year of silence after a string of impressive recordings (all of which I’ve enjoyed and almost all of which I’ve reviewed) that left me sadly resigned to the likelihood that the project had ended.

Fortunately, none of my fears was true. Neither death nor dismemberment befell Verminlord, and the man behind the project (Teo Acosta) hasn’t put aside music in favor of more mundane pursuits. He just needed some time to try to clear his head, and now, following a move from the Pacific Northwest to southern California, he has given us a new three-song EP, which we’re now sharing with you on the day of its release. Continue reading »

Sep 142018


The Vancouver, BC, band Truent made their impressive recording debut last year with an EP entitled Faith in the Forgotten, and they’re following that one with an even more impressive EP, To End An Ancient Way of Life, which we’re highlighting today — the day of its release — through the premiere of a full stream.

The four tracks on this new EP provide a turbocharged thrill-ride, each song displaying flamboyant technical fireworks, but within a framework of tremendously punishing and head-hooking grooves, and threaded with through-lines of melody (both bleak and boisterous) that further stick the songs in your head. The impact is ferocious, frequently explosive, and persistently electrifying. Continue reading »

Sep 052018


Let’s first deal with the elephant in the room: this band’s name. To some of you it might signify primitive, ear-raping, bestial black metal. For others it might lead to scoffing — derisive presumptions that there will be nothing to take seriously here. Both guesses might be understandable, but both would be wrong.

Having heard, and thoroughly enjoyed, Goat Sperm‘s persistently surprising debut EP, Voice In the Womb, it does occur to me (without any inside knowledge) that there was a streak of perversity at work in this Ukrainian band’s choice of name, and not just for the most obvious reason. I can imagine them chuckling behind their hands, or maybe cackling with devilish glee, over that decision, because of the head-fake that it represents. And part of the reason I make that guess is because the music itself is such a twisted but ingenious experience. Continue reading »

Aug 212018

Hadal Maw


(In this post Andy Synn has assembled three reviews of three new EPs that deliver diverse forms of metal extremity.)

Not much of a preamble today, I’m afraid, apart from affirming that you should really check out these three EPs if you’re after a short, sharp fix of sonic savagery.

‘Nuff said. Continue reading »

Aug 192018


You nay have noticed that we had no WAXING LYRICAL post yesterday, given that Mr. Synn was otherwise occupied. Rather than attempt to cobble together a Saturday post myself, I decided instead to get a head start on what will become a two-part SHADES OF BLACK for today, with new music from four bands in this part and four more in Part 2. In this one, I’ve picked two recent full releases and advance tracks from two other albums.


Path Through The Mist is a new EP by Volkolun (Волколунь) from Belgorod, Russia, who released a debut album (Only Trees Remember Centuries) five years ago. Though I haven’t heard the album, and therefore had no inkling what might be coming, the EP knocked me over from the first time I heard it. Continue reading »

Aug 142018


The effect of listening to the new EP by the French black/death band Absolvtion is similar to what I imagine I’d feel if I turned a corner and found a cobra immediately at my feet, its head raised, its hood open wide, swaying, about to strike. I’d feel shock and fear mixed with repulsion, but I’d be transfixed, mesmerized by the terrible beauty of the thing, frozen in fascination.

Gallow’s Destiny exerts a similar mesmerizing attraction, a similar capacity to freeze you in your steps, and at the same time it’s unnerving and poisonous. It tends to blot out rational thought, paralyzing that part of your mind and then sinking its fangs deep. Continue reading »

Aug 062018


Destroy Your Fucking Life. Our Dawn Is the End. There Is No Hope. Supreme Misanthropic Darkness. And now Hail the Coming End.

Those are the titles of the releases so far by the Texas band Endless Disease, the last of which is out today. The titles alone, not to mention the band’s name, proclaim a world-view steeped in bleakness and boiling with disgust. If there is any hope here, it seems to be the hope that the pestilence of human existence will be extinguished sooner rather than later… and not one tear will be shed by this band when that day arrives. And therein lies a paradox about the music — because the music is electrifyingly alive, like a fight that will rage to the bitter end. Continue reading »

Aug 022018


(This is Andy Synn‘s review of the new EP by Âme Noire from Melbourne, Australia, which was released on July 13th.)

Amidst all the (well-deserved) hype for the soon-to-be-released new EP from Australian death-dealers Hadal Maw (officially released tomorrow, but available to hear in full right here, right now), there’s a good chance that many of you might have overlooked the fact that there’s also another band of down-under denizens – Melbourne-based quintet Âme Noire — with a shiny new EP to promote, and I feel like it’s my responsibility to try and make sure that it doesn’t get completely overlooked or overshadowed by its more famous sibling. Continue reading »