Jul 112020
 

 

(Andy Synn brings us another installment of his interview series on lyrics in metal, and for today’s fascinating commentary we thank Ian Gillings, lyricist/vocalist/guitarist of the British band Rannoch.)

One of our primary motivations here at NCS has always been to use our platform to highlight the underdogs and the underappreciated, the bands who don’t necessarily have the support of the labels, PR, or any of the other mechanisms which help the bigger names get all the coverage they want.

That doesn’t mean we’re totally ignorant of the “the usual suspects” by any means, but there’s a special kind of joy which comes from knowing that you’ve played a small part in introducing a relatively unknown band to a wider audience – especially when their music runs rings around many of their more famous (or infamous) contemporaries.

Such is the case with UK Prog-Death powerhouse Rannoch, as while we’re not the only site to have written about them by any means, we’ve covered all their releases so far (up to and including their phenomenal second album, Reflections Upon Darkness) with such gusto that we’ve definitely helped raise their profile both at home and abroad.

So, to continue throwing our weight behind the band I invited guitarist/vocalist and main songwriter Ian Gillings to tell us a little bit about his past, present, and future as a lyricist.

A word of warning though – much like the band’s latest album, it’s a long and in-depth piece, so get comfortable… it’s time for some deep, dark reflections… Continue reading »

May 092020
 


photo by Terco Fredes

 

(In this new edition of Andy Synn‘s series of interviews focusing on lyrics in metal he elicited thoughts from Charles Elliott, vocalist/guitarist of California’s Abysmal Dawn, who have a new album out on Season of Mist.)

Since the release of their debut album, From Ashes, way back in 2006, Abysmal Dawn have gone on to become one of the most unrelentingly heavy, unfailingly reliable, and unrepentantly riff-heavy acts in Death Metal.

Hell, their most recent album, the fantastic Phylogenesis, recently received a glowing write-up by our own DGR, while its immediate predecessor, 2014’s outstanding Obsolescence, still remains in my regular listening rotation even now.

So, with all that in mind, what more is there left to say about the band?

Quite a bit, apparently, as you’re about to find out from vocalist/guitarist (and overall mastermind) Charles Elliott! Continue reading »

May 022020
 

 

(For this new edition of a column devoted to lyrics in metal Andy Synn obtained insights from Paolo Pieri, who for the last decade has been lyricist, vocalist, and guitarist in the Italian death metal band Hour of Penance.)

If you don’t know the name Hour of Penance, well, chances are you’re either new to this site and/or new to Metal in general, as we’ve been fans of these Italian iconoclasts (who celebrated twenty years of existence by releasing their eighth album just last year) for a long, long time now.

In my own case it was stumbling across a copy of The Vile Conception in my local (now sadly defunct) independent record store (remember those?) which first introduced me to the band and their brand of ultra-intense, hook-heavy Death Metal and which led, by a complex, convoluted route, to actually supporting them on a short run of dates in the UK at the end of last year!

As you might have gathered, this edition of Waxing Lyrical is particularly special to me, and so I’d like to send out a personal thank you to HoP frontman Paolo Pieri for taking the time to craft such an interesting and well-thought-out series of responses for us.

Now, without further ado… Continue reading »

Mar 142020
 

 

(For this new edition of a column devoted to lyrics in metal Andy Synn was fortunate to obtain insights from the two lyricists and co-vocalists of the Bay Area death metal band Vastum, whose latest album Orificial Purge was released last fall by 20 Buck Spin.)

We’ve written about Californian Death Metal crew Vastum several times before here at NCS (and just take a look here if you don’t believe me) but this is, if I’m not mistaken, our first time talking to them directly.

This piece was also meant as a precursor to the band’s upcoming dates in the Pacific Northwest region but – for reasons I’m sure no-one will be surprised by – those have now been put on hold.

Still, any opportunity to learn more about the group’s work, their drives and methods and inspirations, is one well worth taking, so I encourage you all to take some time and enjoy the following edition of Waxing Lyrical, which features responses not just from Vastum’s lead singer Daniel Butler but also his co-vocalist/co-lyricist (and half of the band’s guitar tag-team) Leila Abdul-Rauf, who have together gone above and beyond to provide us with a double-scoop of lyrical insight this time around. Continue reading »

Feb 082020
 

 

(After a months-long hiatus, Andy Synn has brought us a new episode in this series devoted to lyrics in metal, revealing the thoughts of Yonni Chapatte, vocalist of the Swiss band Rorcal and of the band Kehlvin.)

In case you haven’t noticed I am a HUGE fan of Blackened Sludgemonsters Rorcal.

Just read my write-up of their most recent album, Muladona, in my Critical Top Ten list from last year if you don’t believe me!

