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 »

Aug 302012

You know, if I owned a kvlt metal record label (and therefore, by definition, did not care about food or running water), I would do something like this.

The phone would ring one day, and someone would say, “Would you be interested in signing a band composed of these folks?”

Mike Scheidt (YOB)-Vocals

John Cobbett (Hammers of Misfortune, ex-Ludicra)-Guitars

Sigrid Sheie (Hammers of Misfortune)-Bass

Aesop (Fucking) Dekker (Agalloch, Worm Ouroboros, ex-Ludicra)-Drums

I’d think on it for about two seconds, while wiping the drool off my mouth, and while the inner me would be squealing like a little girl, I’d try to play it cool and ask if there was any music to hear. And upon being told Not Yet, I’d just go ahead and give up and ask where to send the contract, and then excuse myself to go change my shorts.

I’m not exactly sure it went down like that in the offices of Profound Lore. All I know for sure is that this band is a real thing, it’s called VHÖL, they’re recording an album, and Profound Lore plans to release it. Continue reading »

Jul 302011

(NCS writer Andy Synn devotes his 15th SYNN REPORT to the late, lamented Ludicra, who called it quits earlier this week.)

Loyal readers, it is with a heavy heart that I compose this edition of The Synn Report. The recent untimely demise of progressive black metal act Ludicra has prompted me to push back the article I was writing in favour of a tribute to a band that ended its career all too abruptly, brimming as it was with future promise and potential.

Ostensibly a black metal act, although one difficult to pin down precisely, between their inception in 1998 and their recent lamentable dissolution, the San Franciscan group provided four albums (and one EP) of scintillating riffage and caustic vocals, laden with progressive tendencies and a thrashy, punky energy. Laurie Sue Shanaman’s distinctive screams are wounded howls of passion with a restrained berserker frenzy, using her ethereal cleans to add an extra dimension of morose expression, ably supported by the harsh backing vocals of Christy Cather, a skilled and impressive guitarist, responsible for composing the group’s jagged riffs along with her partners in crime John Cobbett and Ross Sewage.

Unlike the icy, bleak naturism of many of their peers, the crisp, cold exterior to Ludicra’s sound evokes memories not of ice but of cold concrete; stark monoliths silhouetted against a dying sun, empty wind-swept streets once bustling with activity but now devoid of life – these are the images which come to mind when listening to Ludicra’s “urban sprawl” black metal, matching breathtaking beauty with cold and chilling clarity. (more after the jump, including tracks from each of Ludicra’s releases . . .) Continue reading »

Mar 152010

Last week we received the following e-mail:

Hey, No-Cleaners.
We definitely have a whole lot of no clean singing on Flaming Tusk’s new album Old, Blackened Century. For that and many other reasons I think you’re going to love it. The album is available as a pay-what-you-will download (yes, even $0) at
Enjoy. In a horrifying kind of enjoyment.

Keith [aka Zosimus]
Flaming Tusk

Well, we thought that was one of the most intriguing e-mails from a band we’d received in a while. So, we hopped right over to the linked page, downloaded Old, Blackened Century, made a monetary contribution, and started listening. And then listened again. And again. And it turns out that Flaming Tusk’s stylistic flair doesn’t stop at e-mail messaging and cool album titles.

The music is indeed immensely enjoyable, in a horrifying kind of unclassifiable metal enjoyment. If you like blackened post-hardcore proggy doom sludge noise metal, well you’ve come to the right place. (read on after the jump, and we’ll give you a track to stream, too, plus some musings about band names that Flaming Tusk may have narrowly averted . . .) Continue reading »