Feb 282023

Recommended for fans of: Primitive Man, Planks, Phantom Winter

Selecting what band to feature for each monthly edition of The Synn Report is more of an art than a science.

Sometimes I like to provide a primer on a seminal band for those looking for a good place to get started with their discography, other times I prefer to highlight the work of an underrated or relatively unknown act who I think deserves more respect.

Sometimes it’s good to focus on a band who are currently active (and this is the case more often than not), at others it’s fun to provide a retrospective on an artist who may no longer be with us but whose work has stood the test of time (and which, unbeknownst to a lot of us, have influenced many of the bands we know and love).

Really, it all just comes down to what I’m feeling at the time, and I’ll often change my mind at the last minute. But today’s entry – covering all three albums, including their recently released new record, by London-based Sludge/Doom/Noise-mongers Remote Viewing – has been set in stone for weeks.

And you’re about to learn why.

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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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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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Nov 302022

Recommended for fans of: Employed to Serve, Power Trip, Misery Index

This has been a big year for Hardcore, Metallic Hardcore, and Death Metal-meets-Hardcore… and I, for one, have been absolutely loving it.

So much so, in fact, that I’ve decided to dedicate the final Synn Report of 2022 to Canadian crushers Get The Shot (whose new album, Merciless Destruction, was released just last month).

Of course, while there’s been a lot of digital ink spilled about the resurgence of Hardcore-influenced-Death Metal recently, Get The Shot clearly come at it from the opposite direction… sure, they’ve got a distinctive Death Metal side (especially on their more recent stuff) but they’re a Hardcore band at heart, which gives their howling vocals, hammering riffs, and hefty, chug-heavy rhythms a slightly different flavour to the Creeping Deaths and Gatecreepers of the world (although fans of those bands will definitely want to give GtS a shot, trust me).

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Oct 312022

Recommended for fans of: Leviathan, Behexen, Blaze of Perdition

Who knows what day it is today?

That’s right, it’s Synn Report day, and this month I’m turning my attention to all four full-lengths (including their recently-released new album, Black Blood) by the Black Metal sorcerer who goes by the name Abduction.

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Sep 302022

Recommended for fans of: Altar of Plagues, Ash Borer, Wiegedood

I had a lot of different options for this month’s edition of The Synn Report… almost too many, really.

But I decided to dedicate this to German Post/Black/Crust quartet Toadeater for two reasons:

  1. I’ve really enjoyed writing about them before now
  2. Their new album is their best yet, and deserves more coverage

So, without further ado… let’s get to the music, shall we?

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Aug 312022

Recommended for fans of: Dragged Into Sunlight, Celeste, This Gift Is A Curse

Heed this warning: Danish dynamos Hexis are… not exactly easy listening, let’s just say that.

In fact, their abrasive amalgam of Black Metal and Hardcore – liberally dosed with enough sickeningly sludgy moments to ensure that the listener never becomes too comfortable or complacent – has, if anything, only gotten harsher, heavier, and just generally nastier, as the years have gone by… as you’re about to discover.

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Jul 292022

Recommended for fans of: High On Fire, Conan, Mastodon

The story of California riffmongers Behold! The Monolith is one of both tragedy and triumph

Tragedy… because, after releasing two well-received and well-rounded albums of increasingly proggy, doom-laden, sludgery, the band’s long-time bassist/vocalist Kevin McDade was killed in a car accident in 2013.

Triumph… because, after making the decision to carry on, the band roared back with another two fantastic records, the most recent of which was released just a few weeks ago.

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Jul 012022

Recommended for fans of: Black Metal, Dark Jazz, Neo-Noir soundscapes

Romania’s Katharos XIII are a band I’ve been wanting to cover here for quite a while.

But, as you might have guessed already (especially if you’ve glanced at the “Recommended for fans of…” section above) they’re not the easiest band to write about, as their diverse yet distinctive sound is hard to compare to other bands.

Sure, I’d say fans of White Ward‘s sax-infused savagery or Deadspace‘s anguished extremity will most likely find a lot to appreciate here, and the doomy ambience and dramatic clean vocals prevalent in their most recent work will surely appeal to fans of bands like Sinistro and SubRosa, but the fact is that Katharos XIII aren’t easy to put into a box… and that’s a big part of what makes them so good.

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May 312022

Recommended for fans of: Gorguts, Demilich, Wormed

So I’ve finally found a chance to break my streak of writing about Black Metal bands for The Synn Report, and what better way to do that than with the mind-melting Death Metal madness of Artifical Brain?

And what better time to do so than now, with the band’s self-titled third album (the culmination of their ongoing sci-fi trilogy which began with 2014’s Labyrinth Constellation) due for release at the end of this week?

Those of you already familiar with the group will obviously need no introduction to their sound, and are probably just here to glean a little bit of advanced insight into what their upcoming new album has in store.

But those who are a little more, shall we say, unprepared for the oncoming onslaught of extravagant technicality, extra-terrestrial vocalisations, and extinction-level heaviness, may find themselves a little overwhelmed by what will probably – at first listen – seem like the very epitome of “organised chaos”.

Thankfully, I can reassure you that there most certainly is a method to the band’s musical madness, it just takes a little while to fully acclimatise and tune into the right frequency in order to truly get what’s going on here.

But when you do… things will never be the same again.

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