To be honest, I have never spoken to amazing and down to earth people like that day. I can’t explain it but it was so powerful. A lot of people went to the Metal Swap Meet as a family and enjoyed the music, drank some cold beers, went to see Jag Panzer and just rocked TF out!
But what I enjoyed the most, however, was wherever my head would turn, I could see friends sharing a beer talking about their favorite bands and about their families. That was the most amazing part of the day for me. I got to see some cute babies rocking out to their parent’s favorite bands and I thought that was amazing.
Another crazy thing is that I actually saw a cute metalhead, yah I know! He wasn’t a rapper let alone someone that I’ve done a remix with but he was cute! I was shook. I’m a thug and everyone knows I’m a hustler and not anyone catches my eye especially a metalhead. You will never know who’s out there until you get yourself out there but anyways back to work!
Nukem were on a mission to make their biggest explosion yet! Nuclear hellfire and all, we were not on a mission to find a fallout shelter because we wanted to absorb whatever they launched at us. Radiation and Geiger meter be damned! On June 3 the Brick By Brick housed an unforgettable night filled with balloons, thrash and cake? That’s right CAKE, not only to commemorate Nukem’s fifth anniversary as a band but to also celebrate and surprise one of their band member’s birthday milestone.
Jenny Oh: The cool kids finally invited us to their surprise birthday party Chuggo! Which means we’re FINALLY cool! Right?
Chuggo the Klown: That never stopped the Klown! ‘Cause then they be like “OH! Please get us beer! Please gets us weed! Watch out for my dog, he doesn’t know you!” Then usually I would say “Nah man, I’m cool.”
J: My god they sound so damn needy! And…
C: I know right!? That’s why the Klown charges to make appearances
J: Oh I was gonna say that you finally referred to yourself in third person, you freak! Perhaps you will finally stop embarrassing me, especially in front of all my new friends!
C: You mean in front of Malison? The guys don’t even know you!
J: Or you ‘cause you suck and you smell!
C: Well their newest member Sharky would beg to differ!
J: He was just being polite!
C: No he just knows greatness when he sees it, that’s why he joined Malison!
J: I will only agree with the second part of your statement! I didn’t know what to expect from these guys but I gotta say, they blew me away. Their sound is a whole new different kind of thrashy breed with some power metal elements.
C: They brought some Bay Area thrash influences with a touch of SoCal groove. The Klown understands why Holy Grail handpicked them!
J: Malison not only brought a great set with great and catchy music but their members were so fun to watch especially your new friend and guitarist Sharky. It was a good time whether we were laughing at the jokes vocalist/bassist Steven Rondina would make or watching Sharky get down with his axe.
C: Speaking of friends and Sharky, my bestie, Temblad managed to surprise the Klown. They surprised the Klown not just because he got to see them again but because of one of their newest additions.
J: You mean you know the new guitarist Dave Calhoun and the bassist Kyle Netland? Damn Chuggo, you’re such a socialite!
C: The Klown was not expecting a high school reunion but there he was, their new guitarist/ex bassist Dave Calhoun. We obviously missed the first reunion but I guess not this time!
J: You’re doing first person again?! You must be sober! So you didn’t know the other new member? Nevermind I guess you’re not that cool. Anyway, it was so great to finally get our Temblad fix…it’s been too long! *Stares off into the distance*
C: I’ll say! The Klown finally got to hear “The Murderous Fifth” and “Mockery of the Fanatic” in real time! But the real treat was the Klown’s favorite song “Ship of Traitors.”
J: Temblad sounded fresh, vocalist/lead guitarist Lorenzo Kemp slayed his performance and was so happy to be there especially after sharing with fans their journey as a band and assembling their current lineup.
C: They made me tremble. Speaking of shivering me timbers, vocalist/lead guitarist Lucas Kanopa of Void Vator…that voice though! I know it’s meant for the ladies but damn!
J: Okay Klown, because you are now objectifying Mr.Kanopa…I shall now partake in this vulgar display of affection! His angel face matches that voice and rhythm, he is sure to lure demons towards the righteous path with his skills and looks.
C: Settle down, Pastor Jenny Oh! It was rock show not a sermon…but I agree! Because the “Time Has Come.”
J: For what? More objectification of this beautiful angel?! Ok! These LA rockers brought the spirit of the Sunset Strip to us minus the broken dreams and starving artists because we have plenty to spare here.
