Oct 102021



Last Thursday I seized on the chance to insert SHADES OF BLACK into the work-week with a trio of EPs as a way of trying to clear out a backlog of reviews that had been percolating in my head. I’ve decided to do the same thing today. Rather than include the usual scattering of advance tracks from forthcoming releases I’m focusing entirely on albums and EPs that are already out in the world.

Having said that, I have to confess that these reviews may not qualify as thorough reviews in the minds of some people. They’re more like brief previews and recommendations, leading all you horses to water and hoping you’ll drink.

CROCELL (Denmark)

The name Crocell has stuck in my head on the strength of their past releases (five albums over the course of a decade), despite the absence of anything new for the last 3 1/2 years. If you’ve been haunting NCS for a while, you’ve seen how often we’ve written about them. And so I didn’t waste much time reacting to the news that the band had released a pair of EPs, Funeral Bliss and Baptized in Bullets, on the same day near the end of September. Continue reading »

Jun 092018


I feel like a broken record in writing this sentence, but will say again that my list of new songs that have appeared just in the last two weeks, and seem worth checking out, is enormous — more than 50 tracks long at this point. The paucity of SEEN AND HEARD posts over that period, due to the paucity of time I’ve been able to devote to NCS as a result of other distractions, means that the list has grown at a much faster rate than I’ve been able to whittle it down through listening and writing.

So, I came up with an idea for making headway against the tide: Rather than compiling “playlists” of four or five songs (or more) as is usual for the SEEN AND HEARD column, I’m going to spend at least the next week creating much shorter collections, under a new title, limited myself to only two tracks per post. This is the first of those. I hope to do this on a daily basis, but may fail.


Honestly, I’m not sure what happened here. Many of the scribblers at NCS, including me, have been devout fans of Crocell. And yet they came out with their fifth album in March (Relics) and until today we’ve said nothing about it. Having completely overlooked it, I haven’t even heard the record. But this new lyric video will cause me to remedy that glaring omission pretty damned quick. Continue reading »

Apr 282013

You get one guess about the theme of this post. It involves new music from two bands with forthcoming albums — Sweden’s Just Before Dawn and Denmark’s Crocell. Neither band mess around — they bring full-strength, undiluted, high-potency death metal that will knock you on your ass, but they do it with flair. Based on the new tracks that have recently premiered from both bands, these albums look like “must get” releases for fans of the genre.


This is a legitimate death-metal all-star project. The band was founded by multi-instrumentalist Anders Biazzi (Blood Mortized, ex-Amon Amarth) in the summer of 2012, and he was later joined by vocalist Rogga Johansson (Paganizer, Bone Gnawer, Putrevore, Humanity DeleteDemiurg, etc., etc.). Originally intended as a two-man project, it expanded to include participation from a host of others in the recording of the debut album, including six more vocalists:

Jonas Lindblood (Puteraeon)
Mr. Hitchcock (Zombiefication)
Gustav Myrin (Blood Mortized)
Dennis Johansson (Plästerd, Headstoned)
Ralf Hauber (Revel in Flesh)
Tony Freed (Godhate)

The album, entitled Precis Innan Gryningen, also includes guest guitar solos by Jonas Lindblood, Gustav Myrin, and Rick Rozz (Massacre, ex-Death), and it features cover art by one of my favorite metal artists, Daniel “Devilish” Johnson. The album is now scheduled for release by Chaos Records on May 20. Continue reading »

Apr 112013

I think we’re very broad-minded around here. For example, in our last post we let Andy Synn talk about five excellent bands, most of whom integrate clean singing into their music. However, balance must be maintained. And therefore in this post we return to news and new music from the frontlines of sonic obliteration, with Murder Made God (Greece), Hate Meditation (multi-national), and Crocell (Denmark).


