Aug 222014

(Andy Synn reviews the new Decapitated album.)

To my mind each and every Decapitated album has a different flavour to it. Oh, the band definitely have a unique and specific sound, no doubt, but even within that, there’s still more than enough room for nuances of expression and style.

For example, Winds of Creation has a certain bloodstained thrashiness to it, Nihility an unearthly post-human precision, The Negation an otherworldly, angular feel… while Organic Hallucinosis positively reeks of unkempt madness and cerebrospinal corruption, and Carnival Is Forever offered us a warped, reflective mirror made of sharpened edges and shattered perceptions… Ultimately I think you’d be hard pressed to mistake a song from one album as belonging to any of the others, and yet each one remains recognisably, even intimately, Decapitated.

With Blood Mantra the Polish psychonauts offer up yet another facet of their ever-evolving sound, an album permeated with an eerie, almost nightmarish, sensation of discomfort and dissociation, carrying through familiar threads of each of its predecessors, whilst simultaneously twisting and reweaving them into fresh new forms. Continue reading »

Aug 132014


(NCS writer Andy Synn attended part of the Bloodstock Festival in England last weekend and files this report, with his own photos.)

For various reasons I was only able to make it to the one day of Bloodstock Festival this year. Thankfully that one day happened to be headlined by the legendary Emperor, so I’m not massively complaining!

Due to some issues getting my new laptop (it’s lovely and shiny and I’m writing this column on it right now), I ended up running a little late that morning and so, after picking up my two companions, got to the festival site a little later than planned. As a result I missed out on both The King Is Blind and Shining (Nor), but was there in time to see Old Corpse Road bring their eloquent mix of dark folklore and blackened intensity to the Sophie Stage. Continue reading »

Aug 072014

Jet-setter that I am, I’m on the road again this week in my old hometown of Austin, Texas. Until last night I haven’t had as much time as usual to check out new music or write about it. I missed a lot, and am trying to catch up before having to leave the world of metal for the rest of today.

I discovered so many things I want to recommend that I’ve divided them into three parts, this being the first.


In advance of their new album Blood Mantra (scheduled for September 26 release by Nuclear Blast), Poland’s Decapitated have begun streaming a new song entitled “The Blasphemous Psalm To The Dummy God Creation”. It’s being released as a digital single via Amazon, iTunes, Google Play, or direct from Nuclear Blast (here). Continue reading »

Aug 022014


To pick up where my last post left off, the aircraft that I boarded yesterday in Seattle did in fact land in Denver, where I and my personal security detail spent the evening drinking beer, eating pizza, and air-guitaring at the Black Sky Brewery in preparation for the sonic holocaust that will begin today (otherwise know as the Denver Black Sky fest).

Because time is short (or more accurately, the time not spent drinking, eating, jawing, and sleeping), this little round-up will be less fulsome than I would like — but still worthwhile, I hope.


We’ve been writing about the Elemental Nightmares project since early days, and it is now a reality. Today Elemental Nightmares released the first of seven 10″ vinyl splits for digital download; the physical copies will start shipping on August 7 or 8.

The first split includes songs by Wildernessking (South Africa), Oak Pantheon (Minnesota), Kess’khtak (Switzerland) Liber Necris (UK), and it features that stunning artwork you see at the top of this post (all of the individual pieces of art for the seven splits, when placed next to each other, will eventually flow together to form one large piece of art). The work was created by Düsseldorf artist Alexander Leybovich (whose web site is here). Continue reading »

Jul 092014

For your entertainment and edification I bring you a small group of news items and new music that I enjoyed over the last 24 hours. All of them involve especially enticing pieces of album art that you may view as larger images by clicking on them.


Thanks to a tip from my friend Vonlughlio, I just saw the news that the sixth album by Poland’s Decapitated will be released by Nuclear Blast and Mystic Production (Poland) on September 26, 2014. It was recorded, as usual, at Hertz Studio in Białystok, Poland, by the Wiesławski brothers. The album cover was created by Polish artist Lukasz Jaszak, who also made the cover of the band’s last album, Carnival Is Forever.

This announcement was accompanied by a statement from Vogg (Waclaw Kieltyka) that the new music is “totally crushing and huge” and that Blood Mantra is “the most heavy and mature album” the band have ever recorded.

