The Trials of December 1, 2017

Honorable Mention

ChthoniC Reveal a Revolutionary Contemporary

Depending on your feelings of ChthoniC’s discography, their hiatus is a little tricky. But for those who’re like the Klown and are a fan of the Taiwanese titans then the wait… shall continue, unless you live in Taiwan or are in the Asian continent. If you haven’t heard, ChthoniC has been busy and full of surprises. Aside from frontman Freddy Lim venturing into politics in Taiwan, the band has gotten back together and has surprised us all. First, the Klown should say that the band have teamed up with D. Randall Blythe for two big projects. On that note, Lamb Of God’s prolific frontman is starring in a comedy with the band titled Tshiong.

The other collaboration with Blythe brings us to this brief excerpt which is a brand new EP titled 失落的令旗 (The Lost Flag): Souls of the Revolution which was released through Ciong Zo Records. Now, the reason why it’s an honorable mention, the Klown has only had the chance to listen to one song “Souls of the Revolution” which was written by Blythe and Lim because so far that’s all that’s been released. The song resembled the sounds of their 2011 Takasago Army album. Unfortunately though, it’s only available in Asia at this time. No word if they plan on releasing in the West yet. Good news for those that are impatient,  there’s a way to get it here, if you really wanna bite the bullet.

Shadow Realm Give Light to Their First

If you haven’t heard of Shadow Realm that’s okay, that’s what the Klown’s services are for. The Australian quintet known as Shadow Realm has been around for a little over 5 years and has made some noise in the metal scene. Although it’s been 2 years since the band released an EP, the debut of their studio has been officially released. The name of that first album is War On The Archons and it was released independently.

The album begins with an intro with Tim Robinson’s keys and created a melancholic, and intriguing composition that resonate more with a movie and will leave you curious. The intro immediately transitions to “Satanic Twin” which gives you some progressive thrash metal. The track alone features Torsha Khan’s powerful clean vocals which had a ton of feeling to really get you invested, and are accompanied by Matt Gillick’s powerful guitar riffs and solo.

“Dead Space” features more thrash metal than prog for the most part and really highlights Pahl Hodgson’s bass,  Constantinos “Con” Koutsouliotas’s double kicks, with the addition of Gillick’s solos which resemble that of Thomas Youngblood of Kamelot. The band  adopts a power prog approach in “The Awakening” and primarily highlights Gillick and Koutsouliotas’s guitar solos and drumming prowess, respectfully. This track also contains Robinson’s keys as a foundation and the tone of the song. It is worth noting that it is the album’s longest track at 9-plus minutes.

“Moloch Domain” had Khan briefly sporting some harsh vocals to emphasize gloomy aspects of the song. This song also features  an awesome solo from Gillick that would be able to fair with that of Herman Li’s or Sam Totman’s of DragonForce. The album finishes with “Shadows From Within” which has a faster and thrash metal approach, the Klown would best describe it as if Firewind and Rush had a baby.

The song also has Hodgson’s bass stand out more and really accompany the aggressive approach of the song. This album was outta left field and fresh to hear. The band does a great job expanding and adapting sounds to their brand of power metal and can have an impression on hard power metal aficionados. You can either check these guys out on Spotify or take the plunge here.

5 Out of 6, Sign Us Up for Victory!

Malvento Breathe Some Life into their Latest

The Italian black metal quintet known as Malvento have returned with their fourth album titled Pneuma through Third-I-Rex records. Right from the beginning, the band set the mood with “Pneuma (intro)” which sounds rather ghastly and dark. It is then followed by “Notte” which sports a long beginning that resemble that of the black metal masters of horror, Carach Angren. Unlike Carach Angren, Malvento keep it tame by comparison and has bassist/vox Luigi “Zin” della Rossa showing off his soft, distorted auto tuned vocals.

“La Vita Sinistra” has the band feature some sounds similar to that of Mayhem’s Chimara album but more ambient and has their drummer 7Se7en5 adding aggressive cymbal clashing that doesn’t cause any deterrence from the song. “L’Incanto,” although ambient and more intimate thanks to the shruti box, seemed more like a Gothic metal track. This track features Gianluca Martucci of Urna and he doesn;t hold back and blends his percussion skills with Nefastus’s slow riffs.