C: Sometime I hear the spirit of Vince Neil roams around the Sunset Strip crying about being barred from the Rainbow Bar & Grill because the powerful spirit of Lemmy doesn’t fuck around.
J: Yes, I shall contact Buzzfeed…again to investigate this, Rumor is you can know hear Vince’s spirit at the Brick but I don’t man. Now that we shed light on the ghost of Vince Neil, Void Vator did a great combo of old and new LA rock offering a new and invigorating take on this genre.
C: Major props to guitarist Erik Kluiber because he managed to make two trips to our humble abode in one month for the inaugural Metal Assault Vol.1 SAN DIEGO EDITION! *Jazz hands* Not only did he not miss a beat but his voice helped accompanied and amplified Kanopa’s angelic voice.
J: Keeping the spirit of of influential genres alive were the headliners Nukem. To make this celebration extra special, Jack Kwiatkowski, the co-host of the now defunct “Another State of Mind” segment (from the radio station San Diego’s 105.3), made the big reveal to the drummer Norm Leggio that the show was a surprise birthday party.
C: AND a commemoration of the band’s fifth anniversary. Jack also shared the fun stories Leggio and him had during their times hosting the awesome but lost show “Another State of Mind.” Enough memories! *Wipes away tears, smears makeup*
J: They assembled with badass/guitarist Laura Christine in tow! Christine along with vocalist/guitarist Steve Brogden slashed us with ear splitting thrash and riffs.
C: Aww shiiiiah! The lady of the shred. Just like she can tame any beast, she can tame any guitar string!
J: Stop embarrassing me in front of her and the rest of Nukem!
C: “Evelyn’s Awakening,” WE FINALLY HEARD IT LIVE! Since we didn’t have a chance last time because the set had to be cut short L
C: That’s true but it’s not the same, you’ll almost feel like “The Deceiver” when you recommend to people to listen to the album instead of the show.
J: No! I’m telling people if they had the misfortune of missing their show, check out their album to nurse the feels of missing the show.
C: The best part of this show was that bassist Don Lauder was in great health and spirits. We were unexpectedly invited to Leggio’s birthday and for once the cake was not a lie! What better way for him to embark on his other professional endeavors. If Leggio happens to be reading this, on behalf of Ugh Metal, break a leg and have a great tour!
J: And thanks for the sick shirts! We wish you the best and many more birthday! Though we may be a tad late on these tardy wishes but Chuggo’s sex accident was to blame…again.
C: Hey! The guy wanted to verify my sex because he didn’t believe I’m all man!
J: Any excuse to pull down your pants huh?
C: I don’t need an excuse! On that note, close this out sister of mine. SAY SOMETHING WITTY!
J: OK! I’ll give it the ol’ college try! *Clears throat, does quick vocal exercises* No amount of darkness could dim Nukem that night and went out with a bang. ‘Tis gonna be a long year without a Nukem performance but I’m sure it’ll be worth the wait! We can’t wait to see what these individuals will offer to the metal scene when they come back in full force.
Another cool person I got to meet and talk to was this cool amazing mom who had her son with her. She stood out to me the most because she has her son dressed in a jean jacket with a couple of patches on it. I thought that was the cutest thing ever. So we went up to her and we let her know who we were. Her name is Gabriela Collazos and she seemed so excited that we found her and her son and they were so cute.
Once I started talking to her she really showed me her passion for the music. Let me tell you, her love and passion for music is beautiful when I asked, her why do you like metal? She answered with I can relate to it. She shared with us that when she was growing up her mom and dad were big metal fans and it was basically in her blood. I love it when I hear that the love for a music genre is passed on from generations. Music is a lively thing and no matter what it is you listen to, I believe passing it down to your kid and your kids pass it on to their kids, it’s just amazing. Now her son is growing up listening to the cool music and now he says he’s a metalhead at such a young age. That’s amazing.
Now in days, generations have been fucking up with this music but that was something I really loved about the mom and her baby boy. Thank you mom, keep killing it with your son keep the good work up.
