Apr 132014

John Martin: “The Deluge” (1834)

As I mentioned yesterday, the past week brought good song and video premieres in a flood, which was unfortunate only in the sense that I didn’t have time to write about all those discoveries day-by-day as they happened. So this weekend I decided to just flood you with them, leaving behind all but some short snippets of my own sparkling prose and mainly delivering the streams, along with release info.

Yesterday I collected 11 (!) new songs and videos, plus a couple of tantalizing news items, and today I’ve got 12 more, plus a few more news items. Once again, I present them in alphabetical order:


The Song: “Apotheosis of the Hangman”
From: Dismembering the Image of God
Release info: self-released by the band on April 7; below is a new video for the opening track

Vicious melodic death metal with flying fretwork that gets more interesting and seductive as the song progresses. Punches pretty damned hard, too. Continue reading »

Jul 232013

(Guest contributor Old Man Windbreaker finds a perhaps not-so-obvious connection among the latest albums by Gojira and a group of other bands, and includes some bonus items at the end.)

A little more than a year ago, we read a piece by Andy Synn titled Gojiralternatives, describing music by half a dozen bands as an alternative of sorts for those who are not that into Gojira’s music. Old Man Windbreaker decided to catch up to the bands featured in that list, since most of them have released a new album since the date of that article. But, Old Man Windbreaker is lazy. Hence, you have a review of the albums a full 2 months after the release of the latest album on this playlist. By the way, here are the albums on this playlist, in chronological order:

  •  L’Enfant Sauvage by Gojira
  •  Meliora by Eryn Non Dae.
  •  Vertikal by Cult of Luna
  •  Possession by Benea Reach
  •  Back to Where You’ve Never Been by Hacride

You might notice that Burst and Oceans of Sadness are not in this playlist. That is because they both split up; before the publishing of the original ‘Gojiralternatives‘ article, I might add. So, they will not be revisited, despite having produced amazing music. You might also notice that Eryn Non Dae. is here on this list. That is because of Double Panda. One happened to be playing Double Panda while listening to the album the first time, and One thought they sounded somewhat like Gojira at the time. This eventually led to One revisiting the other Gojiralternatives as well. Continue reading »

Mar 152013

I caught a slight break from the daily work grind last night, long enough to find three items I think are worth your time, and then NCS writer DGR added a fourth.


I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: Hacride’s new album is in my “highly anticipated” category for 2013. As in, I get high thinking about it. It’s not simply that the band have proven their worth with their past releases, it’s that they’ve proven they’re unlikely to stand still and simply deliver more of the same (though I would be happy enough with that). So, curiosity is one reason I’ve been eager to hear Back To Where You’ve Never Been.

The first taste came yesterday when Metal Sucks premiered a song from the album named “Overcome”, and man, it’s really strong. It’s loud, it’s brash, it’s packed with energy, it’s built around some killer grooves, and it’s interesting. I even dig the clean singing. Don’t waste time, go here to check this out. Continue reading »

Mar 062013

Starting Day 10 of my day-job death march. It’s looking like after today I’ll get a bit of a break — still can’t go back to Seattle, but I’ll have more time off that I can spend catching up on metal. But yesterday was another day-and-night clusterfuck and I had no time to pay attention to music. So this will be another very quick round-up of just a few things I saw that interested me early this morning.


This Bay Area band have a new EP on the way, called Nomadic. Yesterday TheMadIsraeli notified me that they premiered a new song from the EP named “The Dead Sea”. I listened to it.

Here’s the message I got from TheMadIsraeli: “I think the term for this is all consuming”. I can understand that reaction. The dramatic introductory music is a great build-up to an explosive start to the song proper. And as the song proceeds it proves to be a galvanizing experience, masterfully interweaving head-smashing death metal aggressiveness and head-swirling prog extravagance. 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 »

Sep 212012

Sifting through what the interhole brung me this morning, here are things I saw and heard that I thought were worth sharing with you. Fair warning: musically, this shit is all over the place, including places outside of metal (gasp!).


This band have a new album set for release in Germany on October 26, in the rest of Europe on October 29, and in North America on October 30, just in time to scare the shit out of small and adult-sized children on Halloween. The album is named Honor Found In Decay. The band themselves are calling it “their pinnacle studio effort”, which scares me. I witnessed a live Neurosis performance last year for the first time, and for the first time in my life I wanted to kill myself by the end of it. Do I want that feeling again?

