The Trials of April 27, 2018

Aura Noir Thrashes Their Metal

We gotta love the unholy union between Black metal and thrash and because we professed our love for this mix, Norwegian metallers Aura Noire, along with Indie Recordings, approached us and opened their cloaks to reveal their latest album/our fix, their latest album Aura Noire.

The trio begins strongly with “Dark Lung Of The Storm” which is sure to blow listeners away with their vicious cacophony, you will still hear Carl-Michael “Aggressor” Eide’s haunting vocals resonate long after the track is over. “Hells Lost Chambers” will gallop towards you like a calculating warhorse that will ram you off the road especially once Aggressor unleashes his powerful growl. 

Because we are in need of more speed of the legal kind, Aura Noir gave us a strong dosage of that with “The Obscuration” and “Demoniac Flow” the super cool part about this track is that it’s the gift that keeps on giving because it has traces of some speed metal …. YES!!! “Shades Ablaze” and “Cold Bone Grasp” light up the rest of this speed-tastic streak Aura Noir have going on.

It was hard not to replay this album because it was just so damn addicting! Aura Noir offers a new shade of black magick, a spell where you can let the instrumentals penetrate your ears and soul, and well I’m sure you can all guess I how to feel about this album. You can listen to this madness on Spotify and get your copy here!

6 out 6, Something wicked came this way!

Godsmack Returns But Will They’Rise‘?

The year is still 2018 everyone! I know, first A Perfect Circle released an album and (insert other early 2000’s stuff here and now Godsmack have decided to join this partay. Godsmack is back and outta the past with When Legends Rise which was released via BMG. Beware though! This will give you strong urges to unearth your MySpace page and write your feelings about this album.      

Godsmack starts with their tribute the badass peeps in “When Legends Rise” and be on a roll with “ Unforgettable” which is sure to motivate you to take out that heavy ass garbage bag you shoulda taken out 5 days ago. Hey! Legends have to start somewhere baby 😉  “Bulletproof” and “Eye of The Storm” will definitely serve as great throwbacks to the classic in your face sound. Godsmack also showcase their sensitive side with “Under Your Scars” and “Someday” will lift your spirit a lot higher than it was on 4/20!

I will suspend my time machine hunt and pop this sucker in to feel young again…but not that young! Godsmack delivered a solid record that fans and millennials will appreciate and can have the potential to suck in casual listeners. For the J-Ohster it was a nice trip down memory lane but it didn’t churn my angst like it used to but that’s the side effects of being dead on the inside, which doesn’t mean it won’t do anything for you! Okay, maybe half of you. Anyway, listen to the whole album on Spotify and get your copy here.

3 Out 6, Its UnforMEHtable

Pánico Al Miedo Assemble With ‘Formador

Barcelona has no reason to panic because death thrashers Pánico Al Miedo will make everything better! Their debut full-length Formador was released via Cimmerian Shade Records and it is hungry for more unsuspecting metalheads that are looking for a good time. Also, how can you say no to the Squidward-esque alien on the cover below?! Anyway….

The quartet begins with the badass title track “Formador” which is teeming with sick ass riffs from Jordi Creus AND riff master James Murphy (Testament, Obituary, Death). These axemen don’t just fade into the background because they wanna string you along in a good way. “Formador” makes ANOTHER appearance at the end of this album but this time Creus shares the spotlight with former Death guitarist Bobby Koelble and it is just as divine! Because Pánico Al Miedoknows we are in need of a pick-me-up, they give us the ultimate motivator “No Voy A Perder” (I’m not Going to Lose).

Creus and drummer Alfred Gonzalez entice us to take a bite out of “Cebos Vivos” (Living Bait) and yes we swallowed the whole fuckin’ thing, man! If you ever join a pact be sure to blast “Hermanos De Sangre” (Blood Brothers) and right after the ceremony is done, raise your “Puños” (Fists) up in the air! When you roll up Marc Jufré’s thick vocals with his badass cohorts, it turns this album into a rabid beast! Listen to this fierce album on Cimmerian Records Bandcamp and get it there!

6 out 6, You should panic if you don’t have this album.   

**The Klown just cracked open some cold ones**

Elway Release a New One for the Sake of the Fans

If you are a Denver Broncos fan, for you the name really means something. If you are the legendary quarterback himself, John Elway, flattery isn’t the act that you’ll be showing, apparently. Nevertheless, the boys from Fort Collins, Colorado soldier on without the approval of said legend. On that note, Elway has released their album titled For The Sake of the Bit through Red Scare Records.

The album begins with “Inches” which starts rather slow and melodic. With all that aside, the Klown definitely dug the sarcastic lyrical content and sound like the days when the bands started off small in somebody’s garage. The previous is then followed by “Hold On” and immediately pick up the speed and keep the same kind of lyrical content. Although the Klown will get some hissing from every party, “Selfish Masochistic Psycho Trauma” gave the Klown a blast from the past moment because Elway used alot of the emo influences like Hawthorn Heights and The Used. “Paper Guitars” had some really mellow and melodic punk that can get you to reminisce and finishes with a sound bit of a phone call mixed with a melodic but distorted guitar.

The album finishes off with “Nobody Goes into Meteorology for the Sunny Days.” The Klown would have compared it to “Selfish…” if it weren’t for the fact that it was a dedicatory song that makes you feel the feels. This was definitely a mature album and will give the listener a coming-of-age soundtrack or if you need an album to understand some growing-up with some humor implied. The Klown definitely recommends this album to punkers that are more into the melodic variety or anyone who listens to indie (let’s face it they’re bound to with or without the Klown’s say so). Wanna listen before you buy? Check out their Bandcamp before making the choice.

4.5 out of 6, Give It Up, John. They Ain’t Gonna Change their Name.

