The Trials of May 11, 2018

Orgy Continues to Tease with New EP

So… it seems that the age of nostalgia continues to be in full force. None is more prevalent than that of Orgy. The Klown remembers these guys for being the biggest thing back 1999 during the Klown’s middle school years. Everyone who lived in that era remembers it, will always know the quintet for their cover of the New Order’s “Blue Monday.” The Klown confesses that he still fancies that song. Now… let’s flash forward to 2018, it seems that frontman Jay Gordon’s industrial project has emerged and released a single EP titled Army To Your Party via Pacific Rising Entertainment.

As the Klown mentioned already it is a single EP, as in one song, “Army To Your Party.” Six versions of it to be exact. Half of which happens to be a dynamic version of the previous three… whatever the hell that means! All of which have also feature rapper Crichy Crich lending his voice to the song in a stand-alone chorus line. If you dunno who that is, just know that he’s relevant in the word EDM (Electronic Dance Music) and for tattooing Tara Reid’s name on himself. The Klown will confess that the song was catchy. Especially if you’re looking to find a song to dance to. Even the instrumentals version was good enough.

Then the A-Capella version of the song pops up and makes you wonder why?… at least that’s what the Klown thought. Of course, you’re treated to the exact same three style but in Dynamic version. Before the Klown signs off on this EP, the Klown shall say that he kept in mind that this is in anticipation of their new upcoming album which has been titled #newmusic. The Klown shall also comment that if you were at the Whiskey A-Go-Go on May 11, you had the opportunity to get the physical copy of this EP. However, if you wanna know what the hubbub is all about, you can mainly get this EP digitally either through Google Play, Apple Music, etc.

Doesn’t Even Register on Rating Scale… Bring Back Blue Monday!

Old Man Wizard Unveil Their Debut

Old Man Wizard… The Klown has spoken of these gents before. They made their Ugh Metal appearance about two years ago and this time these locals return to Ugh Metal with their debut album tilted Blame It All On Sorcery independently. Y’know they did it all by themselves.

The album begins with the appropriately titled “Beginnings and Happenstance.” It starts with frontman Francis Roberts’ soft guitar strums which is then joined by Kris Calabio’s bass pedals. Bassist Andre Beller and Calabio’s backing vocals soon join this circle and pick up the pace by the fourth minute of the song. The song is then followed by “The Blind Prince” and “Innocent Hands” which are best described as songs you can expect to hear from a Ghost or Visigoth album. Especially with Roberts’ fast but mellow guitar play. In “Never Leave” Beller’s bass shined the brightest in the beginning and really solidifies itself as the rhythmic foundation of the song.

“Cosmo”  and “The Long-Nosed Wiseman” sees the band picking up the pace and would essentially be among the few other songs in the album that have a lot of vigor.  Although this isn’t the Klown flask of bourbon, he still enjoyed the album. The Klown has mention comparisons but if you didn’t catch them, the Klown recommends this album for fans of Opeth, Visigoth, Ghost and Khemmis. Check this album out in your streaming service of choice or in the Wizards’ Bandcamp to really get enchanted.

5.5 out of 6 Move Over Harry Potter, there are New Wizards in Town

Strung Out Black Out their Hiatus with EP

Strung Out should be a familiar name especially for the punkers out there. The quintet from Simi Valley has even made several appearances in the Vans Warped Tour. Even metalheads are somewhat familiarized with them since they’ve experimented with metal sounds in the past even if it’s mostly been in the Prog category. Now, the collective has returned with a brand new EP titled Black Out the Sky which was released through Fat Wreck Chords.

The album begins with “The Architect” which starts out really mellow with some acoustic guitar. It is then followed by some electric guitar and Jason Cruz’s clean vocals which are backed by the guitarists Rob Ramos and Jake Kiley and bassist Chris Aiken’s. Truth be told, the album remains soft and easy to listen to. It was borderline indie rock.

“Unkoil,” although it starts like “The Architect” with some acoustic guitar sounds, it slowly picks up and unravels itself from the previous albums. How? Well, remember how the Klown brought up the group’s experimentation with Prog? This song would be a key example of that. Unlike most Prog rock or metal, this song was shorter than most peeps would encounter. The Klown can sorta say the same about “Requiem” except for it being mostly in the alternative rock category than prog.

Need a song that would mock your depression or get you upbeat despite relatable, albeit sad lyrical content? “Duke of Sorrow” is the song you want to listen to. The album ends just the way it began with “Presidio” more melodic, tender, more of Cruz’s clean vocals and tambourines. The album felt really mature, unlike yours truly, and was a pretty good album. If you haven’t heard of Strung Out before, the Klown recommends this for fans of Jimmy Eat World, 7 Seconds and Elway. Want to lean towards the Klown’s words but need to hear it? Check out their Bandcamp for more certainty.

6 out of 6 The Skies Aren’t that Black After All

Child Bite Have Returned with Some New Offerings

Hey guys, remember the time we talked about Child Bite? Y’know the one that featured the San Diego Metal Swap Meet’s after party with Superjoint? No? Dudes… and dudettes check that out when you can and our superb Metal Swap Meet misadventure with our temp intern on our Youtube. Now that that shameless self-advert is over, let’s talk about Child Bite’s latest release Burnt Offerings which was released through Phil Anselmo’s Housecore Records. Unlike previous releases, this one serves, as frontman Shawn Knight puts it, a “mass grave for all of (their) musical children.”

If you didn’t catch on, they’re songs that were scrapped in the span between 2010 and 2017 by the collective and eventually unearthed for us to enjoy. So with that in mind, “The Will to Disappear” begins this anthology and  opens the way Child Bite knows how with Jeremy Waun’s impulsive guitar play which is then accompanied by Knight unmistakable vocals. The song also features some brief shouting backup vocals which give the album a bit of oomph. The “Sick and Subhuman” features some punk influences and the erratic style the band is known for and will keep you awake and pumped.

