May 122021
 

 

(Despite the somewhat incestuous relationship between Andy Synn and the Dutch “Svpreme Avant Garde Death Metal” band The Monolith Deathcult, he has taken it upon himself to review their new album, which is set for detonation release on May 14th.)

As anyone around here will tell you, The Monolith Deathcult and I have a fairly long and sordid history together.

Not only have I written about pretty much everything they’ve ever done (especially if you take into account the edition of The Synn Report I did on them just over a decade(!) ago), but I’ve also helped them with their promotional materials, and even been on tour with them a couple of times.

All of this, of course, makes me both the best and the worst person to be writing about the band’s new album, as while I’ve definitely got the right background and the insider info, mainline straight from the source, to really dig into the nitty gritty of the record, I’m sure there’s also a fair few people who are (understandably) going to be questioning my ability to be fair and impartial right now.

But, ultimately, there really was no-one else here at NCS who could write this review (and not just because everyone else was too busy).

After all, we all know that the only way for any band – even one as utterly shameless and reliably critic-proof as The Monolith Deathcult – to be truly judged (and, hopefully, convicted) is by a jury of their peers… which is why I swear to you that what you’re about to read is nothing but the truth, the whole goddamn truth, so help me (please help me) god… Continue reading »

Apr 142021
 

 

I found time last night to rumble through a lot of new or newly discovered music, and enough time today to stitch together a two-part round-up. There’s not much rhyme or reason as to why I put these first four in Part 1, because the music is kind of all over the map. It would have been even more hard-to-classify if I’d included Mick Jagger‘s new jam with Dave Grohl, which I do like despite the silliness of the lyrics.

THE MONOLITH DEATHCULT (Netherlands)

Having finally listened to “Gone Sour, Doomed” and watched the video that accompanied it when it debuted in February, I’m even more befuddled about why it took me so long to do that. I can’t pretend to hold all the songs of The Monolith Deathcult in my head, despite how memorable many of them are, but I will still say that this new one is among the most exhilarating they’ve ever concocted. And the video is HIGHLY entertaining, and proof that the band’s renowned sense of humor is still alive and well. Continue reading »

May 162020
 

 

I hope your weekend is treating you well. Because I didn’t over-do things during my usual Friday night virtual happy hours, I was able to spend some time catching up with new songs and videos this morning, and I picked these to share with you. It’s an eclectic mix, even by the standards that I usually apply to these round-ups in an effort to ensure variety (and to keep our visitors off-balance). Lots of videos in this particular collection, too.

TRIPTYKON (Switzerland)

To lead off, here’s a video of a live performance by Triptykon of “Rex Irae” from Celtic Frost’s Into the Pandemonium. The song is the first movement in the “Requiem” trilogy, which also includes “Grave” (performed for the first time at the same concert where this video was filmed) and “Winter” (which first appeared on Monotheist).

The performance of all three movements of “Requiem” took place at Roadburn 2019, and Triptykon was accompanied by the Metropole Orkest, by Hannes Grossmann on drums, and by vocalist Safa Heraghi. The orchestration was composed by Alkaloid and Dark Fortress frontman Florian “Morean” Maier, working with Tom G. Warrior. Continue reading »

May 042019
 

 

I did listen to these songs on a Saturday, but it wasn’t this Saturday. It was a week ago while I was in Houston, but for reasons I explained last weekend I didn’t have either the time or a clear enough head to write anything. And then, as forecast, my day job prevented me from doing anything more than write premieres last week.

So here we are, 10 days since the last round-up of new music I posted. Do I try to catch up with all the new stuff that’s come out over the last week, or just go with what I would have done last weekend if I’d had the time? I decided on the latter plan, because it will probably take me the rest of the day just to figure out what I missed. Maybe some of what’s below will be new to you anyway.

ARES KINGDOM

There are some old favorites among the bands I chose for this round-up, beginning with the veteran Kansas City collective, Ares KingdomChuck Keller (guitar), Mike Miller (drums), and Alex Blume (bass, vocals). Their fourth album, By the Light of Their Destruction, will be released on May 15th (CD and vinyl) by Nuclear War Now! Productions, and the song below is a track named “Eighteen Degrees Beneath“. Continue reading »

Apr 252019
 

 

This review is very late. The fault is mainly mine, though I do think the band share a certain amount of the blame. My first trip through their latest album damaged certain vital cognitive faculties (the ones that tell me who I am, where I live, and what day it is), and the injury became more severe as a result of subsequent trips. A memorial service for the fallen brain cells resulted in further delay, even though I was the only person who bothered to attend and the deceased had already been cremated (by the music).

