Oct 182019


(We present Andy Synn‘s review of the new album by New Jersey’s Fit For An Autopsy, which will be released on October 25th by Nuclear Blast and features cover art by Adam Burke.)

There’s a hoary old cliché that says “good artists borrow, great artists steal”.

We all know it, of course, but have you ever thought about what it’s really trying to say?

The point it’s trying to make, at least the way I see it, is that while some artists may borrow an influence here or there from various sources, the really great ones take these influences and make them their own.

And that’s precisely what prominent “Gojira-core” pioneers Fit for an Autopsy have done on their latest, greatest, album, taking the very best elements of the Duplantier brothers’ pre-mainstream work – the powerful riffs and primal vocals, the turbulent, tidal rhythms and melancholy melodies, the ear-catching, attention grabbing pick-scrapes – and stamping them with their own indelible mark. Continue reading »

Oct 172019



(In this edition of Andy Synn‘s series on recommended releases by UK bands (presented by the letter “G”), the focus is on Geist, Gévaudan, and Godeater.)

Being a British writer for what is, primarily, a US-based (though not necessarily US-focussed) publication like NCS occasionally puts me in some odd, awkward positions.

For one thing, the level of autonomy afforded to me here is far greater than anywhere else I’ve written for, and, due to our location/reputation, there’s never any pressure on me to blindly “support the scene”, something which often forces other, UK-based, sites/zines to grit their teeth and find ways to be gratingly polite/positive even when they don’t really want to.

On occasion this “outsider” status has come back to bite me, for instance when a band (or their fans) decide I’ve not been nice enough about them, or when I’ve simply refused to cover a band because I didn’t think they were all that good, but, for the most part, it’s a very freeing position to be in, and not one I take for granted.

Hopefully it also absolves me of any accusations of bias or favouritism – I’m not covering these bands because I’m trying to ingratiate myself with them, or “the scene” in general, I’m doing it because I think our readers will want to hear them! Continue reading »

Oct 142019


(Andy Synn reviews the new album by The Great Old Ones, which will be released on October 25th by Season of Mist.)

My relationship with the French coven who refer to themselves as The Great Old Ones has been a long and fruitful one.

And it’s for this reason, among many others, that I feel a certain responsibility to provide you, our loyal readers, with the unvarnished truth (at least, as far as I perceive it) about their newest album, which is set for release next week. Continue reading »

Oct 112019


(We present Andy Synn‘s review of the new album by the Norwegian black meal band 1349, which will be released on October 18th by Season of Mist.)

It’s been well-documented, on several occasions, that my favourite 1349 album is 2010’s Demonoir.

As you can imagine then, I was particularly excited when it was revealed that the band’s new album (released next Friday) was a pseudo-sequel (or is it a prequel?) to that hallowed record.

The only question is, could it be as good? Continue reading »

Oct 072019


(This is Andy Synn‘s review of the new album by the Arizona death metal band Gatecreeper, which has just been released by Relapse Records.)

I’ve been making my way through the Will Forte-led comedy/drama (dramedy?) series The Last Man On Earth recently, having missed out on it when it first aired.

This has very little to do with Gatecreeper, to be entirely honest, except to allow me to say that Deserted continues to prove that Death Metal is still “alive in Tucson”. Continue reading »

Oct 042019



(Andy Synn again turns his attention to albums released by bands from the UK, and this time has provided reviews of new releases by Cognizance, PSOTY, and Torpor.)

You may have noticed DGR’s sly little dig at me in Part 1 of his recent round-up series last week and, rest assured, there will be repercussions. Terrible, terrible repercussions.

That being said, it’s good that he’s catching a few things that slip through my net as, no matter how hard I try, there’s no way I can cover absolutely every album and artist coming out of the UK scene that’s worth writing about.

In today’s column you’ll find my thoughts on a highly-anticipated, and understandably hyped, helping of razor-sharp Tech-Death, some brilliantly melodic, emphatically emotive Post-Metal, and a grim and gritty slab of suffocating Sludge, each of which is well worth checking out if any of those genres is your particular cup of tea (or whatever your daytime beverage of choice is). Continue reading »

Oct 022019


(This is Andy Synn‘s enthusiastic review of the new album by Chicago’s Vukari, which was released on October 1st by Vendetta Records.)

Remember some time ago… last week… when I said that 2019 has been a banner year for Death Metal?

Well, I wasn’t wrong. But did you also know it’s been a hell of a year for Black Metal too?

Just scratching the surface of the last nine months or so I can think of albums from (let me just stretch a bit first)…Consummation, Barshasketh, Misþyrming,Sinmara, Enthroned, Idolatry, Vanum, Mephorash, Kampfar, Idolatry, The Negative Bias, Panzerfaust, Mgła, Deadspace, Darkened Nocturn Slaughtercult, Neptunian Sun, Advent Sorrow, Blut Aus Nord … and we’ve still got new records from Mayhem, Schammasch, Abigail Williams, Dawn Ray’d, The Great Old Ones, and more, to look forward to.

This week, however, it was the turn of Chicago quartet Vukari to make their case for why their new album deserves to stand alongside the very best Black Metal that 2019 has to offer. 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 272019

Photo by Rahul Raveendran


(In this article Andy Synn reviews new albums by the Texas band Creeping Death (due for release today via eOne) and Denmark’s Baest (out now on Century Media).)

2019 has, I think we can all agree, been a banner year for Death Metal.

Old bands have rekindled their flames, new bands have exploded into life, and several bands previously on the cusp of greatness have finally stepped up to seize the torch for themselves.

Just off the top of my head the past nine months has seen us graced with albums from (deep breath)… Abominism, Blood Red Throne, Witch Vomit, Gomorrah, Entombed, Krypts, Vitriol, Venom Prison, Disentomb, Devourment, Nucleus, Nocturnus, Tomb Mold, Fuming Mouth, Towering, Iron Flesh, Misery Index, Altarage… with new albums from Hour of Penance, Hideous Divinity, Cattle Decapitation, Konkhra, and more still to come… and that’s barely even scratching the surface!

But there are two albums not mentioned on the above list, one of which came out a few weeks ago, the other which is being released today, that you shouldn’t let pass you by, and those are Venenum by Danish death-dealers Bæst and Wretched Illusions from Texan tormentors Creeping Death. Continue reading »

Sep 252019


(This is Andy Synn‘s review of the new album by Germany’s Cranial, which will be released on September 27th by Moment of Collapse.)

It’s either an incredibly ballsy, or completely coincidental, move for German sludgemongers Cranial to put out Alternate Endings just one week after Post-Metal titans Cult of Luna released their new, long-awaited album, A Dawn to Fear.

After all, there’s only so much time, money, and mental energy available to potential listeners, and big releases like ADtF do tend to monopolise people’s attention for a long time both before and after they come out (heck, this is exactly why you often see movies getting pushed back or bumped up… no-one wants to go up against Star Wars at the box office unless they really have to after all!).

I’m inclined to think that it was a purposeful move by the Bavarian quartet though, as not only did they explicitly select CoL’s Magnus Lindberg to master their new record, but each of the four songs presented here is written and performed with such brash, bullish confidence that I can’t imagine any of the members of Cranial were at all worried about being compared to their Swedish brethren! Continue reading »