Jan 042023

(Andy Synn kicks off 2023 with the highly-anticipated new album from Australia’s Ashen)

As I’ve stated before, 2022 was a good year for Death Metal. Occasionally a very good year for Death Metal. But not necessarily a great year for Death Metal.

That being said, there were definitely some albums which hit harder, and aimed higher, than others, and if Ashen‘s debut had been released in December of last year (as it was originally meant to be) it definitely would have ranked among them.

As it stands, however, Ritual of Ash has the distinction of being the first truly great Death Metal record of 2023.

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Sep 022022

The four-man Australian death metal band Ashen made an auspicious first strike last year with their Godless Oath EP, a recording that our own Andy Synn celebrated with these words:

“The debut EP from Aussie death-dealers Ashen is one of the finest slabs of meaty, delicious Death Metal goodness I’ve heard all year, showing a reverence for the old-school which, smartly, never crosses over the line into shameless hero worship. With a hefty helping of heavyweight riffs, gargantuan grooves, and brutally barbed hooks, alongside a vocal performance positively dropping with grisly character, it’s one hell of an opening statement, chock-full of clever touches and killer moments, which promises great things for when the band finally drop their full length debut.”

Well, the time for that eagerly anticipated full-length drop is now approaching, with a release date of December 10th set by the same Bitter Loss Records that brought us the EP. The name of the album is Ritual of Ash, and to spread the word about it on this Bandcamp Friday (hint, hint, spend your money!), we’re premiering a video for the album’s first single, “Ritual Continue reading »

Sep 272021

(Andy Synn takes some time out of his busy schedule to celebrate some short but sweet releases by a variety of big names and new faces)

One unfortunate result of the endless scramble to stay on top of the relentless torrent of new album releases is that the humble EP often gets a little overlooked.

Which, obviously, is a real shame, because a good EP can often be just as fulfilling as an album in its own way, especially when a band uses it as an opportunity to explore a different side of themselves or to create something that works within the constraints of the format to tell a complete and fully realised story.

So while I’m working on a number of different full-length reviews (as well as the next edition of The Synn Report) I thought I might as well take a few moments to jot down a few quick reviews for some of the EPs I’ve enjoyed the most over the course of the year so far.

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