Jul 082013

This Monday has turned into a day of premieres (not even counting the one we did ourselves for Razormaze). I’ve collected in this post a handful that I enjoyed, from Elite (Norway), Oathbreaker (Belgium), ASG (US), and Nexilva (UK).


I was originally turned on to Norway’s Elite more than two years ago via one of Andy Synn’s SYNN REPORTS about the band. Almost five years have passed since Elite’s last album, We Own the Mountains, but it appears the band are planning to release a new one before this year ends. Today they released a promo version of a new track called “This Is Where All Ends”. It reflects some changes from much of what has come before.

The song is mid-paced and majestic in its atmosphere, with a soaring chorus to match whispers of black metal darkness in its jagged verse. For most of the song’s duration, the vocals are near-clean, though ragged and anguished in their passion. The song has gotten stuck in my head, too. Check it out next. Continue reading »

Dec 052012

(NCS writer Andy Synn pauses after the 30th installment of THE SYNN REPORT to take a look back at the first two years of the series.)

Ok, so we’ve now had 30 ‘official’ entries in The Synn Report. I hope that a good number of you have discovered new bands and gone out and shown your support for them, buying music, merch, gig tickets, etc.

I thought, since the year (and the world!!!) is coming to an end, it might be a good time to provide a quick one-stop summation of all the previous entries, for those of you who maybe missed a couple, or for new devotees of the site who have yet to encounter the earlier editions and the bands contained therein.

Did you know that the genesis for The Synn Report was not entirely down to me? There’s a post that I consider ‘The Synn Report: Year Zero” which was written by Islander himself, in response to my recommendation of a particular band. That post is included here, as I think it’s an important foundation stone in the genesis of The Synn Report, and because I think the band in question are utterly phenomenal.

So there we go, after the jump there’s a tiny entry on each band from each edition of The Synn Report, with a short genre description and a re-iteration of the “Recommended for fans of:” section. Which ones did you miss? Which ones should you give another shot to? Click each one to be linked to the appropriate article, where you’ll find the full write-ups and sample songs from each release! Continue reading »

Jul 062011

(Andy Synn is back with his lucky 13th SYNN REPORT.)

Norway’s Elite have a lot to live up to. With their chosen moniker, they have set themselves up to be seen either as foolish pretenders to black metal’s mystic might or as battle-hardened warriors whose very skill with their chosen muse makes them truly worthy of the title they have chosen.

Just as challenging, no matter their own prowess, is the fact that their sound treads ground already bloodied by the storms and sacrifices of some of their country’s greatest warriors. This battlefield was once walked by giants such as Immortal, Enslaved and Emperor, each of whom left blood and chaos in their wake, before moving on to new worlds to sow their seeds yet further.

For Elite, however, there is no thought of following Immortal into the halls of myth and legend, no desire to lose themselves in eldritch contemplation and progression like their forebears Enslaved, no sense of legacy and majesty that might make them challenge the rule of the Emperor. No, Elite are happy only on the battlefield itself, running rampant over their opponents and challenging the mightiest of warriors to single combat, for death or for glory.

Where their forebears have abandoned the battle, moving further away from the bleakness and blackness of occult warfare, Elite remain yet upon the field, collecting the weapons and the bones of the fallen, paying tribute to the lost and the damned, honing their skills over and over to perfection. Their ambition is not to carve out a kingdom for themselves as their ancestors did, but to prove themselves in combat, to face all challengers and crush them with metallic power and primal ferocity. This is not a lack of ambition, merely a different form of it, a form where bloodshed and brotherhood remain more important than majesty and acclaim. (more after the jump . . .) Continue reading »