Dec 072023

(Dissolution comes out on December 15 via Avantgarde Music, and Andy Synn tells you all about it)

It’s undeniable that Crust have been on fire for the last few years, with albums like 2020’s Stoic and 2021’s Wanderers gaining the band more coverage and praise than ever before (including from this site) and introducing even more ears to the band’s signature brand of doom-laden, sludge-laced Black Metal.

And now, with the upcoming release of Dissolution (out next Friday) it looks like they’re set to go three-for-three with what might just be their best work yet.

Continue reading »

Oct 282023

Autopsy – photo by Nancy Reifert

Prepare for… a lot of sentences that begin “Prepare for….”

It’s a little way for me to say very little about what you’ll hear but without me feeling like I’ve done nothing to induce listening or to thank the bands.

The shorthand is necessary because the past week produced so damn much music I’d like to recommend, and because I got lots of suggestions from other people, including my compadres Andy Synn and DGR. Their picks and mine, which produced a mix of bigger bands and more obscure bands, are arranged here in alphabetical order by band name.

Prepare for… lots of twists and turns…. Continue reading »

Oct 112022

(Andy Synn catches up with a few gems from last month which you may have overlooked)

September is always a busy time for new releases, and this year was no different.

Sure, they weren’t all good (in fact, I can tell you now, there was at least one major name that is definitely going to end up on my “Disappointing” list, and probably piss quite a few people off in the process) but there were a lot of high quality albums released last month and, even though we tried our best, we barely scratched the surface of what September had to offer this year.

So while I’ve attempted to cover a number of different bases with the four artists/albums I’ve chosen to write about today, I also urge you all to check out some of the records which we weren’t able to find space/time for, including new stuff from Acausal Intrusion, Dead VoidKathaariaMaunraMo’ynoqOtusWayward Dawn, and Writhing (and many, many more that I’ve probably forgotten about).

Continue reading »

May 062022


It’s another Bandcamp Friday today, when a bigger share of the money you spend on that platform goes to the artists and labels. So I made an extra effort to pull together a roundup of new songs and videos, even though I don’t have time to make it as extensive as I’d like. Here’s what caught my eyes and ears over the last 24 hours — and I’ll have more stuff to recommend on Saturday.

WAKE (Canada)

I’m starting with a new song and video for “Swallow the Light“, a track off these NCS-favorites’ new album Thought Form Descent. Its slashing and searing chords, electrifying drumwork, and torrid vocals will get your blood pumping, even as it creates moods of anguish, fear, confusion, and derangement. Often white-hot in its intensity, it will also give your neck a good workout. Continue reading »

Mar 162022

(These days when most of us think of Russia we have negative thoughts (to put it mildly) based on the vicious invasion of Ukraine. But the participants in this interview — our friend Comrade Aleks and Vlad Tatarsky from the Russian bands Sönma and Crust — have no love for what is being done by a dictator in the name of the Russian people. Their words and the music are still worth our time.)

Sönma is the drone/doom project of Roman Romanov (drums, vocals, effects) and Vlad Tatarsky (guitars, effects). You know them better as members of the death-doom/sludge band Crust, also from Veliky Novgorod.

We started this interview with Vlad in late January and things went slow, but everything changed after the 24th of February and we were in shock knowing nothing about what to do with this interview. Vlad asked me to find some right words for this forword, but I don’t have any right words now, just a feeling that Sönma’s albums Terra and Ether channel this sense of catastrophe precisely. Continue reading »

Apr 062021

(Andy Synn keeps the ball rolling with a review of the recently-released third album from Russia’s Crust)

Sometimes, if you’re really lucky, an artist will produce an album which seems like it was tailor-made just for you.

Every song strikes a chord, every track touches a nerve, and every piece of the puzzle just fits so perfectly that you’d think the band was actively capable of peering directly into your brain.

It’s always exciting, especially when the band in question has a deeper discography for you to dig into too, as was the case when I stumbled across the new album from Russia’s own Blackened Sludgelords Crust recently, as not only did I instantly fall head over heels in love with the group’s hypnotically grim and humongously groove-laden sound, I was also compelled to go and pick up their entire physical back-catalogue (along with their entire digital discography) as part of last week’s #BandcampFriday.

