June 15

Vistery Add their Definition of Death

Don’t worry if the name doesn’t ring a bell. Unless, of course, you really dig deep in the underground or are from Belarus. The once one-man death metal project known as Vistery morphed in to a quintet, and released their third installment in mid-June. Their latest is titled Death Is Dead and the cool part about this album is that they put this record out all by themselves. In case the Klown needs to spell it out for you, its an independent release!

The intro,“Winds of Devastation,” will get you pumped and invested in the album immediately. Ivan “Paranoid” Smirnov’s guttural vocals will definitely entrance you a bit and keep you hooked on the record. This installment, however, didn’t have anything that stood out to the Klown but it was still a good album. The Klown’s nose goes off to Alexander Volvachev and his groovy bass which gave the album a technical death metal element, and proved to be the foundation of the album’s sound. Plain and simple, if death metal, especially technical death metal is your cup of tea, then you really want to check these gents out. Their Bandcamp seems like a good place to start. 

4.8 out of 6, Killing

August 17

Doro Releases Lucky Number 13

Dorothee Pesch should be a familiar name especially to the true (and self-proclaimed) old school. After all, the Queen of Heavy Metal has been around long enough to carry the crown proudly and loudly. Der Klown had stumbled upon the queen’s newest solo project album. The queen graced us with a two-disc release for her on-going solo project which is titled Forever Warriors, Forever United through Nuclear Blast Records. The album kicks off with “All for Metal” which, much like the old school, reminded le Klown of the heavy metal anthems that were procured in the ’80s. The Klown went down memory lane again with “Metal is my Alcohol.”

Doro enlisted the handy work of renowned metal Viking, Amon Amarth’s Johan Hegg, for a love song meant for metalheads titled “If I Can’t Have You – No One Will.” Another surprise that this two-disc collection has is German comedian and Jazz musician Helge Schneider in “Backstage to Heaven.” Another guest that is featured is The Dead Daisies’ Doug Aldrich for “Heartbroken.” Aside from that, not too much stood out to the Klown. The release contained a series of ballads and hard rock style songs which isn’t a bad thing especially when you find out that the queen had dedicated the entire album to our dear ol’ Lemmy. If you really fancy the old school or just simply love Doro, then this is an album worth your time. Check it out on your streaming service of choice or take the plunge here

5 out of 6, Long Live the Queen

 

Black Tusk Continue to Take Care of Business

The Georgian quartet known as Black Tusk should be a very recognizable name to a lot of you. El Pallaso is looking at all of you, sludge heads and hardcore punkers. Since the Klown is on the subject the Tusk has released their fifth album titled T.C.B.T. through Season of Mist.  

Before the Klown begins, allow him to reiterate the punker bit.“Why?” the Klown low key hoped you asked your screen. Because, mein kind, this album contains more heavy, hardcore punk songs than sludge. But the beauty of it all is that this record is still a sludge metal album at its very core. In fact, right after the intro “A Perfect View of Absolutely Nothing,” the Tusk kept it very punk. “Ill At Ease,” is a good example of what the Klown is talking about and that was very fast paced.

“Rest with the Dead” was the one true sludge track in the album, not that it’s a bad thing just stating how heavily fast-paced and punk this album was. The Klown definitely enjoyed this album and thinks that you would too. Doubt the word of le Klown? Check out it on the band’s Bandcamp to be convinced.

6 out of 6, Taking Care of Business Everrry Time!

August 24

Alice In Chains Keep Breaking Them Chains

This is a name that the Klown is still taken aback by. Although the Klown wasn’t entirely conscientious of the grunge scene because he was just a wee clown, he still loves grunge. To this date, the Klown still blasts Alice In Chains from his iPod and basks in Layne Stanley’s legendary vocals and Mike Starr’s enigmatic bass. Although Stanley and Starr haven’t been with us, Jerry Cantrell piqued everyone’s interest in 2013 with the reemergence of Alice In Chain but with William DuVall as the face and the voice. Say what you will, it was magical. Since then Alice In Chains surprised us with yet another album. Their sixth and current release is called Rainier Fog and was released through BMG.