“Prowl” uses old school video game soundbites and their style of noise rock. The song also features a wide range of guitar play and Knight playing around with his vocals by switching to auto tune in between. One of the Klown’s favorite tracks would have to be “Abstract Interior Putrefaction” because of the way the guitars don a personality of their own and compliment Knight’s vocals. Shaun Clancy’s bass also serves as the tone setter in the brief vocal solo. Another of the favorites is “Corrosive Devotion” mainly because the band mixes punk and noise which also features a variety of guitar play from drowning, to fading, distorted, etc.

Disc one finishes with the humorously titled “Jerk Off Your Life,” The Klown can best describe as an irregular rockabilly song and felt like a great closer for this mass grave. Disc two is mostly cover songs that the band decided to do like Black Flag’s “My War,” Minor Threat’s “Guilty of Being White/It Follows” just to name some. The real attraction of the second disc is Phil Anselmo taking over on vocal duties to perform Anal Cunt’s Morbid Hits EP like “Morrisey,” “Chump Change” and “Radio Hit” just to name a few. These albums were great and may leave your head scratching and banging at the thought of the songs being left out of their previous albums.

Not bashing on the first disc, the second disc really sold it to the Klown. The Klown especially enjoyed Anselmo’s renditions of the Anal Cunt songs and it also seemed appropriate given the history Anselmo and the late Seth Putnam had. If you’re still not sold check it out on your streaming service of choice. Want to cut the foreplay but try before you buy? Bandcamp’s got you!

6 out of 6 It Didn’t Just Bite, It Kicked Too


The Trials of May 4, 2018

Fire Next Time Bring Out their Fifth

Did you ever wonder what Social Distortion would sound like with the Dropkick Murphys’ Al Barr or Ken Casey at the helm? Wonder no more. The mystical land of the Canádas has got you covered with their punk collective called Fire Next Time and for those thinking that it’s the British punk band from the eighties, the Klown sends his condolences. Fire Next Time has released Knives through Stomp Records.

The album opens with some drumming from Garrett and some guitars on “Wanderlust.” The song also contained some banjo from Kevin which enhanced and made the song melodic. “Party Foul” brought some Dropkick Murphys style of punk rock into the mix. “Old Scratch” was one of the Klown’s favorite songs in the album and for some, it will make you feel the feels. “Birch Wood” is one of the songs in the album that sounded like Social D.

“Bethlehem” picks up the pace and has some pretty morbid and deep lyrics. The song also featured some keyboards from Kevin to add some tempo and somewhat downplayed the dark content, either way, the Klown approves. “A Jameson Fracture” was another favorite because it was fast but tame, and had a nice blend of acoustic mixed with an electric guitar. “Hurry Up and Wait” definitely felt like a punk anthem for the true punks and skins who have seen and experienced the political and social climates of today.

The album ended with “Critical Fail” which was very melodic and upbeat and felt like the perfect ending to the album. Knives was great and feels like a breakthrough to the Klown, the Klown highly recommends this album especially for fans of Social Distortion, Bad Religion, 7 Seconds and Rancid. Didn’t care for the Klown’s recommendations and want to check it out anyway check it out on your streaming service of choice or Bandcamp.

6 out of 6 It’s Been Fired!

Fear Of Domination Show No Fear in Latest

The Finnish Industrial group known as Fear Of Domination have ended the wait and have now come back with a new album. So y’all can stop salivating over the last couple of singles that they have released the last couple of months. The latest album is titled Metanoia and it was released through Ranka Kustannus.

The album opens with “Dance with the Devil” which begins with Johannes Niemu’s guitar feedback combined with Vesa Ahiroth’s intermittent drums which are then joined by the rest of the band instruments, and a  guitar solo from Niemu. “Obsession” also has a solo from Niemu but also contains more electronic influence and features keyboardist Sara Strömmer at the helm and has vocalist Saku Solin backing her up vocally.

Want to dance but still want to be metal? “Sick and Beautiful” is definitely the song you want to get a hold of! The Klown can say the same about “We Dominate” with the difference being that it is faster than “Sick and Beautiful.” The synths, rhythm and samples blend together so great and will have you shaking that bootay like the Klown did many years ago. “Shame” has Solis taking control of the vocals, and trades off with Strömmer for a bit and sounded like something that came out of Pain.

The album finishes with a one-two punch combo with “Mindshifter” and “Ruin.” While “Mindshifter” was an upbeat industrial metal song, the song immediately pretends to malfunction at the end and transitions to “Ruin.” “Ruin,” on the other hand, was slow and dark which was rather appropriate since the song sounded like a dark ballad. This album was great and featured a little bit of everything for everyone who enjoys and dabbles with industrial. The Klown highly recommends this album for fans of Sonic Syndicate, Pain, Kontrust and Megaherz. If you wanna hear for yourself check it out on your streaming service of choice or get it here.

6 out of 6 Have No Fear Industrial Is Here!

Wolvhammer Release their Fourth on the Fourth

If that wasn’t appropriate, then the Klown doesn’t know what is. Seriously, it’s not often that a band releases their fourth album on the fourth day of a month. The name Wolvhammer should also be familiar to you all. After all, frontman of the group, Adam Clemans, is also the current front man to Skeletonwitch. Now Clemans is back with his baby, Wolvhammer and released The Monuments of Ash and Bone through Blood Music.

The album opens this darkened masterpiece with some distorted bass from Andrew Gerrity which are then joined by some guitars for “Eternal Rotting Misery.” The thing that got the Klown double taking was how the song along with Clemans vocals sounded a lot like a Satyricon’s which was awesome. “Call Me Death” not only truly emphasized the representation of blackened sludge metal but also presented how Goatwhore would sound like if they slowed down and were to have a bitchin’ solo. The same could be said about “Law of the Rope” except there is an opening bass and guitar session before the song went in to full force which would also feature an awesome solo.

