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
 

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(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
 

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(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 »

Mar 262015
 

photo by Sinmara

(Andy Synn reviews the recent performances in London by The Great Old Ones, Bast, and Conjurer.)

Sometimes life hands you difficult choices. Case in point, Saturday I was torn between two fantastic shows down in old London town… Vader/Hate at The Underworld and The Great Old Ones at The Black Heart. What is a boy to do?

Seeing as how I selected Tekeli-li as one of my top 10 albums of last year (Critical Edition), and acknowledging the fact that I’ve seen both Vader and Hate before, I chose to plump for France’s acolytes of the great unknown, at the risk of my sanity and my very mortal soul.

But I’m getting ahead of myself here… Continue reading »