America was SO ready for the second coming of iconic Norwegian black metallers Taake. With corpse paint and leather spiked bands in tow, fans were prepared to follow frontman of Taake Hoest in to the enchanting metaphorical forest of Norway but then a YUUUUGE wall sprung out of the earth and said “STOP THERE BAD HOMBRES!” jeopardizing Taake’s American tour dates till another set of legends stepped up to the plate. These badasses in question are none other than fellow legends Helheim who not only performed their first American show on May 26 at the Brick By Brick but also salvaged the North American tour with black metal acts from our Golden State.
The first artist to step in to make this black metal mass possible was local one man band Morphesia. The Ugh Metal team has had the pleasure of seeing frontman Zombie Thirteen in action twice before. As opposed to the last time we saw Thirteen perform a predominantly instrumental set (April 1), the vocalist/guitarist balanced his set with both instrumentals and resonating growls. Morphesia built anticipation for his upcoming 2017 album I Forever End (TBA) and performed tracks from the album such as the hauntingly serene “The Moon,” “Towards the Sea” and “I” to name a few.
Thirteen continued to shine amidst his reinvention by performing his slow burning but climactic black metal hymns to the Egyptian gods and the elements. Gone are the days where Thirteen dawned the corpse paint and “black metal” regalia to usher a more intimate set where his bare face is now lit up with ambient imagery from his projector. Before the frontman wrapped up his set, he shared the wealth and announced that there were free 3 track samplers from I Forever End by the merch stands. If you haven’t had a chance to check out Morphesia, you are missing out my friend. I Forever End is shaping up to be quite the album based on what we’ve heard that night and in the sampler. Don’t believe? You can check out what the Klown thought about it so far.
The venue soon became a dark alley where the order of black metal assassins known as Sicarius ditched their cloaks and busted out their daggers. Not even the Great Wall would be able to contain frontman Kurt Karcass’ militant vigor. Karcass stalked the eager crowd in front of him while he released his growls and reaped their souls with his antagonistic glance. That look the vocalist always brings to every unholy gathering is a feature no black metal prop will ever match up to when it comes to setting the mood.
Karcass jumped right into the jaws of the pit to get a closer look at his prey and encircled his targets while his harsh vocals blared in the mic, fueling the thrilling atmosphere. The frontman unloaded his melodic fury on the crowd which was fed by Argyris and Merihim’s riffs. Bassist Carnage along with drummer Brandon Zackey maintained their rhythm sneakily devouring your ear drums. The Californian quintet prevailed once again and continued to wow with another unforgettable performance and are sure to lure new spectators in to their creed.
The newly signed symphonic black metallers Empyrean Throne rolled in with the ceremonial and cinematic strings of “The Twilight Order” with vocalist Andrew Knudsen wearing a medieval doctor’s mask while gently swinging a thurible. After Knudsen marked everyone with the incense and finishing the first song, the quintet appropriately transitioning to “The Devouring Mark.”Empyrean Throne knew that fresh blood was needed for this sacrifice and busted out a newer song “None Shall Rise” which will enchant the masses on August 11 in their debut LP Chaosborne.
Though the animal skull and the four sets of candles they had on display conspired against the band to steal the show, Knudsen and company didn’t let that stop them from continuing their dark ritual and shared a few laughs about it with fans. M-Audio Theory Records’ latest talent brought a fresh and fun attitude that some black metal bands would shy away from. These guys can make you the main offering and you won’t even know it because their playful attitude will distract you and you will see them grow dark when it’s too late …we ain’t even mad at all. We can’t wait to see what this Californian quartet will do next.
After Empyrean Throne finished their black metal ceremony, Helheim took the American stage for the first time! Whoa…How lucky were we?!! The Norwegian black metallers were surprised by the reception and love they received from the intimate crowd, making that moment a testament of quality over quantity. Helheim wasted no time and kicked off with “Madr” and “Jernskogen” and shifted to their latest material such as “Synir af heidindomr,” “Rista blodorn” and the haunting “Ymr.”
“Ymr” was sure to reach your core because of the emotion Ørjan “V’Gandar” Nordvik evoked by expertly transitioning back and forth between clean and harsh vocals which are sure to give you chills when it seeps in to your ears. In the instrumental parts of the song, V’Gandar spread out his arms with his eyes shut like a holy man channeling turning this song into a dark and beautiful incantation.
Helheim continued to craft and charge the atmosphere with more mysticism by letting loose the battle hymns “Raunijar,” and “Baklengs mot intet” and paid homage to the great Bathory by covering “Home of Once Brave.”