And while I originally intended to save writing about these guys until the end of the month (as part of the next edition of The Synn Report) I quickly realised I couldn’t wait that long to lay out just why Stoic has become one of my favourite albums of the year so far.

Continue reading »

Sep 092020


(In this new interview — and a very good read it is — Comrade Aleks talked with Artur Filenko, vocalist and bassist of the Russian genre-bending band Crust, whose new album was released in August of this year.)

Crust from Veliky Novgorod, Russia, searched for their own working formula beginning in 2015 when their first, self-titled EP was recorded. Three more EPs and a full-length, The Promised Land (2019), led them to the sound they embody with their crushing new album And a Dirge Becomes An Anthem released by [addicted label] / no name label, on which Vlad Tatarsky (guitars), Roman Romanov (drums), and Artur Filenko (vocals, bass) perform a nihilistic and driving combination of death-doom with some shades of black.

Recorded live at the studio, this material offers tasty old school vibes and severe delivery. I dig this album, so the interview with Artur was just a question of time. Continue reading »

Aug 162020


Here’s the second Part of today’s column about newly discovered black and blackish metal. If you’ve been following my observations about my vacation, I was waylaid in finishing this Part because the golfers returned.

Thankfully, they seemed none the worse for wear despite the heat (which turned out not to be quite as punishing as predicted), though they did give up after 14 holes. Thankfully, they told very few war stories, but did share some spectacular photos of mountain-and-forest vistas from the course (I’ve left one at the end of this column), and then we tucked into lunch and some mid-day whisky, and then I got back to this writing while they immediately began napping.

Anyway, that explains the odd timing of this post.

PATHWAY (Russia)

You may have noticed that I have a weakness for black metal that incorporates unusual instruments, whether it be woodwinds, brass, horsehair fiddles, or medieval lutes. And thus I was probably predisposed to like the music of the Russian horde Путь (Pathway), because the band incorporate the accordion into their distinctive rendering of atmospheric black metal. Continue reading »

Apr 152017


One good thing about Good Friday was that my workplace had a holiday and so I stayed home, and therefore spent some time Friday night working my ears through a list of new metal I made this week instead of getting hammered with my co-workers, which is what usually happens on Fridays after work. As an additional bonus, I felt clear-headed this morning and ready for more listening (though with my head, “clear” is a relative term).

In an effort to keep this Saturday playlist from becoming too bloated, I decided not to write about some things that I figured most of our visitors have probably already discovered. But just in case you missed them, you can use these links to find the full stream of Nightbringer‘s new album at CVLT Nation (which we reviewed here), the first single from Suffocation‘s new album, a new Oranssi Pazuzu EP (Kevät/Värimyrsky), and a new song from the next Impetuous Ritual album.


As explained in this review, I really, really liked Slægt‘s debut EP, Beautiful and Damned, and I chose one of its electrifying tracks for our list of 2015’s Most Infectious Songs. With an expanded line-up, Slægt have recorded their first album, I Smell Blood, which is slated for release on May 5 by Ván Records. Its name is Domus Mysterium. Continue reading »

Dec 062015



I’m going to try to spend time today working on a few reviews I’ve been meaning to write for weeks, but of course I must also make time to risk stroke and/or heart failure by watching the Seahawks take on the Vikings in the wasteland of Minnesota. If the site goes dead tomorrow, you’ll know I didn’t survive the game without a trip to intensive care (or at all).  But I do have a few songs I’d like to recommend before indulging in those other activities.

One thing I should mention before I get started: Some of these songs come from entire EPs or albums that have already been released and are deserving of complete reviews, even short ones. But I fear I won’t be able to manage that, so I’m only writing about individual songs and hoping that you’ll dig deeper on your own if you like what you hear.


The first song comes from an album I’ve been enjoying for longer than any other release collected in this round-up — so it comes first. The name of the album is Chronolith and it was released via Bandcamp in August by a South Carolina band named Waft. Waft‘s Bandcamp page includes this comment: “Written over the course of four years. Recorded live over two days”. Continue reading »