Dec 282023

(Andy Synn delivers one final retrospective on albums from 2023 you may have overlooked)

Hey everyone, I’m back, feeling fully refreshed and ready to rumble after my week (and a bit) hiatus.

Before I get fully stuck into 2024’s upcoming slate of releases I’ve got two more pieces for 2023 for you all to enjoy – namely my last Synn Report of the year (coming on Friday) and this extra-big edition of “Things You May Have Missed”.

Now unlike previous editions, this one won’t just be focussing on albums from the last month (though there’s seven – I think – albums from December featured here) but will also take a look back at certain albums from the past year that I either didn’t get the chance to cover at the time, didn’t discover until much later, or just wanted to highlight one more time for people to check out.

Of course, even so there’s more artists and albums I wanted to include than I had space or time for – so I’d urge you, if you have any extra time, to check out the new Moonreich (which almost made my “Personal Top Ten“, Rosa Faenskap (which did) and Witch Ripper (which I know was on my “Critical Top Ten“, but still seems to have flown under a few radars) – but first, feel free to go through everything I’ve featured here (which I’ve broken up into separate sub-categories) and check out a few things you may have missed!

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Jul 032019


(Andy Synn discusses the new album by the Swedish band Oro, which was released on March 1 of this year. And you’ll notice that we dispensed with a genre reference in this introduction, for reasons that will become apparent.)

The term “Post Metal” often inspires a surprisingly strong, and strongly negative, reaction from certain members of the Metal community.

Some people feel that, as a genre-tag, it’s too nebulous and ill-defined (an opinion which, as you’ll soon see, I have some sympathy with), while others feel that the entire claim of being “Post-“ Metal reeks of an unearned sense of arrogance and superiority, as if the band (or bands) in question are putting on airs and claiming themselves to be “beyond” or “above” the rest of the Metal scene.

The truth, of course lies somewhere in between. As a development or subset of “Post Rock”, which itself reflects an attempt to reject the standard strictures and expected dynamic of guitar-led music in favour of a more expansive and expressive approach, there’s definitely still a lingering whiff of hubris surrounding the whole “Post” part of “Post Metal”, even while people continue to point out that trying to do something different with (or within) a genre doesn’t necessarily mean you think you’re too good for it.

But while “Post Rock” has developed, to my ears at least, a relatively clear and unambiguous identity, the term “Post Metal” still seems to get thrown around a little bit too liberally (and randomly) for my tastes, being used to describe bands who basically just play “Post Rock” with some extra distortion, Sludge bands who happen to have a sharper guitar tone than usual, and even Doom artists who opt for a crisper production job than might be considered traditional.

What does all this preamble have to do with Oro, I hear you ask? Well, quite a bit actually… Continue reading »