Before wrapping up their set, Nordvik addressed the situation that threatened to dismantle this tour and thanked those that attended the show. The vocalist promised Taake would return and we hope to see Helheim back as well for a second coming to take us through another stroll into the Norwegian black metal forest.
Now let me tell you about my next one. I am not saying I am hating on you boy but I was a little mad because I thought you were being honest. I was chilling walking around the swap meet and my interns again, pulled me to talk to a cool looking guy called CJ Graham. He had a cold beer in his hand and was just enjoying the event. So I was like “cool bet he’s gunna have some good shit to say, alright.” So I start asking questions such as “What do you like to buy here?” He deadass turned around and told me he stole everything he liked from a vendors.
WTF… first of all, why in the fuck are you here? You should be supporting your local bands, buy shit, bond with your homies, talk about music, help out vendors so next year they can make it bigger. Don’t get me wrong I am not a metal head at all but who in the fuck does he think he is coming up here stealing shit like come on my dude! Three type of people I don’t like are the those that don’t share food, liars and thieves. Before you guys go crazy looking for him, again, my bitch ass interns set CJ up to fuck with me. Let me just say don’t ever work for my dumbass bosses, Jenny Oh and the Klown, because they will hire dumbasses such as my interns that will put you to the test.
I swore to god that I was going to kill them when I got back to the office! But then I was like, you know what, I’ll just do a drive by at their house tonight and that thought made me feel a whole lot better also the smell of burgers. There was also a metal burger stand called Full Metal Burgers, and I thought that was nice but sadly I wasn’t able to try their burgers. Shoot, next time!
The Barcelonan trio known as Foscor has returned after three years with their latest album Les Irreal Vision through Season of Mist. For those unfamiliar with these Catalonian’s work, they present you a dose of progressive/avant garde black metal like Oathbreaker. “Instants” and “Altars”strongly supports the Klown’s description. The songs were beautifully sung by frontman/ bassist Fiar, the fast drum beat from studio drummer J.F. adds some intensity to really compliment the speed this group sought out. The Klown understood why this song was chosen to carry this album’s banner “Ciutat Tràgica”. The song was much like the previous song in terms of intensity but ambient. Fiar adds a bit of autotune to his vocals and guitarist/pianist Albert “A.M.” Martí adds some piano to beautifully cap off the song while adding meaning and intimacy.
“Encenalls de Mort” really has guitarists Falke and A.M. shine, especially with the ambient but soothing guitar solos. The group also shows some signs of Opeth with “Espectre Al Cau” by giving you fast paced prog but, in this case, Fiar features some growls in between to add some fierceness to the mix and some piano and accordion effects to give a calming end. “De Marges I Matinades” was rather intense and featured heavy cymbal clashing and Fiar flaunting some howling vocals in lieu of his clean ones. The album closes with “Les Irreal Vision” which is an appropriate ending for this ambient sounding album. It was soothing not just because of the guitars’ atmospheric riffs but it also featured a lot less drumming. The Klown highly recommends this album for fans of Oathbreaker, Opeth and Dark Tranquility. You can also check out the album in the band’s bandcamp and judge for yourself.
5 out of 6, The Darkness Seems a bit Bright
Dawn Of Ashes Emerge with their Seventh
The dark quintet known as Dawn Of Ashes have risen like a phoenix and reemerge with their brand new release Daemonolatry Gnosis through Metropolis Records. They release their fury with “Gods of Antinomian Path” and will leave you with a lasting impression of things to come in the album. The song is a great starter especially if you really love the symphonic and dramatic overtones of Dimmu Borgir. “Smash Thy Enemies” features the same dramatic effect the Klown mentions but incorporate some Industrial which happens to be their primary genre. The Klown, however, loved “Guardians” because the track sounded like if Septicflesh and Dimmu Borgir were planning to have a baby and Fleshgod Apocalypse was chosen to be the surrogate mother of this song.
