Mo’ynoq Ring In the New Year! (Independent Release, January 11, 2019)

The Klown doesn’t expect you to know who Mo’ynoq is. However, he will expect you to start listening after you read the Klown review. Kay? M’kay! Their debut LP is titled Dreaming in a Dead Language. These North Carolinians are independent! And for that one reader that’s been patiently tuning in with us, they know that means the Klown was really excited. If you are new to the site, Ugh Metal has a crippling fetish when it comes to independent acts because why not savor these upcoming acts at the bud?

The album begins with “Empyrical Decay” which had a strong start. The best way to describe it would have to be a more aggressive Uada. “These Once Tranquil Grounds” and “Witness to the Abyss” are also a testament of that but combined with some Ghost Bath-esque ghoulish screams. “The Collector” sounded like Wolves In The Throne Room with some screeching and ghastly vocals. Need another big-name comparison for the sake of being convinced? “Carve My Name” shows shades of both Dark Fortress and Dark Funeral put together to make one bitchin’ track. 

The LP ends with “Buried by Regret” which started out somewhat slow but ends the way the Klown has described this album, an aggressive Uada. This was a great start for this band, the Klown highly recommends this album if you really are into black metal and you into any of the aforementioned comparisons. Check them out on their Bandcamp to really hear it and judge for yerselves!

6 out of 6, We Speak Black Metal! 

Rotting Christ Release their Blasphemous Love Letter (Season Of Mist, February 15, 2019)

Rotting Christ is very overlooked as one of the pinnacles of black metal. Three years ago, the Klown’s sister, Jenny Oh, declared Rotting Christ’s Rituals as her pick for album of the year. The Klown embarrassingly did not select them for undisclosed reasons. Anyway, the Klown will now talk about their latest release The Heretics. The Greek collective took a turn for the dramatic, and unlike the classic tales from their native Greece, they managed to turn what the plebes would consider a tragedy into a romance. The best part was that it was in time for Valentine’s Day, so congrats to the Romeos and Juliets who used this album as a V-Day gift.

The album begins with “In The Name of God” which features a playback of a quote about heretics which is followed by the Tolis’s brothers heavy guitar strums & drums, and Stamatis “Melanaegis” Petrakos’s bass, and a faint choir ensemble. Did you love Aelos and Rituals as much as the Klown did? Rejoice, “Heaven and Hell and Fire,” “Dies Irae” and “The New Messiah” will really take you back to those albums, just to name a few.

Remember the whole dramatic element thing the Klown mentioned earlier regarding this album? The Klown may have been exaggerating a bit but “Hallowed Be Thy Name” and  to some degree “I Believe” definitely fits that category. Fun fact on the previously mentioned, it was originally written by Greek author and Nobel Prize winner, Nikos Kazantzakis. Do you love Edgar Allan Poe? Great news, “The Raven” is featured in this album as well. 

The album is capped off by “The Sons of Hell” which was rather smooth but in true Rotting Christ fashion. This album, in the Klown’s opinion, was good but not great. He was impressed with the adaptation on literary classics but was expecting a bit more bravado. Nevertheless, it’s still an album that the Klown listens to. Check it out in your streaming service of choice and buy it in their bandcamp.

4 out of 6 “Beyond the Burning Fire, Heaven and Hell. Today I Give You Two Choices: Life or Death”

Overkill Declares War on Your Patience (Nuclear Blast Records, February 22, 2019)

The state of New Jersey has been the butt of jokes for quite a long time whether its in pop culture, stand-up routines, or the natives themselves, now take all that away and Jersey has some bitchin’ punk and metal legends. One of these icons are the underrated kings in Overkill. The quintet has now spread The Wings of War and get you back on track with some speedy and aggressive thrash metal.

The album begins with “Last Man Standing” which starts strongly and slowly builds up and unleashes a plethora of guitar shredding, and drums courtesy of Dave Linsk, Derek “The Skull” Tailer and Jason Bittner. It is then followed by “Believe in the Fight” which keeps the momentum and energy going. The same can also be said of “Out on the Road-Kill.” “Batshitcrazy” gives you a combo of pure thrash nirvana and a steady but slower rhythm which doesn’t take away from the song at all.

Remember how the Klown began this review with a reference of New Jersey being the subject of jokes? These Jersey boys defend and parody their home state in the thrashy but hilarious song, “Welcome to the Garden State.” The album finishes with “Hole in My Soul” which races to the finish line in its steady but heavy pace. Not only was this a great album but the Klown feels like it’s a great comeback album for the kings of New JerseyGet your copy here!

6 out of 6 “Welcome to the Garden State. Come On in, the Water’s Great! We’re Out of Line and We Got No Time for You”