Note: If you have followed us, whether it has been from the start or just recently, bless your wee hearts because thank you, and you kind of got an explanation to our continued absence in the interwebs via our Twitter and Instagram with a Goodfellas meme. If you just happened to stumble upon us recently, thank you. We dunno what possessed you to check out our meek site.
Anti-Flag releases the Trump Administration’s love letter (January 17, 2020; Spinefarm Records)
This one slipped past the Klown and is from way back in January. The Klown has had time to digest this album. Plain and simply, Anti-Flag doesn’t miss a beat! The difference between 20/20 Vision and American Fall is that 20/20 felt more like an outrageous and aggressive narrative of today’s political climate. It was almost foretelling of today’s current events.
The first track of the album “Hate Conquers All” has a snippet of Donnie’s interviews when asked about his views on the country’s immigration and mass protests. Keeping this short and sweet, with the exception of the breakup ballad “You Make Me Sick,” the album is great. You can stream and get your copy here. On a side note, for those who feel they should share their own political stance on our platforms, know that the Klown and all of Ugh Metal don’t care at all. We are a music site, first and foremost and respect all views no matter how negative or positive they may be. Just know that at the end of the day we know where we stand, no matter public opinion.
6 out of 6, “When I get knocked down I get back up again, yeah. Back by my family and friends, yeah!”
Svarttjern Shameless Return (January 17, 2020; Soulseller Records)
This one also got passed the Klown early in the year. All the way from the land of black metal, Vikings and (future Prime Minister) Fenriz, is Svarttjern. For those who are not familiar with Svarttjern, they consist of three members of Carpathian Forest who reunited and continued making black metal. Their latest installment Shame Is Just a Word reminds you who they used to collaborate with.
The opener alone, “Prince of Disgust,” gets you started and invested enough in the album. It is fast, rough, pulls out all the stops, and continues the formula with “Frost Embalmed Abyss” and onward. Not too much stood out in terms of sounds but it’s a good indicator that less is more and simplicity is key. Check this album out here in whatever streaming service of your choice may be. The Klown definitely recommends this album if you are a fan of Carpathian Forest and Keep of Kalessin.
5.5 out 6, No Shame at All!
Vredehammer Slither Their Way into the Year (March 6, 2020; Indie Recordings)
Just like the previous entrant, Vredehammer is also from Norway and released their latest installment entitled Viperous right before the pandemic began. This album takes Vredehammer’s musical evolution leaning more heavily towards industrial. No complaints, just an observation. “Winds of Dysphoria” showcases their latest direction such as Per Valla’s synth and mixes, Kristoffer Hansen’s erratic black metal guitar chords, and Kai Speidel’s thunderous, fast-paced drumming, you get what the Klown is talking about.
The album, however, officially hooks you in to the very end with it’s follow up “Aggressor.” Although this album is borderline industrial, its foundation and premise is still heavily black metal. The Klown would go on but doesn’t think he’d do this album justice by doing so. Check that mother out on Spotify or other streaming service or get it on Bandcamp.
6 out of 6, “I recall the trials. Leading up to this moment as I now arrive”
Code Orange Return from Underneath (March 13, 2020; Roadrunner Records)
Three years back, Code Orange exploded onto relevance with their biggest breakthrough, Forever. Naturally, faithful and new fans alike started having questions of concerns on how Forever would be followed up? As history has shown us, really good breakthroughs often prove to be the catalyst and the crux of success which can turn into a double-edge sword. Underneath is not the case, thankfully. Right before California and the rest of the country was preparing to shut down, Code Orange released their latest masterpiece and caused major buzz even before its aforementioned release.
CO kicked off our year with the title track and anticipation grew more as the single demonstrated that guitarist Reba Meyer was going to be doing more vocal duties. The Klown was immediately hooked by their second hit, “Swallowing the Rabbit Hole” which features Full Of Hell’s Nicole Dollanganer. The track much like the album had everything, a mix of melody and chaos just like the band does best. Plain and simple, great f’n album! Get it here or give it a listen to if you haven’t done so already.
6 out of 6, “Don’t wanna know who you really are. Don’t wanna know what you want”