“Bathed in Moonlight and Wolflight” and “Dead Rat, Rotting Raven” really bring on some fast-paced sludge metal and manage to keep it on the blackened side. “The Failure King” starts rather fast but then tones down ans maintains a steady pace. The album caps off with “Solace Eclipsed” which really bring out some true sludge into the mix but with some harsh screaming vocals from Clemans and was a perfect closer to the album. The record was a great surprise by the collective and the Klown recommends this album for Goatwhore, Enslaved, Satyricon and Abigail Williams fans. If you’re still a skeptic of the Klown give it a listen to in their Bandcamp.

6 out of 6 Hammered on Darkness!

 *Here’s Jenny Oh and her 2 cents**

 We Waited Eons For Dimmu Borgir’s Latest… 

It has been nearly an eons since we had heard anything from Dimmu Borgir. We spent countless days and nights paying close attention until we heard the wind howl which for once was not our farts. No, this was different, this was the northern wind bringing in the familiar symphonic black metal melodies from… Dimmu Borgir? What an offering on Cinco de drink-o eve! The wait was over and the highly anticipated Eonian came in like a jack hammer through Nuclear Blast Records.   

“The Unveiling” has a grand entrance and will flash its edgy elegance to those that are willing to look at it in the eye. “Interdimensional Summit” and “Council of Wolves And Snakes,” as you all know by now, will give us a bit of a throwback because it has the right balance between theatrical and riffs with its ever present choir, OK maybe the “balance” is still thrown off but they’re still cool songs. “Aetheric” will take you to a whole new different realm especially with that epic and orchestral breakdown. I know you probably want something that will make your blood boil and not just because of the “softness” of this album, you want something that will make you fuck shit up! “Archaic Correspondence” might do something for you, you adrenaline junky. GAHH! *ducks and avoids being killed by a rotten tomato*

Okay! Settle down! Look, if you are looking for seething black metal roughness you won’t find it here, however, you will find an album that will potentially help you unclog the annals of your brain and will help you focus on that book you couldn’t get in to or help you power through that 12 page essay that’s due tomorrow morning (yikes!). This album is not nearly as atrocious it was portrayed. Sure not much stood out to me, excluding the singles, but we must keep in mind that Dimmu Borgir is just in its fancy wizard phase, k? I’m sure they will grow out of it. Listen to the whole album on Spotify and if you want to feel the northern air tonight, get your copy here.

3 out of 6, It’s just a phase.

Àmr  Will Take You To Infinity And Beyond

Living legend and music extraordinaire Ihsahn continues to flex his musical prowess to fans and casuals alike in his seventh solo album titled Àmr released via Candlelight Records. I recommend you put your space helmets on because you will be seeing stars after this album is over.  

The theatrical “Lend Me The Eyes Of The Millenia” pours some synthy goodness onto our ears that will set the mood in to this quest of time and space before Ihsahn opens the floodgates and releases the roughness. What a start! Y’all know “Arcana Imperii” yes it’s still awesome and who doesn’t appreciate the rough proggines in this and Ihsahn’s clean vocals? What can’t this man do? “In Rites Of Passage” has more of that erratic prog elements with more synth and cyber sounds! Can we just have Ihsahn score the music for the next Space Odyssey movie?

Because Ihsahn wants to seal the deal with us, he gives us the slow and deep “Where You Are Lost And I Belong” and “Samr” and shows off more of his melodic vocals. “Marble Soul” has a nice and  ritualistic feel to it, a ritual you will slowly feel simmer onto your soul till Ihsahn’s soft vocals cushions this transcendence. I can gladly talk about every single song in this nine track album, which I basically did, BUT enough! I’m sure you don’t need the top psychiatrists or a hieroglyphics translator to decipher how I feel about this baby. Check it out on Spotify and get your copy here.

6 out of 6, Sublime


Firey Sides Chat: Thanatology

Thanatology is ready for their close up (Photo courtesy of Thanatology’s FB page)

From the top of your head, can you name one of the most metal professions out there? Being a metal band does not count in this case. Give up? Of course, you do because chances are that your answer was nowhere near the medical field! Which brings us to the guest of this edition of our Firey Sides Chat. If you google “thanatology” you’ll get the actual definition of the word. The definition, in a nutshell, is the study of death and the practices of it.

Sounds metal, right? Well, that’s what the frontman/founder of Thanatology, the band, Doctor Jonas Bautista thought as well. If you haven’t heard of Thanatology by now, here’s the very short description. Thanatology is Tijuana’s own death metal/grindcore band and unlike Super Troopers’ Arcot “Thorny” Ramathorn (played by Jay Chandrasekhar) they’re Mexican! Raza!

Even if you haven’t heard of the band, they are going to embark on some big profile tours. The Ugh Metal staff, Jennifer and Santi, had a chance to catch up with Jonas via email right before the band’s busy touring schedule. But even cooler, they’ll be making a pit stop in San Diego on Saturday, May 19 at The Merrow. Without further ado, here’s what we chatted about.

Ugh Metal Staff: Who exactly are the founding members?

Jonas Bautista: Dr. Bautista (me) with Miguel Mercado (drummer) and Guillermo Sanders (guitar). Way back in 1998, these last two musicians are no longer with the project.

UMS: Why did you choose to name the band “Thanatology”?

Bautista: It wasn’t me precisely. The irony of all things. The idea or proposal to change the name of the band (originally called Cadaver) came from the family doctor.

The doctors in Thanatology will now see you… (Photo courtesy of Thanatology’s FB page)

UMS: What inspired the gimmick and the costumes of Thanatology?

Bautista: Well… what inspired the “gimmick” was my day job. I’m a doctor here in Mexico. So, it was easy in a way to choose the image of the band.

UMS: Is there any band or person you would like to collaborate with?

Bautista: Yeah, for sure. Dr. [Morton] Fairbanks from The County Medical Examiners [American deathgrinders] and the guys from General Surgery. [Swedish goregrinders]

UMS: What are your main musical influences?

Bautista: Extreme music. Gore metal and grindcore.

UMS: How many parts or chapters could we expect from Un Legado de Negligencia Medica?

