Mar 012019
 


The Agony Scene

 

As I explained in the preceding installment of this list, posted earlier today, I wimped out in deciding which songs to pick here at the bittersweet end by letting Andy Synn make the final choices. For that preceding installment he picked songs from three of the albums he featured in his “Best of British” series of reviews last year. The three you’ll find in this final Part of the list for 2018 are more “general purpose extreme and nasty songs”.

For those of you who’ve been following this seemingly endless (but now ended) list, we appreciate your support and your patience. On Monday I’ll post a wrap-up that includes the complete list and links to all the installments, and to a Spotify playlist created by one of our readers that also includes all of them. Continue reading »

Dec 142018
 

 

(Andy Synn concludes his week-long round-up of metal in 2018 with this list of his ten personal favorites among the year’s great and good albums.)

So, after all the stress and struggle involved in putting together all my various lists which preceded this one, now it’s time to relax and turn my attention to those albums, whether “Great” or “Good”, that make up my personal favourites of 2018.

Once again I decided that I wouldn’t include any “Honourable Mentions” this year, as to do so would essentially mean reproducing a good 60-70% of my previous lists (although, that being said… do try and give Agrypnie, Disassembled, Hundred Year Old Man, The Agony Scene and Void Ritual a listen if you get chance) and instead decided to focus solely on the ten albums which I’ve listened to the most and/or which have made the biggest impact on me this year.

Funnily enough, while the actual process of working out which ten records best represented my listening habits over the last twelve months was as complicated as ever, the write-up was much easier than I expected it to be, as it just so happens that I was responsible for reviewing almost all of them! Continue reading »

Mar 022018
 

 

(In this edition of THE SYNN REPORT, Andy Synn reviews all the albums released by Rites of Thy Degringolade, including their newest record slated for release on March 15th, as well as the band’s part of their 2004 split with Portal.)

 

Recommended for fans of: Immolation, Incantation, Deathspell Omega

 

One of the Extreme scene’s most undeservedly underappreciated acts, Canadian three-piece Rites of Thy Degringolade are one of the few bands who I can honestly say have the potential to appeal just as much to fans of hideously under-produced “War Metal” as they do to those who like their Black/Death Metal just that little bit more bold, bombastic, and… let’s be honest here… actually listenable.

The reason for this is the group’s surprisingly careful balancing – whether calculated or instinctive… and most likely a little of both – of filth and fury, chaos and confusion, with a plethora of savage (though rarely straightforward) hooks and cunningly crafted riffs which demand to be heard not just once, but multiple times, over multiple sessions.

A word of warning, however – this is some seriously nasty stuff, and once it gets embedded in your brain nothing less than a full frontal lobotomy is going to get it out again. Continue reading »

Feb 072018
 

 

Above the Highest“, the track we’re premiering today from the new album by Rites of Thy Degringolade, is a strange kind of looming obsidian monolith, twisted and cracked yet glowing with the shimmer of a perilous and otherworldly light. It is a jarring and jolting experience on many levels, and yet for all that it has an undeniable charisma. How can something so unearthly and disorienting be so addictive? You shall see….

Of course, anyone familiar with the previous creations of this Canadian band will not be surprised to read that last paragraph. Over a 20-year span, Paulus Kressman and his eventual ally J. Wroth have been responsible for a collection of striking, and strikingly distinctive, works. Now, after a hiatus of more than a decade, they are returning with their first new full-length since 2005’s An Ode To Sin, and are joined on the record by new members — guitarist N.K.L.H. (Antediluvian, Weapon, Amphisbaena) and bassist C.W.

The name of the new album is The Blade Philosophical. It is being released on CD today by Nuclear War Now! Productions, with digital and vinyl editions coming in March. Continue reading »

Jan 102018
 

 

There’s a megaton of explosive stuff in this mid-week round-up of recommended new sounds, so I’ll dispense with an introduction and just move right to the music.

GATECREEPER AND IRON REAGAN

Gatecreeper’s debut album Sonoran Depravaton was so damned good, a true highlight of 2016 and the source of a song (“Craving Flesh”) that I put on our list of that year’s Most Infectious Extreme Metal Songs. Their EP from last November, Sweltering Madness, was also damned good, a meshing together of dismal, stomping brutality and maniacal, earth-shaking obliteration. And so when I saw that Gatecreeper had released a new song yesterday I nearly soiled myself in my haste to listen to it. Continue reading »