Whitechapel Tells Their Tale (Metal Blade Records, March 29, 2019)
When Whitechapel announced a new album, fans were thrilled and the hype was real. The prolific frontman of the band, Phil Bozeman, announced the following release was going to be a concept album that was going to be based off a true story, his own, which he titled The Valley.
The album begins with “When a Demon Defiles a Witch” which was much more melodic than the Klown anticipated but still stayed true to its deathcore M.O. It is then followed by “Forgiveness is Weakness” and “Brimstone” which will give you a taste of classic Whitechapel, pure aggressive deathcore. Remember the music video Bozeman dedicated to his mother? Admit it, you were impressed with Bozeman’s clean vocals on “Hickory Creek” it was a good song and he showcased an impressive array of his vocal arsenal.
The Klown praises the album for what it is. Lyrically, the album was strong and really personal but in terms of sounds, not too much stood out. Bozeman bet on himself and it paid off, as a bonus he shared his own personal story with all. Despite that, the Klown wasn’t too impressed with it mainly because it sounded like any other Whitechapel album. Definitely check it out here to see how you feel about it.
2 out of 6 “Burn The Bed, Burn Everything. It’s a Lie Anyway!”
Eluveitie Continue to Strengthen their Legacy (Nuclear Blast Records, April 5, 2019)
Even with the departures, Eluveitie along with founder Chrigel Glanzmann have showed no signs of slowing down. Their eighth installment Ategnatos has managed to once again exemplify why the group is revered as one of the top folk metal acts.
Much like previous releases, the album begins with a narrative by Alexander Morton and starts with the title track which has a medley of wind instruments, background overture, and electric guitars and bass adding a touch of metal. Fabienne Erni’s angelic vocals in contrast to Glanzmann’s harsh ones also make an appearance in this track.
If you are a huge fan of a beauty-and-the-beast vocal trade-off, Erni and Glanzmann do just that in “Black Water Dawn,” which also has a real bitchin’ guitar solo from Rafael Salzmann. Wanna dance? “The Raven Hill” and “Ambiramus,” are but a few of the selected folk songs. Want some speed with your folk metal? “Mine is the Fury” and “Worship” has got you! Randy Blythe, who needs no introduction, makes a vocal cameo in “Worship.” The album was good and still demonstrate the strong string of releases, despite the sudden lineup change. Check it out in your streaming service of choice to see for yourselves and buy it here.
5.7 out of 6 “Voracious Blaze, Engulf and Erase, In One Colossal Feast.”
Amon Amarth Goes Berserk with Their Newest (Metal Blade Records, April 26, 2019)
As of 2018, it seems that our Viking craze had gone up twofold. After all, History’s Vikings was pretty intense and still remains a good series, God Of War franchise returned to PlayStation 4 and was centered around the Norse mythos, and Amon Amarth released a documentary last year commemorating their 25-year career. While on the subject, the band teased and finally released Berserker.
“Fafner’s Gold” kicks off the album rather slowly but builds up immediately and are then joined by Johan Hegg’s iconic growls. Any Thor fans out there? Good news, his hammer has a song now titled “Mjölner, Hammer of Thor,” in case you need a reminder of what its name was. “Shield Wall,” “Raven’s Flight” and “Wings of Eagles” will get you prepared for battle and take on any incoming foes. “Valkyria” sounds like most songs but finishes with a touch of the classic piano giving it a satisfying ending.
The collective must be fans of Alexander Ludwig’s portrayal of historical Norse figure Björn Ironside because they pay homage to him with the track “Ironside.” “When Once Again We Can Set Our Sails” is one of the few songs in the album in which guitarists Olavi Mikkonen and Johan Söderberg take absolute charge of the track and is heavy with riffs, rhythm, and solos.
The album caps with “Into the Dark” and threw the Klown off at first because it only contained keys and some orchestra mix in the beginning which are then taken over by Mikkonen, Söderberg, and bassist Ted Lundström. For the most part, nothing much stood out from this album and sometimes consistency is key. The Klown is certain that the band knows that as well but it was a good album overall and recommends it to anyone who fancies themselves a true fan.
3.5 out of 6 “Charge, The Order to Attack. Nothing Now Can Hold Us Back.”
Rammstein Returns! (Universal Music Group, May 17, 2019)
Here at Ugh Metal became huge Rammstein marks since we first listened to their 2001 album Mutter. So imagine how giddy we were when they released their highly anticipated self-titled album, whose matchstick lit our proverbial birthday candle. Before the Klown commences, the Klown promises that he will not gush about the album. The record begins with the album’s first two hits, the Klown will confess how much he liked “Radio” and it’s context.
What else did the Klown like? “Ausländer,” “Diamant,” “Weit Weg,” “Tattoo” (more of that later). As y’all know, “Ausländer” is not only the current hit of the album but another controversial video much like “Deutschland” but for another reason. Did you love Emigrate’s last album and wanted more? “Sex” will definitely fill that void. Want something metal and dark? “Puppe” will definitely have your back and has Till Lindemann yelling and belting out gruff vocals.
As for the other favorites? “Diamant.” This love song made the Klown a softy and is the first time in a long time the legendary quintet sang a pure ballad. Meanwhile “Weit Weg” sounds like Daft Punk collaborated with them while “Tattoo” featured a mixture of early 2000’s Rammstein and their current incarnation. The album closes out with the dark but soft “Hallomann.” Just to close out this review, the Klown didn’t know how to feel about it at first. It grew on him fast. Although it was not “old” Rammstein, it was great to hear something new and be a part of their evilution.
5.5 out of 6 “Ciao, Ragazza take a chance on me”