Feb 272018


I’m beginning today’s round-up with two recent videos, which are quite different both visually and musically but which share two common features: Both were directed and produced by the same person (Eric Revill-Dews of Bigger Boat Film), and both include the voice of our own Andy Synn, in all its increasingly varied range of tones.

And then I’m following those two wonderful videos/songs with a selection of other recently discovered releases that also helped make my listening session last night a real joy.


Until watching this first video for the song “Dying Earth” I had no idea that any place in England could look as vast, as inhospitable, or as starkly beautiful as Derbyshire in the wintertime. Until reading the credits I assumed that the three grim-visaged gentlemen in Twilight’s Embrace had smuggled themselves on board a flight to Scandinavia (though of course I’ve never been there either). Apart from teaching me something new about the landscape of England, the video also proved to be a wonderful match for the music… which is itself as powerfully moving as the vision of those snow-covered reaches. Continue reading »

Apr 122014

This has been one of those weeks where my blog time was severely constricted by both personal and job-related demands. You might have guessed that, based on the complete absence of any “seen and heard” posts since Monday. I didn’t have time to do much more than quickly scan through the interhole each day looking for new song and video premieres and make lists of what I’d like to hear and see when time would permit. This morning, I finally crawled through that list, and found a shitload of new things I really liked.

Because I’m behind, and because I don’t want to fall further behind, I’m taking the wimp’s way out in this post. I’m just going to stitch together a bunch of recommended song and video streams (11 of them) with almost no commentary. It’s a stream dump, and I will bet money you’ll find something to like, almost regardless of your tastes. It’s spring, and metal is in bloom.

Salted within this list are a couple of news items that perked my interest, even though there’s nothing available to hear… yet.

I present this box of chocolates in alphabetical order. There will be another similar collection either later today or tomorrow. Tell me what you like. Leave comments! Continue reading »

Jan 272014

(Here’s another installment of Andy Synn’s irregular series devoted to his favorite things that come in fives. Seems like a good occasion to sound off on what you’re looking forward to as well, so please leave Comments.)

Now this is an easy one… and a hard one… to write.

Easy… because there are SO many awesome albums coming out this year to choose from.

Hard… because there are TOO many awesome albums coming out this year to choose from!

Still, here’s a selection of five to whet your appetite. (Note – some nepotism involved) Continue reading »

Aug 052013

Here’s my almost daily collection of news and new music that I’d like to recommend for your edification and enjoyment.


The first item involves Blood and Thunder, a Seattle-area band who I’ve written about repeatedly, going all the way back to the first time I saw them perform live back in April 2010. They’re about to embark on their first Northwest regional tour. The sharp-eyed among you will see our name on the tour flyer at the top of this post, and yes indeed, we’re proud to help sponsor this adventure.

That’s not something we do very often, but I wanted to help spread the word in this instance not only because I like B&T’s music a lot, but also because I’ve gotten to know some of the guys in the band, and I’ve seen firsthand how hard (and how persistently) they’ve worked to get to this point. It has been a totally DIY effort, and it hasn’t been easy. But they now have quite a long and impressive list of national and international bands for whom they’ve opened in Seattle, in addition to their own headlining appearances, and it’s time for them to take their show on the road.  Continue reading »

Apr 172012

Twilight’s Embrace are based in Nottingham, England, and on April 6 they released their second EP, titled Traces. Although the EP only includes three songs, the total run-time is more than 20 minutes, and as the band themselves correctly state, it covers a lot of ground.

In its style, the music reminds me of Finland’s Before the Dawn. I get a little shame-faced when I compare one band to another, like I’m undermining the first band’s individuality or implying that the music doesn’t have the spark of something original. But that’s not my intention. I just know you’re asking yourselves right now, should I bother finishing this review or let my itchy fingers fly across the keys and take me someplace else? So, I’m giving you a shorthand idea about what the music is like, so you can hang in, or twitch yourselves away.

Traces had an impact on me. Last week, I was feeling pretty low, so low that I didn’t even want to listen to music, which tells you how low I felt. This EP was recommended to me, and I thought I’d listen to just one song out of curiosity, before returning to the dark place in my head where I was wallowing. The one song led to the next one, and the next, and over two days this EP was all I listened to, off and on. It both suited my dark mood and also made me feel better. Continue reading »