Honorable Mention

Dimmu Borgir Give an Epic Tease to their Upcoming Album

Dimmu Borgir is one of the Titans and innovators of the symphonic black metal sub genre. They are also one of the names most people think of when it comes to associating Norway and black metal. Anyway, after a long 8-year hiatus since Abrahadabra, they have returned with a two-track EP titled Interdimensional Summit with Nuclear Blast Records.

Plain and simple, “Interdimensional Summit” sounded epic and symphonic as Dimmu knows how. It starts off with some keys that sound reminiscent of the sounds of an old scary movie. It also features a chorus with some effects to compliment the song. It also featured a pretty sweet solo from Thomas “Glader” Orre. This EP finishes with a live version of “Puritania” which originally comes from their 2001 Puritanical Euphoric Misanthropia.

The Klown was totally stoked to hear this brand-new gem. Much like you, the Klown is anticipating the release of their latest LP Eonian due later in the year. If you haven’t heard it check it out on Nuclear Blast’s Youtube channel. If you are a collector of vinyl or fancy yourself a huge Dimmu fan, you can get your copy right here.

The temporary look of symphonic black metal

Destroyer 666 Release a Wild Teaser

When you think of Down Under and metal, few names pop up. AC/DC is usually the go-to for most. On the Aussie hierarchy, however, Destroyer 666 is also a recognizable name when it comes to metal. Although this release is not a brand-new LP, the innovators of Australian black metal have returned with an EP to keep you entertained. The contemporary release is titled Call of the Wild and it was released through Season Of Mist.

The brand-new call to arms commences with “Violence is Golden” which starts strong and aggressive with R.C. and K.K. Warslut’s power guitar riffs which then meets up with Per “Perra” Karlsson’s drumming. This combination will remind listeners of the heavy thrash, black metal sounds that they are known for much like Venom. “Stone by Stone” follows the track  and takes more of a speed metal approach while “Call of the Wild” mixes both speed and thrash. The track also features an awesome, wailing guitar solo from R.C.

The album finishes with “Trialed by Fire.” It was lengthy but also a bit of a throwback to the days when Bathory added some folk to their brand of black metal. This EP was pretty good and does a good job  matching sounds from other known bands that also are a part of the same early black metal family tree. All the Klown can say is that he can’t wait till the next album is released. The Klown threw out plenty of names to convince you, and if you need more convincing check them out in the label’s Bandcamp for a convincing nudge.

5 out of 6 Prepare to Destroy your Heathen Ears!

Black Metal from Down, Down Under

Schwarzer Engel Teases No More

The name Schwarzer Engel should come to you as of no surprise if you kept up with us. After all, last year in December, the lone wolf known as Dave Jason released the EP Sinnflut in anticipation of the new album the Klown is about to talk about. Flash forward to now and the LP has now come to fruition. The latest studio album from this industrial mainstay is titled Kult der Krähe and it was released through Massacre Records.

“Krähen an die Macht” kicks off the album with some brooding but immediately picks up strongly. Jason gets a bit tender with the “Gott ist im Regen” which also contained some resonating keys which added ambiance to the song. The track is then followed by “Sinnflut” and “Futter für die See” which the Klown won’t bother going over because they were both featured in the EP prior to this album’s release. “Mein glühend Herz” and “Ein kurzer Augenblick” were a bit slow but felt sentimental and features resonating keyboard solos.

Schwarzer Engel revisits the gothic industrial metal sounds it is known for with “Meerflucht” and also featured string samples, sound bites and brief guitar solo. The same can also be said about “Unheil” minus the guitar solo and sound bites. “Requiem” takes the Gothic tone a bit further which made for a brooding but soothing song. It is worth noting that you can listen to the predominantly piano version of  “Requiem” in the  EP as well.

The contemporary ends with “Wenn mein Herz Zerbricht.” The song was a ballad which featured a men choir chorus which would resonate perfectly with a church and had a keyboard solo. This album was pretty good and felt rather sentimental. If you love goth, darkwave and/or industrial metal especially of the German variety, the Klown recommends it. If you need further convincing Spotify or take the plunge here.

5 out of 6 Currently Indoctrinating Potential Followers

The Cult of the Black Birds Await!

Megaherz Newest Soars Across

When people think of Megaherz they most likely think mispronunciations and the measure of electricity. Sometimes too much can cause an electrical fire. You wanna know what else is on fire? A Komet which the German quintet known as Megaherz has released via Napalm Records.

Crappy jokes aside (the Klown was never a comedic clown), this latest album has this collective reminding you that the Neue Deutsche Harte brand isn’t just a monopoly controlled by Rammstein and Oomph! The album starts off with some industrial in the form of “Vorhang auf.” The song starts off with Christian “X-Ti” Bystron’s programming and heavy guitar riffs which are accompanied by Tobias Derer’s drumming, and Alexander “Lex” Wohnhaas‘s  vocals.

The collective tones it down with the ballads “Scherben bringen Glück,” “Von Oben,” “Tieferausch” and “Heldengrab.” “Von Oben” had more of a tender approach than “Scherben…” and utilized the sounds of the piano while maintainig the hard rock element. The collective even managed to make a song for the clown president in the form of “Horrorclown.” While keeping the Neue Deutsch Harte sounds, they incorporate Trump’s sound bites from his speeches. Wens Weninger’s  bass opens “Schwarz oder Weiss” which becomes a catchy industrial metal song.

They continue with industrial metal with “Nicht in meinem Namen” and “Trau Dich.” The album finishes with “Nicht Genug” which contained a pretty bitching solo from Bystron and some keys that enhanced the song a bit. This album was pretty good especially if you don’t mind German lyrics. Aside from the earlier names that were already mentioned, the Klown recommends this album for fans of Gothminister and Schwarzer Engel. You can check the album out in Napalm’s Bandcamp if you need some convincing.