Bautista: I really don’t know. But in theory, speaking of lyrical content, we can do a thousand of chapters.

Dr.Bautista of Thanatology ready to tear you apart in their latest video for “El Amor Va De La Mano De Látex” (Photo courtesy of their YouTube channel)

UMS: What inspired the concept behind this latest EP?

Bautista: The reality or rather the history behind the origins of medicine, which was based on the practice and failure, unfortunately.

UMS: This year you’re going to the Las Vegas Death Fest, the Bay Area Death Fest AND the Obscene Extreme Fest in the Czech Republic! First off, congratulations on that, is there any other festival you would like to be a part of in the future? And why?

Bautista: Ah, thanks. And yeah. MARYLAND DEATH FEST. Definitely.

UMS: Do you have a pre-show ritual?

Bautista: I think if we have one it’s getting the uniforms on.

UMS: Any funny or interesting stories that have happened on a tour?

Bautista: Well… there’s too many to mention here. But, funny… definitely, dealing with each other temperaments, humor and personas. And interesting? Going to play in a different place. It’s always interesting.

Ditch them apples and head down to The Merrow on May 19 for a check up you will never forget. And revitalize yourself with their latest EP Un Legado de Negligencia Medica which is available here!

The Trials of April 27, 2018

Aura Noir Thrashes Their Metal

We gotta love the unholy union between Black metal and thrash and because we professed our love for this mix, Norwegian metallers Aura Noire, along with Indie Recordings, approached us and opened their cloaks to reveal their latest album/our fix, their latest album Aura Noire.

The trio begins strongly with “Dark Lung Of The Storm” which is sure to blow listeners away with their vicious cacophony, you will still hear Carl-Michael “Aggressor” Eide’s haunting vocals resonate long after the track is over. “Hells Lost Chambers” will gallop towards you like a calculating warhorse that will ram you off the road especially once Aggressor unleashes his powerful growl. 

Because we are in need of more speed of the legal kind, Aura Noir gave us a strong dosage of that with “The Obscuration” and “Demoniac Flow” the super cool part about this track is that it’s the gift that keeps on giving because it has traces of some speed metal …. YES!!! “Shades Ablaze” and “Cold Bone Grasp” light up the rest of this speed-tastic streak Aura Noir have going on.

It was hard not to replay this album because it was just so damn addicting! Aura Noir offers a new shade of black magick, a spell where you can let the instrumentals penetrate your ears and soul, and well I’m sure you can all guess I how to feel about this album. You can listen to this madness on Spotify and get your copy here!

6 out 6, Something wicked came this way!

Godsmack Returns But Will They’Rise‘?

The year is still 2018 everyone! I know, first A Perfect Circle released an album and (insert other early 2000’s stuff here and now Godsmack have decided to join this partay. Godsmack is back and outta the past with When Legends Rise which was released via BMG. Beware though! This will give you strong urges to unearth your MySpace page and write your feelings about this album.      

Godsmack starts with their tribute the badass peeps in “When Legends Rise” and be on a roll with “ Unforgettable” which is sure to motivate you to take out that heavy ass garbage bag you shoulda taken out 5 days ago. Hey! Legends have to start somewhere baby 😉  “Bulletproof” and “Eye of The Storm” will definitely serve as great throwbacks to the classic in your face sound. Godsmack also showcase their sensitive side with “Under Your Scars” and “Someday” will lift your spirit a lot higher than it was on 4/20!

I will suspend my time machine hunt and pop this sucker in to feel young again…but not that young! Godsmack delivered a solid record that fans and millennials will appreciate and can have the potential to suck in casual listeners. For the J-Ohster it was a nice trip down memory lane but it didn’t churn my angst like it used to but that’s the side effects of being dead on the inside, which doesn’t mean it won’t do anything for you! Okay, maybe half of you. Anyway, listen to the whole album on Spotify and get your copy here.

3 Out 6, Its UnforMEHtable

Pánico Al Miedo Assemble With ‘Formador

Barcelona has no reason to panic because death thrashers Pánico Al Miedo will make everything better! Their debut full-length Formador was released via Cimmerian Shade Records and it is hungry for more unsuspecting metalheads that are looking for a good time. Also, how can you say no to the Squidward-esque alien on the cover below?! Anyway….

The quartet begins with the badass title track “Formador” which is teeming with sick ass riffs from Jordi Creus AND riff master James Murphy (Testament, Obituary, Death). These axemen don’t just fade into the background because they wanna string you along in a good way. “Formador” makes ANOTHER appearance at the end of this album but this time Creus shares the spotlight with former Death guitarist Bobby Koelble and it is just as divine! Because Pánico Al Miedoknows we are in need of a pick-me-up, they give us the ultimate motivator “No Voy A Perder” (I’m not Going to Lose).

Creus and drummer Alfred Gonzalez entice us to take a bite out of “Cebos Vivos” (Living Bait) and yes we swallowed the whole fuckin’ thing, man! If you ever join a pact be sure to blast “Hermanos De Sangre” (Blood Brothers) and right after the ceremony is done, raise your “Puños” (Fists) up in the air! When you roll up Marc Jufré’s thick vocals with his badass cohorts, it turns this album into a rabid beast! Listen to this fierce album on Cimmerian Records Bandcamp and get it there!

6 out 6, You should panic if you don’t have this album.   

**The Klown just cracked open some cold ones**

Elway Release a New One for the Sake of the Fans

If you are a Denver Broncos fan, for you the name really means something. If you are the legendary quarterback himself, John Elway, flattery isn’t the act that you’ll be showing, apparently. Nevertheless, the boys from Fort Collins, Colorado soldier on without the approval of said legend. On that note, Elway has released their album titled For The Sake of the Bit through Red Scare Records.

