Apr 202018


(Andy Synn returns to his irregular series devoted to things that come in five’s, the focus of this one being metal album art.)

The phrase “never judge a book by its cover” was obviously uttered by someone who’d never found themselves stranded in a busy bookshop and frozen by indecision over which of the many, many options to spend their hard-earned cash on.

Of course while I agree with the sentiment in principle – style is no substitute for substance after all, and a shiny package is no guarantee of superior contents – the truth is that human beings are very visual creatures, and an eye-catching cover, one which hints at the themes and manifest delights contained within, can be the difference between finding a new reader and being consigned to the bottom of the bargain bin at the end of the month.

The same obviously applies when we’re talking about albums too. Yes, the move towards a primarily digital market has had an impact on the means and methodology behind how new albums are accessed and presented (though apparently physical sales have been rebounding quite a bit recently), but the importance of good album art still shouldn’t be understated. Continue reading »

Jan 242017


Well, I did it again. I let two days go by without posting a further installment of our growing list of Most Infectious Extreme Metal Songs. Unfortunately, I don’t have time at the moment to double up, as I did the last time I fell behind. If the day goes well, I might be able to add Part 17 before the day ends.

Once again, I perceive a sense of musical belonging between the three songs I’m grouping together, although there are important differences among them and I’m not sure I could articulate the connections even if I had more time.


The self-titled debut album by the former frontman of Immortal landed very early in 2016, and I think it convincingly answered the questions and doubts of most fans who had been left with a bad taste in their mouths from the public squabbling among the former Immortal brethren — because the album is damned good. Continue reading »

Oct 042016



(Andy Synn reviews the new album by Poland’s Dormant Ordeal.)

Don’t you just hate it when someone steals your thunder? Case in point, I’ve been jamming We Had It Coming, the second album by Polish brutalisers Dormant Ordeal, for a good while now, waiting for the right time and the right opportunity to write about it, only for the ne’er do wells at Invisible Oranges to sneak in and feature the album at the top of their most recent From The Bandcamp Vaults column. The blaggards.

Still, I suppose it actually might save me some time and effort in the long run, as their write-up – particularly the phrase “influenced by fellow Polish legends Decapitated with a touch of Ulcerate” – is pretty much entirely on point, and I’m not sure exactly what else I can add.

But, then again, there’s every chance that many of our readers won’t also be IO readers, and I do so love to pontificate about albums that I love… Continue reading »