Varathron Unleashed their Sinister Sixth

Although the saying says beware of Greeks bearing gifts, the Klown begs to differ especially when it comes to our beloved genre. The land where Rotting Christ, Septicflesh and Firewind came from now brings us another name to add on to that collection. On that note, the Klown shall talk about the band known as Varathron. This Greek black metal band has been an open secret for some time and have released a brand-new album through Agonia Records. The latest to covet their CV is titled Patriarchs Of Evil.

The album opens with some guitars to start “Tenebrous” which are then joined by the vocals of Stefanos Karasavvas and the drumming of Haris Kokkinos. They immediately pick up the pace with “Into the Absurd” in which Stratos Kountouras really shined. The song also reminded the Klown about the Aztec themed black metal band Mictlantecuhtli because of the similar sounds and influence especially with the guitars, bass and the way Karasavvas projects his vocals. The Klown can definitely say the same about “Luciferian Mystical Awakening.”

Remember how Rotting Christ was brought up? Well, the Klown can assure you that they seemed to be a major influence for these bros. “Saturnian Sect” and “Hellwitch (Witches Gathering)” is definitely proof of that. In fact, the Klown thought that he was listening to old Rotting Christ tracks that had never been released before. The collective takes a brooding and somewhat melodic step with “Remnants of the Dark Testament.”

The album is finished off with “Ouroboros Dweller (The Dweller of Barathrum)” which was somewhat dramatic and tender. As it starts with acoustic guitars, it picks up with electric and contains samples of choir and synths. This album was pretty good and really captures the sounds of some of the old school Mediterranean black metal styles. The Klown recommends the album for fans of Rotting Christ, Melechesh, Mictlantecuhtli and Highland. Still not convinced? Check it out on your streaming service of choice or cut foreplay and head over to the label’s Bandcamp.

5 out of 6 EEEVEEELLLL!!!!

Skindred Return in a Big Way

Chances are if you haven’t heard of Skindred, you probably don’t explore the subgenres enough. That’s okay, the Klown’s got ya, fam! Being one of the very things that Wales is known for aside from its Rugby team, Bullet For My Valentine, the former T-Mobile spokeswoman and Cardiff, which is UK’s Hollywood, Skindred is right up there. The Welsh kings of Crossover are back and this time their return is big with their 7th installment Big Tings which has been released through Napalm Records.

The album opens with “Big Tings” and immediately begins with Arya Goggin’s house style drumming which is then followed by some programming, bass and guitars courtesy of Daniel Pugsley and Michael Fry, respectively. All that combined with Benji Webbe’s melodic vocals and cowbell made for a pretty good and groovy start. The collective continued the groove but without the cowbell and with the sounds of hard rock with “Machine.” In fact, the song sounds like something the late great Angus Young would have composed because not only does it sound like a really modern AC/DC song, Webbe’s vocals briefly sounded like that of Brian Johnson’s famous vocals. The band show their sensitive side and treat the softies and ladies to “Tell Me.” Although it is a ballad, the band manages to incorporate and keep the hard rock elements.

“Loud and Clear” features Webbe’s unmistakable reggae style vocals and blends it with some groovy, alternative metal. “All This Time” briefly featured Webbe doing the same but added more melodic clean vocals and combined them with nu-metal sounds. “Alive” was not only catchy but felt like a song meant for dancing due to the way the samples and programming were applied to the hard rock element. “Broken Glass” featured some elements of electro funk, some alternative rock, and female vocal samples.

The album officially finishes with the soft ballad titled “Saying It Now.” Not only was it sentimental but it was mostly Webbe showing off his clean vocals singing to Fry’s acoustic guitar, string samples, and the tambourine. This album was definitely a Big Ting and definitely shows a vast array of influences and sounds that the band has known to play around with. If you are a fan of Kontrust, Living Colour, Three Days Grace and Candiria then the Klown highly recommends this. If you’re not convinced, check’em out in your streaming service of choice or in Bandcamp.

6 out of 6 It’s Yuge!

Kobra And The Lotus Continue to Prevail!

Remember that time the Klown talked about Kobra And The Lotus’s album, Prevail I? You don’t? Pepperidge Farm sure as hell does! That’s okay though because that was a year ago. Now, they are back with the second half of their concept album. If you haven’t caught on, their latest album is titled Prevail II! That’s right kiddies, part deux is finally out and through Napalm Records.

The album begins strongly with “Losing My Humanity.” The song exploded with some heavy guitar from Jasio Kulakowski and immediately Kobra Paige’s strong vocals added more power to the song. Kulakowski also gives you a quick and brief guitar solo. Paige also wants to show some luck to an S.O.B. with “Let Me Love You” but because she wants to show you that she’s still more metal than you she will serenade you in the most metal way by keeping this ballad metal. “Ribe” serves as the perfect catalyst for “My Immortal.” The great thing about this song, aside from the heavy power metal vibe that the song has, Paige busts out her inner Tarja Turunen and Floor Jensen, although not entirely operatic, she still manages to show off her powerful pipes. The Klown can say the same about “Human Empire” and “Heartache.”

“White Water” features Paige doing a power ballad along with a killer guitar solo from Kulakowski. The album ends with “The Chain” which was a slow paced song that featured Lord Marcus Lee’s bass drums beats as the foundation of the song which eventually picks some speed to end in a high note. If you get the album with the bonus track and absolutely loved “Let Me Love You” but felt like it should have been tender? Good news, the bonus song happens to be just that.

The album was a great follow up and definitely featured an array of sounds, mostly of the hard rock variety mixed with power metal. The Klown definitely recommends this to those KATL faithful who have been anticipating this release since last year. If you haven’t heard the first one, check them both out in the streaming service of your choice or get it on Napalm’s Bandcamp.

6 out of 6, The Kobra Prevailed in the End

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