Honorable Mention:

Transplants Got You Covered with Their Covers

If you are a huge punker or just remember the Garnier Fructis commercials then the supergroup known as the Transplants should be no stranger in those regards. The Klown shall re-indulge you on who they are just for kicks.  The side project of Rancid’s Tim Armstrong and Death March’s Robert “Skinhead Rob” Aston have been teasing a reunion and an album for some time and have now delivered.

Their latest EP titled Take Cover has now been released through Epitaph Records. This EP has the supergroup covering and adding their own special touches to Minor Threat’s “Seeing Red,” Madness’s “Baggy Trousers,” The Flirtations’ “Nothing But A Heartache,” The Violators’ “Live Fast, Die Young” and the Beastie Boys’ “Gratitude.” The one special treat aside from the group replaying “Saturday Night” would be a new song.

“Won’t Be Coming Back” is the name of their latest new song which serves as a teaser and as a lure for the future that still being teased. Other than that this album just serves as a nice buffer for a very busy Armstrong. You can check this album on Spotify or get this album here.

Fozzy Make an Album of Biblical Proportions

Fans of WWE and pro wrestling altogether already know who this band belongs to and the same can be said about the trolls in our metal communities. For those unaware, WWE superstar/actor/author Chris Jericho is the lead singer and founder of the hard rock band Fozzy where he collaborates with Stuck Mojo’s guitarist Rich Ward. Now that that formality is out of the way, Fozzy has released their seventh studio album Judas  through Century Media Records.

The album kicks off with the albums forerunning hit “Judas,” a song that WWE fans and network subscribers will tell you has been featured to death… almost. Nevertheless, it is still catchy AF. It is preceded by their following singles “Drinking with Jesus” and “Painless” which can be described as very ear friendly hard rock, and a good lure for potential new fan base.

“Wordsworth Way” was a very harmonic hard rock track and featured some keys that help set a tone and foundation for the song and felt like a meaningful song to that was a borderline ballad. In “Burn Me Out”  Fozzy take a page from 30 Seconds To Mars in terms of influencing sounds such as the harmonic hard rock sounds mixed with electronic samples. “Three Days in Jail” was very good and interesting song because it starts off with some nu metal, electric rock sounds, features rapping, and some harsh vocals in addition to Jericho’s clean vocals.

“Capsized” feature some hard rock/ alternative metal similar to that of Breaking Benjamin. The album closes with “Wolves At Bay” which was a bit more metal than the previous and features aggression in terms of both sounds and lyrics. The track also features a really awesome wailing solo from Rich Ward which was a rather satisfying ending.

The Klown will tell you that it was an enjoyable album,  a pretty good breakthrough, and showcased many influences in music and not necessarily of the guitar and screaming vocal variety. The work he puts in the songs and album demonstrates Jericho’s artistic values, character, and serves as an explanation for his part-time status in WWE. If you like hard rock and tame nu metal such as Linkin Park, Deftones, Breaking Benjamins and 30 Seconds To Mars the Klown recommends you check it out. If you are a huge Y2J fan you’re definitely going to want to look into it. You can get a copy here and see what you think.

5 out of 6, This Album Just Made the List!

Signatura Rerum Release their Darkest Follow Up

The Klown has delivered again! The Klown has found the Romanian trio known as Signatura Rerum and their latest independent release Legend 1. This black metal group begins their current saga with “Rise and Fall, Pt. 1” which begins slowly and ambient to set the tone which is then followed by tribal style drumming and some spoken word vocals and chorus which seemed rather ceremonial and serves as a great intro “Rise and Fall, Pt. 2.”

“…Part 2″ is first met with some erratic riffs from Denis “Stihia” Sbârcea, followed by  a couple of solos from Erwin “Varcolac” Weber and go slightly folk for a brief moment. “Legion and Order, Pt. 1 and Pt. 2” has the band sporting more whimsical sounds that are normally associated with pagan-folk styles such as Primordial and Akercocke.

The song featured some “woodland” sounds combined with melodic black metal as its foundation. The album caps off with “Sand and Wine” part1 and 2. Part one is lengthy at a little over 11 minutes long and takes an approach to prog similar to Opeth and Nidingr. Much like the bands the Klown just mentioned, Signatura would begin rather tame with acoustics but would build up and unleash heavy and hard black metal with Varcolac’s vocals instead of growling  before shifting to clean ones. Part 2, on the other hand, would serve as a great ending and an outro that showcasing how artistic beauty can emerge from chaos.

In this case, the track would solely belong to guest vocalist former Döxa female vox Dina Nasser who would be accompanied by the sounds of the oceans crashing. This album was a good one to hear and really showcased a different side most symphonic black metal bands aren’t known to do. The Klown highly recommends this album if you enjoy Nidingr, Keep of Kalessin, Hour Of Penance and Opeth. Lastly, if you want to check it out because it piqued your interest or want to challenge the Klown’s words, feel free to check out their Bandcamp.

6 out of 6, T’was a Masterpiece of Epic Revelations!

Gothminister Shall Help Parishioners to The Other Side

The Norwegian industrial metal quartet known as Gothminister have returned after a three-year hiatus to bring forth a new dark congregation. The sixth Gothic sermon of Bjørn Alexander Brem is titled The Other Side and has been released through AFM Records. This latest sermon begins with “Ich Will Alles” which has the group revisiting their signature Goth rock sounds that made them a breakthrough in the industrial/Goth metal scene. The track also includes Brem’s interchanging bass-baritone vocals and continue to follow their style in  “Taking Over.”

