Apr 112021
 

 

To the extent writing about music matters at all as a form of guidance, it clearly matters more in the case of complete albums or EPs than single tracks. Particularly when a writer is as verbose as I am, it doesn’t take much more time to just listen to a song than to read some goofball’s frothy impressions of it. But it obviously takes a much bigger investment of time for a listener to absorb an album or EP, and so getting some kind of overview can be useful, at least if you trust who’s providing it.

Therefore, the fact that I’m not providing a completely comprehensive overview of the six records collected here (all of them released between late March and last week) is a miserable failure. Much as I hate to be so brief, I’ve still attempted to at least give you a flavor of what each album brings. Given my time constraints, the alternative might be to say nothing about them at all, which I guess might be even worse.

FROSTNATT (Russia)

Frostnatt‘s debut album Det kommer til å bli kaldt, which follows a run of EPs that began in 2019, is a largely instrumental work (with a scattering of vocal samples and a few harsh expulsions) that’s both rugged and scintillating, combining primitive, earthquaking percussive rhythms and brilliantly vibrant ringing melodies of varying moods that stick in the head like hot spikes, plus a well-placed and sublime piano piece. And thus it generates an unusual shamanistic spell, delivering primal, visceral punch as well as ancient and mystical atmosphere, enhanced by moments of poignant beauty and piercing heartache. My favorite track: “Til sydpolplatået“. Continue reading »

Aug 032018
 

 

Stellar Descent’s first three albums ranged in length from 48 minutes to two hours. Each of them was a single track. So is their fourth album, The Future Is Dark, a single track of 46 minutes, the very definition of “long-form black metal”. For some who haven’t encountered this duo’s music before, that might be an imposing barrier to entry. I’ll try to explain why the time shouldn’t be considered a barrier at, but a key factor in the album’s considerable appeal.

The reasons why all those uninterrupted minutes should be welcomed, at least by those with a certain turn of mind, are necessarily explanations that can’t be validated by a mere five-and-a-half minute excerpt, but that’s what we have for you now. It’s at least a strong opening statement, if not nearly the whole case. Continue reading »

Jan 192017
 

 

Tomorrow the West Cost atmospheric black metal bands Stellar Descent and Aylwin will release an immersive new split under the title Second Sequence, marking the bands’ second collaboration following their 2013 split, Farallon. We have the first public stream of the split today, preceded by some thoughts about the music. The split will be released digitally at these locations — with all proceeds going to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting in the U.S., which funds both NPR and PBS:

http://stellardescent.bandcamp.com
http://aylwin.bandcamp.com

And there will be a tape release from Red River Family and a CD edition through Arcane Angels.
Continue reading »

Oct 142015
 

AGOSTINO ARRIVABENE-vanitas neutoniana
Agostino Arrivabene: “Vanitas Neutoniana”

(In this unusual edition of The Synn Report, Andy Synn brings us reviews of albums by three one-man bands.)

This particular edition of The Synn Report is going to be a bit of a strange one, as it actually contains three different bands instead of the usual, singular focus on a single artist.

Why, you may ask? Well to be honest I wanted to write about all three of them separately but, for whatever reason, was struggling to find the right angle of attack by which to approach them as separate entities.

Thus it was only when I realized the obvious fact that they each had one thing in particular in common –that each “band” is really the solo project of a single individual – that I found the necessary ideological crowbar that allowed me to finally crack this column.

So please, after the jump, enjoy the immersive instrumental cosmology of Widek, the experimental Cascadian naturalism of Stellar Descent, and the prolific sonic nihilism of Voidcraeft. Continue reading »