“Vortex” takes the Industrial approach and features another guest musician Bathory Legion to do some vocal work alongside Whip’s synths and programming. Legion would once again make an appearance in the purely industrial instrumental song titled “Apuania.” “Le Danze” has the band sporting some black metal similar to that of an early Rotting Christ. The album finishes just how it began with “Il Risveglio (outro).”

Not a bad come back from the Italian five-piece, it showcased their current sounds of Industrial and black metal. The Klown definitely recommends this album for those who enjoy experimental black metal/industrial. You can get your copy here and see for yourself.

5 out of 6, Will Leave You Breathless

Judgemental Release their First

Oh look kids, the Klown found another independent release! The Klown ran into this gem and thought he’d share it with y’all. The band from Little Rock known as Judgemental has released their debut studio titled Empires Fall. The album begins with a sound bite intro titled “A Boxcar and Jug O’ Wine” which then transitions strongly into some thrash metal bliss in the form of “Desperate Plea.” “Desperate Plea” features some powerful vocals and an awesome solo from Steve Mental.

Raise your hands if you are a fan of Judas Priest! Don’t be shy now because the band taps into their inner Priest with “Breaking the Chains.” At first the Klown thought it was a cover of Dokken’s song but when he heard this song, he thought that these gents had managed to get a Priest song he’s never heard of or managed to get Rob “the Metal God” Halford as a guest vocalist. The Klown can also say the same about “Search For Self” with the difference being if Halford had become the new frontman for Pantera.

The trio taps into their inner Metallica with “Broken Angel” and much like Metallica they start off slow before turning a 180 picking up the pace to end on a high note. The difference between Metallica and Judgemental is that these guys manage to keep it in under 5 minutes proving that short is sweet and gets to the point. The album finishes with “Empires Fall” which sounded like a supped version of a Megadeth song with extra bass playing and really highlighted Brock Calvert’s drumming.

This album was a great start from the trio and really taps into the old guard’s nostalgia. The Klown would highly recommend this band if you fancy yourself a thrasher at heart. The Klown would also definitely recommend this band if you are a fan of Pantera, Judas Priest and Kreator. Lastly, you can check this latest out in Judgement’s Bandcamp to buy, listen or both!

6 out of 6 Bringing Back the Spirit of Thrash

Morbid Angel Release a New One at Long Last

The saga that was Morbid Angel has been an interesting one, to put it nicely. It’s been over 6 years since the divisive Illud Divinum Insanus was released and saw David Vincent part ways rather unceremoniously with the group. Flash forward to now and Morbid Angel has returned with Kingdoms Disdained through Silver Lining Records. The other cool thing about this brand new release, in case you didn’t check out when Morbid Angel was featured in Ugh Metal prior to this, the band brought back Steve Tucker to be at the helm.

Anyway, enough fluff and straight to the deetz! The album begins with “Piles of Little Arms.” The beginning was robust and really features Scott Fuller’s fast and powerful drumming accompanied with Trey Azagtoth’s shredding topped with Tucker’s identifiable vocals and bass. While “The Righteous Voice” and “Declaring New Law (Secret Hell)” revisit the sounds of the Heretic and feels rather appropriate given the fact that Tucker is at the helm once again. The song also transitions straight away to “Architect and Iconoclast.”

Paradigms Warped” is the song that has been representing this album for some time now. If the song doesn’t sounds familiar right off the bat, it’s because Tucker had been performing it as simply “Warped.” “The Pillars Crumbling” and For No Master” has the band sounding like a Six Feet Under song. While “From the Hand of Kings” sounded like a Cannibal Corpse song. The album caps off strongly  just how it began with “The Fall Of Idols.”

This album was great and definitely met the Klown’s expectations and anticipation. If you fancy yourself a Morbid Angel fan or claim to be a huge death metal fan, then you’d be foolish not to check this out. Lastly, you can check this album on Spotify and buy it here.

6 Out of 6, The Kings are Back!

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