Jul 172021


This may be the only NCS post of the weekend, and even this one is hurried. I have a work meeting this morning. There’s also a celebration planned for tonight that I have to prepare for. What the hell kind of party requires hours of preparation? One that involves speech-making. But it’s still a party, and has all the earmarks of one that’s going to keep me up past midnight, which means a very late awakening on Sunday and some unpredictable degree of mental incapacitation, which is why there may not be a SHADES OF BLACK column tomorrow.

As for today’s metal roundup: I posted a big one yesterday exclusively devoted to new songs with videos, but big as it was it still didn’t exhaust all the good new tracks that surfaced over the last week. And of course it didn’t include the usual Friday flood of new song reveals. A few of my NCS comrades made sure I didn’t overlook what that Friday flood flung up on the beach, and I’ve included a few of their suggestions as well as a few of my own picks that I left out of that video-only roundup yesterday. Coincidentally all the songs included here also came with videos, hence the title of this post.

What’s missing today, for the most part, is my own commentary. I’ll give you a minute to dab the tears from your eyes… and then on we go…. Continue reading »

Jul 132021

(Andy Synn goes fishing in the Tech Death scene and comes back with a hell of a catch)

If there’s one common theme which unites these three albums – you know, apart from the fact that they’re all brand new additions to the ever-expanding Tech Death canon – it’s that each of them finds the band in question working hard, struggling some might say (though certainly not in vain), to carve out a space, a niche, an identity, for themselves in an already saturated scene.

Let’s face it, there’s no shortage of super-speed shredmasters out there all vying to be the fastest, the most complex, the most ridiculous, and this year alone has already delivered a bumper crop of both killer and filler releases running the gamut from the heaviest to the most histrionic (and everything in between).

One thing that I think we can all agree on though – and which, to a greater or lesser extent, all of today’s selections clearly demonstrate – is that technical talent is nothing without the songwriting skill to match it, because once the initial dopamine rush of being bombarded with a thousand notes a second wears off it’s the structural hooks, the infectious melodies, the subtle repetitions, that trigger the brain’s innate pattern recognition algorithms and ensure that what you’ve just heard gets filed away in your long-term memory, rather than just flying in one ear and out the other.

So let’s see if this particular trio have what it takes to make a lasting impression, shall we?

Continue reading »

Jun 162021


We’re not paid by the word around here (we’re not paid anything around here). But if we were, I wouldn’t make enough from this post to buy a cheap beer. Being short on time today, I’ve resorted to what I seem to be doing with increasing frequency in these round-ups, i.e., just foisting music and videos on you without commentary, artwork, or links.

Rest assured, however, that I’m foisting the following songs and films for a reason — because I think they’re worth your time. Or at least some of them will be worth your time, while others might not be your genre-cup of tea. I don’t expect that everyone out there will be as small-c catholic in their tastes as I am.

I did have enough time to briefly summarize the release info for the records that include the music I’ve chosen — or, regarding the first item, the artwork I’ve chosen, because there’s no music yet from that album. Continue reading »

Mar 182020

Abysmal Dawn


Here we are again. with so many new songs and videos that I want to recommend that I’m resorting to what I did last weekend — compiling lots of sights and sounds (which are all over the map in genre terms), accompanied by only very brief comments of my own. I also added one news item that excited me, though there’s no music to be heard yet.

I should add that I hope you are all well, and that you’re doing your damnedest to physically stay away from other people to the greatest extent possible.


We begin with a jackhammering, shivering, and slithering piece of death metal menace, complete with thoroughly beastly vocals and twisted melodic accents and grooves that both prove to be ridiculously catchy. I could swear they actually used a heavy-caliber machibe gun instead of drums for parts of this, and that they tortured a poltergeist for the solos. Continue reading »

Oct 262018


(In this month’s edition of THE SYNN REPORT, Andy takes on the discography of New Jersey’s Cognitive, including their newest record, which is being released today by Unique Leader.)