Such statements must always be taken with a grain of salt, but even if the album is only “about the same level of crushing and huge” as what Decapitated have delivered in the past, sign me the fuck up. Continue reading »

Jul 052013

Well, finally. Of all the songs on Decapitated’s superb 2011 album Carnival Is Forever, “404” was the one your humble editor picked for Our List of 2011’s Most Infectious Extreme Metal Songs (though it was a close call between that one and “United”). And although Decapitated have produced multiple music videos for Carnival, “404” was overlooked for video treatment — until about an hour ago.

Now we’ve got it — a montage of clips from live performances set to the studio track of the song. It’s a reminder of both what a fuckin’ awesome song this is and what a killer live show Decapitated deliver.

As a trained medical professional, I also want to remind you about the importance of doing your neck-loosening exercises before watching this, so you don’t pull a muscle when your head starts bouncing to and fro and every which way. Here it is: Continue reading »

Dec 222012

Much earlier this month we reported the announcement of the VOICES FROM THE DARK tour of North America, co-headlined by Marduk (Sweden) and Moonspell (Portugal) and including the talents of Inquisition (U.S.), The Foreshadowing (Italy), and Death Wolf (Sweden) (which features members of Marduk). At the time of our earlier report, no dates had yet been announced. Now they have.

I’m gratified to see that it will be stopping in Seattle. I know this will make you happy, because I know you want me to be happy and I am indeed happy about this tour, especially because of the chance it will give me (finally) to see Marduk and Inquisition. Maybe you will be able to see this tour, too. But if not, I will still be happy, and therefore you will still be happy.


2/20 Springfield, VA @ Empire
2/21 Poughkeepsie, NY @ The Chance
2/22 Worcester, MA @ The Palladium
2/23 New York, NY @ Gramercy Theatre
2/24 Montreal, QC @ Club Soda
2/25 Toronto, ON @ Wreck Room
2/26 Millvale, PA @ Mr. Small’s Theatre
2/27 Chicago, IL @ Reggie’s
2/28 Saint Paul, MN @ Station 4 Continue reading »

Dec 032012

Scion A/V continues to deliver the metal goods. They’ve just released a new music video for “View From A Hole”, a song that appeared on the stupendous Carnival Is Forever album by Poland’s Decapitated.

The video is a live performance professionally shot from different camera angles. It’s after the jump. I can’t think of anything more to say. Continue reading »

Jul 112012

(You can probably tell from the spelling in the post title that our UK-based writer Andy Synn is responsible for this post.  What do you think of Andy’s picks?  What are your favorite solos?  Leave comments!)

Greetings true-believers! Ok, so after the review-fest of “Unofficial UK Week” last week (which I swear, wasn’t intentionally timed to coincide with Independence Day) I’m easing up a bit this week. I should have a review of a truly badass new album by a certain Norwegian band for you in the next few days, and I’m slowly working on another Synn Report and a longer column or two for next week, but for now I thought I’d drop the inaugural column in what I hope to be a semi-regular series highlighting “5 of my Favourite…” things.

Today I’ve chosen to pick out 5 (ok, 6 actually, but I refuse to change the title) of my favourite guitar solos. Not of all time exactly, just five that came to mind when I was doing some random listening recently. Future iterations of the column, if it proves a success, will feature other random “5’s” in whatever order they happen to occur to me.

Enslaved – “Ground”

First off we have the defining solo in “Ground” by Enslaved. It’s a well-known fact that Ice Dale is a true guitar god, managing to rock both a killer solo and a series of iconic rock poses with a shirtless flourish. I’d swear he was the black metal reincarnation of Jimmy Page, if not for the fact that Page isn’t dead yet. Continue reading »

Apr 262012

The band, playing against a black backdrop, filmed in black and white. The camera, cutting and moving like a hornet swarm. The song, both brutal and hypnotic.

In a nutshell, that’s the brand new video for “Homo Sum”, the fourth track off of Decapitated’s amazing 2011 album, Carnival Is Forever. The video was directed by Marcin Halerz of Redpig Productions.

On an album full of gems, “Homo Sum” has over time become my favorite track. It is the epitome of pummeling, but that guitar solo makes such a striking contrast. When that solo starts, my eyes begin to glaze over and a little drool starts to run down my chin (on both sides, because I am level-headed). And then the pummeling begins again, and I get whiplash. Doesn’t that happen to you, too?

Watch after the jump. Continue reading »