The album begins with “Inches” which starts rather slow and melodic. With all that aside, the Klown definitely dug the sarcastic lyrical content and sound like the days when the bands started off small in somebody’s garage. The previous is then followed by “Hold On” and immediately pick up the speed and keep the same kind of lyrical content. Although the Klown will get some hissing from every party, “Selfish Masochistic Psycho Trauma” gave the Klown a blast from the past moment because Elway used alot of the emo influences like Hawthorn Heights and The Used. “Paper Guitars” had some really mellow and melodic punk that can get you to reminisce and finishes with a sound bit of a phone call mixed with a melodic but distorted guitar.

The album finishes off with “Nobody Goes into Meteorology for the Sunny Days.” The Klown would have compared it to “Selfish…” if it weren’t for the fact that it was a dedicatory song that makes you feel the feels. This was definitely a mature album and will give the listener a coming-of-age soundtrack or if you need an album to understand some growing-up with some humor implied. The Klown definitely recommends this album to punkers that are more into the melodic variety or anyone who listens to indie (let’s face it they’re bound to with or without the Klown’s say so). Wanna listen before you buy? Check out their Bandcamp before making the choice.

4.5 out of 6, Give It Up, John. They Ain’t Gonna Change their Name.

Varathron Unleashed their Sinister Sixth

Although the saying says beware of Greeks bearing gifts, the Klown begs to differ especially when it comes to our beloved genre. The land where Rotting Christ, Septicflesh and Firewind came from now brings us another name to add on to that collection. On that note, the Klown shall talk about the band known as Varathron. This Greek black metal band has been an open secret for some time and have released a brand-new album through Agonia Records. The latest to covet their CV is titled Patriarchs Of Evil.

The album opens with some guitars to start “Tenebrous” which are then joined by the vocals of Stefanos Karasavvas and the drumming of Haris Kokkinos. They immediately pick up the pace with “Into the Absurd” in which Stratos Kountouras really shined. The song also reminded the Klown about the Aztec themed black metal band Mictlantecuhtli because of the similar sounds and influence especially with the guitars, bass and the way Karasavvas projects his vocals. The Klown can definitely say the same about “Luciferian Mystical Awakening.”

Remember how Rotting Christ was brought up? Well, the Klown can assure you that they seemed to be a major influence for these bros. “Saturnian Sect” and “Hellwitch (Witches Gathering)” is definitely proof of that. In fact, the Klown thought that he was listening to old Rotting Christ tracks that had never been released before. The collective takes a brooding and somewhat melodic step with “Remnants of the Dark Testament.”

The album is finished off with “Ouroboros Dweller (The Dweller of Barathrum)” which was somewhat dramatic and tender. As it starts with acoustic guitars, it picks up with electric and contains samples of choir and synths. This album was pretty good and really captures the sounds of some of the old school Mediterranean black metal styles. The Klown recommends the album for fans of Rotting Christ, Melechesh, Mictlantecuhtli and Highland. Still not convinced? Check it out on your streaming service of choice or cut foreplay and head over to the label’s Bandcamp.

5 out of 6 EEEVEEELLLL!!!!

Skindred Return in a Big Way

Chances are if you haven’t heard of Skindred, you probably don’t explore the subgenres enough. That’s okay, the Klown’s got ya, fam! Being one of the very things that Wales is known for aside from its Rugby team, Bullet For My Valentine, the former T-Mobile spokeswoman and Cardiff, which is UK’s Hollywood, Skindred is right up there. The Welsh kings of Crossover are back and this time their return is big with their 7th installment Big Tings which has been released through Napalm Records.

The album opens with “Big Tings” and immediately begins with Arya Goggin’s house style drumming which is then followed by some programming, bass and guitars courtesy of Daniel Pugsley and Michael Fry, respectively. All that combined with Benji Webbe’s melodic vocals and cowbell made for a pretty good and groovy start. The collective continued the groove but without the cowbell and with the sounds of hard rock with “Machine.” In fact, the song sounds like something the late great Angus Young would have composed because not only does it sound like a really modern AC/DC song, Webbe’s vocals briefly sounded like that of Brian Johnson’s famous vocals. The band show their sensitive side and treat the softies and ladies to “Tell Me.” Although it is a ballad, the band manages to incorporate and keep the hard rock elements.

“Loud and Clear” features Webbe’s unmistakable reggae style vocals and blends it with some groovy, alternative metal. “All This Time” briefly featured Webbe doing the same but added more melodic clean vocals and combined them with nu-metal sounds. “Alive” was not only catchy but felt like a song meant for dancing due to the way the samples and programming were applied to the hard rock element. “Broken Glass” featured some elements of electro funk, some alternative rock, and female vocal samples.

The album officially finishes with the soft ballad titled “Saying It Now.” Not only was it sentimental but it was mostly Webbe showing off his clean vocals singing to Fry’s acoustic guitar, string samples, and the tambourine. This album was definitely a Big Ting and definitely shows a vast array of influences and sounds that the band has known to play around with. If you are a fan of Kontrust, Living Colour, Three Days Grace and Candiria then the Klown highly recommends this. If you’re not convinced, check’em out in your streaming service of choice or in Bandcamp.

6 out of 6 It’s Yuge!

Kobra And The Lotus Continue to Prevail!

Remember that time the Klown talked about Kobra And The Lotus’s album, Prevail I? You don’t? Pepperidge Farm sure as hell does! That’s okay though because that was a year ago. Now, they are back with the second half of their concept album. If you haven’t caught on, their latest album is titled Prevail II! That’s right kiddies, part deux is finally out and through Napalm Records.

The album begins strongly with “Losing My Humanity.” The song exploded with some heavy guitar from Jasio Kulakowski and immediately Kobra Paige’s strong vocals added more power to the song. Kulakowski also gives you a quick and brief guitar solo. Paige also wants to show some luck to an S.O.B. with “Let Me Love You” but because she wants to show you that she’s still more metal than you she will serenade you in the most metal way by keeping this ballad metal. “Ribe” serves as the perfect catalyst for “My Immortal.” The great thing about this song, aside from the heavy power metal vibe that the song has, Paige busts out her inner Tarja Turunen and Floor Jensen, although not entirely operatic, she still manages to show off her powerful pipes. The Klown can say the same about “Human Empire” and “Heartache.”

