Honorable Mention

Rotting Christ Tease Congregation with The Call

It has been a while since Rotting Christ has been mentioned in this site. Come to think of it, the Klown’s sibling named their album, Rituals, the best album in 2016. If you don’t believe that, you can check that clusterfuck out and see for yourself. Anyway, the Greek titans have returned with a bit of noise this year in the form of a tease. Their current EP, The Call, has come out through Peaceville Records on vinyl. Y’know the label most famous for carrying Darkthrone records since they signed them?

So why has the Klown put this release on an honorable mention? The answer is that their current release only contains one original song and a live version of an already established song. The original which happens to be titled “The Call” sounded awesome. The song had sounds similar to that of the previous album, Rituals, from guitar and vocalization from Sakis Tolis to the awesome bass work and drumming from Vagelis Karzis and Themis Tolis, respectively. The track also has a slow but awesome guitar solo.

The final song comes from their 1993 release, The Mighty Contract, “The Sign of Evil Existence.” The cool thing about this live version is that it contains two very prolific singers lending their voices. Those voices are Varathron’s Stefan Necroabyssious and Behemoth’s Adam “Nergal” Darski. Other than that, nothing truly stands out as much. All the Klown can say is that he can’t wait until March for the new one! If you fancy yourself a true Rotting Christ fan or just want to add one more to your vinyl collection, you can get that baby here.

Issuing The Call for the Heretics

Visigoth Return with its Second Conquest

Quickly! Without thinking, name a metal from Utah that’s not Chelsea Grin. If the answer was Visigoth, congrats you read the subheader. The Salt Lake quintet have comeback with its sophomore album Conqueror’s Oath through Metal Blade Records. This tribe still manage to bring back the power to their style of metal.

The album begins with “Steel and Silver” which opened with a killer solo and which are then accompanied by frontman’s, Jake Rogers, baritone vocals. Rogers’s vocals would then be accompanied by a manly chorus making it sound epic. “Warrior Queen” features the collective performing a throwback to the classic heavy metal sounds like that of classic Judas Priest and Iron Maiden. They pick up the pace altogether with “Outlive Them All” and feature power metal sounds similar to Blind Guardian but faster.

“Hammerforged” featured more of the classic heavy metal sounds and includes the rest of the band accompanying Rogers with a melodic and very masculine chorus. “Traitor’s Gate” starts off rather slow for a little over a minute and immediately pick up. “Blades in the Night” features some real speed and will get your blood flowing. The album caps off with “The Conqueror’s Oath” which made for a pretty good closer and finished how it began.

The Klown enjoyed the album. It had the collective really show off and highlight a throwback with a touch of modern power metal influences. If you haven’t heard of Visigoth before, then the Klown would recommend it for those who love the sounds of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal as well as power metal. Lastly, you can check it out in Bandcamp to judge for yourself and acquire.

5 out of 6 Vowing to Conquer Your Ears on Track at a Time

Conquering One Ear at a Time

Therion Release its Unholiest Contemporary to Date

Therion is the one band name that gets tossed around when the topic of symphonic death metal gets mentioned. The Swedish collective has been going strong for 30 years already and has no signs of stopping soon. But Klown, how can you be sure of that? Asked none of you. Well, if you didn’t read the title, they got a new one out titled Beloved Antichrist through Nuclear Blast Records.

Before the Klown continues on about this album he will say that he won’t attempt to talk about this latest release too much. Why? You actually may be wondering, this time? This current compilation is not only 3 discs but it is also 3 hours’ worth of music and 46 tracks long. That’s quite a doozy, am I right lads and lassies? This recent release also happens to be a rock opera. Therion’s concept and inspiration take a different turn than most metal albums because it is inspired by the Russian philosopher Vladimir Solovyov’s Tale of the Antichrist.

