Sep 102016



On Thursday I mentioned that I was on the verge of leaving Seattle for a trip related to my day job. I’m still on that trip, which has taken me to a mountainous region of Utah for a “retreat” hosted by the company I work for. This happens every year, and it’s always fun. This year may be even more fun than usual, because so far I haven’t subjected myself to alcohol poisoning.

Yesterday and this morning I had time to pull together some new music and one news item. Despite the title of this post, most of the following six bands either straddle the line between black metal and death metal or might be considered all the way over on the black-metal side of the line. But the title wasn’t intended as a straight genre descriptor. There are other reasons for the title, which you’ll discover soon.


I’ve been anxiously awaiting the new album by the Finnish band Krypts, because their 2013 debut full-length, Unending Degradation, was damned good. The name of the new album is Remnants of Expansion, it’s embellished with artwork by Timo Ketola, and it’s coming out on October 28 via Dark Descent. Continue reading »

Sep 212014

I haven’t had much blog time available since last Thursday because of job-related travel and activities, so I’ve fallen behind in posting about new songs and videos that I think you might enjoy. To catch up, I’m including a giant fuckload of them in this two-part post. And in a rare display of brevity, I’m letting the music speak for itself.

I’ve also salted this post with a smattering of older music that I discovered only recently. Part 1 of this large collection can be found here. Beginning with that post and continuing through this one, the music is presented in alphabetical order by band name.


New video: “Eye of the Storm”
Album: Exit Wounds
Label: Century Media
Band location: Sweden Continue reading »

Jun 082014

Maybe sometime soon I will attempt to review a full-length album by someone, but this weekend I’ve been trying to catch up on shorter works. I have two recent split releases to recommend, with full music streams accompanying the following reviews.


This two-song split makes for an interesting juxtaposition of styles and a good introduction to two bands who deserve more notoriety.

Ruins make their home in Bielefeld, Germany, and this split is their most recent release following a 2013 album (Incidents) and a couple of other shorter recordings. Their track is named “Discrimen”. The band start ratcheting the tension immediately with a buzzing hornet swarm of guitars and the rhythmic thunder of a heavy bass line and tumbling drums. It’s a galvanizing start, and the music grows even more energized and potent as the song progresses and the vocalist’s gritty howls join the fray. Just as the slashing riffs start to really get their hooks into your head, the music veers off the road briefly before getting traction again in an intense finish.

The music fuels a blood lust, but the fist-swinging hardcore aggression is balanced by the band’s talent for interweaving rhythmic dynamism and subtly infectious melodies that have a way of hanging around your head after the song ends. Good stuff.

*** Continue reading »

Feb 112013

(In this 32nd installment of THE SYNN REPORT, Andy Synn reviews the full-length discography of a band from the depths of Tasmania — Ruins.)

Recommended for fans of: Satyricon, Goatwhore, Shining (Sweden)

I’ve had this band primed and ready to go for a while now, but I’ve been waiting for the right moment to unleash it. With the release of their fourth album Place Of No Pity at the tail-end of last year, now seems the perfect time to introduce you to the cut-throat black metal of Ruins.

The Tasmanian twosome (Alex Pope on vocals and guitars, David Haley on drums – recently upgraded to a full quartet) started weaving their black magic in 2004 with the Atom and Time EP, and have since unloaded four lethal rounds of their brutal, remorseless attack into the world.

The guitar tone is the sound of a man strangling the life out of his instrument, wringing every drop of black blood from the contorted strings, the vocals a blast-furnace bellow of pestilential misanthropy, and the drums… Well, it’s the one-man wrecking machine David Haley behind the kit, delivering an overwhelming barrage of sonic devastation and brooding, slithering groove. Continue reading »