Oct 092021


(Andy Synn brings us another episode in his series about lyrics in Metal, and today the responses come from A.K. of the French band Decline of the I, whose latest album Johannes was released last spring by Agonia Records.)

I know it’s been a little while since we last published one of these columns – that’s largely because I want the various artists involved to work on them in their own time and without feeling pressured from my end – but the wait has definitely been worth it, as today we’re talking to songwriter, lyricist, and all-round mastermind A.K. of Decline of the I (along with many other bands).

It’s a fascinating piece, mark my words, which touches on the conceptual underpinnings of the group’s first album trilogy, and their next one, as well as the unusual methods involved in composing each record’s vivid yet dreamlike lyrics. Continue reading »

Jul 102021

Ageless Oblivion - photo by Adam Pegg

(Andy Synn brings us another episode in his series about lyrics in Metal, and today the responses come from Stephen Jones, vocalist and lyricist of the UK Death Metal band Ageless Oblivion, whose latest album is out now via Apocalyptic Witchcraft Recordings)

Anyone who knows me… hell, anyone who’s been reading NCS for any significant amount of time… will be able to tell you how much I love the work of Progressive/Post-Death Metal maestros Ageless Oblivion.

In particular, I’ve gone on record, multiple times, about how highly I rate their second album, Penthos, whose signature blend of mechanical precision, organic biorhythms, and claustrophobic atmosphere is a big part of what makes it, in my opinion at least, one of the best (and most underrated) albums of the last decade.

So it shouldn’t really surprise anyone, especially in light of the rave review I gave their recent “comeback” album, Suspended Between Earth and Sky, that I was eager to bring the band onboard for an edition of Waxing Lyrical, if only to satisfy my own curiosity about what it is that influences, informs, and drives this particular aspect of their sound.

Thankfully they were extremely amenable to my overtures, and sent forth their vocalist Stephen Jones (who has performed on all three of the band’s albums thus far) to offer up some insight on the group’s past, present and future, as seen through the prism of their lyrics.

So, without further ado… Continue reading »

Jul 032021

(In this new edition of Andy Synn‘s interview series devoted to lyrics in metal, he got input from Bryce Seditz of the Ohio band Plaguewielder.)

We – and that’s the collective we, not the royal we – have been big fans and followers of Ohio Blackened Sludge-bringers Plaguewielder for quite some time now.

You may even recall that we were lucky enough to host the premiere of their latest (and greatest) album, Covenant Death, back in March – and I can confidently say that it’s still one of my favourite albums of the year so far.

So, for this particular edition of Waxing Lyrical I/we thought it was high time we caught up with Plaguewielder vocalist/guitarist Bryce Seditz to find out exactly what it is that fuels the band’s thematic fire. Continue reading »

Jun 122021


(Eleven months have passed since Andy Synn delivered an installment of his Saturday interview series on lyrics in metal, but as the following article reveals, the series has been hibernating rather than dead.)

Damn, it’s been quite a while since we’ve published one of these articles hasn’t it?

The reason for this is both simple and complex. While I really enjoy doing them, and quite a few of our readers seem to enjoy them too, the existence of Waxing Lyrical as an ongoing column is predicated both on me having time to put each entry together (and my time has been stretched pretty thin over the least year) and finding enough bands who are willing and eager to participate (oddly enough, not as easy as you might think).

Still, I’m hopeful that today’s edition is going to be the first in another long run of pieces highlighting the art (and effort) behind the lyrics behind the music we love, and I/we couldn’t ask for a better way to resurrect the column than by talking with bassist/co-vocalist Anchorite (aka Matt McGing) of NCS-approved Black Metallers Necronautical, whose fourth album, Slain in the Spirit, is scheduled for release on August 20 via Candlelight Records. Continue reading »

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 »