6 out 6 Armageddon Never Sounded Better

Bringing a Full Charge of Industrial

Thy Antichrist Unleash It’s Second Coming

The Klown’s interest piqued when this band popped up on the Ugh Metal radar. Why? The reasons being that this happens to be another black metal band from the land of parsas, arepas and coffee. On the same day of this contemporary’s release, the Colombian collective known as Thy Antichrist joined symphonic death metal titans, Septicflesh and Swedish black metal powerhouse, Dark Funeral at the Brick By Brick. Stay tuned for that. In the meantime, the Klown shall talk about the band’s sophomore album Wrath of the Beast which was released through Napalm Records.

The album kicks off this breakthrough with some flamenco style acoustic guitar strings to open “Desolation.” The song then transitions to some heavy and fast-paced black metal that gets accompanied by Andres “Antichrist 666” Vargas’s harsh screaming vocals. The song is followed by the awesome and the new metal anthem “Metal to the Bone,” which was really fast-paced and have you enjoying the erratic drumming from Chris “Orricuss” Stropoli and the riffs from Robert “Abyssvs” Coronado. The same can be said about the album’s current hit and the Klown’s other  favorite song “The Great Beast,” which contained narrative sound bites mixed in.

“A World Burn to Ashes” and “No Place Like Hell” not only sounded robust but also had an array of guitar action such as  electric and more acoustic. The album finishes with “The Last Breath” which was a soothing acoustic guitar outro with a chorus. This album was a great follow up and really met the hype especially if you fancy black metal. The Klown recommends this album if you are a fan of Nile, Behemoth, Deicide and Dark Fortress. You can check this album in your streaming service of choice or take the Klown’s word and get it through Napalm’s Bandcamp.

6 out of 6 The Soundtrack of the Second Coming

The Wrath of the Beast and the Second Coming of the Dark Master’s Child

Necrophobic Returns!

The underrated Swedish black metal band known as Necrophobic have returned at long last. Those who have kept up with this quintet’s discographic journey would be the first ones telling the Klown that it’s been five years since the release of Womb of Lilithu. That’s right kids, this band has been away for that long. Now the trve collective has released their eighth installment Mark Of The Necrogram through Century Media Records.

This album begins strong with their title track which starts off with some fast-paced guitars and thunderous drumming from Joakim Sterner. Necrophobic keep it going with “Odium Caecum” which also had a pretty awesome solo. The Klown took a liking to the “Tsar Bomba” because aside from being an awesome track, the lyrical content was superb and kind of inspirational. This song also had a sweet and kind of psychedelic guitar solo.

The band slows down a bit with “Requiem for a Dying Sun” which also contained an awesome solo, was pretty heavy, and reminded the Klown of a Watain song. They immediately pick up the pace with the Klown’s other favorite song, “Crown of Thorns” and “From the Great Above to the Great Below.” The latter is one of  the only song to not feature a solo. The final track of the album, “Undergången,” was a slow and brooding instrumental that was soothing. The Klown can only say that this album was great and, most importantly, recommends this album for those who love Swedish black metal. You can check this out on Spotify or take the plunge here.

6 out of 6 The Soundtrack that Brings Back the Dead

Bow to the Kingdom of the Dead

Tengger Cavalry Unleash its Last Crusade

Tengger Cavalry should be familiar to you whether or not you follow Ugh Metal. After all, they’ve graced our page multiple times… sort of. Despite that, it is a real bummer that their saga would end the way it did. But before the prolific Nature Ganganbaigal officially put up his cavalry’s reins, he made sure to give us one more journey for the books. The latest is titled Cian Bi and it was released through Napalm Records.

The album begins with “And Darkness Continues” as a morin khuur instrumental intro track which serves as a great catalyst for “Cian Bi (Fight Your Darkness).” “Cian Bi” begins with some heavy galloping bass drumming from Zaki Ali and features an array of instruments from the morin khuur, jaw harp and the topshur blended with some really heavy guitar riffs. The same can be said about “Ride into Grave and Glory (War Horse II)” and “The Old War.” The Cavalry would do something similar with “Our Ancestors” but replace the jaw harp with some wind instrument. Ganganbaigal not only features more vocal ranges from his throat singing and clean baritone vocals, but also mixes his voice with some auto-tune.

“Strength” will certainly give you that because it was one of the roughest tracks in the whole album. The song also showcases a sets of instruments such as the jaw harp, Ali’s fast-paced drumming, some piano, some strings, and the sounds of the shamisen. If you need a motivator for your morning runs, the Klown definitely recommends the fast and heavy paced instrumental “Chasing My Horse” which also contains more awesome wailing guitar solo, wind and strings instruments with traditional Mongolian throat singing. “Electric Shaman” take a page from industrial and used samples to  incorporate the sounds of folk and metal for a unique type of instrumental.

“Redefine” lives up to its title and was one of the Klown’s favorite tracks which featured some distorted guitar play to accompany Ganganbaigal’s throat singing. The vocalist also treats us to a ballad which doesn’t drift away from the folk and metal sounds. The album finishes with “Sitting In Circles” which was a minute long and filled with soft instrumentals.

This album was great and the band applied more dynamism to an already dynamic band. Although the Klown, among many, are bummed out that the Cavalry has called it quits but he’s glad that they have done so on a very high note. As always you can check out on Spotify, Apple Music or take the plunge in Bandcamp.

6 out of 6, The Ride May Be Over but the Conquest Shall Live On!

The Last Ride? Let’s Hope Not!

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