“The Ritual” was not only a great introductory track but the overture with howling wind sound effects set the tone for an epic transition to “Augoeides.” “Augieides” was not only epic but it had major Industrial overtones combined with melodic black metal sounds making it a very strong track and reminded the Klown of Dark Fortress. “Sermon of the Horned God” features the band’s symphonic take on the album which had the Klown thinking that he may have listened to a lost Septicflesh track. The song had frontman/keyboardist Kristof Bathory’s powerful vocals resemble Septicflesh’s Spirou Antonious’s, and had a great melodic guitar solo from Ken Raum and features some electronic effects towards the end efficiently closing the song. “Magick for the New Aeon” not only was it well rounded with some Industrial and symphonic influences, it also featured Cradle of Filth’s keyboardist/vocalist Lindsay Schoolcraft adding a woman’s touch. This was a great album to hear and pulled no punches. If you don’t believe the Klown, you can check out his exaggeration on the label’s bandcamp and hear it for yourselves.
6 out of 6, the Black Metal Phoenix has Soared Above
Rancid Releases a Fresh New Album
The legendary quartet formerly known as Operation Ivy has returned with their ninth studio album Trouble Maker through Hellcat/Epitaph Records. Much like most Rancid fans, the Klown too has been waiting for a new one since their 2014 release of Honor Is All We Know. The album starts fast and strong with the introductory track “Track Fast” and immediately transition with “Ghost of a Chance” which also kept up with the speed that “Track Fast” had started. The same can be said about “An Intimate Close Up of a Street Punk Trouble Maker.” “Telegraph Avenue” was a great song because it was melodic and complimented legendary guitarist/vocalist Lars Friederickson and bassist/vocalist Matt Freeman’s chorus. Frontman/guitarist Tim Armstrong’s famous vocals kept the American punk spirit alive through a first person anecdote of a teenager going through changes of self and environmental due to political unrest.
“Where I’m Going” feature the Rancid signature mash of ska and punk. “Buddy” seemed like a memoriam with a message of not taking life for granted because of the short time we have. “Farewell Lola Blue” pays homage to WWII pilots, who went off to war young and reference the pin-up girl painted on the side of the planes. “Bovver Rock and Roll” gives a quick history lesson of a moment that is nearly unknown to most people: US invasion and bombings of Cambodia during the Vietnam War. While “Make It Out Alive” revisits the Civil War and follows a veteran who fought in the Battle of the Wilderness, lost his leg, saw hell, and paid his respect to a late president Lincoln. The track features Friederickson, Freeman and Armstrong sharing vocal duties. “Beauty of the Pool Hall” features some rockabilly influence and it’s a love song for the unconventional since the setting and the girl aren’t traditional.
If you happen to get your hands on the deluxe edition of the album the band treats you to two extra songs “We Arrived On Time” and “Go On Rise Up.” The Klown enjoyed this album but not as much as the diehard fans and punkers. Don’t get the Klown wrong, if you are a huge punker or love Rancid this is definitely a must-have but if you happened to be a casual listener still stuck on “Time Bomb” and “Ruby Soho” you may not enjoy it as much. You can get this album here.
5 out of 6, You’ll Still Wanna Do Bad Things With It
Suffocation Bring their Eighth Into the Light
One of the godfathers of technical death metal are back with a vengeance after a four year hiatus . The quintet known as Suffocation have released …Of the Dark Light through Nuclear Blast Records and is ready to destroy your eardrums. The New Yorkers start really strong with “Clarity Through Deprivation” and features Frank Mullen’s signature growling vocals and a really cool guitar solo from Terrance Hobbs towards the end. “The Warmth Within the Dark,” “Some Things Should Be Left Alone” and “Caught Between Two Worlds” has the band featuring some brutal death metal with Mullen’s vocals shifting gears to more guttural, growling vocals and speeds up the tracks towards the end after a brief breakdown.
“Some Things…” also features bassist Derek Boyer setting the foundation for the song and strumming that bass like legendary bassists Alex Webster and Ross Dolan. “Return to the Abyss,” “The Violation” and “… Of the Dark Light” has the band getting technical with and features guitarist Charlie Errigo complementing Hobb’s solos making the songs strong in terms of foundation. Lastly, “Epitaph of the Credulous” had the best of both the brutal and technical style of death metal and featured a really awesome solo from Hobb and some superb heavy bass slapping from Bower. It is also worth noting that the song features the vocalist of The Merciless Concept, Kevin Muller as lending his screams as backup vocals. This was a pretty awesome comeback from the quintet and the Klown can’t wait to see these guys when they come to town with Morbid Angel. The Klown highly recommends this album for the dedicated death metal aficionado and fans of Suffocation. You can get your hands on this badass return here.
