Jun 232022

(Andy Synn presents three more succulent slabs of metallic vim ‘n’ vigour from his home country)

Really good Sludge/Post-Metal albums from the UK are a bit like buses… you wait patiently for ages and then three come along at once!

Thankfully all three of these bands, each of whom are at a different stage in their career – Conjurer aiming to prove that all the hype around them is firmly, and fervently, justified with their major-label debut, Gozer establishing themselves as “ones to watch” with their highly-anticipated first album, and Hundred Year Old Man reaffirming their status, in the wake of tragedy, as one of the best bands in the British underground – together represent some of the very best Sludge/Post-Metal that you’re likely to hear this year.

Don’t believe me? Well, allow me a chance to convince you.

Continue reading »

Nov 082021

(Andy Synn was fortunate enough to attend this year’s edition of Damnation Festival and now reports back with his experiences of all the bands he saw over the course of the day, along with video evidence)

Well, here it is, the very last Damnation Festival at Leeds University, as the event has become so popular now (as evinced by how quickly so many stages reach capacity these days) that the organisers are moving it (back) to Manchester where they’ve found a bigger and (hopefully) better venue for future editions of the fest.

And while this gives 2021 a real “end of an era” feel, it’s obvious that the Damnation team really wanted to see out their time in Leeds with a major bang, delivering – despite some well-documented, and sadly unavoidable, pandemic-based issues – one of the most stacked line-ups they’ve ever had.

Now, one thing I really tried to do this time around was to see (and document) as many sets by bands I hadn’t seen before, and while, in practice, this didn’t always work out – sometimes due to circumstances entirely beyond my control, sometimes just because I really wanted to see certain bands in particular – I don’t think you’ll be disappointed by who I actually did manage to catch over the course of the day.

So, without further ado…

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Oct 282019


(Andy Synn turned in this review of the performances by Conjurer, Earth Moves, and Armed for Apocalypse on October 24, 2019, in Nottingham, UK.)

Despite all evidence (or lack thereof) to the contrary, I’ve actually been to quite a few gigs this year (including three different festivals), even though I haven’t necessarily been writing about them all.

As a matter of fact, I even saw tonight’s openers headline a different venue here in Nottingham a few months back, and although I didn’t end up reviewing that particular show it definitely made me keen to get down this evening in time for the early start (with doors opening just after 18:30) so I could catch them again! Continue reading »

May 292019


(Earlier this spring Todd Manning reviewed the new album by the Indianapolis-based sludge/doom quintet Conjurer, and today he introduces our premiere of a video for a track from the album.)

At the beginning of April, Conjurer debuted the track “Across the Void” from their second album Sigils here at NCS, an album released later that same month. The song is immense and suffocating, reveling in the sort of rituals that can tear open the very fabric of the universe.

Today we bring you the premiere of the lyric video for that song. Heed the warnings, or heed the call, this is for those who dare to play with flames that feed on the minds of humanity. Continue reading »

Apr 022019


(In this post Todd Manning reviews the new album by Indiana’s Conjurer, which will be released on April 5th, and introduces our premiere of a song from the album.)

There is a tendency in the world of Metal to try to overload every available inch of sonic space with brutality. It’s an understandable and often effective approach, but at times, bands who utilize a more stripped-down strategy are equally capable of blowing the listener’s mind and ears. It is this kind of sense of refinement that is evident in spades on the new album Sigils by Indianapolis-based Sludge/Doom quintet Conjurer.

For anyone familiar with their debut, Old World Ritual, their latest is not a radical departure from the sound they established there, but is a logical and powerful step forward. Continue reading »

Mar 172018


(Andy Synn continues our new regular Saturday series in which he discusses metal lyrics with bands whose music you should also get to know if you don’t already.)


Having recently dropped one of the most vital and visceral albums of 2018 so far, an album which I fully expect to make an appearance on numerous “Best of…” lists come the end of the year, Conjurer are currently riding a wave of popularity and critical acclaim which seems unlikely to die out any time soon.

So now seemed like the perfect time to grab hold of the band’s guitarist/vocalist Dan Nightingale and get him to spill the beans about his writing process, inspirations, and all that jazz. Continue reading »

Feb 052018


(We present Andy Synn’s review of the new album by the UK band Conjurer, which will be released on February 23rd by Holy Roar.)

