May 112020


(This is Andy Synn‘s review of the new album by Binary Code, which features a guitar solo by Jeff Loomis, artwork by Eliran Kantor, and an instrumental version of the entire record. It will be released on May 15th, with all proceeds donated to Suicide Prevention in honor of a loved one who inspired the new record.)

It’s fitting that my first review to be published the week after my (surprisingly well-received) rant about mediocrity, maturity, and mainstream exposure should be this one, seeing as how perpetual Prog-Metal underdogs (The) Binary Code are exactly the sort of band who could/should be a major, crossover success, and who wouldn’t need to sacrifice their identity, or their integrity, to do so.

This is even more obvious on their upcoming third album, Memento Mori, which is by far their most expressive, immersive, and emotive work yet. Continue reading »

Jul 112016

Reviews in Haikus


(Andy Synn returns to an old, irregular series of album reviews in haiku. Three reviews of three lines each come after the jump. With music, of course.)

This week is brought to you by the number “the”.

By which I mean that every band I’m reviewing this week is one of those “the something” bands.

Naming conventions aside though, they’re all quite different, running the gamut from leviathan Doom to scintillating Tech to totally not Metal at all, so whoever you are, there should be something to tickle your earbuds over the course of the next 5-7 days!

Let’s begin with some of my trademark pithy haikus, as I know some of you have been missing them and clamouring (quietly) for their return. Continue reading »

Aug 102015



Two East Coast bands we’ve been following since early days — Binary Code and Gyre — are about to embark on a short tour, joined by two other powerful bands, Dead Empires and Torrential Downpour, and we’re happy to sponsor the tour and help spread the word about it. And if you’re unfamiliar with the music that will be on display, we’ll help introduce you to some of that as well.

The tour details are listed in the flyer at the top of this post, and repeated here: Continue reading »

Feb 272015

Tuomas Saukkonen (Wolfheart)

It’s the same old story. Metal is such an over-boiling cauldron of creativity that if you have to wait a few days to go exploring for new things, you find yourself up to your neck in hot water. Or at least that’s what happened to me yesterday.

Having failed to compile a round-up of new music since last Sunday, I felt overwhelmed when confronting how much I wanted to write about today. I had to make some hard choices about what to recommend, and even then I had to stifle my usual verbosity — time is a harsh mistress, and not in a good way. So, with a regrettable (to me) minimum of introductory comments, here’s a selection of what lit me up over the last 24 hours, presented in the order in which I saw and heard them. I’ll have a few more new items to share with you on Saturday.


Earlier this month Spinefarm Records re-released Winterborn, the fantastic album by Wolfheart that we praised to the skies (repeatedly) when it was first self-released by the band in 2013. The re-issue comes with two bonus tracks (“Isolation” and “Into the Wild”). Two days ago Wolfheart premiered a music video for the album’s first track, “The Hunt”, which shows scenes from the recording of the track. It’s a wonderful song (it was on our list of 2013’s Most Infectious Extreme Metal Songs), and any excuse to hear it again is welcome. Continue reading »

Dec 162009


Metal Sucks is currently streaming the debut release from New Jersey’s Binary Code. But they say they’re only doing it for 24 hours — and they started streaming yesterday. So time is flying. Which is why this post is so short. We wanted to help get the word out before the freebie disappears and you actually have to spend a little money to listen. And why do we care? Because we’ve listened to that stream, and this shit is amazing. Technical death metal that will knock your socks off. And because we’ll get the chance to see these dudes live in Seattle on Jan 26 (check out our NW Metal Calendar).

Do it! Go here now! You won’t be sorry.

Dec 112009


This post is a two-fer.  Part 2 concerns the photo above and the story in UK’s The Independent that it accompanied.  But first, Part 1:  Elise over at the excellent Reign in Blonde site put up an initial list of 2010 winter/spring tours rolling through the NYC area that she’s stoked about, and asked “What’s on your calendar?” On our NW METAL CALENDAR page, we’ve got a pretty complete list of tours scheduled for touch-down in the Seattle area so far, and here are a few I’m particularly psyched about:

JAN 26:  Hypnose, Revocation, Binary Code

JAN 27:  Nile, Immolation, Krisiun

FEB 6:  Arch Enemy, Exodus, Arsis, Mutiny Within

APR 21:  Finntroll, Moonsorrow, Swallow the Sun, Survivors Zero

Gonna be some serious headbanging at those shows.

Now for Part 2:  A year ago The Independent reported the results of a psychological survey of 36,000 music lovers.  (OK, yeah, it’s old news, but I just saw the story.) The survey showed a definite correlation between people’s personality traits and the style of music they enjoy. Check it out:

Fans of indie music, for instance, were found to have low self-esteem and little motivation, but described themselves as creative. Rap enthusiasts, on the other hand, tend to think a lot of themselves and are extremely outgoing. . . . But the study’s most remarkable discovery is that refined lovers of classical music share a high number of personality traits with those who prefer rocking out to heavy metal.

ClassicalFansAnd here is the study’s summary of classical and metal lovers’ personality traits:

Classical: Classical music lovers have high self-esteem, are creative and at ease with themselves, but not outgoing.

Heavy metal: Very creative and at ease with themselves, but not very outgoing or hard-working.

Kinda cool right up til the end, huh?