“White Water” features Paige doing a power ballad along with a killer guitar solo from Kulakowski. The album ends with “The Chain” which was a slow paced song that featured Lord Marcus Lee’s bass drums beats as the foundation of the song which eventually picks some speed to end in a high note. If you get the album with the bonus track and absolutely loved “Let Me Love You” but felt like it should have been tender? Good news, the bonus song happens to be just that.

The album was a great follow up and definitely featured an array of sounds, mostly of the hard rock variety mixed with power metal. The Klown definitely recommends this to those KATL faithful who have been anticipating this release since last year. If you haven’t heard the first one, check them both out in the streaming service of your choice or get it on Napalm’s Bandcamp.

6 out of 6, The Kobra Prevailed in the End

Firey Sides Chat: Praga Khan of Lords Of Acid

Lords Of Acid bringing the Sextreme Fest in 2017 at the Brick By Brick on Oct. 13.
(L to R: Party meister/founder Praga Khan and ex-bassist DieTrich Thrall)

The stupidly happy and fortunate Ugh Metal slaves, Jennifer and Santi, had the opportunity to spice up their morning and had a sexy pajama party with Lords Of Acid mastermind/ party meister Praga Khan. Praga Khan took a break from the Ascension Day celebrations in Belgium and gave the interns all the dirty details on Lords of Acid’s May 18 album Pretty In Kink.

Jennifer: We won’t ask you anything scandalous! What can we expect from Pretty In Kink?

Praga Khan: Pretty In Kink was a bit of an experiment for me. Most of the time I’m working in my studio on my own to record the demos, and then always with Erhan Kurkun, a friend of mine who is still composing. But this time we came up with the idea to get the fans involved from the beginning of the album because I’ve always had a good relationship with our fans and with fans you learn a lot about your music.

Praga Khan in Phantasia LandenBeats in 2014.
(Photo courtesy of Tardis Traveller‘s YouTube channel)

PK (Cont.): So when we started with the album we really got them involved from the beginning so that they could choose the topics of the songs, and they even gave us the title of the album, and during the making they could also listen to demos and give their opinions and also it comes down to the sound of this album. I also asked them by doing polls on Facebook I asked them what they really like, but that was a good starting point for me to work with. In a way I was around a lot of fans, a lot friends and it makes it special because we did it together.

*After one of several terrible technical difficulties we got a hold of Praga Khan*

J: What was the main inspiration for the new album?

PK: Multiple times, I get it from the crazy world around me, the crazy fans, and the crazy parties I get invited to. To give you an idea, two weeks ago we played at the Fetish festival in Holland it’s called…what’s it called? …Wasteland [Festival]! (On April 7)

J & Santi: Oh yeah we were talking about that!

New vocalist Marieke “Little Bloody Marie” Bressesleer seducing Wasteland audiences.
(Photo courtesy of Peter Dircken)

PK: We had to do a performance there and with all that I’ve seen that evening I could write a whole new album. (Everyone laughs) You know things like that are not allowed in Belgium. Here it’s forbidden to do stuff like that, you know like wild fetish parties! I was already there performing so you can look around and check it out, the underground fetish world and I can tell you (chuckles) there’s a lot of stuff I didn’t write about yet. (Everyone laughs)

S: Nothing is crazier than real life!

J: Pretty in Kink reminded me a lot of Voodoo-U and Our Little Secret, what made you want to revisit this sound?

PK: They are my favorite albums. I wanted to make a combination of these two albums, sound wise. The roughness of Voodoo-U, it was very rough and co-produced by Rick Rubin so I had to work with Rick in the Voodoo album and he wanted a raunchy, “make it sound dirty” and distort a lot of stuff and for me it was good because that’s what really I like, you know. Make all the crazy noises, this thing right here, (he turns around and points out his trusty synthesizer sitting behind him) ARP 2600, That’s my favorite instrument.

J: We saw you do your yoga moves on that last year! (Sextreme Fest at the Brick By Brick 2017)

Co founder/keyboardist Praga Kahn showing off his acrobatic skills while DJ Mea cheers him on.

PK: You can do whatever you want on that thing! (Everyone laughs) Making the sounds in every possible way, that’s what we also did on this album, make a good combination between the now a days software and the old analog gear. And also music wise, the rough element from Voodoo-U but it has the sexy atmosphere from our Our Little Secret and it’s like a nice mixture of these two albums, to me. You already had a really good listen to it because you’re the first one to discover that! (Everyone laughs)

S: What were the challenges in making Pretty In Kink?

PK: First of all, there’s this new singer (Marieke Bresseleers), that was a challenge but she turned out to be an amazing singer. I’m sure she has the widest vocal range from everybody I’ve ever worked with. She can sing really high and really deep but also make a warm sound. There was this tour that came in September, October, November in the States (Sextreme Fest 2017). Most of the time when I start making an album, I go into the studio and I try to stay in there as long as possible, we get really into the atmosphere from the album, not going out and stuff, and now I have to prepare the tour in America, and i have to decompress from the tour, and I also have to do the press for the tour.

Lords Of Acid kick off the sold out Sextreme Fest of 2017 at the Brick By Brick!
(L to R: Co-founder keyboardist Praga Khan, Back up vocalist Erica Dilanjian and vocalist DJ Mea Fisher)

PK (Cont.): It took me 3 months that I lost to the tour, but on the other half you meet a lot people and it was good for me when I did the final mixes and I got feedback from everybody. It was a challenge to get out of the studio atmosphere while you are writing music, you dive into a live tour and dive directly back into the studio. That was a real challenge.

S: I can totally understand that ‘cause you want to feel relaxed and come up with the material smoothly because when you’re too stressed out or something you’re just like “I don’t want to do this for a while.”