Recommended for fans of: Suffocation, Cryptopsy, Cattle Decapitation

Despite being commonly tagged as “Technical Death Metal” in most reviews, features, and press releases, New Jersey crushers Cognitive have always leaned much harder towards the “Death Metal” side of the equation to my humble ears.

Don’t get me wrong, over the course of seven years and three full-length albums (the most recent of which is set to be released today via Unique Leader) the band’s roster has contained some seriously technically talented individuals, all of whom have been capable of unleashing some searing sonic shred on their respective instruments.

But, ultimately, the key feature which has united all the band’s members and albums is an unwavering commitment to blistering brutality, with nary a hint of compromise or restraint along the way, which makes them perfect candidates for this month’s Synn Report. Continue reading »

Oct 122018


Let’s cut to the chase: Prepare for a brain-twisting, spine-fracturing experience. It’s not even really a chase; at some point you’re more likely to just stop running and stand there, gasping and gap-jawed, as this demon-eyed musical jack-rabbit with a rocket strapped to its back leaves you in the dust.

The band is Cognitive, their album is Matricide, Unique Leader will release it on October 26th, and “Fragmented Perception” is both the name of the song and a summing-up of where it will leave your own mentation. Continue reading »

Apr 202014

Here are a few new things that have been wrecking my ears over the last 24 hours.


Yesterday I posted (here) a new song by the Swiss band Bölzer, and today I begin this round-up with music from another Swiss band. This one is named Deathcult and it happens to include one of the members of Bölzer (guitarist/vocalist KzR, who also now seems to be the vocalist in Witchrist).

Deathcult released a four-song demo in 2012 that I haven’t yet heard, though it’s available on Bandcamp, and earlier this year Me Saco Un Ojo Records released a new vinyl EP entitled Pleading for Death… Choking on Life (copies are still available there and elsewhere). Continue reading »

Mar 142014

As we confront the brink of the weekend, what I have for you here are three new songs that are a hell of a lot of vicious fun for your earholes.


Today CVLT Nation premiered five tracks from an album by a Melbourne, Australia band named Black Jesus. I’m not sure whether the album includes more tracks and I have no idea at the moment when or how the album will be released. But I started listening to it as soon as I saw this description: “The Black Jesus sound is a melting pot of 80’s Punk/ Hardcore & D-Beat pioneers Discharge, meets From Enslavement to Obliteration era Napalm Death and Entombed’s Left Hand Path. It is entirely unpretentious, completely exhilarating, and has a nasty ‘f* off’ attitude to match.”

I was in kind of a rush to get this round-up done, so I haven’t listened to all the tracks that are streaming, but I sure as fuck like what I’ve heard so far. Take the title track, for example. It puts a charge into the old brain stem right from the get-go with a mess of sawing riffs, scalding vocals, and delicious drum swarms. You definitely do get that Discharge / Entombed feel, but when the song passes the 2:00 mark it turns into a freight train chugfest that will give you some serious neck sprain. Damn, this is a blast. Continue reading »

May 052013

Cognitive’s debut EP The Horrid Swarm really crossed  me up. As I started listening to it, I thought it was going to be one thing, and it turned out to be many things. By the time it ended, my head had been spun around, like that possessed chick in The Exorcist. You know, all the way around, but somehow still attached.

The opening track, “In the Form of A Drone”, is a speedy, brutal battering about the head and shoulders, a tech-death manifesto that proclaims itself with pummeling riffs, blasting drums, and skittering guitar leads, not to mention a harsh vocalist who bellows, roars, and barks like a demon hound quite convincingly.

The song even has a bass drop, a breakdown, and some slam chords woven into the mix. And like everything else on the EP, the music channels the power of compulsive groove even when the rhythms are changing rapidly and the notes are flying like bullets.

But looking back on it, I can see that the song included hints of something more to come — a couple of brief guitar solos that writhe and spiral, and whose prog-ish melodicism contrasts with all the surrounding brutishness. Continue reading »