May 122022

(Andy Synn is here again to serve as ambassador for some of the mightiest Metal from his homeland)

If it seems like I haven’t done one of these in a while… that’s because I haven’t.

Partially because I’ve been pretty busy so far this year and partially because, to be honest, I haven’t been massively blown away by a lot of UK bands recently.

Of course, I dare say I’ve missed out on quite a few things over the last several months, and there’s a number of upcoming albums from the home scene that I’m looking forward to hearing in the future, but for the most part I just haven’t felt particularly inspired to do many “Best of British” posts so far in 2022.

Thankfully I recently came across three excellent albums – one from the end of March, one from the end of April, and one set for release tomorrow – which, together, have done a lot to restore my flagging faith in this year’s crop of home-grown metallic morsels.

Continue reading »

Mar 132022


I’m racing to finish the writing of this column so that it won’t appear too late in the day (or night, depending on where you are), so I’ll skip the introduction — other than to say there’s a lot of music here and a lot of variety too.


“The horror and helplessness of the modern world clashes with the ancient past, and we bear witness to Antediluvian Dreamscapes as nightmarish as they are vivid and tortuous. The end of all life and the birth of the world are indistinguishable, and all who listen will be morbidly subjected to the harmonious torment of our writhing souls. The hour is come.”

And that’s how Ante-Inferno introduce their new album Antediluvian Dreamscapes, which follows their formidable 2020 album Fane (reviewed by Mr. Synn here). Continue reading »

Nov 292020


If you happened to lose your way, you can find Part 1 of today’s black metal collection here. And now you can get lost in the music I’ve chosen for Part 2. Lots of twists and turns lie ahead.


I mentioned in Part 1 that on November 18th ПРАВА Коллектив (Prava Kollektiv) released no fewer than five full-lengths, and that I spent time this weekend with two of them, while remaining eager to check out the other three as soon as time permits. I picked one of those two to lead off Part 1, and the second one is this: an album-length split named Astrophobia that includes the music of Arkhtinn and Starless Domain and features cover art by Markov Soroka. The split consists of two epic-length tracks, one by each band. Continue reading »

May 222020



(Andy Synn delivers another installment of his occasional series devoted to reviewing releases by bands from his UK homeland.)

So how’s everyone doing? Going a little stir-crazy? Trust me, I know the feeling.

While I’m lucky enough to still be working right now (and my foresight of buying up an entire home gym’s worth of equipment over the years is really paying off) the days are definitely starting to all blur together… heck, I’ve got a four-day weekend coming up starting tomorrow, but I’m not really all that sure what I’m going to do to try and differentiate it from the rest of the week, apart from maybe (hopefully) getting to sleep in.

One thing that’s helping me to maintain my always tentative grip on sanity, however, is music, and I’ve uncovered, discovered, or re-discovered, a whole host of bands during the lockdown period which I’m eager to share with you all, so today I’d like to direct your attention to the recently released albums from Ante-Inferno, Burial, and Patrons of the Rotting Gate. Continue reading »

Mar 272020


Fane is the forthcoming debut album of the British black metal band Ante-Inferno. In its inspirations and conceptions, it embraces a dark view of ancient and perilous mysteries hidden within the natural (and supernatural) world, its title representing a place where those eternal secrets persist:

The Fane is a house of secrets, a house of stories, a vault of the treasured knowledge that mankind has forgotten; it is a chalice of truth in an age of lies. It stands within the great forest that covers this land from coast to windswept coast, its glades and glorious canopy unseen by blinded eyes. The way to its door is written between the notes of the old songs and behind the lines of the tales that reverberate with the honesty of the ages. Behind its many doors are many pathways and many are the eyes that watch from the shadows that gather around its blazing hearth. It teems with restless ghosts and creatures whose thirst for blood is as endless as the Fane itself. It is all your world is not – the eternal centre of what was and will forever be.”

In its music, the album is incredibly intense, but intense in different ways. To quote from the advance press materials, because this passage is spot-on, it combines “aching atmosphere and rabid ferocity, icy grandeur and raging flames against a midnight sky”.

No one song completely reveals all the sensations created by the album, whose songs flow into each other and represent steps along a winding path. But the song we’re presenting today through a stunning video — “Oath” — is certainly a compelling example of the album’s achievements. Continue reading »