Jan 312022

Recommended for fans of: Celeste, Dodecahedron, Imperial Triumphant

Let’s get this out of the way – Plebeian Grandstand‘s fourth album, Rien ne suffit was one of the best releases of last year, and the only reason it didn’t make an appearance in my “Critical Top Ten” was because… well, I only had so much space, and I’d already included several Black Metal (or Black Metal related) selections!

However, that raises an oft-contentious follow-up question – are Plebeian Grandstand a Black Metal band?

Quite a few people would say no – some because they believe that the band’s unique brand of enigmatic extremity lacks the “purity” of true Black Metal, others because they feel like calling them “Black Metal” is actually too restrictive, and fails to properly capture who the band are and what they do.

They’re both kind of right, to be honest, because while Black Metal is undeniably a massive part of their identity, their sound is also a wickedly harsh hybrid of Hardcore, Mathcore, Grindcore, and Sludge… along with an increasingly prominent electro-industrial undercurrent which has only added to the growing volatility of the band’s sound as they’ve mutated and evolved.

Luckily for you, you don’t just have to take my word for it, as this particular edition of The Synn Report gives you access to all four of the group’s albums, meaning you can make up your own minds!

Continue reading »

Mar 162016

Plebeian Grandstand-False Highs True Lows


Greetings and welcome to Part 2 of a three-part post in which I’ve collected recent songs, EPs, and albums in a blackened vein that I’ve been enjoying and think you might enjoy, too. For the music in Part 1, go here. I’ll post Part 3 later today or tomorrow, depending on how life goes.


We last paid attention to the French band Plebeian Grandstand when Austin Weber reviewed their second album Lowgazers in 2014. They now have a new one named False Highs, True Lows (great name), which will be released on April 29 by Throatruiner Records (LP and CD) and Basement Apes (CD).

I certainly wouldn’t go so far as to suggest that you forget the conceptions you may have formed if you heard Lowgazers, but this new album is really something else, to be approached with fresh ears. Continue reading »

Apr 092014

(In this post Austin Weber reviews the second album by the French band Plebeian Grandstand.)

Sometimes a band’s evolution is so extreme, it’s as if a totally different group has emerged, completely shedding its sonic skin and realizing a new sound. It’s rare for this to happen, but in the case of Toulouse, France natives Plebeian Grandstand, it’s taken them to a whole other level.

How they sound on Lowgazers is a deep departure from how they began, which was a sort of experimental take on Converge’s style of hardcore with some mathcore and punk elements in the mix. They’ve largely traded in their prior stylings for dissonant, bone-chilling blackness, energizing the sinking weight of their sorrow with grind and powerviolence at just the right moments.

Lowgazers is not an inviting album. Its pitch-black litanies are bound to gloom and misery, hypnotically swelling and collapsing, caustic and bleeding in front of you, with no regard for boundaries, the tenderness of ears, or accessibility. The vicious experience of listening to Lowgazers produces a sickness that could drive one mad in large doses, its maximum-meets-minimum dense duality making for a masterful multitude of trainwrecks that derail into the abyss. Continue reading »

Feb 282014

(Austin Weber returns with another collection of recommended music, this time featuring seven(!) bands.)

Some are of the opinion that the music of the present is on a perpetual downward slide, and if you’re in that group I probably can’t change your opinion because that’s what you believe and feel is true. But I feel the current musical landscape is healthy, and for metal at least, continues to be fertile ground for untapped potential, overflowing with an abundance of new genre crossover acts and developing ever more subgenres at an alarming rate.

This seems to bother purists and others who find such mergers distasteful or (and sometimes I agree) formless and often lacking in a uniquely constructed identity. In spite of that, there will always be that divide between those who intake influence and only create weaker copies of their idols, and those who create something of their own out of what influences them.

What follows below is a hodgepodge of music, equal parts instrumental, kvltdisco, deathqueef, and post-prog. That’s obviously sarcasm, but upon coming up with the joking term post-prog, I thought to check Google and see if anyone else had used it in a serious way. Sadly, Google proved that I was not alone in using the term, and led me to a Last.fm article informing the world about what its contributors deem “post-prog” . As usual, nonsense reigns supreme and reality remains a divided house ruled by individual perspective, as it’s always been. Continue reading »

Feb 202014

(Our friend Austin Weber returns with another collection of short reviews, with album and song streams.)

While 2014 doesn’t appear to have as many big league releases coming thus far, new and upcoming bands of all stripes will no doubt fill the void in quality. What follows are a smattering of different songs to hear and love or hate. Hate is more fun, but who knows maybe you will find something you enjoy?


Over the last few years, I’ve witnessed numerous metal writers describe a band as sounding like Obscura. Whether or not that’s true, the point remains that it’s hard to get more Obscura-sounding than Hannes Grossmann, because duh, he is in Obscura. The Radial Covenant is his first solo record, written entirely by him, and accompanied by a jaw-dropping assortment of metal gods and legends. The album was crowdfunded into existence and just recently released. I should not need to explain how beyond-badass the ripping technical and melodic death metal core of The Radial Covenant is, though the experimental and progressive sides to the record are just as phenomenal. This is a higher quality death metal release than most of what’s coming out right now. So go buy it now, don’t be a late adopter. Continue reading »