That was a rhetorical question. Though I’d rather not have that feeling again, I can’t help but be drawn to this new album, especially after hearing the track that NPR premiered this morning. Its name is “At the Well” and it’s mesmerizing. It falls down on your head with cataclysmic impact and it shimmers with ethereal light and it rumbles and rolls like an avalanche. It’s agonizing and it grooves and it’s loaded with interesting synthesized sounds. It did not make me feel suicidal.

It’s very much worth hearing. Go to THIS PLACE to do that. Continue reading »

Jun 282012

(Andy Synn has music recommendations for Gojira fans . . .)

So with this being unofficial Gojira week here at NCS, I thought I’d try and continue the theme a bit, while also branching off in my own direction.

What you’ll find here are five bands, some of whom we’ve covered before, who I think will appeal to a good number of you Gojira fans out there, for a variety of reasons.

Now I’m not trying to say any of them is better than the French eco-behemoths, nor am I trying to replace them in your affections. Instead this column exists for two reasons:

1. I know that Gojira are one of those bands who captivate even the most casual of metal fans. I know several people myself who aren’t obsessive metal-explorers like myself and instead have a much more varied taste in music, but who nevertheless carry a pretty impressive torch for the band. So for these people I wanted to bring some attention to other bands who might suit them, who they might otherwise not have time to investigate for themselves.

2. I also know that many of us (myself included) have a real appreciation for Gojira, but don’t LOVE them unconditionally, as many do. Now while that does make me the perfect (cough…) candidate to critically appraise the band from a pretty objective standpoint – hence why you might find find my reviews a little more critical, in some ways at least, than others – it also makes me feel like I’m missing something. I know exactly how good the band are, and there are songs I do love, even albums, but for some reason the band and I are just not getting to the stage where I can put a ring on it. SO for those like me who “get” Gojira, but don’t “GET” Gojira as much as others, here are a few alternatives that might just fill that empty hole. Continue reading »

Nov 062011

(Ramblings from TheMadIsraeli . . .)

Until yesterday, I’d been a bit scarce around NCS recently, mainly due to illness, school being fucking lame, and the well being rather dry in terms of good shit for me to review.  I’ve only got five major reviews on the horizon that I give a damn about at the moment — VallenfyreDemisery, Vildhjarta, Vektor and Ever Forthright.  So as you probably guessed, this ain’t none of that reviewin’ shit.  Instead I’m gonna just talk.  Talk about stuff within metal, within the scenes, share my thoughts.

I figured a good start would be to talk about this djent thing.  I just reviewed a djent album in Uneven Structure’s Februus (here), and two of my above-mentioned choices for future reviews, Vildhjarta and Ever Forthright, are also djent bands.  I know that before I hopped on board with NCS they covered Ever Forthright quite a bit here, though Vildhjarta not so much.  Fuck, part of the reason I think I was picked up to write for NCS was to be the designated “djent guy”, since it was an interest of mine outside the tastes I shared with the other writers.  So I thought, finally, I might try to collect my thoughts about djent. Continue reading »

Feb 212011

In this latest edition of The Synn Report, our UK contributor Andy Synn focuses on the music of Hacride.

France has given us so many great things. Art, architecture, literature… fine wine, beautiful women, pain au chocolat…. but more important than all of these things, France has given us some great metal over the years.

From the more well-known of today’s metal acts, like Gojira and Deathspell Omega, to lesser known (but no less stellar) bands like Scarve and Alcest, even through to newer, up-and-coming bands such as The Bridal Procession, the country has a rich and vibrant metal scene. Interestingly enough, though, the bands who have broken through to greater exposure often seem to have very little in common.

Prog-metal artistes Hacride are another great name to add to the list of internationally renowned French metal acts. Formed in 2001 the band have so far produced 3 albums of modernised, progressively structured, technically gifted, avant-garde death metal. Though the core elements of heavy, crushing guitars, weaving bass, pummelling drums and raw, over-wrought vocals are all very much present and correct, the songs themselves are put together in a much less standard and predictable fashion. Utilising an array of different additional instrumentation, along with prominent keyboards and synthesisers, the band carefully fashion long, epic songs juxtaposing moments of cool ambience with fiery polemic and vicious metallic clamouring. Continue reading »