The Trials of May 19

Note: ICYMI, it was Ugh Metal’s birthday… 2 days ago, as of this writing! Where are our presents!? The Klown demands many presents! But he will settle with a new keg filled with good beer and metal… not literal metal… and in the keg. On a serious note though, a wholehearted thank you for keeping up with us! If this is your first time checking us out or have recently kept up with us, a wholehearted thanks to you too.

On a very serious note, the Klown would also like to send out his condolences to the victims in the Manchester attacks on May 22. The Klown knows that words cannot describe what the survivors are going through or are feeling. Let’s unite through music and arts and flip the bird to those who threaten to kill our vibes.

 

Oceano Reveal Latest Album

The deathcore quartet known as Oceano has released its fifth album Revelation through Sumerian Records. The group starts off rather intense and feature a bit of ambient undertones with “Dark Prophecy” and “The Great Tribulation.” “Illusions Unravel” features front man Adam Warren dishing an array of harsh and growling vocals for some added intensity. “Final Form” has Warren take a backseat for the rest of the shine bright with their instruments. “Human Harvest” features the intensity Oceano is known but experiment slightly by incorporating some electronic ambient sounds and some synths. “Revelation” closes the album with ambience courtesy of the synths which serve as a foundation to the track.

Unfortunately, nothing really sticks out in this album. The Klown felt like he was listening to a continuation of the previous album Ascendants. This album is not only made for the diehard Oceano fans but also of the Klown’s naysayers. You can also check this album out on the band’s bandcamp.

2 out of 6, Not much of a Revelation 

Loss Reaches For The Stars With ‘Horizonless’

The Nashville quartet known as Loss have released their sophomore album titled Horizonless through Profound Lore Records. “The Joy of All Who Sorrow” gives the expression “sorry for your loss” a sound and adds a voice to the anger stage of grief which is emphasized by the dark melodic blend of funeral doom that this group is known for. Aside from the tone Loss sets up with the guitar on the slow paced songs, front man/guitarist Mike Meacham shows off his groggy-like growling to enhance the moods with the help of the John Anderson’s heavy bass plucking to make this 10 minute-plus song rather strong.

“All Grows On Tears” really feels and sounds like it was made for a metalhead’s funeral. “Naught” was slow and heavy and felt like an ambient song that ends on a climatic note much like a scary movie if Meachem’s vocals were removed. On that note, Meachem’s interchanging deep growls with screaming vocals feel reminiscent to that of a mourner crying with rage. “The End Steps Forward,” although an intro, it features the band’s incorporation of a pipe organ and sets the tone for a wake and serves as a perfect catalyst to “Horizonless.” The titular song sets the mood for a very dark wake or Disney’s Haunted Mansion if they decided to really scares peeps and have them feel anguish.

The album finishes on “When Death Is All” which features Leviathan’s Jef “Wrest” Whitehead, Dark Castle’s Stevie Floyd and Solodolor’s Billy Anderson which makes you feel the way one would at a wake during the reunion portion of it. The song also closes on a doom metal note but of the atmospheric variety along with Meachem’s faded growling vocals. The Klown doesn’t always indulge in funeral doom metal but the Klown did quite enjoy this album. You can check this bad boy out in the label’s bandcamp.

5 out of 6, It’s to Die For

The Night Flight Orchestra Take Off Beyond the Stars with Latest

Björn “Speed” Strid, the voice of Soilwork, has managed to make his way back to Ugh Metal’s domain but this time with his side project The Night Flight Orchestra. The Orchestra has released their third album Amber Galactic through Nuclear Blast Records. If you’ve never heard of this side project allow the Klown to state that it was rather refreshing to hear a new side of Strid. This album starts off with “Midnight Flyer” to set the course back in time when rock was a bit funky fresh and upbeat and features a sweet guitar solo from David Andersson and an impressive keyboard solo from Sharlee D’Angelo. The Klown took an immediately liking to “Star of Rio” because not only did it follow the same formula as the previous song, but it was also harmonious. The track included bongos and tambourine to add more beat and rhythm and a backing chorus.

