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 »

Aug 172019
 

 

(In this new edition of Waxing Lyrical Andy Synn was able to get answers to the usual questions from Larissa Stupar, vocalist of the UK death metal band Venom Prison, whose latest album was released by Prosthetic Records in March of this year.)

You’d have to have been living under a rock for the last several years not to have noticed the somewhat meteoric rise of UK Death Metal quintet Venom Prison, who’ve only gone from strength to strength ever since they first burst onto the scene in late 2015, before quickly being signed to Prosthetic Records for the release of their debut album, Animus, and this year’s blood-soaked and belligerent follow-up Samsara.

And, despite being busy finishing up the last leg of their summer festival dates (concluding tonight at Upsurge Fest in London), as well as preparing for their highly-anticipated US headlining tour next month, I managed to catch up with vocalist Larissa Stupar and (somehow) convince her to participate in Waxing Lyrical so we could all learn a little more about the meaning behind the music. Continue reading »

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 »