Still, I should have done better, even under disabling circumstances, especially because V2 – Vergelding: Dawn of the Planet of the Ashes has been out since November 15, 2018, when there were still turkeys awaiting slaughter for Thanksgiving (I wonder how many farmers used a stream of V2 to exterminate them?), and I had even received a handsomely packaged (but not autographed) physical edition of the album. Amends must be made, and now they have been (I hope). Continue reading »

Nov 032018
 

 

I thought I’d round up a quintet of videos that surfaced over the last couple of days, in the hope of making your Saturday a bit more entertaining. I’m going to (mostly) dispense with the usual commentary this time and leave you to go exploring on your own. Of course, that doesn’t mean we don’t want your commentary — so please do leave us some!

OPETH

The first one is a live recording of Opeth performing the glorious “Ghost of Perdition” on May 11, 2017. It comes from the band’s new live album, Garden of the Titans: Live at Red Rocks Amphitheatre, which was released on November 2nd by Moderbolaget Records and Nuclear Blast on DVD, Blu-Ray, and vinyl formats. Continue reading »

Sep 172018
 

 

With a bit of spare time left to me this morning before having to turn to more mundane tasks, I picked the following four new songs from three forthcoming albums to share with you. All of them are dramatic, all have a kind of larger-than-life scale of intensity, and the first two come with lyric videos that are based on history, and slaughter. From a larger group of new tracks I heard this morning, they stuck together in my head, and so I’m sticking them together here. Because I’m hurrying, I’ll keep the words brief.

THE MONOLITH DEATHCULT

These long-running Dutch favorites of our site have a new album entitled V2 – Vergelding (“Retaliation”) scheduled for release on November 30th. It’s described as the follow-up to the band’s 2017 album Versvs and the second instalment of the V-Trilogy, dealing “with the aftermath of the events that formed the theme of the first part”. It also includes two live performances from Graspop Metal Meeting 2017. Continue reading »

Jan 312018
 

 

We have come at last to the final day of this list, which I began rolling out on January 11th, and which I pledged to myself I would finish before February. Like yesterday, there will be two large installments today.

In this one the songs have certain stylistic connections, as I hear them (at least until you reach the final track) — which probably means nothing more than me thinking they make an interesting and powerful playlist.

GODFLESH

It seems that every year, at least in recent memory, brings reunions and revivals. The latest Godflesh album, Post Self, wasn’t exactly a reunion or a revival — A World Lit Only By Fire did come out only three years earlier — but it still seemed like a revival, or at least a resurgence, a vivid rekindling of memories without sounding like a cash grab. Continue reading »

Sep 022017
 

 

(Andy Synn is now lobbying the Oxford English Dictionary for recognition of a new word.)

In case you didn’t know, yesterday saw release of the brand new album by Symphonic Death Metal titans Septic Flesh (yes, I’m still spelling it as two words).

Now while I’m not planning on reviewing it here (that honour will, in all likelihood, fall to DGR), I will say that Codex Omega feels like a big step up from The Great Mass and Titan, the latter of which in particular suffered (in this author’s opinion at least) from a noticeable lack of balance between the “Symphonic” and the “Death Metal” aspects of the band’s sound, with the lion’s share of the effort put into the orchestration, while the drums and riffs (or lack thereof) were treated very much as an afterthought.

And as Codex Omega is such a big improvement on its predecessors in this regard, I felt it might be high time we all got together to discuss the costs/benefits inherent in “symphonisizing” (a word I’ve just invented) your sound. Continue reading »

May 052017
 

 

(Andy Synn reviews the new album by The Monolith Deathcult, and we also present the premiere of a song from the album after the review. We apologize in advance to all our readers.)

Dedicated readers of the site will no doubt be aware of my long-running relationship with The Monolith Deathcult, dating all the way back to 2011 and encompassing, in the intervening years, numerous reviews, interviews, and tour dates (the most recent only a few weeks ago).

Heck, I even ended up helping the band rewrite the press release for this record simply because I didn’t think the original materials were up to scratch!

As a result you might be wondering whether this review is going to be full of bias, favouritism, and partisan hyperbole, to which I’d answer… of course it is.

In fact you’re probably better off thinking of this as a paid advertisement on behalf of Deathcult Inc.

Except I’m not getting paid…

And I’m actually going to be a bit critical in places… Continue reading »