“Gemini” sounded like a recreation of Paul Engemman’s infamous “Scarface (Push It to the Limit)” song in the sense of it being iconic if it were used in a movie back in the 80’s or 70’s. Still itchin’ for a Boston, Grand Funk Railroad or a Molly Hatchet reunion? “Sad State of Affairs” is a good and crisp incarnation of those greats. “Jennie” and “Josephine” are not only songs for the ladies but feel like they belong in an 80’s movie love montage.  Love The Who’s “Eminence Front?” the track “Domino” does a great job mimicking that but also shows a clear influence on said song. The Klown could go on about this nostalgia train but he won’t because he’ll just end up talking about the entire album. Take his word for it! It is a great album especially if you grew up with the classics or if you enjoy the classics.

6 out of 6, It’s Out of this World!

DragonForce Continue to be Boundless with Latest

The British power metal powerhouse known as DragonForce has discharged their seventh album Reaching into Inifinity through the fires and flames (get it?!) and Metal Blade Records. Allow the Klown to state that he was rather impressed with this album. The band starts by dishing out their brand of power metal with “Ashes of the Dawn,” “March Madness” and “Land of Shattered Dreams.” However, by “Judgment Day” the sextet incorporate some electronic sounds and rhythm which have Herman Li and Sam Totman give you their signature one-two guitar solos. “Curse of Darkness” gives some speed and vigor to the already metal epic and just like the previous track, it features the signature Li and Totman guitar solos. “Silence” is the power ballad that DF dishes out for the epic fair ladies and the gents who put the gentle in gentlemen.

“WAR!” has frontman Marc Hudson on the angry side interchanging his clean power metal vocals to thrashy and almost resembles Kreator’s Miland “Mille” Petrozza. “The Edge of the World” is not only DragonForce’s longest song but it’s also mighty impressive in the way that it leaves the listener guessing. At first, the song starts rather slow and feels like a power metal narrative.

By the middle of the song, it not only slows down but it also features an intimate solo from Li which are accompanied by Totman’s rhythm. It then immediately picks up and features Hudson busting out harsh screams and an extreme metal approach, finishing the way the song began. Lastly, it is worth noting that if you went out to get the special edition of this album, you will be treated to two extra songs “Hatred and Revenge” and a cover of Death’s “Evil Dead.”

6 out of 6, This Album Knows No Limits

*Honorable Mention:

Jenny Oh will throw in her 2 cents! There goes her life savings.

The Nightstalker Will Show You A Beautiful Side of ‘Hell’

The side project of frontman/bassist of Belgian black metal band Sercati, Steve “Serpent” Fabry, celebrated the first day of 2017 a different way. Fabry released the fourth album for his solo project The Nightstalker titled A Journey In Hell via Wolfshade Records. The Nighstalker is not only the central character for the concept behind Sercati, but this album serves as a soundtrack to Fabry’s 2015 audio book about this character titled Le Journal Du Nightstalker (Nightstalker’s Journal). A Journey… is more melodic and ambient and fit for an epically gothic journey.

You will know you are the chosen one when you hear the first piano keys from “The Departure” slink out of your speakers and will make you feel the anguish the Nighstalker feels. The magickal journey continues with the dominantly acoustic “The Children of The Devil” which can lure you to the darkest corner of hell with the soothing melody. Once you’re there, The Nighstalker will slowly flash his fangs in “Like I Already Know This Foe,” the fusion between the electric and acoustic riffs, and organ pipe will remind goth rock fans of Czech goth rockers XIII. Století.

Just like most stories, this album entices you with a soft opening and builds up to the climactic battle with “The Plain of the Warriors” all the way through “The Library.” The last four tracks starting with “I Found Her” (I’m not crying, you’re crying…*sniff*) the story winds down with these tracks that will stir your black little heart and will prepare you for the next chapter. For those that enjoy a good and elaborate story laced with goth and ambient elements, this is for you. Check out the full album in Wolfshade Records’s Bandcamp and see how you feel about it and check out the short film about the mysterious Nightstalker right here.

 

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