Apr 122017



(Andy Synn focuses once again on a trio of recent or forthcoming releases by UK bands, this time selecting material from Coltsblood, Cold Fell, and The Crawling.)

As I’m off on “tour” for four days tomorrow, meaning I’ll probably be a little bit off-the-radar (or off the reservation) where NCS is concerned, I thought I might as well leave you with something relatively substantial to tide you over while I’m gone.

And what better than another edition of “The Best of British”, highlighting three more artists hailing from these green and pleasant lands? Continue reading »

Mar 142014

(In this post Andy Synn reviews the debut album by Liverpool’s Coltsblood.)

Pure soul-crushing, bowel-clenching, knee-shaking doom. That’s what we have here. Make no mistake, this is not designed to be a pleasant or an easy listen.

This whole album is a bleeding, gasping slog through a black morass of sludgy, slime-drenched chords and crumbling, fractured vocals, punctuated by sky-splitting explosions of crackling snare.

It’s dense. It’s claustrophobic. It’s brutish and unrepentantly severe.

And I love it. Continue reading »

Feb 192014

I’m still in alliteration mode, though I’m not completely happy with today’s title. Given the bands’ names, I probably should have gone with “The ABCs of Metal”. In alphabetical order, here are six new songs from five forthcoming albums that I discovered over the last 24 hours, all of which come highly recommended.


We’ve been closely following the progression of UK-based Ancient Ascendant, with very positive reviews (by Andy Synn) of both their 2011 debut album The Grim Awakening and their 2012 EP Into the Dark. Last month we reported the very nice news that the band had signed with Candlelight Records for the release of a new album (with Dan Swanö again handling the production). Now we’ve got the album title — Echoes and Cinder — and the album art (above), plus a new song that premiered yesterday.

The song’s name is “Riders”, and you can hear it next. It will give you a hell of a blistering, black-thrashing ride, something like being snagged by a giant red-eyed bat horde flying from their cave for a night on the hunt. Damned infectious, too — you’ll want to limber up your neck muscles before listening because heads will bang. Continue reading »

Jan 222014

The last 24 hours brought news of two new signings by Candlelight Records that I thought were worth some attention.


We’ve been following the progression of UK-based Ancient Ascendant (pictured above) very closely, with very positive reviews (by Andy Synn) of both their 2011 debut album The Grim Awakening and their 2012 EP Into the Dark. With the EP, the band transitioned to a somewhat different style than had been evident on their debut album and the EP that preceded it (The Heathen Throne). To quote Andy:

“The thrashier stylings of The Grim Awakening have been drastically pared back to make room for a more cutting, blackened approach, replacing thrashing vigour with blackened vitriol, while maintaining the monstrous death metal heart of the band. The songs now have more of a cut and thrust to them, slashing and slicing with psychotic precision, where before they were, at times, simply content with a more bludgeoning form of sonic brutality.”

They’ve now written and recorded a new album (with Dan Swanö again handling the production) that Candlelight plans to release later this year, and it’s one we’re very interested to hear. Congratulations to both Candlelight and the band on this promising new partnership! Continue reading »