6 out of 6, Breathing Easy because the Wait Is Over
Note: It seems that the Klown and Ugh Metal keep finding themselves in a state of déjà vu when it comes to moving forward in real life. The Klown can only offer his deepest condolences to anyone and everyone damaged in London and in Kabul, Afghanistan. For those unaware an attack in Kabul happened two days prior as of this article’s date. Metal or not, let’s unite under the arts and peace and attempt to unite and pull forward in the face of fear and terror.
Satan’s Dealer Have Blazed their First Stash
The Milwaukeean pushers known as Satan’s Dealer have released their debut album Dealer of the Gods independently. The duo, as if it wasn’t already apparent, produce some stoner metal with some humorous song titles. The album begins with “Don’t Fear the Reefer.” This is, to say the least, some typical stoner metal with frontman/guitarist Jim Powell vocals matching the overall tone and sounds of the song. “Jesus is My Copilot… And We’re Cruisin’ for Pussy” became one of the Klown’s favorites not only is it humorous but it was rather fast paced considering the fact that it was still a stoner metal song.
“I Sold It For Drugs” was also funny as hell and felt like the Klown was listening to an old school GWAR song when Oderus Urungus was young and starting out. Another personal favorite is “Jesus Loves You… Everyone Else Thinks You’re an Asshole” was like the previous but with doom undertones and a little less humorous. “Nomad” and “Keepin’ It Nasty” will take you back to the days when Black Sabbath was fresh and began to carry the metal banner minus the legendary sounds of Geezer Butler and Ozzy’s legendary vocals. The Klown is usually not big on stoner/sludge metal but this was a good album to hear. The Klown highly recommends this album if you like humorous content with your metal and, especially, if you love stoner metal. You can check this album out in the band’s bandcamp.
5 out of 6 It’s Some Good Shit
Tankard Lives to Produce Another Album
One of the big four of Teutonic thrash has returned with their 17th album One Foot in the Grave through Nuclear Blast Records. The quartet known as Tankard start this album off with “Pay to Pray” with the brand of thrash they helped create with Kreator, Destruction and Sodom in Germany and features a killer solo from Andreas Gutjhar which can also be said about “Don’t Bullshit Us!” “One Foot in the Grave” gives you some melodic thrash which sounds like an homage to an earlier version of another fellow German metallers Helloween. “Syrian Nightmare” really brings pure intensity and makes you realize why they are atop of a Teutonic thrash throne. The song also serves as a catalyst for “Northern Crown (Lament of the Undead King).”
Tankard revisits the Bay Area with “Lock’em Up!” and “The Evil that Men Display” in terms of sounds and influence. “Secret Order 1516” was nearly 8 minutes and bring pure thrash to the table and has a chorus line that sounds more like a battle cry and another solo from Getjhar. The song also begins and finishes with an orchestral overture of strings and a bit brass for a strong dramatic effect. The album finishes strongly and slightly how it began with “Sole Grinder” by not skimming on the thrash and ends with the sounds of the band members hollering like hooligans at a metal show. This album was pretty good especially if you love thrash metal or if you want to hear some new things from a pack of living legends. You can get this album here.
5 out of 6, Outta the Grave
Flogging Molly Returns After a Long Absence
If you haven’t checked out Ugh Metal in the past, The Trials of March 17 was the first time this Celtic punk band was mentioned. Nevertheless, the Klown was incredibly stoked when the face/voice/guitarist Dave King returned with his sixth album Life is Good through Borstal Beat Records. Allow the Klown to let you peeps know that, for those who listened to the last album Speed of Darkness, this album is livelier and reminiscent to the Float album. For those who haven’t relished the Float album allow the Klown to tell you that the album is lively but mellow by comparison to their breakthrough Within A Mile From Home. With that said this album begins with the dark ballad track “There’s Nothing Left Pt. 1” as an introductory track but then switches to the upbeat “The Hand of John L. Sullivan.” “The Hand…” although it’s upbeat and faster than the prior, incorporates a male chorus and the sounds of the tin whistle, the fiddle and the banjo but slows down a bit during the middle and picks up the pace to end on a high note.
