Apr 032014

Almost every day we read about new crowdfunding campaigns by metal bands. We don’t try to mention even a small fraction of the ones we see; there’s just not enough time or space. But there are three in this post we wanted to spotlight, in part because all three involve bands we’ve supported in the past — because they’re damned good. And to remind you of that, music is included.


This first appeal for funds was spawned by a tragedy involving two Italian bands. One of them, Nero di Marte, delivered a self-titled 2013 album that our reviewer Andy Synn called “a phenomenal debut” — “an unusual form of technically twisted death metal with a taste for sudden, erratic explosions of extremity, and a progressive streak a mile wide.” (The review is here.) The other, Void of Sleep, are a sludge-rock band whose 2013 album was Tale Between Reality and Madness.

On Sunday, March 23, after playing a show in Rome, both bands were robbed of all their instruments and gear. Here’s their statement of what happened:

In less than 30 minutes someone broke into our van and was able to take everything. It happened in broad daylight near a police station in Rome, despite there being a massive amount of police forces surveilling the area but, alas, no security cameras.

Guitars, amps, pedalboards, drums, merchandise and personal belongings… a total amount of 25.000€ was stolen from both bands. They took everything. A full list can be found here:

The sad reality of this situation is that without any instruments we cannot continue as a band. We can’t play, rehearse, tour, record a new album.

It took us years to buy our gear, and to start from absolutely nothing, without any help, means paralyzing anything we could do for a long time or seriously put ourselves into debt beyond what we can afford.

Continue reading »

Dec 312013

(In this new edition of THE SYNN REPORT, Andy reviews the discography of Derelict Earth from Grenoble,GFrance.)

Recommended for fans of: Cormorant, Alcest, Borknagar

Like I’ve said before, writing each edition of The Synn Report takes up a fair bit of time. And, since my job is pretty busy these days – and involves a lot of writing/typing – it sometimes takes me a while before I have a chance to really settle into the groove of things, to find the energy and the impetus to put finger to keyboard and rattle off a new edition.

I do try and keep to a “one per month” rule, but sometimes that slips. It’s unavoidable. So, with that in mind, please consider this particular entry, the second for December (and the last of 2013), as recompense for the lack of one last month.

You see I’ve been wanting to talk about Derelict Earth for a while, but the timing’s never been quite right. Until now.

The brainchild of one man – Quentin Stainer – Derelict Earth have produced three albums of sublime prog melody and startling aggression, melding bold strokes of creative colour and artistic anxiety into a tremendous triptych of emotionally charged, intellectually stimulating, prog-metal majesty.

What’s best is that each of these albums is available for free on the internet, with the artist’s full consent. So if you like what you hear after the jump, then you’ll be able to immerse yourself in his creative vision to your heart’s content! Continue reading »