Jan 232020


Yesterday’s Part of this list was pretty blackened. Today I decided to become enshrouded by death (metal). The first band is now up to their third album, but the other two made their debut releases last year (though one of those has a veteran line-up whose members are attached to a much more well-known band, who themselves released a new album in 2019 that may also make an appearance before I finish this list).


As in the case of yesterday’s list, I’m beginning with a band whose discography was the subject of a SYNN REPORT last fall (here). That band is the UK group Vacivus, whose work Andy recommended to fans of Incantation, Teitanblood, and Sulphur Aeon. But he mentioned some other names as reference points as well. He wrote: Continue reading »

Oct 302019


(In this October edition of THE SYNN REPORT Andy Synn compiles reviews of all the releases by the UK death metal band Vacivus, including Annihilism, an album just released by Profound Lore.)

Recommended for fans of: Incantation, Teitanblood, Sulphur Aeon

Despite my current status as an all-seeing, all-knowing, font of metallic wisdom (…cough…) I still find it difficult to say which bands are going to get “big”, and why some of those bands do when others don’t.

Take UK death-dealers Vacivus, for example. Despite receiving a wealth of critical praise for their work over the last few years, the quintet have yet to have that one “breakout” moment that might put them on the fast track to stardom.

Quite why this is I’m not sure, as the band’s blending of guttural growls and gut-churning riffage, all tinged around the edges with a touch of murky atmosphere and poisonous blackened melody, instinctively hits all the right notes to appeal to an impressive cross-section of extremophiles.

So if you’re a dedicated disciple of Death Metal overlords like Incantation, Immolation, and Morbid Angel, a lover of more modern upstarts like Sulphur Aeon, Blood Incantation, and Tomb Mold, or the sort of person who enjoys wallowing in the Death/Black hybrid horror of bands like Abyssal, Portal, or Teitanblood, you owe it to yourselves to check these guys out. Continue reading »

Sep 292019



I think I’ve figured out what I want to do with today’s usual SHADES OF BLACK column, but before I get to that I couldn’t resist compiling the following stupendous songs by three monstrously good death metal bands. They just seem to belong together. (And because Saturday night carousing led to a slow start to Sunday morning, it may be tomorrow before you’ll see SOB.)


In the Czech language Sněť seems to mean gangrene, and that’s the name chosen by the quintet from Prague whose debut demo I’ve chosen to begin the slaughtering. It was released as a name-your-price download in April, and I finally learned about it (recently) thanks to a recent recommendation from Rennie (starkweather), who continues to be a reliable source of great discoveries.

There’s not a lot of music on the Sněť demo, just two compact tracks, the first of which is an instrumental, but man, do they make a titanic impact. Continue reading »

Aug 162017


(We present Andy Synn’s review of the debut album by the UK death metal band Vacivus, set for release by Profound Lore on September 22nd.)

Here’s a seemingly simple, but actually incredibly complex, question – why are some bands good and other bands… less so?

Or, to be more specific, what makes some bands capable of spinning fresh gold out of a well-worn sound, while others are doomed to wallow in their own mediocrity?

This is something I’ve been wondering about quite a bit recently, after I came across a pair of Death Metal bands from the UK, both of whom have been receiving a fair bit of hype and attention online, whose albums couldn’t have more clearly represented the opposite ends of this spectrum.

You see, whereas one of these albums (whose name has been withheld out of respect to the victims) turned out to be one of the most painfully unoriginal and uninspired records I’ve heard all year, the other captured a certain freshness, a viciousness, a certain sense of drive and urgency, which made it an absolute joy to listen to.

So whatever this particular attribute, this special x-factor is, it’s clear that Vacivus definitely have it. Continue reading »

Jul 022017

Vacivus 2015


As I started pulling together this Sunday’s round-up of new or newly discovered black and black-ish metal I once again found myself with too many recommendations to squeeze into a single post, despite the fact that I posted one of these SHADES OF BLACK features only two days ago. So, even though 7 bands are featured here, there will be a Part 2, which I probably won’t finish and publish until tomorrow because I’ll be visiting a friend’s licensed weed farm this afternoon. Horticulture FTW.


The first song in this collection was a last-minute addition, and it comes from a band who are more death metal than black metal, but I was so damned excited when I heard this track that I couldn’t wait to foam at the mouth about it. It’s also a damned vicious, pitch-black piece of audio electrification, so I don’t think I’m bending the SHADES OF BLACK format very much by including it.

The song, which first appeared on YouTube this morning, is “Oubliette” and it comes from Temple of the Abyss, the new album by UK-based Vacivus. Profound Lore will release the album on September 22. Continue reading »

Jan 092017


I first paid attention to the UK black/death metal band Vacivus when discovering their 2015 EP Rite of Ascension, much as one might pay attention to a nuclear air burst overhead, just before the shockwave hits. We delivered the premiere of Rite of Ascension in all its terrible glory, and today we bring you the premiere of another Vacivus EP, this one a two-song detonation named Nuclear Chaos that will be released in March on 7″ vinyl by Goatprayer Records. It can be considered a prelude to the band’s next full-length album, which this time will be released by Profound Lore Records.

I frothed at the mouth over this band’s last EP, writing of Rite that “it’s not for the faint of heart, but I think it will hold a strong appeal to fans of savage, void-faring death metal that brings both killer riffs and a poisonous, otherworldly atmosphere.” I also ventured the guess that it marked “the stunning appearance of a band whose name we expect to see praised throughout the dark places in the underground where ancient death worship is the order of the day.” The Profound Lore signing could be seen as confirmation of that forecast. Continue reading »

Jun 052015


Vacivus are a UK band that rose from the ashes of an earlier group known as Dawn of Chaos. With a different line-up and a change in musical direction, Vacivus have recorded a five-track EP named Rite of Ascension that reflects their new focus. Today we bring you a full stream of the EP in advance of its official release.

The music on Rite of Ascension is in the vein of what today might be called “blackened death metal”, but might also be thought of simply as one of the vicious descendants of death metal progenitors such as Incantation. The five songs flow from one to another in an electrifying storm that ebbs and flows but is never less than heartless and scathing. It marks the stunning appearance of a band whose name we expect to see praised throughout the dark places in the underground where ancient death worship is the order of the day. Continue reading »