J: Its mental constipation. And you actually beat me to our next question! We were wondering how you met the new singer Marieke, sorry if I mispronounced it. (*spoiler alert* Jennifer mispronounced it)

PK: Marieke (Pronounced Mar-ee-kee), but you can call her Little Bloody Marie!

J &S: Oooh!

J: How did you meet her?

PK: I know a lot of musicians in Belgium and I was asking them… people, when they listen to Lords Of Acid they don’t realize that we really need a very very good singer to sing that material because when you listen to Our Little Secret and Voodoo-U they sing very high and very deep. A girl I know who is a famous piano player in classical music, she said “I know someone who is crazy enough to do it.” She (Bresseleers) is classically trained but she is also crazy in a good sense. From the first time I heard her voice I said “Wow, this is amazing!”

New vocalist Marieke “Little Bloody Marie” Bressesleer seducing Wasteland audiences.
(Photo courtesy of Peter Dircken)

PK: (Cont.): We met each other and I found out she’s really into the heavy metal. She‘s the perfect fit to Lords Of Acid because in a way Lords Of Acid has heavy guitars on there and also has dance music involved so it’s a nice mixture of different styles. I checked her out on the net when she was doing performances, she’s an animal on stage and she also has theatrical background so I think you will be very, very pleased when you see her!

J: Like we need anymore reasons to be excited!

S: Do you have a favorite song?

PK: The songs are so different from each other, do I have favorites? “Break Me,” but on the other hand “Before The Night Is Over” is also one of my favorites because it’s a very, very different style. I can not pick my favorites songs and there are some songs on there that I really like and that’s something I can’t say about every album.

J: What can we expect from Pretty In Kink performance wise?

PK: This time it’s gonna be more “Lords Of Acid” type, you know more theatrical because that’s also the atmosphere of the album. Last time we played Voodoo-U and that’s more aggressive than the new album. We’re gonna have a lot of stuff happening on stage, also projections and all that stuff! We’re looking forward to it!

J & S: We’re looking forward to it!

J: What is the craziest story or the craziest thing a fan has done at a show?

PK: There is a lot that has passed over the years but the most crazy thing is that there was a show in Japan, a guy jumped on stage completely naked and he started to jerk off on stage, and of course they removed him in no time but that was the most craziest thing.

Experience the euphoric effects of Lords Of Acid like the naked man and be sure to snag your copy of Pretty In Kink here out on May 18 out via Metropolis Records (tomorrow!) And if you want more reasons to see them live, checkout our wild night we had with them last year here!

The Trials of April 20, 2018

Anarchist Wolves Breakthrough the Barricades with EP

Quickly, can you name other cool things and people that came outta New Mexico that doesn’t have anything to do with Breaking Bad or its universe, their peppers or our bestie Corey Pino? If Anarchist Wolves wasn’t one of them, then you need to expand your music tastes. Luckily, in the Klown’s search to satiate his independent act fetish he stumbled on this one-man act . The latest in this group’s collection is an EP titled To The Barricades. Did the Klown mention that it’s independent?

The album kicks off with “Hands/Arms” and right from the opening riff, the lone member, Wolf Boy, gives you a full dose of raw black metal. Y’know when the sounds of black metal were to intentionally sound like shit? For those reading this and are unsure, that’s supposed to be a good thing since that’s how the trve like it. Part of the throwback sounds include punk influences starting with speed and vocals that contained some reverb. However, “To the Barricades” and “Black Flags” are just a few of those tracks to really embody that while being kept within the minute mark.

“Night” not only continues to incorporate the punk sounds that old school Norwegian black metal started out with but it will definitely make you reminisce about legendary pioneers such as Darkthrone. The album caps off with “Dawn” which was an instrumental that starts out rather slow and remains so, up until the last 30 seconds of the song. This album was pretty good and is definitely one for those who love the sounds of raw black metal. The Klown recommends this for fans of Darkthrone, Carpathian Forest, Midnight and Black Mass Perverter. You can check this album on Anarchist Wolves’ Bandcamp and hear for yourself.

5 out of 6 Unleash the Wolves!

Ghostblood Raise Will Raise Your Metal Spirit

And… the Ugh Metal fetish continues! Don’t judge, we all have our kinks. Some people enjoy coprophilia, others are into partialism, we like the unsung heroes of shows: the independent bands. In this case, Ghostblood are a bunch of Seattleites that give you the gift of thrash metal with some heavy death metal overtones. Now, they bring that gift back in the form of their sophomore album titled Honey, I Raised the Dead.

The album begins with a humorous soundbite intro of a man who sounds like comedian Brian Posehn doing some work with a power drill which is immediately joined by some instrumentals by the band with Adam’s growling vocals. It is immediately followed by “Necroplasm” which continue the noise left behind in the previous track and features two awesome guitar solos by Arlo. They go full death metal with “Bludgeoned by Bone, B.C. (The Wrath of Garg)” which also features a killer solo from Arlo. While Gwar may have “Slaughterama,” Ghostblood has “Eviscerama.” In the spirit of everyone’s favorite Creepsylvanians, the trio treat us to the death metal romps of “Smokin’ Brains,” “Bleeding Frenzy (In Space)” and “Skull Mountain of Skulls.” Both of which Adam’s bass totally highlights the erratic foundations of the songs.

The band even dedicated one to yours truly with “Dawn of the Drunk,” which was more death metal awesomeness but with minimal vocals. The band finished the album the way it began, minus the soundbites, with death metal instrumentals and some growling vocals added in between. If you don’t mind humor and tongue-in-cheek lyrics than this is an album to get. The Klown liked this album and recommends it to fans of Ghoul, Austrian Death Machine, Psychostick and Gwar. Lastly, if you wanted to know what the hoopla is all about, check out the Ghostblood’s Bandcamp to get your dose of ghost metal for a listen and to acquire.

