Jul 132019
 


Zao 2018 – Photo by Jered Scott

 

(For this week’s edition of WAXING LYRICAL Andy Synn questioned Dan Weyandt, lyricist/vocalist of the long-running American metal band Zao.)

It’s no exaggeration to say that Zao are one of my all-time favourite, most-listened-to, bands.

I first came across their punchy, endearingly scrappy form of Metallic Hardcore/proto-Metalcore early on in my transition towards heavier music, and immediately liked what I heard.

By chance, however, I actually lost touch with the band for a while, only to rediscover them a few albums later, by which point, to my great pleasure, their sound had metamorphosed into an even more aggressive and metallic form.

Not only have a I been a major fan ever since, but the biting vocals and cathartic lyrics of Dan Weyandt have been a major influence on me as a singer/writer myself, so I am doubly-pleased to be be able to speak to him for this latest edition of Waxing Lyrical. Continue reading »

Jul 062019
 

photo by Void Revelations

 

(For this week’s edition of his lyrically-focused series Andy Synn posed the usual questions to the man behind the powerful UK black/death/doom band Abyssal.)

 

In case we haven’t made it clear before, we’re pretty much all HUGE fans of Abyssal here at NCS.

Not only was Antikatastesis one of the finest albums of 2015 (with the recently released follow-up, A Beacon In The Husk, looking likely to repeat this success), but the band’s performance at this year’s edition of Maryland Deathfest was arguably the best of the entire weekend.

So, in an effort to extend our coverage of the group I recently reached out to vocalist and prime-mover G.D.C. to see if he’d be interested in contributing a few bits and pieces about his lyrical process… and here is his response. Continue reading »

Jun 222019
 

 

(After being on hiatus for a while, Andy Synn‘s Waxing Lyrical series returns today with answers to Andy’s standard questions by Jeff Bryan of the Canadian band Gomorrah.)

I’ve been an avid follower of Canadian death-dealers Gomorrah ever since I stumbled across their sophomore album, The Haruspex, way back in 2016.

More recently I spent some of my own time waxing lyrical about their third, self-titled, record which – spoiler alert – is very likely going to make an appearance in my personal end of year list at this rate.

Therefore you need to understand that when I reached out the band to take part in this column I did so not just as a highly respected, dare I say beloved, Metal writer… cough… but as an honest to god fan.

So you can imagine how pleased I was when the band’s vocalist Jeff Bryan agreed to provide this short but sweet insight into how the lyrical side of the band has come together over the years. Continue reading »

Feb 022019
 


photo by Heidi Strengell

 

(In this week’s edition of Waxing Lyrical, Andy Synn posed his usual questions about lyrics to Jason Netherton of Misery Index, whose new album Rituals of Power will be released on March 8 by Season of Mist.)

Is it selfish of me to admit that, as much as I hope everyone is enjoying the series so far, one of the primary reasons for coming up with the concept of “Waxing Lyrical” was so that I’d get the chance to speak to, and learn more about, some of my favourite vocalists/lyricists?

Well, selfish or not, it’s the truth, and today’s edition is a particularly special one, as it features one half of one of my favourite vocal tag-teams, Jason Netherton of the mighty Misery Index. Continue reading »

Jan 262019
 

 

(For this week’s edition of Waxing Lyrical, Andy Synn posed the now-familiar questions to vocalist/lyricist Frode Hofsøy of the Norwegian band Endolith.)

What more can I say about Endolith that I haven’t already said (here and here)?

I’m not even sure any more, to be honest. I mean, if you haven’t checked out this three-person Prog-Metal powerhouse – perfect for fans of Meshuggah, Devin Townsend, Arcturus, Fear Factory, and Strapping Young Lad – yet, then perhaps you never will?

Still, let’s hand things over to the band’s vocalist/lyricist Frode Hofsøy, and see if he can’t win you over himself! Continue reading »

Jan 192019
 

 

(In this week’s edition of Waxing Lyrical Andy Synn elicited thoughts from Soreption vocalist Fredrik Söderberg.)

If you don’t know, and love, Soreption, then you don’t belong on this site.

There, I said it. Now get out.

Of course if you’re still reading this then you’ve clearly either a) realised I was joking with the above statement, or b) are a total contrarian who has decided to carry on just to spite me.

Anyway, to cut a long story short, it was just over a decade ago when I stumbled across Soreption‘s debut EP, Illuminate the Excessive, in my local record store, and I’ve been an avid fan of the band ever since, following their progress through all the ups and downs of their career, even to the point of selecting their second album, Engineering the Void, as one of the best albums of 2014.

