Apr 062022

(Andy Synn gazes into the abyss once more and finds four excellent albums gazing back!)

The debate about what is or isn’t “Black Metal” is probably one that’s never going to end.

And, honestly? That’s ok. Because as long as the debate is still going on it means that no-one has successfully codified and constrained the genre, leaving it free to continue to explore and expand its artistic boundaries.

Truth be told, I have less of an issue with bands being called “Black Metal” when they aren’t than I do with this weird idea some people (and bands) seem to have that slapping the label “Black Metal” on something somehow makes it good, or gives it some sort of veneer of credibility.

Let’s be honest, there are quite a few groups out there – some of them quite well-known – whose music would be just as good with or without the tenuous “Black Metal” tag which has been applied to them, but whose fans would riot and protest (online, anyway) if you tried to take it away from them, because they feel like they’d be losing something in the process.

Thankfully we don’t have to play any such semantic games with the four artists/albums I’ve selected for today’s article, as they are all clearly Black Metal, while also showcasing the vivid variety of both voice and vision which the genre embraces.

Continue reading »

Mar 132022


I’m racing to finish the writing of this column so that it won’t appear too late in the day (or night, depending on where you are), so I’ll skip the introduction — other than to say there’s a lot of music here and a lot of variety too.


“The horror and helplessness of the modern world clashes with the ancient past, and we bear witness to Antediluvian Dreamscapes as nightmarish as they are vivid and tortuous. The end of all life and the birth of the world are indistinguishable, and all who listen will be morbidly subjected to the harmonious torment of our writhing souls. The hour is come.”

And that’s how Ante-Inferno introduce their new album Antediluvian Dreamscapes, which follows their formidable 2020 album Fane (reviewed by Mr. Synn here). Continue reading »

Apr 292019


(This is a quartet of reviews written by Andy Synn, gathering together impressions and streams for four excellent new albums by bands who happen to share a first letter.)

Did you know they’re planning on doing a full-length movie version of Sesame Street?

I didn’t until recently, but I guess it just goes to show that anything which the studios believe can be turned into a movie will be turned into one eventually.

Still, as long as they avoid the temptation to make it a “dark and gritty reboot” I suppose it can’t be that bad, right?

Anyway, this has very little to do with the bands I’m writing about here today, other than to act as a cheeky little segue into me saying that today’s article is brought to you by the letter V and the number 4. Continue reading »

Jan 292019


Welcome, brothers and sisters, to another thrilling excursion into musical lands of fire and ice, with guides from Atlanta, where the people are no strangers to heat and may soon also find themselves enveloped in ice, thanks to the impending assault of a new polar vortex.

Consumed By The Source” is the name of the song you’re about to hear, and it’s one of seven tracks of ravaging black metal on Triumphant Master of Fates, the new second album by Atlanta’s Vimur, who curse the wretched earth and seek salvation beyond the stars, in death. Continue reading »