The album carries on with an ode to vampiric and Gothic love with the ironically titled “The Sun.” This track features some female vocals accompanying Brem’s vocals and take a similar approach but turn up the volume with “We Are The Ones Who Rule The World.” Gothminister give us another shot at German with “Der Fliegenden Mann” and features a kickass guitar solo and feels a bit more metal like its antecedent album Utopia. The band turns down their roughness and revisits the Goth rock element with “Aegir” and male backing vocals and chorus.

The album “All This Time” and “Day of Reckoning” has more industrial  sounds similar to that of classic Oomph! and Rammstein. Speaking of the latter, the album closes epically with “Somewhere in Time.” Why did the Klown bring up Rammstein? The song closes off with orchestral overture samples and the harshness similar to that of “Mein Teil” and the remix version of “Ich Keine Lust” making these songs grandiose. Gothminister kept it Industrial, dark and has Brem’s voice become distorted and manipulated as if to hint that he’s something evil.

All those big words should sum up how awesome it sounded. It seems that after abandoning Goth metal, Brem rediscovered his previous style of industrial and Goth rock. Faithful congregates of Gothminister will be as pleased as a vampire in a blood bank. The Klown, for one, enjoyed this album and can see this as a possible breakthrough enough for them to  officially cross the pond. As always you can either check this album out before buying at Spotify or you can take the Klown’s word and take the plunge with your wallet here.

6 out of 6, And The Lord Sayeth “Let There Be Darkness!”

Enslaved Will Break You Free of Traditional Black Metal

The band Enslaved should not be unfamiliar to you especially if you are into black metal. One of the originators of the Bergen warrior spirit is back with their 14th album titled E through Nuclear Blast Records. The Klown has to assume that the E in E stands for evolution or experimental because this latest is a testament to both of those things. Either way, change is good and this album shows it.

The quintet open this album with the decelerated “Storm Son” which sounded more like a movie’s opening score. This intro included the a tuba, horses neighing, and are all immediately accompanied by some melancholic ambient sounds combined with some soothing guitar. Those sounds would immediately transition into some prog which would then be accompanied by guitarist Ivar Bjørnson, keyboardist Håkon Vinje’s vocals and an interjection by frontman/bassist Gruttle Kjellson’s harsh vocals.

If that sounded like too much allow the Klown to tell you that this piece is not only nearly 11 minutes long but changes quite a bit with the same formula. If you’re seeking just prog “The River’s Mouth” would be the winner in this search. If you don’t mind a bit of sax in your prog Enslaved presents “Hiindsiight” alongside guest vox Einar Kvitrafn Selvik from Wardruna.

“Sacred Horse” and “Axis of the World,” however, brings you some black metal with a bit of prog. “Feathers of Eohl,” on the other hand, feature complete ambience to the tame black metal sound. The limited edition version of the album features two new songs, while the last one features the band covering the Norwegian electro pop duo known as Röyksopp and their song “What Else Is There.”

For the record, the Klown has yet to hear the original version of “What Else…”but can tell you that Enslaved’s version does the song justice and may cause you to pique interest in the original song for comparison sake. The album was pretty gnarly and highly recommends it to anyone who was anticipating this current release. This album is also recommended to those who love ambient black metal or avant-garde. You can listen or take the Klown’s word and take the plunge here.

6 out of 6 It Will Set Your Ears Free

Samael Will Subjugate Your Ears

You thought the Klown was done? Ha! Guess again, plebian. Once the Klown received word that Samael was back he had to check it out. The Swiss quartet is back with the appropriately titled tenth release Hegemony through Napalm Records. Why it is appropriately titled? That’s because this album will dominate your ears with awesome industrial/black metal goodness.

The release begins with the track  sharing the namesake of this album and begins with some industrial that features some overture for the beginning of their brand new epic sound. Those sounds are immediately met with Michael “Vorph” Locher’s harsh screaming vocals. The same style would recur with “Samael” and with the bonus track “Storm of Fire.”

Samael feature more Industrial metal with “Angel of Wrath,” “Rite Renewal” and “Red Planet.” If you are seeking just industrial with minimal metal influence then “Black Supremacy,” “This World” and “Dictate of Transparency” would be your tracks of choice. The Goth metal is also featured on this album with “Murder or Suicide,” “Against All Enemies” and “Helter Skelter.”

Although Samael has drifted away from black metal, that’s not a bad thing. Assuming you’re not a staunch black metal aficionado and dabble with Industrial and Goth metal then you will find this album rather enjoyable. The Klown would also recommend this album to Deathstars, Gothminister and Dagoba fans. Lastly, you can get this album right here.

6 out of 6, Dominance!

1 Comment. Leave new

  • […] Gothminister provides a great balance of goth/industrial and metal influences in this album much like their previous entry and should be made part of your breakfast! Don’t worry Utopia fans! This one still has an edge if you’re pining for it. Perhaps the J-Ohster (that’s right, I’m doing this again) is exaggerating but if you’re an avid Gothminister fan you’d understand. Gothminister provided a lot of beautiful gothic ballads and empowering tracks that will make you swoon and rise. It’s good to have them back! Cross over to The Other Side at Spotify and see how the Klown felt about it here. […]


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