Heck, if not listening to the band myself I’m probably extolling their many virtues to someone else, trying to get them to do so, and anyone who counts themselves a fan of artists like Inter Arma, Lord Mantis, Phantom Winter, or Dragged Into Sunlight should make sure to blitz their way through Rorcal’s back-catalogue ASAP.

Before that, however, you might want to give the following article a read, where the band’s vocalist, Yonni Chapatte goes into great detail about his background, his methods, and the various concepts which underpin Rorcal’s work. Continue reading »

Nov 232019
 

 

(Andy Synn returns with another episode in his series on metal lyrics, and today we have answers from Nathanael Underwood, lyricist/vocalist/guitarist of the UK death metal band Dāmim, whose latest album was released in June of this year.)

To quote my own review, the new record from Progressive Death Metal maestros Dāmim is “an album that doesn’t just stand on the shoulders of giants, but is more than capable of standing right alongside them.”

And since I’m such a fan of their new album, not to mention the fact that I’m going to be playing a short run of shows alongside them next month, I thought it was high time we heard from frontman Nathanael Underwood about what exactly it is that makes the band’s difference engine tick. Continue reading »

Sep 282019
 

 

(In this week’s edition of Andy Synn‘s series devoted to lyrics in metal, he presents the responses of Chris Gebauer, lyricist/vocalist of the Australian post-apocalyptic black metal band Deadspace.)

Having the platform I have here at NCS is both a privilege and a responsibility, and one I don’t take lightly.

The best thing about it, of course, is being able to introduce our readers, whoever and however many of them they are, to new bands, new albums… new music in general… that they might not have otherwise stumbled across or thought to check out if left solely to their own devices.

In the case of Australian Black Metal crew Deadspace I think I’ve definitely done my part to raise their profile (on this website anyway) as I have, over the course of the last two years, written about the band no less than five times, covering five different releases (two EPs and three albums).

And so, with their most recent full-length record, The Grand Disillusionment, being released just last month, now seemed like the perfect time to make contact with the band’s frontman, Chris Gebauer, to find out exactly what fuels the group’s prolific output and how their story, and their message, has evolved as a response. Continue reading »

Sep 072019
 

 

(For this week’s edition of his series on lyrics in metal Andy Synn reached out to Keith D., the main man behind the Wisconsin band Arctic Sleep, whose latest album Kindred Spirits was released in July.)

The new Arctic Sleep album, Kindred Spirits, is easily one of the most rewarding records of the year.

This isn’t just an opinion, it’s empirical fact, supported by research done by some of the world’s top scienticians. Cough…

Ok, so maybe it is just my opinion, but it’s still a fantastic album, full of rich textures and lush melodies and positively brimming with heartfelt emotion (and you can read more about it here).

Even better, you’ve now got the chance to learn even more about the band’s music courtesy of the following interview with main-man Keith D. Continue reading »

Aug 312019
 

 

(For this week’s edition of Andy Synn‘s column devoted to lyrics in metal he posed questions to Paulus Kressman (Rites of Thy Degringolade), and obtained very illuminating answers, as you shall see.)

As much as I hope you all enjoy the information and insight offered by these articles, I have to admit, there’s a certain amount of self-interest involved too, as the work of putting some extra focus on this underappreciated aspect of the metallic arts grants me an opportunity to talk to some of my favourite bands/artists and to (hopefully) gain a deeper understanding of their music.

Case in point, I was recently able to speak with Paulus Kressman, the founder and prime creative force of Canadian Black/Death esotericists Rites of Thy Degringolade – a band whose work I’ve followed and supported for years and whose most recent record, last year’s phenomenal The Blade Philosophical, was one of my favourite albums of 2018 – about the process and philosophy behind his arcane and abrasive art.

Not only was he more than happy to oblige, but his in-depth responses have given me an even deeper understanding of, and appreciation for, the band’s entire discography.

So, without further ado, I present to you the latest edition of Waxing Lyrical. Continue reading »

Aug 242019
 


photo by Joe Ellis

 

(In this latest edition of his Waxing Lyrical series, Andy Synn posed questions to vocalist Laura Nichol of Light This City, whose comeback album Terminal Bloom was released last year by Creator-Destructor Records, and received the following answers.)

My relationship (such as it is) with Californian Melodeath crew Light This City goes back almost fifteen years now, and their 2006 record, Facing the Thousand, remains one of my go-to albums to this day.

Sadly, as many of you will know, the band went inactive for nearly a full decade after the release of Stormchaser in 2008, leaving behind them a trail of broken hearts and shattered dreams (as well as a bunch of kickass music).

Thankfully for all of us, however, last year’s comeback album, Terminal Bloom, wasn’t just a long-awaited return for the band, it also happens to be one of their best releases to date, which is why I’m so excited to be bringing some more attention to it, and the band in general, via this piece from LTC vocalist Laura Nichol. Continue reading »