For those who’ve never read or heard of this tale, you’re either not very pious or haven’t dabbled in to philosophy in your scholarly career yet. The short summary that the Klown will give you is that the story is about unity among a common enemy/oppressor despite creed and regions. This album also features an array of guest musicians portraying characters from the narrative. Musicians like Chrysalys’s Chiara Malvestiti takes the role of Johanna, Erik Rosenius as Satan, Samuel Jarrick as Pope Peter II, Plague Of Stars’ Melissa Ferlaak and The Experiment No. Q’s Linnéa Vikström as a congresswoman.

The Klown will say this about this 3-disc compilation: the album was beautifully composed. The instrumental behind the album set the tone well and make you feel the moment. The vocals, unless you are not a fan of opera-style singing, felt right, well placed and didn’t feel too exaggerated or over the top. The choir featured on the album did a great job setting a tone and accompanying the stand-alone vocals from the characters when needed.  If you’re attention span isn’t longer than you’d want it to be or don’t appreciate operas, then the Klown wouldn’t recommend this for you. Lastly, you can check this piece out on Spotify or take the plunge here.

5 out of 6 Will Tame and Civilize the Beast Incarnate

The Face of the Unholy Opera

Harm’s Way Latest Show What Chicago Hardcore is All About

The Chi-Town quintet known as Harm’s Way has returned after a three-year hiatus. The Klown has had the pleasure of seeing this quintet perform a while back. In fact, admittedly, the Klown thought that frontman James Pligge was John Cena’s tattooed doppelgänger but that may be a story for another time. The point is the Klown can vouch for these guy’s brand of hardcore. The group’s latest album is Posthuman and it was released through Metal Blade Records.

This inhuman album starts with “Human Carrying Capacity” strongly. The heavy guitar opening makes this track sound powerful but once Pligge lets out his vocals, you know the band ain’t messing around. Lest the Klown forget the complimentary bass and drumming from Chris Mills. They follow up the same way but with more drumming power with “Last Man,” “Sink” and “Unreality.” “Temptation” was an intermission type of song which started out slow and with droning, wailing guitars and Pligge’s faded, vibrating vocals.

“Becoming the Machine” and “Dissect Me” not only picks up speed but also gives you some aggressive hardcore punk that will cause you to break out a circle pit of your own. “The Gift” has the group venturing into a some industrial which was rather unexpected but good. The album finishes how it began, with “Dead Space” but with extra vocals in the mix to really drive it home. The Klown has seen some hype on this band’s latest release and after hearing it, he can say that the hype was met. If you want to check this album out before you buy it, check it out in Metal Blade’s Bandcamp to further convince yourself.

6 out of 6 No Harm Done

No Harm Done while Hearing or Making this Album

Pissed Regardless Make One For The Birds

Oh… snap, look who’s making a return to your favorite site [citation needed]. For local San Diegans who dabble in the local scene Pissed Regardless is a very familiar name when it comes to hardcore. In fact, as the Klown mentioned before this isn’t Pissed Regardless’s first Ugh Metal appearance, check that shiz out whenever you can. Anyway, if you’ve had the pleasure to check this quintet out, good news they have released a new EP titled Feed The Birds with Creator-Destructor Records.

The album begins with “Empty” which starts off with some slow, heavy riffed guitars and immediately picks up the pace with Tim’s drumming and Matt Gerken’s harsh vocals. They continue their hardcore fest with “Feed The Birds” and “Lipstick on a Pig” and really have a steady, fast, and heavy pace with Tim. The group features a hardcore anthem “No Reprieve” which feature some speed, Gerken spewing some powerful vocals that had a pretty good flow to it, and a chorus that accompanies Gerkin’s vocals adding significance to the song.

The EP finished the feast with a good advice against the impending zombie apocalypse, “Trust No Pulse.” That track ended much rougher and with a heavy hardcore overtone. The Klown had the pleasure of seeing this group perform the day of the release and here these tracks live. If you haven’t quite dived in, the Klown would recommend this album for fans of Evergreen Terrace, Hatebreed, US Bastards and Norma Jean. Lastly, if you need a nudge check it out in the label’s Bandcamp and get in the same place.

6 out of 6 Hitchcock Has Nothing on This

Much bigger than breadcrumbs


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