This album was bitchin,’ in general. “The One You Know” kicks things off, the song opens with Cantrell’s heavily distorted guitars and DuVall joining in with his guitars for added measure. This melodic opening sounds like the original Alice In Chains but with a modern hard rock take. Once “Red Giant” and “Fly” begin, the quartet takes you back to the days where Grunge reigned supreme, and when they solidified their place in the Grunge pantheon among other greats.

The album finishes with a slow ballad titled “All I Am.” This album was brilliant and if you fancy yerself an Alice In Chains fan. This record also re-brands the collective and reintroduces nostalgia to a newer audience. This oxymoron can be heard in your streaming service of choice or take the plunge here.

6 out of 6, Stanley and Starr approve.

Mantar’s Blazing Third

For those really into sludge, the name Mantar is familiar especially after Nuclear Blast snagged them about 5 years ago and have been on fire, in a manner of speaking. After all, their latest release, The Modern Art of Setting Ablaze, continues to add fuel to that flaming streak of theirs. For those who aren’t into sludge metal, that’s okay, the Klown understands. It’s simply not for everyone. However, Mantar has a gift to get anyone on board.

Their brand of sludge has some pep to it and makes you wonder if modern sludge is being redefined. From the moment the intro titled “The Knowing” opens up the album as a dramatic catalyst, you know that this album was going to be anything but an ordinary sludge album. The Klown’s claim is further supported from the moment the intro transitioned to the “Age of the Absurd,” which was a strong follow-up and keeps that gusto alive.

For those who really want a “true” sludge song, Mantar gots you covered with “Eternal Return” and “Anti Eternia,” just to name a few. Just to sign off on this album, it definitely met the hype and had the Klown seeing why the album was being held in such high regard.

The Klown definitely recommends the album for those who have always been fans of sludge and those who aren’t. Still, need convincing? Check it out in your platform of choice or the Mantar’s Bandcamp

6 out of 6 This Album’s on Fire.

Ulven Returns with New Rites for the Living

The one thing that the Klown will always be in awe of is the talent and skill of a single person. The Klown admires this about the current crop of the underground black metal scene. Ulven, the one-man black metal project, is amongst this batch. Led and powered by the lone wolf known as Sean “Sean Deth” Kratz, Ulven has managed to pump out another album within the span of a year. The latest album Death Rites Upon a Winged Crusade was released through Folkvangar Records.

Plain and simple, much like our very First Impressions alumnus, Vontrov and Morphesia (prior to his 2017 releases), it is raw black metal with some dramatic undertones and aggression. Much like them, it is executed well and has a balance. The ambient “Ninth Psalm Under the Moons of Decay” sets up the stage for “Howling Death” to explode and set the mood for the rest of the record.

Deth continues to feed the ominous mood with “When It’s Cold” and “Necrolust.” The album has a soft but fitting ending with “Where Light Barely Penetrates.” The Klown definitely recommends the album if you fancy yourself trve. Don’t believe the Klown? Check out Ulven’s Bandcamp.

6 out of 6 Death Seems So Inviting now

Night Club Return with an Assuring Sophomore

This is a name that has popped up before in Ugh Metal. This electronic duo gave us plenty of treats along with the Lords of Acid on Oct.2017 and made a triumphant return last year in which the frowny wonder known as Jenny Oh finally got to see their set in its entirety… and did not write about it. But now it is the time that the Klown bring up the newest release from the duo titled Scary World through Gato Blanco.

The Klown isn’t gonna sugar coat it. If you consider yourself trve, an elitist or a punker of any category, and you don’t like to venture out of your comfort zone, then don’t expect to enjoy this too much. However, for the open-minded like the Klown and his sister, strap in… or on (whichever comes first ;D) because this album will unleash your inner bad girl and dancer. The Klown still fancies “Your Addiction” and “Blood on your Blade” since he first heard them live the last time Night Club was in San Diego. “Therapy (Get High)” and “Imaginary Friend” are also the Klown’s favorite tracks and is one of many songs that feature Emily Kavanaugh’s vocals making pessimism and cynicism seem funny, dark and musically enjoyable.

If you like to dance, bop your head, or if you like the darkest aspects of life in a melodic form, then the Klown recommends you give this a listen. Really want to hear it for yourself, check out Night Club’s Bandcamp for further persuasion.

6 out of 6 No Cover Charge Required!

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