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 »