Sep 282020


I finished my hike through a grand forest yesterday, more than three miles. My wife and her friend didn’t even have to drag me to the finish, though the fact that we had an hour break for lunch is the only reason I made it. I slept like a dead man last night and, to use an old idiom, was all “stove up” (google it) when I staggered out of bed this morning.

Confronting a massive list of new songs that could have been fodder for this post, I decided to make it easy on myself and just use a quartet that Andy Synn recommended to me late last week. This was a bit of a shot in the dark, since I hadn’t yet listened to any of them, but not completely in the dark since Andy has decent taste. On the other hand he’s not completely disinterested, because he performs with one of these bands. But that’s where I come in, to bring some objectivity to bear (through the waves of muscle and joint pain).


Wonderful cover art on this one, credited to the band’s sole instrumental performer on this release, Viktor Jonas, based on the original artwork “Grappling for the Lost Cable” (ca. 1866) by Robert Charles Dudley. It’s for a single called The Shipbreaker’s Song, with a B-side track named “The Sunken Place“. And yes, our own Andy Synn wrote the lyrics and performed the vocals on these two songs. Continue reading »

Jul 072017


(Andy Synn brings us a new installment in a series that focuses on recommended new releases from the U.K.)

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – the UK Metal scene is in rude health right now.

Across the board, across a multitude of styles and sub-genres, my British brethren are kicking ass arse and taking names and working hard to remind the world that we have more to offer than just trend-chasing Pop-Metal groups and second (or third) hand copycats of American bands.

That’s not to say that things are perfect of course. There’s still a tendency in some areas to celebrate comforting mediocrity over anything with a more distinctive/challenging/interesting sound, and the occasional dominance of certain cliques still, in my opinion at least, has a slightly deleterious effect on our ability to make a serious impact outside of our own borders.

But, for whatever reason, sifting through the more generic and middle-of-the-road acts to find the ones worth my time seems to come more easily to me these days.

Maybe I’ve just become more discerning/cynical. Or maybe it’s just a sign of the cream rising to the top. Continue reading »