Nov 302018


(In this November edition of The Synn Report, Andy combines reviews of the four albums released to date by UK devastators Spearhead, including their new album Pacifism Is Cowardice, released one week ago by Invictus Productions.)

Recommended for fans of: Vader, Witchery, Goatwhore

Pulling no punches and taking no prisoners, Spearhead have been weaponising their particular brand of Blackened Death-Thrash for almost fifteen years now, and have produced four utterly ferocious albums during that time, the most recent of which – Pacifism Is Cowardice – came out just one week ago, following a seven-year gap between records.

And while the quartet – now made up of founding bassist/vocalist Barghest, long-time guitarist Invictus, and new members Typhon (drums) and Praetorian (guitars) – clearly have a deep, abiding affection for the classic, old school style(s) of Extreme Metal, you’ll soon see/hear that their latest record in particular aims for more of an ageless, enduring sound than some sort of uninspired throwback.

So gird your loins, brothers and sisters, and follow me once more into the breach! Continue reading »

Oct 242018


Pacifismi est Ignavia! So proclaims the title of Spearhead’s savage new album, Pacifism Is Cowardice, their first since 2011’s Theomachia and their fourth since 2005. The title is almost redundant; the music is unmistakably militant, undeniably vicious, relentlessly enraged and unforgiving.

The first track from the album which debuted last month, “Of Sun and Steel“, was a great reminder of how rabid, electrifying, and addictive this UK band’s black/death war-charges can be. They show no mercy on the song we’re bringing you today either — “Wolves of The Krypteia, We“. Continue reading »

Sep 092018


The music I’ve picked for this week’s column is among the shades of black that shade into death metal, or vice-verse, depending on the stylistic ingredients that you think are more dominant. But while “blackened death metal” might be a suitable description for some of this music, that label doesn’t fit all of it, at least as I think most listeners interpret the term.

All but one of the bands in this collection are old favorites of mine who are returning with new music, sometimes after extended absences; one is a new discovery. I’ll add that this weekend has been a busy one for me (busy with non-NCS activities), so I’m hurrying to get this done before I have to turn again to other stuff. Which means I’m having to cut short my usual rhetorical embellishments, and mainly let the music sell itself.


After two powerful previous releases, the MMXIII demo in 2013 and the stellar 2015 EP Below the Hengiform (which we had the privilege of premiering), the Irish black/death band Malthusian will at last release a full-length this year. Across Deaths is set for release on September 28th by Dark Descent Records and Invictus Productions Continue reading »

Nov 172013

I own a standard fuckton of band shirt (not a metric fuckton, because who can understand metrics?). Last night I grabbed a shirt out of one of many mountainous piles before running off to a birthday extravaganza for a friend. The image above is what’s on the front of the shirt. I had no idea which band it was, I just thought it looked cool. Rough guess, I don’t know the names of the bands for 25% of the shirts I have. I knew when I bought them, but the logos for so many are unreadable that as time passes I just go blank.

I spent the night partying with a couple dozen people, not one of whom was a metal head. At one point my shirt became the subject of a guessing game. There are words on the back. They say this:

The heavy burden of the earth thou justly cast to desolation, Kshatriya thou master of the ascesis of power. — Kshatriya 11.18-19.

These words meant nothing to anyone, including me (because I had forgotten their meaning). And then someone had a Eureka! moment and guessed the logo . . . Spearhead! Continue reading »

Jun 122011

Well, this is embarrassing. My last MISCELLANY post was on April 28. I’ve let far too much time pass between these installments this year. I have no excuse, other than the undeniable fact that I’m easily distracted and have trouble following any kind of schedule. I’ve made a resolution that I’m going to pick up the pace and do these posts more often. Unless I get distracted.

Given how much time has passed since the last one, maybe it’s worth reminding you what MISCELLANY is about. We keep a running NCS list of bands whose music we haven’t heard before but who look interesting for one reason or another. We create this list based on messages from bands, recommendations from readers, and our own sporadic web browsing. This list is now longer than the Great Wall of China.

At unpredictable times, I randomly pick a few bands off the list and listen to a song or two from each one, not knowing for sure whether the music will be appealing. And then, I write about what I heard and put the songs in the post so you can form your own opinions.

For today’s MISCELLANY session, I picked three bands: Spearhead (UK), Dead Trooper (Norway), and Super Happy Story Time Land (U.S.). In a nutshell, the music speared me in the head, left me for dead, and made me super happy. (more after the jump . . .) Continue reading »