The Klown took a liking to “Welcome to Adamsville” because it was the first time the Klown has heard something different. The use of brass instrumentals made the song far more cheerful and colorful than the Klown expected. Do you need a boost of morale? Then “Reptiles (We Woke Up)” is your song! The Klown thinks this song would be perfect for a movie during a montage of things getting better while “Hope” is an ideal song when you need to listen when you’re in need of some optimism. “The Last Serenade (Fisherman and Sailors)” was a ballad that the Klown can picture being sung at a dive bar near the pier in honor of the sea dwelling professionals.
“The Guns of Jericho,”“Crushed (Hostile Nations)” and “The Bride Wore Black” go full Celt. While “The Guns…” features the accordion and is positive, “Crushed…” not only features the bagpipes, tin whistle and accordion but it was more punk and is a first person anecdote of living through a nation’s power struggle. This album was pretty tits and was worth the six year wait. The Klown will say this with the risk of sounding like a grandpa but this album is definitely going to be enjoyed by an older audience with the added benefit of the angsty preteens and teens who never got to chance to grow up with grunge. You can get your copy of this album here.
6 out of 6, Life Is Indeed Good
Tengger Cavalry Rides Again
The Mongolian metal horde known as Tengger Cavalry have returned to Ugh Metal and with a new album to kick off their recent venture as a signed band. The Cavalry has returned with Die on My Ride through M-Theory Audio Records. Unlike their last release Hymn of the Earth, the band takes a more of an orchestral and dramatic approach. “Snow” starts the album with the deep but soothing sounds of the cello like Apocalyptica which carry over on to “Die on My Ride.” The latter and “Me Against Me” also features some piano, Nature Ganganbaigal’s throat singing in English and Asian folk theme. “Strike” features the same elements as the previous song but incorporate a melodic chorus that resembles a ceremonial hymn, and features a cool but brief guitar solo from Ganganbaigal.
This Mongol horde proving that they have a soft side bust out a song for the ladies and the gentle men with their slow ballad “Ashley.” Unlike most ballads that metalheads are used to hearing, “Ashley” takes a page from pop music starting with Ganganbaigal’s clean baritone vocals combined with a bit of autotune. The song establishes intimacy by using the piano, acoustic guitar, electric drum and cello as the foundation of the song and still manages to incorporate the morin khuur and the igil to keep the folk motif going. “The Choice of My Mind” is another ballad that this album has to offer but unlike “Ashley,” “The Choice…” takes a simplistic approach by ditching the autotune and having a chorus, acoustic guitars, the morin khuur along with the cello, and a bit of cymbals for effect. “The Frontline” and “We Will Survive” feature the sounds most fans of the Cavalry are most acquainted with. This was a great album and it was an excellent way to celebrate their signing. If you don’t take the Klown’s word you can check out their bandcamp and hear for yourself!
6 out of 6, It was a Strong Charge!
Wednesday 13 Has Nothing to Commiserate For
When Ugh Metal reported that Wednesday 13 had officially joined the Nuclear Blast family, the Klown got a little giddy. The primary reason the Klown was excited was because he didn’t know what to expect this time around from Joseph “Wednesday 13” Poole and his latest album, Condolences. For those who’ve never indulged in Wednesday 13 , the previous album Monsters of the Universe: Come Out and Plague took the approach of UFOs and Cults, while their breakthrough The Dixie Dead was about zombies, relationships and horror movies such as Poltergeist. This time around, Wednesday 13 takes it a bit old school but edgier and darker.
A great example of that is “What The Night Brings” and “Cadaverous” which, after the introductory track, “Last Rites,” transition to a rougher and heavier version of “Watch Out for The Skies” in terms of sounds, specifically Roman Surman’s signature guitar riffs combined with the whammy pedal for the signature b-movie horror movie sound. “Good Riddance” takes an opposite approach in the grieving concept with expressing apathy instead of sympathy and takes a more metal approach. “Omen Amen” and “Cruel To You” revisits Poole’s other known project the Murderdolls in terms of cynicism and roughness. “Condolences” capitalize on the gloomy tones that Poole established by making the song a heavy and dark ballad, and features an awesome solo from Surman and Poole where he uses his low whispers his condolences in the track. The song also had a bit of piano trickled in until you realized that the song transitions to “Death Infinity” without you noticing, which was perfectly executed especially to cap off the album. If you’ve never heard Wednesday 13 before you may want to consider listening after you get your ears on this album. You can get a copy of this record right here.
6 out of 6, The Klown Feels Sorry for your Loss if Haven’t Checked Out Yet!