May 192018
 

 

(In this week’s edition of Waxing Lyrical, Andy Synn posed questions about lyrics to Simon Barr, vocalist of one of our own favorite bands, Dawn Ray’d.)

We’ve been fans of UK Black Metal three-piece Dawn Ray’d for a long time now, ever since we stumbled across their debut EP, A Thorn, A Blight (which I reviewed, eventually, a little under a year after it came out).

Mixing politics and passion, searing social activism and savage blackened invective, the band’s follow-up full-length, The Unlawful Assembly, quickly became one of the best-received and best-reviewed albums of last year (including here at NCS), which is why I’m pleased to have been able to corral the band’s vocalist (and occasional violinist) Simon Barr for this latest edition of Waxing Lyrical. Continue reading »

May 122018
 


photo by Kieran Wakeman

(In this edition of Waxing Lyrical, Andy Synn elicited thoughts from Steve Tovey, vocalist of the UK metal band The King Is Blind.)

Raise your hand if you’ve heard of The King Is Blind?

Now keep them raised if you’ve heard their fantastic second album, We are the Parasite, We are the Cancer.

If your hand is down… well, what the heck have you been playing at? Not only did I give the album a glowing review, but I also hand-picked it as a close runner-up to Immolation in last year’s “Critical Top Ten”, describing it as:

“…one killer slab of Old-school influenced audio violence, with a Major in Riffology and a Minor in Metallic History, whose every track seems to exist solely to remind you why you fell in love with the more extreme side of Metal in the first place.”

So, with all that in mind, you can see why I decided to talk to the band’s frontman Steve Tovey about his influences (or lack thereof), his favourite vocalists, novels… and pretty much anything and everything else which feeds into his overall concept for each of the band’s records. Continue reading »

May 052018
 

 

(The world hasn’t ended… another Saturday rises… and with it another of Andy Synn’s WAXING LYRICAL columns… with the insights provided today by Chris Grigg of the NY black metal band Woe.)

This is the third edition of Waxing Lyrical focussing on a band I handpicked for last year’s “Critical Top Ten” which… probably says something important. Though I’m not sure what. Maybe that great albums deserve great lyrics? Something like that?

Either way, Hope Attrition was a fantastic album “…as densely packed with clever ideas, razor-sharp hooks, and raw passion, as anything I’ve heard…” and Woe are a fantastic band, which is why I harassed and harangued the band’s vocalist/guitarist Chris Grigg into telling me a little about his background, his process, and his methods. Continue reading »

Apr 282018
 

 

(Here’s another edition of Andy Synn’s Saturday interview series in which the subject is metal lyrics.)

Unless you’ve been living under a rock like some quivering, spineless invertebrate (I might pay for that comment later), you’ll doubtless be aware of the great waves caused by the latest Slugdge album, Esoteric Malacology (which I already dubbed “a potential Album of the Year contender”).

Of course if you haven’t done so yet, you should check it out immediately, and then go back and check out the rest of the band’s back-catalogue too.

Once you’ve done that, and you’re suitably prepared in both body and mind, then – and only then – should you return here and delve into the following interview with the band’s vocalist Matt Moss, where he provides some seriously in-depth insight into both the method and the madness which together make up the band’s unique lyrical approach. Continue reading »

Apr 212018
 

 

(Welcome to another edition of Andy Synn’s Waxing Lyrical feature. Today he presents a very interesting discussion with Jamie Stewart of The Absence.)

Some of you may have caught my review of A Gift for the Obsessed, the long-awaited fourth album by Floridian Melodeath marauders The Absence, last month (almost exactly one month ago, in fact). And hopefully some of you were inspired enough to go check out the album on your own terms and, ideally, to pick up a copy for yourselves.

