Sep 082014


(In this post Andy Synn reviews a live performance from September 3 in Derby, England.)

I kind of knew already this was going to be a good night, even before setting foot out the door.  For one thing I have never, ever, seen a bad Unearth show — the Massachusetts maulers always bring it hard and hit that sweet spot between metal and core every time. Plus The Hairy Dog is a great venue, both sound and layout wise (and the fact that I wasn’t driving, so could enjoy a few beers, definitely helped too!).

But what would really make the evening special, and a tad bittersweet, was the fact that this would be potentially my last chance to see Shadows Fall live, as the band have announced they are going on an extended hiatus from touring. And, you see, Shadows Fall have been one of my favourite bands ever since I caught them supporting Kittie in Manchester back in February 2002, long before the release of The Art of Balance brought them to the attention of the metal-loving public at large, so this show really would mark, in many ways, the end of an era for me. Continue reading »

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 »

May 052012

I think Saturday mornings are probably the worst possible time for any kind of serious discussion, regardless of where you are or what you’re doing. It’s an even worse time for a serious discussion on this blog, because it’s the weakest day of the week in terms of our readership. I watch the page hits on this site because I lead a pathetic life in which my happiness depends on how many people stop at NCS, and so I know that Saturday’s are weak. But this new video is on my mind at the moment, so I’m going with it on this Saturday morning despite the fact that the subject matter is serious and controversial.

The band is War of Ages. In the minds of many metalheads, they have two strikes against them: First, they’re a metalcore band.  Second, they’re an openly Christian band. I’ve been a long-time fan of this band, for reasons that have very little to do with the religious zeal that inspires their songs. I just think their music has an honest passion behind it that translates into powerfully ass-kicking music. I’m not the only one around here who’s a fan: Andy Synn devoted one of his SYNN REPORTS to War of Ages, and he summed up their appeal better than I could:

“[T]he self-belief and honest expression of this band also shines out like a beacon of integrity in a sea of populist, lowest-common-denominator swill, striking a chord with their direct and passionate approach. It does help, though, that the group can also all play their instruments to an impressive level, particularly the band’s two guitarists, who peel off an array of stunning riffs and shining solos with recognisable passion and fury.”

The subject of this post is a video released yesterday for a song called “Silent Night”. The song is from the album Return To Life, which is out now on Facedown Records. It deals with the death of a child and the impact of that on a young mother and father. Continue reading »

Jan 122010

Yesterday Living Sacrifice made available for streaming the fourth song from their forthcoming new album The Infinite Order. The song is called “They Were One.” It’s packed with groove-oriented riffs, and the band’s thrash influences are really in evidence. This is one hellaciously infectious tune and (if possible) makes us even more stoked for the full album when it drops on January 26.

The band begins a 19-state tour on January 15, co-headlining with War of Ages. You can listen to “They Were One” and find dates and places for the tour by going here.

Jan 052010

In December, the resurgent death/thrash brawlers from Living Sacrifice uploaded two new songs from their forthcoming album The Infinite Order, plus a video of one of those songs.  Yesterday, they graced us with a third  new one, called “Organized Lie.”  It’s another galloping beast of angry, groove-oriented metal that confirms the new album will be worth the long wait since the band’s last full-length of all-new songs more than seven years ago.  You can check it out here.

And there’s more headbangery ahead: the band promises yet another new song next Monday.

The Infinite Order will hit the streets on January 26, and LS will hit the road on January 15 with War of Ages, Shai HuludLionheart, and The Great Commission.

Dec 172009


We’ve been writing about Living Sacrifice quite a lot recently, but that’s because there’s been a lot of Living Sacrifice news recently. Oh yeah, and they’re also a killer band. And we’re writing about them again today because, why? Well, because there’s more (good) news of course.

Living Sacrifice and War of Ages will be co-headlining “The Abominable Snowtour” during the month of February, with Shai Hulud, Lionheart, and The Great Commission rounding out the line-up. There will be 21 shows in 23 days. No stops in the Pacific Northwest, or West of Texas for that matter, but we will be patient. All good things come to those who wait. On the other hand, good things sometimes also come to those who push and whine and nag the shit out of everybody.

Now, where was I? Oh yeah, the “Abominable Snowtour.”  You can get all the scheduled dates and places after the jump. Continue reading »