Sep 132013

(Andy Synn brings us another installment in his occasional series of favorite things that come in fives.  Leave a comment and let us know what you think of Andy’s picks . . . and who you’d pick if you had your wish.)

So the last several years have seen some amazing ‘comebacks’, I think we can all agree? Everyone from Alice in Chains to Byzantine to The Crown have been lacing up their boots and getting back in the saddle to show the world just how much they’ve been missed in their absence.

Some of my personal favourites – bands I never thought I’d hear another record from, let alone get a chance to see live – have come back with a vengeance, with artists like Antestor, Vision of Disorder, and Extol all returning to justify their near-legendary status.

Still though, there’s a number of bands I just can’t let rest in peace. Bands who need to come back. Bands who have unfinished business. Bands I have to see live!

So here’s five of my favourites, each with a song from their very last album, to show you what we’re all missing. Continue reading »

May 032012

(Andy Synn provides this update about two bands he previously featured in his SYNN REPORT series.)

Today saw the release of two pieces of news regarding two former Synn Report luminaries, both of whom happen to be amongst my all-time favourite bands. One piece of news is very bad, whilst the other one is potentially very good.

First and foremost:


“As we write the names, the stars go out…”

Sadly, the US black metal titans have officially disbanded. An official press release has been issued by Clawhammer PR stating:

“American black metal titans Averse Sefira has officially disbanded. The band formed in 1996, and went on to make their mark through Europe and the Americas, performing with other notable black metal groups like Dark Funeral, Gorgoroth, Watain, Marduk, 1349, Absu, Antaeus, and Secrets of the Moon.

“The band gained a respectable following despite a fiercely independent stance that garnered them a complex reputation in the underground. They achieved wider exposure with their signing to Candlelight Records in 2007 and the release of their highly-rated fourth LP, Advent Parallax, the following year. Over the last decade, they also appeared in multiple documentaries and books examining metal culture. Continue reading »

Dec 072011

(In this latest edition of THE SYNN REPORT, Andy Synn reviews the discography of Austin, Texas-based black metal band Averse Sefira, with musical accompaniment, of course.)

Recommended for fans of: Belphegor, Secrets Of The Moon, 1349

So here it is, my final Synn Report of 2011. This year’s epitaph belongs to the anti-cosmic chaos legion Averse Sefira.

Agents of corruption and occult warfare, Averse Sefira formed many moons ago in order to create something antithetical to the soulless and vapid musical landscape around them. Casting themselves as fallen angels, rejecting the questionable graces of an unthinking order, they exist as agents of change, sounding the battle hymn of a war against creation. Each album chronicles their bloody and abhorrent rebirth, the womb of abomination spewing forth a black winged angel which spreads its pinions with ominous intent, flexing its claws and baring its teeth in a display of vampiric hunger.

Channelling the forces of elemental chaos through the sacramental nature of their music, they bring forth fire and brimstone through their instruments, twisting and hammering upon tormented strings and tortured skins with savage abandon and merciless precision. Drawing upon the collaborative efforts of their blackened cabal, the band are graced by the presence of “The Lady Of The Evening Faces”, who utilises her arcane knowledge to craft a series of unsettling atmospheric interludes and to layer each track with a haunting, inhuman ambience. Continue reading »

Mar 012010

Austin, Texas, has always had a vibrant music scene, but so many years have passed since I grew up there that I’ve lost any personal knowledge of how underground metal has evolved, Central Texas-style. All I can do now is judge from a distance, but based on the output of bands like Averse Sefira, Iron Age, Mammoth Grinder, and The Sword, I assume the scene is alive and well.  Now I can add to the growing pile of evidence the debut full-length from Sarcolytic.

Recently released by Unique Leader Records (also home to Arkaik, the sick California tech-death band whose new album we reviewed yesterday), Thee Arcane Progeny channels a shotgun marriage (and I mean the bride and groom have both got em) of black metal and brutal death metal, with the liturgy prescribed by translated Sumerian texts that tell of humanity’s genesis at the hands of godlike extraterrestrials from a tenth planet. Ancient extraterrestrials aside (for the moment), the music Sarcolytic unleashes is elemental and unadorned in its grim fury. (read more after the jump, and listen to a cut from the album . . .) Continue reading »