The band’s latest release, last year’s Monument of the End, continued their run of top-notch, high-octane Technical Death Metal mastery, so I’m particularly pleased to have been able to get hold of the group’s long-time vocalist Fredrik Söderberg for this latest edition of Waxing Lyrical. Continue reading »

Dec 222018
 

 

(In this week’s edition of Andy Synn‘s series of interviews focused on lyrics in metal, he poses the questions to Jukka Pelkonen, vocalist of a favorite band we never lose interest in — Omnium Gatherum.)

If you’re one of those strange, yet oddly wonderful, people who’ve been reading this site for a while then you’ll probably be aware that the entire NCS crew has been “ride or die” (that’s right, I’m hip) for Omnium Gatherum since at least 2007, meaning that our collective love for the band actually predates the site’s very existence!

And though that love has been tested at times, we’ve kept the faith with the Finnish sextet through thick and thin, and been richly rewarded for our dedication.

So, for the last edition of Waxing Lyrical for 2018, I caught up with OG’s long-serving vocalist Jukka Pelkonen to get the skinny on the in’s and out’s of his lyrics and his writing style over the years. Continue reading »

Nov 032018
 

 

(In this week’s edition of Waxing Lyrical, Andy Synn posed the usual questions to Paul Sadler of the U.K. band Spires.)

Hopefully I’ve managed to make it more than clear at this point just how bloody fantastic I think the latest (and greatest) album from Mancunian Prog-Metal quartet Spires really is, and so it probably won’t surprise you to learn that I’m already thinking long and hard as to whether to give it a spot in my annual “Critical Top Ten” list, a list whose purported purpose is to provide a wide and robust overview of the year’s best Metal albums… or, at least, as wide and robust a snapshot of the year’s releases as can be made using only ten albums.

One of the reasons the album is so damn good, in my opinion anyway, is the intense focus and attention to detail which the band have clearly lavished on each and every part of each and every song, up to and including the concept-driven lyrics which ultimately play a major role in helping to tie the whole record together.

So, as way of acknowledging the vital importance of these lyrics to the album’s overall success, I managed to convince the band’s vocalist/guitarist (and main songwriter) Paul Sadler to put together a few words for today’s edition of Waxing Lyrical. Continue reading »

Oct 202018
 

 

(In this new edition of our series devoted to lyrics in metal, Andy Synn posed his usual questions to James Malone, vocalist/guitarist of Arsis, whose new album Visitant will be released on November 2nd by Nuclear Blast and Agonia Records.)

If memory serves, my introduction to Virginia-based Technical/Melodic Death Metallers Arsis was way back in 2005 when I stumbled across the shamelessly epic, ultra-bombastic title-track from their recently-released EP, A Diamond for Disease.

Unsurprisingly, I was instantly hooked by the band’s mix of scorching intensity, fret-melting technicality, and shameless, scornful swagger – a sound that was part Carcass, part Death, part Motley Crue – and immediately went out to pick up a copy of the EP as well as their debut album, A Celebration of Guilt (which still stands as, arguably, one of the best Technical and/or Melodic Death Metal albums of all time).

In the years since then I’ve followed the band closely through all their ups and downs, watching as they honed their craft across multiple albums, sticking by them through all their struggles with ill health and line-up changes (including a period where it felt like the group was serving like a boot camp for guitarists looking to level-up their skills before joining bigger, more famous bands), and have always felt like they deserved far more critical acclaim and commercial success than they received.

I am therefore extremely pleased, and more than a little proud, to have (somehow) convinced James Malone, the band’s vocalist/guitarist and prime mover, to participate in this edition of Waxing Lyrical, where he talks about his love of King Diamond, the unexpected influence of Catholicism on the band’s early records, and the surprisingly deep emotions underlying their new, Horror-themed album, Visitant. Continue reading »

Sep 222018
 

 

(This week the Australian band Hadal Maw answers Andy Synn‘s questions about lyrics.)

How is everyone enjoying the “Waxing Lyrical” series so far? Hopefully you’re all finding it as interesting and enlightening as I am, and hopefully you’re all still curious as to which artists I might have lined up for future editions.

Today we’re lucky to be receiving a message all the way from Down Under, as Sam Dillon, vocalist/lyricist of Technical Groove titans Hadal Maw, joins us with some intriguing thoughts about his tenure with the band, and what their music, and lyrics, mean to him.. Continue reading »