Jul 222021

(Andy Synn once again presents you with his take on three upcoming albums from the UK Metal underground – come for the awesome artwork, stay for the magnificent music)

One of the most depressing things to observe as a Metal writer is how, every year, it seems like there’s less and less room for nuance in the way we talk about new albums – everything is either “absolute garbage” or “absolutely perfect”, and this polarisation is then amplified by a media landscape which increasingly favours only the loudest, most obnoxious voices and harshest, most extreme viewpoints.

This issue is then exacerbated by the fact that, because there’s just so many different sites/zines out there now whose lack of ethics (or quality control) means they’ll basically throw a 10/10 at anything, it seems like some bands (and their fans) have been actively conditioned to expect fawning praise whenever they release something, and often react quite badly to even the mildest criticism.

The thing is… no band or album is perfect. There’s always room for improvement in everything, and it doesn’t do “the scene” any good when those who write about it are more interested in brown-nosing and boot-licking in order to burnish their own “brand” than they are actually offering up an honest opinion.

So let me be clear – while I fully recommend all these albums, each of which represents a slightly different facet of the fertile UK underground, I’m also going to be offering some constructive criticism where I see fit.

And, if you can’t accept that then, well, maybe this isn’t the site for you.

Continue reading »

Jun 282021

Craven Idol

This is another SEEN AND HEARD collection, but I decided to give the title a twist today because I’ve leaned so heavily into death metal with the following four songs. The first three come from forthcoming records, and the fourth seems to be a stand-alone single.


I could have sworn I’d already written something about the first single from the new Craven Idol album, but can’t find any evidence that I did. So, time to make up for lost time. But first, gaze upon the full gatefold cover art created by Eliran Kantor — which is stunning: Continue reading »

May 122017

Craven Idol


(Andy Synn focuses once again on a trio of recent or forthcoming releases by UK bands, this time selecting material from Craven Idol, Synaptik, and Telepathy.)

What a veritable smorgasbord of metallic delights I have here for your delectation. Though, with the joys of Brexit coming up, I suppose I won’t be able to use words like “smorgasbord” for much longer, lest I be declared a traitor to the crown…

Anyway, putting the politics and pontificating to one side, here are three stellar slabs of UK Metal for you all to savour – the throat-ripping Black/Thrash of Craven Idol, the epic and extravagant Prog-Metal of Synaptik, and the intricate instrumental storytelling of Telepathy. Continue reading »

May 052017


(Argentinian writer Matías Gallardo presents this interview with S. Vrath, guitarist/vocalist of Craven Idol, whose savage new album The Shackles of Mammon was released in April by Dark Descent Records.)


Four years ago, Craven Idol’s debut Towards Eschaton put the London four-piece among the most insane and relentless heirs of old school extreme metal. This year the band takes its blackened metal one step forward with The Shackles of Mammon, an album where the influences of Poison (Ger), Bathory, Manilla Road, and Deströyer 666 resonate in an impressive landscape of filthy and addictive noise.

Guitarist/Vocalist S. Vrath spoke with NCS to share his thoughts about Craven Idol’s new masterpiece. Continue reading »

Feb 202017


Sometimes, song titles turn out to be examples of truth in advertising — no puffery, no exaggeration, just the truth and nothing but the truth. When London’s Craven Idol named the song we’re premiering “A Ripping Strike“, they weren’t fooling, and they’re not fooling around on the song either. It really is a ripping strike — a non-stop primal rush of electrification straight to the brain stem. And it proves to be damned infectious as well.

“A Ripping Strike” is the second track on Cravel Idol’s second album, The Shackles of Mammon, which will be released by Dark Descent Records on April 14. It follows the band’s eye-popping debut album Towards Eschaton, released in 2013. Continue reading »

Sep 072013

I hate to let a day go by without something new on the site, and although this morning kind of got away from me, I do have three items from yesterday that I thought were worth sharing.


I’ve been following this Swedish death metal band since 2010 and have written about them often since then. Their 2013 album is one I’ve been gleefully anticipating and I finally had the chance to hear it last week. Its name is Darkness Unbound, it’s scheduled for release by Cyclone Empire on September 20, and it’s awfully good.

This, however, is not the time for a review. Instead, I simply want to throw your way a new lyric video for a track named “The Order”. Demonical remain thoroughly wedded to the sound and spirit of evil, throwback, Swedish death metal, and man, do they do it right. Wonderful guitar tone, malicious vocals, an air of festering menace, sharp production values — “The Order” will put a charge into any fan of old-school Swedish butchery. Continue reading »

Jul 122013

Here’s a collection of items I saw and heard yesterday while surveilling the interhole. The featured bands are Ulcerate (New Zealand), Twilight of the Gods (multinational), Craven Idol (UK), Cryptopsy (Canada), and Evoken (US), .


The new album from New Zealand’s Ulcerate has been high on our “most anticipated” list for this year, and yesterday finally brought a lot of fresh news. The title of the album is Vermis, it includes 9 tracks, it’s nearly 55 minutes long — and it will be released by Relapse on September 17 in North America (September 13 in Germany and the Benelux countries and September 16 in the rest of the world). Pre-orders for the album and related merch are being fielded at this location. You can see the newly unveiled album cover above.

Yesterday also brought a video teaser for Vermis. It includes just an itty-bitty, teenie-weensie snippet of music, but it was enough to rattle my teeth. I think, just to be safe, I’ll make a dental appointment for the day after I get my hands on this album. The teaser is next. Continue reading »