Sep 142016



(Andy Synn turns in a trio of reviews for three recent albums of quite different styles and genres, united by their country of origin.)

Well ladies and gentlemen, here we are again, another opportunity for me to fly my nationalistic colours (which don’t run, let me tell you that) and gab on about a triptych of recent (or recent-ish) releases from my beloved motherland. As is traditional, we’ll be starting off the column with a rousing rendition of “Rule Britannia”, so if you’d all please be upstanding…

All joking aside of course, most of you will know by now that I don’t really care that much for nationalist sentiment or blind patriotism, particularly when it comes to music. I like a band because I like their songs, not because we happen to have been born in the same country or geo-political sphere, and I have very little time or patience for the vagaries of scene politics or the type of person that thinks you have to support a band just because they come from the same place as you.

That being said, however, I do realise that such factors as geographical proximity and general exposure mean I’m much more likely to stumble across bands from the UK who are worth blogging about than someone living elsewhere on this big blue/green marble, so I feel a certain sense of responsibility to cover these bands when they pop up on my radar.

So here we go again, once more, into the breach! Continue reading »

Nov 122014

I’ve amassed a sufficiently large number of recommended new songs and videos over the last couple of days that I’m mainly going to just toss them your way in this post and hold my own commentary about the music to a minimum. I realize that this comes as a crushing blow to all of you, but somehow the music will just have to speak for itself today.

As you’ll discover, I’ve intentionally provided a broad array of musical styles to keep you off-balance.


This makes the fourth time we’ve written about Dublin-based ZOM this year. Their debut album Flesh Assimilation is coming on November 24 via Dark Descent, with artwork by Zbyszek Bielak. Yesterday, DECIBEL premiered another advance track from the album, “Conquest”. It sure as fuck conquered me. Continue reading »

Mar 262012

The first two bands featured in this round-up have been the subject of previous features at this site, so we already know and like their music. But what we have here are new music videos that are worth a gander. And then the third piece of this triad is a new song from a band called Vorkreist (sans video).


TheMadIsraeli reviewed this Australian band’s latest release, Glorification Of A Myth, back in June 2011. He described the music as “a mix of PestilenceDark Angel, some slight Cannibal Corpse-isms, Vader, and a good dose of neo-classicism in the melodic moments” — a powerhouse collection of “killer riffs” and “face-melting guitar antics”.

The new video is for a song from the album called “Sanctuary”. It confuses me. It’s clearly telling a story, but I haven’t figured it out yet. Are the children at the end younger versions of characters we’re seeing at the beginning? Why the leap off the cliff? And what’s the snake man chopping with that cleaver? If you get it, leave a comment.

The YouTube version of the clip includes the lyrics, which are much better than average for a metal song, but they haven’t helped me figure out the video. I’ll link to them after the video. Continue reading »

Jan 292012

(groverXIII brings us this introduction to a band who, as you can see, has fine taste in cover art as well as fine taste in band names.)

When it comes to stoner metal, above all else, the riff is king. Bands like High On Fire, Weedeater, and Down know this well and adhere tightly to the discipline of the almighty riff, and relative newcomers XII Boar have taken this knowledge to heart.

You may remember XII Boar from a brief mention on my 2011 year-end list, specifically in the EP section, for their 2011 release XII. Well, they’ve already firmly established themselves a spot on my 2012 list with their new EP Split Tongue, Cloven Hoof, another fantastic four-track EP of kick-you-square-in-the-dick stoner metal.

In describing XII Boar’s music, I described them as “a mix of High On Fire and Motörhead”, and that label certainly applies. The EP starts off with the breakneck pace of ‘Smokin’ Bones’, a track that carries more of the Motörhead influence mixed with a bit of straight-ahead stoner rock and some bluesy guitar licks. They up the intensity even more with the blistering riffing of the aptly-named “Hellspeed Viper”, a track that plays to the High On Fire influence in their sound. Guitarist/vocalist Tommy Hardrocks does his best impression of Matt Pike’s whiskey-cigarettes-and-broken-glass vocals as the rhythm section of Bad-Dog Williams and Dave “Couldn’t Think Of A Cool Stage Name” Wilbraham propel the track along, then slow down to a crawl for an extremely doomy, sludgy section that is more akin to Sleep or Goatsnake. Continue reading »