Feb 192013

Here is a truly random collection of items I came across over the last 24 hours that I’d like to share. On the sublime end of the continuum are new videos from Crest of Darkness and Antestor. On the ridiculous end of the range is a new YouTube clip from Sabazius — the longest clip ever uploaded to YouTube, and it’s a metal song. And in between I have something from the immortal John Cleese that’s both sublime and ridiculous.


Norway’s Crest of Darkness have a new album (their sixth studio release) named In the Presence of Death that’s scheduled to appear on February 25 via My Kingdom Music. Just 12 days ago I wrote about the first new song to debut, a track called “From the Dead”. This morning brought a second new song — “Demon Child” — via an official video. Actually, the song seems to be a special video mix, and so it may differ somewhat from the album track.

I really like the song for the same reason I enjoyed “From the Dead” — Crest of Darkness mix things up. There’s certainly plenty of face-ripping black metal viciousness, but the song also segues into a catchy-as-fuck rock beat that really got my head nodding. Continue reading »

Jan 152013

(In this post Andy Synn reviews the new album from Norway’s Antestor — a band whose previous albums were the subject of a SYNN REPORT and who had the good taste to use a painting by Zdzisław Beksiński for their album cover.)

Yes. Yes. A thousand times yes. This is what we’ve been waiting for. Through years of strife and sorrow, we’ve remained vigilant for Antestor’s return and now finally… the time is here.

The logical progression of the blackened direction that ruled The Forsaken, Antestor’s latest manages to incorporate elements of all their previous records into a cohesive whole, in a perfect synthesis of their doomy past and their pitch-black future. Heavier, sharper, and more refined throughout, there’s a seamless mixing of the old and the new, with every member putting his own authoritative stamp on the individual performances.

To give you some idea of how to situate this album in your mind, think of the more aggressive assault of Dark Funeral, mixed with the more technical and atmospheric playing of Dark Fortress, and you’ll be in the right ballpark. But this is an Antestor album through and through, with all the clever nuances and subtle undercurrents we’ve come to expect, and in no way derivative of anyone else. I merely make the comparison to put you in the right frame of mind, oh dear reader. Continue reading »

Dec 052012

(NCS writer Andy Synn pauses after the 30th installment of THE SYNN REPORT to take a look back at the first two years of the series.)

Ok, so we’ve now had 30 ‘official’ entries in The Synn Report. I hope that a good number of you have discovered new bands and gone out and shown your support for them, buying music, merch, gig tickets, etc.

I thought, since the year (and the world!!!) is coming to an end, it might be a good time to provide a quick one-stop summation of all the previous entries, for those of you who maybe missed a couple, or for new devotees of the site who have yet to encounter the earlier editions and the bands contained therein.

Did you know that the genesis for The Synn Report was not entirely down to me? There’s a post that I consider ‘The Synn Report: Year Zero” which was written by Islander himself, in response to my recommendation of a particular band. That post is included here, as I think it’s an important foundation stone in the genesis of The Synn Report, and because I think the band in question are utterly phenomenal.

So there we go, after the jump there’s a tiny entry on each band from each edition of The Synn Report, with a short genre description and a re-iteration of the “Recommended for fans of:” section. Which ones did you miss? Which ones should you give another shot to? Click each one to be linked to the appropriate article, where you’ll find the full write-ups and sample songs from each release! Continue reading »

Nov 172012

Went out on the town last night with a bunch of good people to celebrate a friend’s 30th birthday. Had a blast, and got blasted. Today I feel like a demolition crew is excavating my fuckin’ head with dynamite. Honestly, listening to any kind of intense music right now isn’t an appealing idea. If there’s going to be any music in my near-future, it will be something like Hammock, a band Phro introduced me to. I’m guessing he must have been really hungover when he did that.

But even though I can’t bring myself to add any musical dynamite to the blasting that’s already going on in my cranium, I do want to contribute something to the blog today. So here’s how this will work:  I saw three items this morning that I’m guessing are really good, but I can’t bring myself to listen to them. So do me a favor, will you?  Leave a comment and let me know if my guesses are right or wrong.


This is a coincidence. Just yesterday we posted the milestone 30th edition of Andy Synn’s SYNN REPORT, the subject of which was the discography of Norway’s Antestor. We also reported that Antestor had recorded a new album entitled Omen — their first one in seven years — and that it’s scheduled for release on November 30, and that it uses a painting by NCS favorite Zdzisław Beksiński for the album cover. And here’s the coincidence: Today the band started streaming a track from the new album called “Unchained”. Continue reading »

Nov 162012

(In this milestone edition of The Synn ReportAndy Synn reviews the discography of Norway’s Antestor.)

Recommended for fans of: Cormorant, (early) Dimmu Borgir, Edge of Sanity

I really wanted to do something special to mark the 30th edition of The Synn Report. I searched through my list of worthy bands for a while, before finally settling on Antestor. It certainly helps that they have a new album out (their first in seven years) at the end of the month!

Formed in Jessheim, Norway, in 1990 under the name ‘Crush Evil’, changing to Antestor in 1991, the group have produced 3 full-length albums and one EP of what has been dubbed ‘Sorrow Metal’ – a blending of doomy, melancholic death metal with a depressive black metal undercurrent.

Starting out as they did, both in terms of the time and the place, it was inevitable that the rise of black metal would influence their growth over the years; certainly the speed and intensity of their caustic tremolo passages increased as the years progressed. That said, the group also incorporate some decidedly gothic moments into their sound and augment their classically influenced structures with some distinctly progressive tendencies. Continue reading »