If you didn’t catch it, well, here’s another chance for you to check out what you’ve been missing, as I managed to cajole the band’s vocalist/lyricist Jamie Stewart into participating in this edition of Waxing Lyrical, where he talks about misheard lyrics, space madness, and the importance of Hip-Hop to his early musical development! Continue reading »

Apr 142018
 

 

(Andy Synn returns with another installment in his Saturday series about lyrics in metal, and today brings us insights from Sammy Urwin of the UK band Employed To Serve.)

 

So last week’s edition of Waxing Lyrical featured an artist who I declared to have produced one of the best albums of 2017, and so I thought… why not carry on in that vein?

So here’s your chance to learn more about Employed to Serve, whose most recent album, The Warmth of a Dying Sun, was an absolute masterstroke of metallic catharsis and furious energy, courtesy of the band’s guitarist/main song-writer Sammy Urwin. Continue reading »

Apr 072018
 


photo by Unai Endemaño

 

(Andy Synn returns with another installment in his Saturday series about lyrics in metal, and today we have a fascinating and eloquent discussion by J. F. Fiar, the vocalist and bassist for the Spanish band Foscor, who has penned the lyrics for their songs, in Catalan and English, for the last four years.)

 

Foscor’s latest album, the stunning Les Irreals Visions, was a beautifully bleak, moody and multifaceted delight, and was so good I declared it one of the Critical Top Ten albums of 2017 and at one point described it as:

“…an album that is simultaneously easy to pick up, and nearly impossible to put down…”

Hopefully, like me, you’ve found it just as difficult to stop listening to and, if so, you might be interested in hearing from the band’s long time vocalist J. F. Fiar about his life, his lyrics, and everything he’s learned along the way! Continue reading »

Mar 312018
 

Photo by Maciej Pieloch Photography

 

(Continuing with his Saturday Waxing Lyrical series, Andy Synn questions vocalist/guitarist Nick Forkel about his approach to the writing of lyrics for Turbid North.)

 

As you may know, Turbid North’s fantastic Eyes Alive was one of my outstanding favourite albums of 2015, and I’ve been singing the band’s praises ever since, and trying to get as many of my friends (and even a few of my enemies) to listen to this three-piece’s unique blend of devastating Death Metal riffage, megaton metallic grooves, and psychedelic progressive melody, as possible.

Unsurprisingly I was quick to get in touch with the band’s vocalist/guitarist Nick Forkel when I first decided to pursue “Waxing Lyrical” as a regular column, and he was kind enough to furnish me with the following information regarding how he first fell into the role of lyricist, and how he’s developed as a writer over the years. Continue reading »

Mar 242018
 


Withered 2018 – photo by David Parham

 

(In this week’s edition of Waxing Lyrical, Andy Synn elicits thoughts about lyrics from Withered guitarist/vocalist Mike Thompson.)

 

If you don’t know the name Withered by now, stop what you’re doing and go listen to their latest oppressive opus Grief Relic (which I hailed as one of the best albums of 2016) right now.

Then, if you want to delve further back into the band’s discography, go check out Memento Mori, Folie Circulaire, and Dualitas, which I have fortuitously collected together for you here.

Now, despite being busy prepping for the band’s upcoming tour with Canadian grindmeisters Wake (which, by this point, will actually have begun), I was lucky enough to grab some time with the band’s long-serving guitarist/vocalist Mike Thompson and bully him into answering some questions for the latest edition of Waxing Lyrical. Continue reading »

Mar 172018
 

 

(Andy Synn continues our new regular Saturday series in which he discusses metal lyrics with bands whose music you should also get to know if you don’t already.)

 

Having recently dropped one of the most vital and visceral albums of 2018 so far, an album which I fully expect to make an appearance on numerous “Best of…” lists come the end of the year, Conjurer are currently riding a wave of popularity and critical acclaim which seems unlikely to die out any time soon.

So now seemed like the perfect time to grab hold of the band’s guitarist/vocalist Dan Nightingale and get him to spill the beans about his writing process, inspirations, and all that jazz. Continue reading »