How can you improve upon the knockout formula laid down by Perturbator, Carpenter Brut and their underground-conquering ilk? Added panpipes, motherfucker. Chances are you’ll have taken one glance at the For Fans Of section and already worked out whether you’ll fall for Dan Terminus’s keyed-up, 80s-powered charms or not, and to be fair – extra woodwind aside – there’s not exactly a whole lot here that synthwave aficionados won’t already be overfamiliar with. But, honestly, who cares when it’s this goddamn brilliant? Automated Refrains is the perfect soundtrack to the action series you never knew existed, from the marauding, eight-bit-friendly stomp of Fall Of The Ancient World (seriously, dose panpipes, doe), to the breakneck, Space Invaders-on-acid rave of Margaritifer, to the sumptuous, sunset-and-chill vibes of Dirge Of The Ancient Machines. Lush. Synthwave is taking over, and we are here for it.
Merlin stepped into his role as Executive Editor of Louder in early 2022, following over ten years working at Metal Hammer. While there, he served as Online Editor and Deputy Editor, before being promoted to Editor in 2016. Before joining Metal Hammer, Merlin worked as Associate Editor at Terrorizer Magazine and has previously written for the likes of Classic Rock, Rock Sound, eFestivals and others. Across his career he has interviewed legends including Ozzy Osbourne, Lemmy, Metallica, Iron Maiden (including getting a trip on Ed Force One courtesy of Bruce Dickinson), Guns N' Roses, KISS, Slipknot, System Of A Down and Meat Loaf. He is also probably responsible for 90% of all nu metal-related content making it onto the site.