This Greek band have recorded a new album named Irreverence, which is emblazoned with that eye-catching cover art you see above, and as of today it became available for pre-order from the Brutal Bands label (here). Also, I’ve learned that package orders placed with Brutal Bands before May 31 will be fulfilled with a free “Throne of Derision” shirt designed by Mike Majewski of Devourment. Check out his piece of nasty work, big as life, right after the jump: Continue reading »

Dec 052012

(NCS writer Andy Synn pauses after the 30th installment of THE SYNN REPORT to take a look back at the first two years of the series.)

Ok, so we’ve now had 30 ‘official’ entries in The Synn Report. I hope that a good number of you have discovered new bands and gone out and shown your support for them, buying music, merch, gig tickets, etc.

I thought, since the year (and the world!!!) is coming to an end, it might be a good time to provide a quick one-stop summation of all the previous entries, for those of you who maybe missed a couple, or for new devotees of the site who have yet to encounter the earlier editions and the bands contained therein.

Did you know that the genesis for The Synn Report was not entirely down to me? There’s a post that I consider ‘The Synn Report: Year Zero” which was written by Islander himself, in response to my recommendation of a particular band. That post is included here, as I think it’s an important foundation stone in the genesis of The Synn Report, and because I think the band in question are utterly phenomenal.

So there we go, after the jump there’s a tiny entry on each band from each edition of The Synn Report, with a short genre description and a re-iteration of the “Recommended for fans of:” section. Which ones did you miss? Which ones should you give another shot to? Click each one to be linked to the appropriate article, where you’ll find the full write-ups and sample songs from each release! Continue reading »

Oct 042012

(Our UK-based writer Andy Synn provides this update on the doings of certain bands featured in previous editions of THE SYNN REPORT: Vesania, Emeth, and Crocell.)

So we’ve almost reached a milestone of 30 SYNN REPORTS (plus a few more varied entries). That’s 30 new, or underappreciated, bands I’ve tried my best to bring into the cold embrace of the NCS bosom. But before we reach the hollowed ‘Big 30’ (who it’s going to be I still haven’t decided), how about we catch up with a few quick updates on past SYNN REPORT alumni?


Well first of all, we have the little teasing image above from Polish symphonic black metal maestros Vesania, which shows their drummer Daray in the studio. Which means they’ve already started work recording a new album. This was kept pretty quiet, but I for one am already salivating at the prospect of more crushing blackened-death metal with a lunatic, symphonic twist.


Secondly, the fine young Belgian gents in Emeth have posted a slew of updates regarding the gear and the songwriting from their upcoming fourth album: Continue reading »

Jul 272012

(In this latest edition of THE SYNN REPORT, Andy Synn reviews the two bloodthirsty albums by Denmark’s Crocell.)

Recommended for fans of: Amon Amarth, God Dethroned, Bloodbath

So here’s the thing. Well, two things actually. Firstly, I noticed that a good number of the recent Synn Reports have been of a black metal – type, as are many of the ones I have planned for the future. Secondly, my original plan for this edition was not only another black metal – based band, but was also taking me a lot longer to write-up than I intended. So bearing these two things in mind, I decided to re-shuffle things a bit and bash out a different Report than the one I had originally planned, just to give you a bit of variety.

There you go, preamble over. Here’s some death metal.

Formed in Aarhus in 2007, the Danish quintet Crocell deal in concrete-heavy slabs of prime melodic death metal beef. Heavy on the groove and spiced up with darkly melodic lead lines, they’ve produced two albums so far, 2008’s The God We Drowned and last year’s follow-up The Wretched Eidola, while also maintaining a remarkably stable core line-up throughout.

Towing a fine-line between crushing death metal extremity and surprising accessibility, one can find similarities with perennial NCS-faves A Hill To Die Upon in their mix of earth-shaking death metal groove and dark, subtle melody, while their aggressive, blasphemous lyrical outlook should suit fans of Deicide perfectly. Even fans of The Crown will get their goods here, as the relentless, jet-propelled drumming work-out of each song meshes seamlessly with their precise, yet powerful volleys of lethal riffage. Continue reading »