Dec 052012

(NCS writer Andy Synn pauses after the 30th installment of THE SYNN REPORT to take a look back at the first two years of the series.)

Ok, so we’ve now had 30 ‘official’ entries in The Synn Report. I hope that a good number of you have discovered new bands and gone out and shown your support for them, buying music, merch, gig tickets, etc.

I thought, since the year (and the world!!!) is coming to an end, it might be a good time to provide a quick one-stop summation of all the previous entries, for those of you who maybe missed a couple, or for new devotees of the site who have yet to encounter the earlier editions and the bands contained therein.

Did you know that the genesis for The Synn Report was not entirely down to me? There’s a post that I consider ‘The Synn Report: Year Zero” which was written by Islander himself, in response to my recommendation of a particular band. That post is included here, as I think it’s an important foundation stone in the genesis of The Synn Report, and because I think the band in question are utterly phenomenal.

So there we go, after the jump there’s a tiny entry on each band from each edition of The Synn Report, with a short genre description and a re-iteration of the “Recommended for fans of:” section. Which ones did you miss? Which ones should you give another shot to? Click each one to be linked to the appropriate article, where you’ll find the full write-ups and sample songs from each release! Continue reading »

Feb 022011

(Our UK contributor Andy Synn returns with another edition of The Synn Report.)

Ah “Deathcore”. In today’s current climate the word carries so many mixed connotations that it’s less of a genre-descriptive term and more of a full-on assault on a band’s right to exist. What’s worse is that, wrongly or rightly applied, the term has become synonymous with the WORST proponents of the style, rather than the BEST.

Young British tykes Trigger The Bloodshed were tarnished with the stain of ‘core from their earliest album. Granted, THAT name, their age, precociousness, and the timing of their first release didn’t help them much, but it’s still worth noting that although their first album did flirt with many of the elements so currently associated with the “deathcore” genre, the band always seemed less interested in being associated with a particular scene or style than they were in simply creating good, heavy music, placing a much greater emphasis on the “death” over the “core”.

All this, however, is not to say that associating purely with Big Daddy Death Metaltm doesn’t create some similar issues (the two genres being genetically intertwined after all). Both genre and sub-genre often suffer from an “overabundance of brutality” – a directionless focus on a perceived holy grail of heaviness, at the expense of actually saying anything lasting with the music. (more after the jump, including recommended songs from the TTB discography . . .) Continue reading »

May 012010

We’re now a full four months into 2010, and it’s time for our fourth update to the list of forthcoming new albums we posted on January 1. (See the original list here, the first update here, the second update here, and the third update here.) Below is a list of still more projected new releases that we didn’t know about on January 1 or at the time of our last three updates (or that we’ve found updated information about) — and the new sickness is still spreading in epidemic proportions.

Once again, we’ve cobbled together news blurbs about bands whose past work we’ve liked, or who look interesting for other reasons. Needless to say (but we’ll say it anyway), these are bands that mostly fit the profile of music we cover on this site.

So, in alphabetical order, here’s our list of cut-and-pasted blurbs from various sources since our last update about forthcoming new releases. Look for the bands you like and put reminders on your calendar. Or if you’re old school like us, just get em tattooed someplace you can see without a mirror (because reading stuff backwards is hard).

ABIGAIL WILLIAMS: “Abigail Williams have completed recording of individual performances for their still untitled second full-length. Captured at Conquistador Studios in Cleveland, Ohio, eight new songs were laid down with vocalist/guitarist Ken Sorceron and engineer Cole Martinez controlling the audio takes. The songs are currently being mixed by Peter Tagtgren (Dimmu Borgir, Immortal, Celtic Frost) and are expected to be completed later this month.”

ABYSMAL DAWN: “Los Angeles-based metallers ABYSMAL DAWN will enter Trench Studio in Corona, California in May with producer John Haddad (PHOBIA, INTRONAUT, HIRAX) to begin recording their new album for a tentative fall release via Relapse Records. The follow-up to Programmed To Consume will be mixed by Erik Rutan (HATE ETERNAL, VITAL REMAINS, CANNIBAL CORPSE) at his Mana Recording Studios in St. Petersburg, Florida.”  (the list continues after the jump .  .) Continue reading »

Apr 302010

Today we’re continuing the experiment we began two days ago, to test our hypothesis that at least in the world of extreme metal, cool album cover art usually means there’s something worth hearing in the music. Yeah, we know it’s a ridiculous, illogical hypothesis, but at least in our random experience we think there’s some truth to it. Besides, it’s proven to be an interesting vehicle for checking out some new music.

The test methodology we used is this: We looked at news blurbs on Blabbermouth over a recent 48-hour period about new or forthcoming albums, and every time we saw a cool album cover, we visited the band’s MySpace site and listened to what was available from the album.

In Part 1 of this experiment, we reported on our first two test samples — a forthcoming album from Keep of Kalessin and a recently released album from Trident. So far, our samples confirm the hypothesis. Today, we’re reporting on the results of three more samples, courtesy of Setherial, Trigger the Bloodshed, and Witchery.

The first sample is an album called Ekpyrosis scheduled for release in May on Regain Records by that Swedish band, Setherial. The cover art, by an artist named Bartosz Nalezinski, is pictured at the top of this post. We thought it was kinda cool — a ghoulish metamorphosis of some traditional Christian iconography. But is the music cool?  We have our own opinion … after the jump. (plus the other test results)

Continue reading »

Feb 022010

No, we’re not talking about the swine flu, or the avian flu, or the next animal virus that decides humans would be a nice host environment upgrade. We’re talking about new metal that has the potential to be sick.

On the first day of the New Year, we posted a round-up of new extreme metal albums forecast for release 2010, along with our list of the 21 we most wanted to hear.

One month has now passed, and we’ve discovered some forthcoming releases we didn’t know about on January 1. Seems like a good time for an update! So, we’ve cobbled together news blurbs about forthcoming albums from bands whose past work we’ve liked, or who look interesting for other reasons. Needless to say (but we’ll say it anyway), these are bands that fit the profile of music we cover on this site (with a couple of Exceptions to the Rule).

So, in alphabetical order, here’s our list of cut-and-pasted blurbs from various sources over the last 31 days about forthcoming releases we missed in our January 1 list:

AGALLOCH: “So what can we expect from the band’s long-awaited follow-up to Ashes Against the Grain? According to an interview songwriter John Haughm gave to German TV last May, ‘expect the unexpected.’ Haughm says that the next release will be ‘completely different’ from its predecessors — ‘a bit darker,’ closer to black metal, but with the same kind of dynamics that Agalloch is known for.  As for when we can expect the new album, Haughm said that he hoped it would be out by May 2010.”

APOCALYPTICA:  “Finnish rock cello quartet APOCALYPTICA has entered Sonic Pump studios in Helsinki to begin recording its new album for a spring/summer release.” [This is one of those Exceptions to the Rule.]

APOSTASY: “Four new songs from the Swedish black metal act APOSTASY are available for streaming on the band’s MySpace page. The tracks will appear on the group’s forthcoming third full-length album, Nuclear Messiah, which will be released later in the year.”  (more after the jump . . .) Continue reading »