I want to begin this review with a confession – I am extremely envious of Conjurer’s ongoing (and hard-earned) success.

I’m not jealous (that actually means something slightly different), nor do I feel that their success is in any way undeserved. In fact I hope I’ve contributed to it, in my own small way, by covering several of the band’s live shows and their EP, here at NCS.

But I do think that, if we’re being completely honest with ourselves, being in a band and seeing someone else do so well will always arouse some feelings of envy. It’s an entirely natural reaction, and not necessarily a bad thing (unless it turns bitter), as it should in turn push you to do better, to think bigger, and to work harder.

However, apparently it’s something we’re not supposed to talk about since it so clearly runs counter to the whole “brotherhood of Metal” concept that we’re meant to at least pay lip-service to.

There’s one thing I definitely don’t envy though, and that’s the excessive hype and fawning flattery which I’ve seen Mire receive elsewhere on the internet. Continue reading »

Apr 262017


(Todd Manning wrote this review of a 2016 split release by Indianapolis-based Conjurer and the NY band Kaiju Daisenso.)

A little late to the game here, but I recently had the pleasure of discovering this split from two devastating sludge acts, Conjurer and Kaiju Daisenso. Originally released as a split flexi 7” last November via SMALLHANDFACTORY records, both tracks are now available on Bandcamp as well.

Conjurer are a based out of Indianapolis, and this track marks an impressive follow-up to their formidable full-length Old World Ritual. Under the title “You’re in Here with Me”, Conjurer spill forth burly, mid-paced sludge riffs with moments of psychedelia peeking out through the bile. Continue reading »

Nov 082016



(Our man in the UK, Andy Synn, attended Damnation Festival 2016 in Leeds on November 5, and provides this report along with videos he made.)

Oh Damnation Festival how do I love thee? Let me count the ways…

Whereas too many other events seem content to book the same big-name crowd-pleasers, year in and year out, buttressed by an interchangeable selection of generic sound-alikes and contrived gimmicks – all carefully selected purely for their mundane mass-appeal – the Damnation team seem to operate on an unwavering ethos of only booking the bands they truly like, bands (big and small) that they truly believe in, who have something unique or special to offer.

This is how every edition of the festival features an array of bands from multiple different styles, from Death to Prog to Doom to Hardcore to Sludge (and beyond), from across the length and breadth of the underground Metal scene coexisting under one roof and why, over the years, Damnation has seen everyone from Ahab to Asphyx, Carcass to Katatonia, Mono to My Dying Bride, playing to the sort of packed crowds that are a regular occurrence in Europe, but which only rarely seem to be achievable here in the UK.

This helps make Damnation Festival’s line-up a much more interesting affair than many of their peers, as the organisers seem to operate on the principal of “if you build it, they will come”, putting their faith in the belief that the UK scene doesn’t just want to be fed the same old bands and the same old performances, time and time again. And this year was no different, with a wide variety of different acts, of different styles, on display, coupled with a bunch of exclusive performances which practically justified the ticket price on their own! Continue reading »

Jun 292016



(Andy Synn reviews the new EP by Conjurer, which will be released on July 1 by Holy Roar Records.)

We all know by now that hype can be a double-edged sword.

Certainly it can serve to drum up some necessary excitement and anticipation where it’s needed, there’s no denying that. But equally, it can set up unrealistic expectations that act like the proverbial albatross around a band’s collective neck, particularly in cases where certain blogs and magazines (and even the band’s own PR) keep throwing out sweeping comparisons and wild exaggerations as part of a veritable onslaught of hyperbole.

It can honestly leave you wondering whether to believe what you’re reading, or if it’s simply another example of puffed-up propaganda from the media group mind.

Birmingham-based quartet Conjurer (whose name you may have seen mentioned here at NCS once or twice before) have built up something of a buzz for themselves in the few short years they’ve been together, based almost entirely on the strength of their live performances.

And, as such, their debut EP, the ungooglable I, has a lot riding on it. Not only is it the band’s first chance to solidify their own sonic identity on record, but it’s also their first opportunity to prove whether or not all that hype and hyperbole floating around in the digital aether is actually justified.

So… do they deliver the goods? Or are they all mouth, and no trousers? Continue reading »