Cormorant Return with Some More Black Metal from the Bay

The name Cormorant should be somewhat known to some both in the underground metal scene and in the Bay Area. But for those who aren’t, this quartet is known for being serious about remaining independent despite how many sources claim otherwise. With that tidbit aside, Cormorant have released their fourth album Diaspora independently. Unlike their previous 2014 album, Earth Diver, the band takes the approach of Wintersun and delivers in 4 track album with songs over 7 minutes long.

The album kicks off with “Preserved in Ash,” Brennan Kunkel’s drums open the 10-plus minute long Pandora’s box and is then followed by vox/bassist Marcus Luscombe’s screaming vocals. The best way the Klown can describe this song is if Opeth’s style of prog met with a lot of underground black metal influence such as Morphesia. With “Sentinel” and “Migration” the band makes a 180 and features more of a doom influence, switches it back to progressive becoming nearly 16 and 26-plus minutes long, respectively.

In “The Devourer” the band returns to the progressive black metal brand that they are known for and has guitarist/backing vocalist Matt Solis and Kunkel sharing the mic creating a ghastly and harmonic chorus. This album was quite a surprise given the band’s original poison of choice is black metal. The Klown highly recommends this album if you are looking to expand your tastes in the prog and doom field. You can check this quartet’s album out in their Bandcamp.

5 out of 6, Doomtastic  

Porky Vagina Release their Third Installment

Porky Vagina’s name alone will leave a lot to the imagination. Nevertheless, this Polish trio is back with their new release titled Astroschwein and was released independently. From the very beginning, “Chlew I Honor” plays on the sounds of Western movies but immediately turn to the sounds of grindcore  and remains experimental. Aside from this being the running theme of the album, the Klown can best describe these sounds as a marriage between Nekrogoblikon and Igorrr who conceived a lead singer that plays with his vocals and can mimic the pig squeals.

“Fekal Disko Party,” “Call of Knuru” and “Anal, Flaki I Prosiaki” are great examples of what the Klown speaks of. “Jan Maria Rakiela” sounded like an unheard of Asesino track if frontman/bassist Tony Campos decided to test out his Polish. Do you like Ghoul and are curious to know how they would sound like with a bit of rockabilly? “Czas Pogardy I Musztardy,” “Polej Smalcu” and “Oberiva ov Death” are the tracks you definitely want to give a try.

“Wunderschwein,” however, starts off with the rockabilly influence but was more of a mash up of the metal subgenres, some electronic, and a rowdy chorus. At first the Klown didn’t know what to make of it but he will admit that this was a good album and can hook anyone in if you are having trouble deciding what you want to listen to. You can get a copy at the band’s Bandcamp to check it out for yourself.

6 out of 6 That’s All Folks

Incantation Shall Offend the Unworthy with Latest

The pioneering trio known as Incantation has released their tenth album through Relapse Records. The newest album Profane Nexus will remind you why Incantation is a legend in the New York City death metal scene. The album first takes off with “Muse” in which frontman/guitarist John McEntee’s slow riffs build up quickly and features his harsh, growling vocals to boot.

“Rites of the Locust,” “Xipe Totec,” and “Messiah Nostrum,” however, really bring back the powerful sounds that Incantation has been known for. They will destroy your eardrums in a good way and will have you clamoring for more of McEntee’s vocals and riffs accompanied with Kyle Severn’s excellent drumming and Chuck Sherwood’s strong bass strumming.

The band tones it down with “Incorporeal Despair,” “Omens to the Altar of Onyx” and “Ancients Arise.” Additionally, the songs will make you feel like you are listening to a Six Feet Under track minus the guttural vocals of Chris Barnes and, much like SFU, the tracks pick up tempo in between and continue their sluggish brutal sounds as well.

The trio’s latest installment will have any diehard fan begging for more and will leave them speechless to what they have heard. Most importantly if you loved Immolation and Suffocation’s latest releases, you will definitely love this album. If you want to challenge the Klown’s opinion on this, then mosey on up to the band’s Bandcamp and see for yourself.

6 out of 6, Phresh 

Venom Inc Will Have You Singing Hymns About Their Return

The legendary gods of the early black metal scene are back in full swing and with a vengeance. Okay… the majority of the said gods… the point is Venom Inc promised a new album and delivered with their latest debut installment Avé through Nuclear Blast Records. Before the Klown proceeds to type up this love letter, he wants you to know that this album just seemed to have everything and more.

The trio begins with “Avé Sathanas” which has a dramatically slow ominous sample with some deep, growling spoken word serving as a catalyst to Jeff “Mantas” Dunn’s guitar riffs and frontman/bassist Tony “Demolition Man” Dolan’s powerful bass strums. The pace immediately picks up with “Forged in Hell” and features Tony “Abaddon” Bray’s superb drumming as the opening sounds to this awesome track. The band also managed to make a new anthem for us metalheads and adds the speed metal element with “Metal We Bleed” making this a fresh and superb track.

The trio takes it old school in terms of elements and speed with “Time to Die” and “The Evil Dead” and will have you remembering that this group was also responsible for “Black Metal.” “Preacher Man” tones it down and has Abaddon thundering his double kicks and cymbals clashing as the founding element of this song. Remember how the Klown brought up “Black Metal?” You should since it’s still in this piece!

Venom Inc’s closing track is the awesomely titled “Black’n’Roll” which shows us everything the trio gots. This track has an awesome guitar riff from Mantas, all the drumming prowess and skills of Abaddon and the Demolition Man’s commanding vocals and bass that defy speed and logic! The wait for this current incarnation was well worth the wait and will have anyone being exigent for more. Luckily the Klown can tell you that you can get a hold of a copy of this current sacrament here.

6 out of 6, The Poison of Champions, Hallelujah! 

*UH OH! Jenny Oh has thrown in her 2 cents! There goes her life savings again.*

Empyrean Throne Are Dripping With Glory

Suit up! We are headed to the front lines to defend the Empyrean Throne who are thirsty for glory and are ready to conquer with their debut LP Chaosborne via M-Theory Audio Records. The Californian melodic black metallers celebrate their first conquest as a signed band by unleashing their infernal cavalry with “The Twilight Order” and release the rabid “Usurping the Obsidian God” (which is just as badass live!)

Prepare to be thrust in to the darker side of their empire and in to the ominous and theatrical “The Devouring Mark.” That middle instrumental sequence in this track is the perfect build up to this swan song. Empyrean Throne create a beautiful illusion with “Follow the Plaguelord Part II: The Harbringer ov Pestilence” by reeling you in with clean vocals from Andrew Knudsen and a beautiful acoustic melody to flow with his voice before Knudsen shows you his inner Shagrath.

Empyrean Throne continues their vicious campaign with the ominous “From the Mouth ov the Black Gods,” “Stormrite Ascension,” and “And None Shall Rise…” The infernal lords are sure to awaken the ancient spirits residing in their domain with the beautifully crafted “Haereticus Stellarum Part I” where the fiddle continues to add more ambience and emotion along with the percussion and spills out the dramatic chanting and drum tempo in “Haereticus Stellarum Part II.”

Empyrean Throne shine brighter than the crown Knudsen dawned at the Helheim show earlier this year. Every epic adventure has a beginning and what better way for this band to begin this new chapter in their story with Chaosborne? The metallers from Lake Forest deliver a full length debut album sharper than Excalibur and possess a stronger magick than the Sanderson Sisters! Yours truly can’t find the appropriate words to describe the superb theatrics, instrumental work and vocals in this album. So head on down to their bandcamp to get your copy and join this campaign by exploring their previous releases.

6 Out 6, We will gladly bend the knee


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