Mar 222023

(Today’s edition of “The Best of British” features a bunch of old favourites)

While we absolutely love highlighting the work of new bands and artists, we’re also loyal followers of bands we’ve covered in the past, and make a point of keeping our ears to the ground about what they’re working on as best we’re able.

So today I’m going to be introducing (or reintroducing) you to three bands whose newest releases haven’t actually come out yet… but which will be with us very soon… with Dawn Ray’d‘s new album set for release this coming Friday, and the new albums from Allfather and Ohhms following next week.

This, of course, makes this a perfect jumping on point for new fans, and a great opportunity for existing ones to get a feel for what’s about to hit their ears!

Continue reading »

Mar 202023

(Andy Synn has had his face ripped off by the new album from Telos… and now it’s your turn)

We’re now a little under a quarter of the way through 2023 and so far the “theme” of the year has yet to reveal itself.

Last year, for example, was a very Hardcore-oriented year for yours truly, with an extremely varied and visceral assemblage of bands – Beyond the Styx, CLEARxCUT, Get the Shot, Helpless, Ithaca, Nostromo, Spill Your Guts, Spiritworld, and so on – helping to remind me just how much power and potential the wider genre has, in all its different forms, and why I’ve always loved it.

Of course, it doesn’t always happen like that – not every year is clearly a “Death Metal year” or a “Black Metal year”, etc, etc – so we’ll just have to wait and see what the rest of 2023 has to offer.

But, let me tell you, if the eight tracks of abrasive, anxiety-inducing Blackened Hardcore which make up Delude had been released in 2022 they’d have fit in perfectly alongside the year’s very best.

Continue reading »

Mar 162023

(Andy Synn guides you through the twists and turns of the new album from Ottawa’s Dissentient)

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about the corruptive influence of the profit motive… how difficult it makes it to believe that anything that’s written can ever be impartial (and I know there’s a whole other argument to be had over objectivity, or the lack thereof, in reviewing music) once you realise that every feature, every review, every cover photo, comes with a potential price tag attached.

It’s one reason (among many) that I consider myself lucky to write here. None of the three of us who still form the core team – Islander, DGR, and myself – make any money from the site, nor do we have any advertisers to please or specific print deadlines to meet, and so we’re free to write about what we want, when we want.

Now, to be clear, I’m not trying to tear down print media wholesale – as someone who used to write for a physical magazine I’m fully aware of the complexities which need to be balanced in order to both serve your readers not just what they want, but also what you think they need, while still remaining solvent (or not) – I’m simply laying out a case for why you can (and should) trust us.

Hell, we don’t even write to please the bands themselves (there’ve been a few times when people have gotten pissy with us because we didn’t blindly praise them enough) and have, in fact, alienated a few labels and PR firms in the past with our refusal to just dole out perfect scores to anything and everything that comes our way.

Long story short… believe me when I say that you won’t regret checking out Dissentient‘s new album.

Continue reading »

Mar 132023

(Andy Synn continues his long-standing relationship with Downfall of Gaia)

I still remember the first time I saw Downfall of Gaia live. To say I was blown away would be an understatement.

Of course, perhaps I shouldn’t have been surprised. I had, after all, only recently declared their third album, Aeon Unveils the Throne of Decay, to be one of the best records of 2014 (a decision I still stand by).

In the years since then I’ve seen the band several times more – each time, arguably, even better than the last – and they’ve produced a further two (soon to be three) more albums, including another potential classic (only time will tell) in the form of 2019’s Ethic of Radical Finitude.

And now it looks like they’re about to add a third top-tier, A-list release to their catalogue in the form of their sixth full-length release, Silhouettes of Disgust, which comes out this Friday.

Continue reading »

Mar 092023

(Andy Synn continues his busy week of reviews with three excellent examples of black musical magic)

With so many different styles and sub-genres of Metal out there (don’t ever let anyone tell you “it all sounds the same”) it’s perhaps understandable that I, like many of you I’m sure, go through different phases of listening to certain sounds more than others.

In that spirit then, allow me to introduce you to three albums which have, in recent weeks, played a major role in getting me back into a Black Metal mode.

Continue reading »

Mar 072023

(Andy Synn has a few words to share about the outstanding new album from Seattle’s Witch Ripper)

I mentioned yesterday that writing about music is a joy unto itself (or, at least, it is if you do it right).

But it’s even more enjoyable when the music you’re writing about it this good.

Because, make no mistake about it, as much as I enjoyed the band’s debut album, the long-awaited follow-up is a whole new level of awesome.

Continue reading »

Mar 062023

(Andy Synn has four excellent under the radar releases for you today)

Well, it’s that time again… time for me to harangue and browbeat you all for failing to keep up with all the great new releases that came out last month.

Of course, that’s not why I do these pieces at all. In fact, as much as I’d hope they provide a public service – cluing you in to some stuff that may have, understandably, flown underneath your radar(s) – there’s an argument to be made that I do them just as much for myself as for other people.

After all, I enjoy writing, and writing about new artists/albums I’ve discovered is a particular joy unto itself.

So here’s four releases from the last month (and a bit… I’ve stretched things a little this time around) for you to check out whenever you get the chance.

Continue reading »

Mar 022023

(Andy Synn casts his all-seeing eye over Enslaved‘s new album, out tomorrow via Nuclear Blast)

I almost didn’t write this review. After all, it’s not strictly necessary, is it?

Let’s face it, Enslaved have long-since reached the stage in their career where, no matter what they put out (and, let’s be honest, they do have a few duds in their back-catalogue, at least by their own high standards) the fans are going to buy it and the critics are going to fawn over it in a patently un-critical manner.

But, as has been pointed out to me, I haven’t failed to write about a new Enslaved release for years, so I might as well keep that streak alive with Heimdal, right?

But where to begin…

Continue reading »

Feb 282023

Recommended for fans of: Primitive Man, Planks, Phantom Winter

Selecting what band to feature for each monthly edition of The Synn Report is more of an art than a science.

Sometimes I like to provide a primer on a seminal band for those looking for a good place to get started with their discography, other times I prefer to highlight the work of an underrated or relatively unknown act who I think deserves more respect.

Sometimes it’s good to focus on a band who are currently active (and this is the case more often than not), at others it’s fun to provide a retrospective on an artist who may no longer be with us but whose work has stood the test of time (and which, unbeknownst to a lot of us, have influenced many of the bands we know and love).

Really, it all just comes down to what I’m feeling at the time, and I’ll often change my mind at the last minute. But today’s entry – covering all three albums, including their recently released new record, by London-based Sludge/Doom/Noise-mongers Remote Viewing – has been set in stone for weeks.

And you’re about to learn why.

Continue reading »

Feb 272023

(Andy Synn presents three bite-sized morsels of brutality that you may have missed this month)

After my spectacular failure at keeping up with the various short-form releases which came out last year (ultimately having to relegate my coverage to most of the EPs, splits, etc, from 2022 to the end of year round-up instead) I made a vow to myself to stay more on top of things this year.

Obviously this hasn’t happened but… here’s three you may have missed from February that I didn’t want to wait until December to write about!

Continue reading »