Sep 122016

Obscure Sphinx-epitaphs


(Andy Synn reviews the new album by Poland’s Obscure Sphinx.)

In my November 2015 edition of The Synn Report, I wrote about how Obscure Sphinx had been mostly “underrated and underappreciated by the metal-loving public at large.” Despite having two fantastic albums to their name (particularly 2013’s nigh-untouchable Void Mother) the Polish quintet have spent the majority of their career thus far flying under the radar of most metalheads, with only a small, but dedicated, cadre of disciples (hi Brett!) scattered across the globe who truly appreciated the band for their talents and uniqueness.

I have no idea whether their third release, Epitaphs (complete with suitably esoteric Mario Duplantier cover art), will do much to change that, but I have to hope so. Because OS are exactly the type of band – distinct, complex, captivating — that the Metal world needs more of. Continue reading »

Aug 292016



Happy Monday! I mean that sincerely, despite the usual depressive aspects of the day, because this Monday brought us three exciting new song premieres that I discovered soon after caffeinating myself strongly enough to stun a bull, plus an announcement of an exciting U.S. tour. And here’s what I found:


As our regular readers are well aware, we have become ardent followers of the Greek band Aenaon since discovering the wonders of their 2014 album Extance, which made no fewer than four different year-end lists published at our site, as well as a host of our reader’s lists. It was also the source of a song (“Grau Diva”) that I included in my list of 2014’s Most Infectious Extreme Metal Songs. You may then be able to imagine how eagerly we have been awaiting the band’s new album, Hypnosophy. Continue reading »

Mar 112016

Death Fortress-Deathless March


(From time to time Andy Synn posts lists of things that come in five’s… and today he writes about five forthcoming albums that have peaked his interest.)

We’re only just over two months into 2016 now, and yet already we’ve seen the release of a host of stellar albums from across the metallic spectrum, including several (Wildernessking and Borknagar, to name but two) which easily ranked amongst my most eagerly anticipated releases of the year.

So now seems like as good a time as any to pick out five other albums which I’ve been waiting on with (not literally) baited breath.

Obviously this isn’t a comprehensive list. In fact I’ve specifically left out any upcoming albums I’ve already heard (Cult of Luna, for example) or which we’ve covered here at NCS recently (Mithras, Schammasch, etc), in favour of five selections a little more personal to me. Continue reading »

Nov 302015

Obscure Sphinx


(In this edition of THE SYNN REPORT, Andy Synn reviews the discography of Poland’s Obscure Sphinx.)

Recommended for fans of: Cult of Luna, Tool, Triptykon

Polish Post-Prog-Doomsters Obscure Sphynx are one of those bands who you just can’t believe aren’t so much bigger than they are. Both their albums (particularly 2013’s utterly phenomenal Void Mother, which is easily up there with my all-time favourite albums) could serve as a masterclass in how to craft songs melding mood and emotion, rage and clarity, captivating song-writing and focused metallic heaviness – and both have similarly been underrated and underappreciated by the metal-loving public at large.

Well no more! It’s time to sit up and take notice, it’s time to give the devil his due… it’s time… for this band to reap the just rewards for the brilliant music that they’ve sown! Continue reading »

Dec 042013

I want to thank all of the guest writers who have sent in such excellent posts for publication during my vacation. I’ve got five days left before returning to earth with a thud, and some really interesting guest posts remain to be published between now and then. And if any of you are still pondering whether to send in something, there’s still time.

Though I haven’t been listening to much music during this trip, I did set aside some time a few days ago to go exploring. And for those who don’t know, that’s what this MISCELLANY series is all about: I pick a band whose music I’ve never heard, usually focusing on names that aren’t household words, and I listen to a song or two. I write my impressions, and I stream what I heard so you can explore right along with me. I picked four bands for this trip, and they turned out to be a really diverse lot.


I came across this first band via an album review by Madam X at Angry Metal Guy. I usually read what she writes anyway, but in this case there was a double attraction — the other being that album cover you’re looking at. It’s a photo of a doll created by Klaudia Gaugier, and once I saw it I knew I would be listening to the music. Continue reading »