Oct 062023

Recommended for fans of: Alcest, Oathbreaker, So Hideous

First off, I have to apologise for the lateness of this particular edition of The Synn Report – I simply didn’t have time to write very much while I was overseas last week.

However, considering that Svalbard are releasing their fourth – and arguably finest – album today, it seemed like an opportune time to take a deep-dive into their discography (and, potentially, reassess some of the words I’ve written about them previously).

There’s no question that the Bristol-born quarter have proved somewhat divisive at times – their punky fusion of Post-Metal, Post-Hardcore, and Post-Black often causing consternation amongst the “purists”, while their poignant, painfully honest lyrics have sometimes been accused of being a little too on the nose – but the raw energy, and equally raw emotion, underpinning everything they do is something that simply cannot be denied.

So if you’re a looking for a band who wear their collective heart on their sleeve, but also don’t pull their punches – musically or lyrically – then Svalbard should be just what you’ve been searching for.

Continue reading »

Sep 232020



(Here’s another edition of Andy Synn‘s continuing series focused on the review of records recently released by bands from his native land.)

Isn’t it great when things just kind of… line up on their own?

Case in point, just last week I was thinking that it was about time to put together another edition of “The Best of British”, especially with new albums from both Scordatura and Svalbard on the horizon.

But, here’s the rub, I didn’t have a third band lined up to round out the article. That is until a passing comment clued me into the fact that Scottish Post-Sludge trio Bosphorus were also set to release their long-gestating debut album this Friday, making for a killer triumvirate of new records all scheduled to come out on the same day.

Like I said at the start – isn’t it great when stuff just falls into place? Continue reading »

Jul 092020


Despite my new-found strategy of limiting the volume of these round-ups in order to do more of them each week, I found enough time to include new music from five bands in this one. The new stuff I picked for today’s collection based on an early-morning listening session begins with two excellent Jakub Moth videos for a couple of dramatically impassioned songs, and the mood stays serious and intense for the two tracks after that. And then I decided to wrap things up with some good old death metal via Antwerp that’s just plain evil fun.


The first song I picked is a track off the debut album of the wilderness-worshiping Oregonian duo Aleynmord. The album’s name is The Blinding Light, and it’s packaged with cover art by Jef Whitehead. As noted above, Chariot of the Black Moth created the beautifully haunting video for the track. Continue reading »

Feb 012019


The two songs I’ve added to this list today consist of one that I discovered very late in the year after neglecting the album for many months, and another that’s been stuck in my head since we premiered it in October.

As usual, I’ll be taking a break from the rollout of this list this weekend while I continue trying  to figure out what will come next. Decisions, decisions, and they’re not getting much easier even though 19 installments are now behind me.


I confess that I didn’t pay close attention to this UK band’s latest album until near the end of the year. Even after reading Andy Synn‘s review of It’s Hard To Have Hope last April, which spoke of the album’s  “unbridled passion and unwavering integrity” and insisted that “Svalbard deserve all the support and attention they can muster going forwards”, I didn’t listen. I meant to, but it must have been one of those especially harried weeks around the NCS compound, and as time passed, so too the album passed me by. Continue reading »

Jan 042019

(At last, we reach the fifth and final installment of DGR’s 5-part year-end effort to sink our site beneath an avalanche of words and a deluge of music. It includes his Top 10 albums, plus a list of EPs, and one final non-metal entry.)

Here we go into the final installment. One last grouping of albums and one last collection of thudding riffs, heavy guitars, and enough drumwork to leave one’s head spinning by the time it wraps up.

This final ten is all over the place, in terms of both genre and location. My lists tend to be pretty international always, but the consistent bouncing back and forth that is happening in this part has proven to be entertaining in its own right.

This group also reveals just how much of 2018 turned out to be the year of cathartic release for me. Alongside all the genre-bending, all the experimentation, and all of the well-executed groove, I found that every once in a while this year a disc would hit that would just boil down to a half-hour-plus of yelling, and I would relish every single second of it. I’m sure we could credit that to the wider situation of the world these days but I’ve also always been a sucker for turning music into an instrument of release, and for some reason that approach won me over hard this year.

So let’s begin with the final ten, and then a grouping of EPs I enjoyed this year, my final non-metal (ish) release recommendation, and a small (ish) closing paragraph… because why would I ever stop typing after just finishing the final ten?

That’s for crazy people. Continue reading »

Apr 252018


(Andy Synn continues his occasional series in which he devotes attention to new releases by UK bands, here presenting a trio of reviews and music streams.)

Despite the fact that these days I exist more on the periphery of what one might loosely describe as “the scene” here in the UK, I’m still very much on a mission to talk/write about some of its best and brightest stars, and hopefully expose them to a whole new audience in the process.

And while each of the following bands has been featured here at NCS before (some more than others), this isn’t so much a case of favouritism as it is an acknowledgement that all three continue to make extremely compelling, attention-grabbing music, and their latest albums are no exception. Continue reading »

Nov 102017

Employed To Serve


(Andy Synn prepared this review of the performances by Employed To Serve and Svalbard in Nottingham, England, on November 9, 2017.)

I’m not sure whether it’s due to my increasing age, or the regular quantities of alcohol which I consume, but for some reason I was certain – 110% certain – that we’d already covered Employed to Serve and their flabbergastingly good second album, The Warmth of a Dying Sun, here at NCS earlier this year.

So you can imagine my surprise when, as I was gearing up for this show, I discovered that we haven’t written a single word about the band all year!

For shame.

Still, at least I have a chance now to redress the balance somewhat. Continue reading »