Apr 032020
 

 

We begin another mega-roundup today to assist you in enduring your shut-in time, with a second installment planned for Saturday. Long on music and short on words, it’s arranged alphabetically by band name. We have A-F today, and F through W tomorrow, unless an X, Y, or Z band surfaces between now and then.

Lots of old friends in this Part I, and some new names, a scattering of both big names and obscure ones, as well as a mix of genres. Almost everything here surfaced in the last few days. This time I added some artwork thumbnails, but don’t get used to that. It takes time I usually don’t have when I compile these monster collections.

ALKYMIST (Denmark)

Ugly, sludgy riffing that moans and groans… methodical drum pounding… grotesque, gritty growls and terrifying howls… a meaty bass line combined with eerie ringing notes… flares of evil braying chords rising up like a death anthem and descending like a plague gouging its way into the body… and then the guitar begins to pulse and the drums begin to hammer and rock… and things get fairly demented and frightening near the end before a final bout of gouging, groaning, and pounding. Really, the whole song is evil…. Continue reading »

Apr 012020
 


Beggar

 

(Andy Synn returns to a series in which he extols the virtues of new or soon-forthcoming releases by bands from the UK, and does that for three records here.)

Well, well, well… what do we have here then?

Ahem, cough, sorry, I turned into a nineteenth century cockney flatfoot there for a second.

Anyway, today’s edition of “The Best of British” features three albums which are bound to make quite an impact (and, in some cases, have done already) in the Metal world, both at home and abroad, and it’s my distinct pleasure to be able to do my small part to help raise their profile (even if just a little bit). Continue reading »

Mar 022020
 

 

(On March 1, 2020, Andy Synn witnessed the performances of Harrowed, Calligram, and Geist at the Chameleon Bar in Nottingham, UK, and provides this review of the show, accompanied by videos that he made.)

It’s a little-known fact, but Hardcore was my “first love” when it comes to “alternative” music.

In fact, bands like Earth Crisis, Shai Hulud, and Vision of Disorder weren’t just some of my earliest encounters with music outside of “the mainstream”, but were my gateway into Metal too.

And while my tastes have definitely moved on since then, I’ve still retained a lot of love for the more metallic side of Hardcore, especially when/where it collides with other, even heavier, genres (last year’s Fuming Mouth and Totaled albums being prime examples).

My attendance at this evening’s gig was, therefore, pretty much mandatory, as all three of the bands on the bill (all of whom I’ve written about here before) have, over the course of the past couple of years, developed a well-deserved reputation as some of the best proponents of Metallic Hardcore that the UK has to offer.

And how was I going to say no to the opportunity to see them all together in a small local venue no more than twenty minutes from my house? Continue reading »

Nov 242017
 

 

(Andy Synn delivers another installment in a series devoted to worthy releases by bands from his homeland.)

Where does the time go? It seems like only yesterday I was working on my eighth “Best of British 2017” post, yet here we are again with number nine and 2017 is almost over!

But while there’s still time left, and still breath in my lungs, I’m going to keep doing my best to bring you the very best metallic morsels which have sprung from these green and pleasant lands. Continue reading »

Oct 222017
 

 

Welcome to Part 2 of this Sunday’s SHADES OF BLACK column, which I divided into two parts because of its considerable length (Part 1 can be found here). In this second installment you’ll find a mix of advance tracks from forthcoming albums as well as full releases.

SUMMONING

I’ve already written two posts since August about Summoning’s new album and I didn’t even have any music to share, which I suppose is a sign of how hyped I’ve been about the prospect of something new from these Viennese wizards. I guess the third time is the charm, because now there finally is a song I can share. But first, allow me to excerpt a quote from the press announcement by Napalm Records — who will be releasing the album on January 5, 2018: Continue reading »