Jul 102021


It was one of those weeks when my day job jackhammered me into submission. I fell far behind even in saving links to new songs and videos I might want to check out, and the hundreds of emails we receive every day went mostly un-read. And man, what a week to fall behind in. As people used to say 5 or 10 years ago, there was a metric shit-ton of new releases and song or video premieres.

I did obsessively spend a chunk of time this morning just making lists of links, and felt overwhelmed at the end of that exercise. If I had total control over my life I’d spend most of the rest of the day plowing through all those links and compiling round-ups, or at least one gigantic one. But my day-job project isn’t finished, and I’ve got to turn back to it, even on a fucking weekend. So I’ve just dipped my toe in the ocean, and this is what dripped off of it.

GROZA (Germany)

To begin, I chose a video for “Elegance of Irony“, a song off a new album named The Redemptive End by these Bavarian black metallers. Continue reading »

Sep 282020


I finished my hike through a grand forest yesterday, more than three miles. My wife and her friend didn’t even have to drag me to the finish, though the fact that we had an hour break for lunch is the only reason I made it. I slept like a dead man last night and, to use an old idiom, was all “stove up” (google it) when I staggered out of bed this morning.

Confronting a massive list of new songs that could have been fodder for this post, I decided to make it easy on myself and just use a quartet that Andy Synn recommended to me late last week. This was a bit of a shot in the dark, since I hadn’t yet listened to any of them, but not completely in the dark since Andy has decent taste. On the other hand he’s not completely disinterested, because he performs with one of these bands. But that’s where I come in, to bring some objectivity to bear (through the waves of muscle and joint pain).


Wonderful cover art on this one, credited to the band’s sole instrumental performer on this release, Viktor Jonas, based on the original artwork “Grappling for the Lost Cable” (ca. 1866) by Robert Charles Dudley. It’s for a single called The Shipbreaker’s Song, with a B-side track named “The Sunken Place“. And yes, our own Andy Synn wrote the lyrics and performed the vocals on these two songs. Continue reading »

Aug 312016

Apathy Noir 2016
Viktor Jonas // Vidar Wetterhall

(For the August edition of The Synn Report, Andy compiles reviews of all the releases by Sweden’s Apathy Noir, including the band’s 2016 album Across Dark Waters.)


Recommended for fans of: Opeth, In Mourning, October Tide

By my current reckoning I’ve got at least another two years’ worth of entries for The Synn Report lined up, and I don’t doubt that I’ll end up discovering even more bands worthy of inclusion during that period, so we’re in no danger of running out of potential candidates just yet. Hell, I’d hazard that there’s probably several other bands in my current collection who’ll be eligible by that time as well. So there’s no need to worry. This particular column won’t be ending any time soon.

For today’s entry we’re off to Sweden to touch base with Prog-Death duo Apathy Noir (formerly Apathy), the brainchild of multi-instrumentalist Viktor Jonas, who have so far produced one EP and three stand-alone albums, the most recent of which, Across Dark Waters, was released in January of this year.

Now, to address the elephant in the room, I’ll acknowledge that the solemn Swedes owe a very heavy debt to early Opeth – particularly around the My Arms, Your Hearse period. But I’m confident you’ll find that there’s more to them than just that, particularly when they delve into the doomier, gloomier side of their repertoire.

Still, with Akerfeldt and co. treading ever further down the path of pure retro-proggery, there’s something of a vacuum out there right now, and Apathy Noir seem to be doing their damnedest to fill it! Continue reading »