6 out of 6 Yes, Virginia Ghosts Bleed

Melvins Are Back Again

Man… the Klown wasn’t expecting to see the Melvins back so soon. Don’t misconstrue that sentence. It’s not often a band releases a follow up to their previous album the following year. So naturally the Klown was going to check this baby out! The contemporary is titled Pinkus Abortion Technician and it was released through Ipecac Recordings. The title of this album is rather interesting due to the fact that Jeff Pinkus of the Butthole Surfer had a lot to do with this album. On that note, especially if you are a big Butthole Surfer fan, it also references the Butthole’s third album Locust Abortion Technician.

This latest opens with one of Pinkus’s songs “Stop Moving to Florida.” Which actually sounds like something that came out of a Butthole Surfer’s album combined with, as the band so happens to describe as, the James Gang which becomes completely apparent by the second half of the song. The following track, “Embrace the Rub” definitely takes the Butthole Surfer style of punk rock. Both “Don’t Forget to Breathe” and “Flamboyant Duck” take you back to sounds of old school indie (take your pick) and combine it with that of the sounds of hard rock.

“Break Bread” will bring out your inner 90’s kid as the song is heavily laden with grunge. Speaking of grunge, the Melvins cover The Beatles’ “I Want to Hold Your Hand” in grunge version which sounded pretty bitchin’. The contemporary album finishes with “Grave Yard” which take a hard rock approach with the garage rock style to make an interesting ending for the punk induced album. The Klown enjoyed this album a lot more than he thought. In true Melvins style, the band experimented but did a throwback to the sounds that saw them alongside Nirvana, Tad and Soundgarden and combined it with punk. You can check this puppy out in the Melvins’ Bandcamp.

6 out of 6 The Geniuses Continue to Work

Pennywise Can’t Be Killed

The sub header is clearly an understatement for the Klown. The Klown’s deity can never be killed! Praise IT! But, knowing you, plebes, you “don’t have time” to talk about Pennywise from IT. So… let’s talk about Pennywise the band. One of the undisputed kings of the SoCal punk scene have returned with their 12th album. The latest one is titled after our beloved genres’ mantra, Never Gonna Die and it was released through Epitaph Records.

The album initiates with the title of the namesake album. It starts out slow down and immediately picks up with Fletcher Dragge’s guitar and Byron McMackin’s drumming. The collective also feed you lies of the apple pie variety with “American Lies.” Not only does “American Lies” really emphasize a piece of current Americana but it also features Randy Bradbury’s bass. The band pick up the speed even more with “Live While You Can” and “We Set Fire.” Ever had crazy experience with a girl? Pennywise apparently did too and wrote “She Said” for our amusement.

“Goodbye Bad Times” was a combo of slow and fast. The song was not only mellow but it also features a solo from Dragge. The album finishes with the appropriately titled “Something New” which ended the album the way it began, slow with an instant pick up on speed. Plain and simple, without having to dissect the entire album, this contemporary was great! If you are a punker at heart or really fancy the SoCal punk scene then this is a must-have. Still not convinced from the Klown’s words, check it out in your streaming service of choice. Convinced by the Klown or liked what you heard after streaming? Get it here.

6 out of 6 Punk’s Never Gonna Die, Man!

*Uh oh! Here’s Jenny Oh with her 2 cents again!*

A Perfect Circle “Eat” Their Feelings

Maynard James Keenan may not have delivered that long awaited Tool album yet but at least he has given us a new A Perfect Circle album to sedate those Tool shakes. Keenan and the rest of APC get in touch with their sentimental side and let their hair down in Eat The Elephant which was served through BMG Recordings.
The title track eases us in to this album and has a lot of great use of its instrumentals. The album keeps the smooth ball rolling will make you feel the power of “Disillusioned” which is a track that will cradle you to sleep as you let your tears fall because you will feel like you’re in a sad music video. Oh come on! Don’t tell me you don’t pretend you’re in a sad music video and/ or an Usher vid especially if it’s raining? Suit yourself liar. “So Long, And Thanks For The Fish” has a nice satirical attitude that yours truly loves and can fool the untrained simpleton that this is a happy-go-lucky ode.

“TalkTalk” gives us a tinge of the edgier and anguished version of A Perfect Circle that our angsty selves liked so much in early 2000’s, it’s nice to see you again! Props to the nice little score “By And Down By The River” and one can really savor Maynard’s diverse vocal range. In “Hourglass” APC really let loose and not only add some autotune in to the mix but they drop the bass with some good ol’ electronic influences, if that unnerves you a little, chill! It’s a track that will intrigue you and ultimately hype you.
Eat The Elephant is a different type of album, if you’re expecting a “typical” A Perfect Circle album well this isn’t it BUT that is not a bad thing. This record has a soulful, and real approach and is more tamer than their previous records which can be a hit or miss with fans. You can see what is up and listen to it on Spotify and if you’re feeling it, get your copy here.

3.8 out 6, still good though

The Trials of April 13, 2018

Honorable Mention

Carpathian Forest End Silence with EP

Hey, look who emerged and has graced our page! Carpathian Forest is just as legendary as the Klown’s chugging records. Sure, they may not have been on the same exact time as Mayhem, Darkthrone and Satyricon but they are just influential and renowned like the former. Most importantly, signs of life have emerged from the woodwork and has quelled any desires for a new album from the band. So, with that said, after a 12-year hiatus, Carpathian Forest presents Likeim EP and have released through Indie Recordings.

“But Klown,” inquired the voice in the Klown’s head, “If you’re so excited why is this great band in your honorable mentions?” Good question, impatient voice in the Klown’s head. The Klown was just getting to that. Since it’s out in the open, the reason is that it is a two-song EP. The first be titled “Likeim” which sounded like the old black metal sounds that caused a widespread intrigue and awesomeness. Which also contained punk rock influences. The other is a cover song from fellow Norwegian band Turbonegro’s “All My Friends Are Dead.” The Klown actually enjoyed the track and it had the collective’s punk rock influence.

Fret not fellow reader, this is only the beginning as the collective has been working on an LP. Word is that it is supposed come out this year, “It” not being the almighty Pennywise but the latest album which is titled Likskue. No actual date has been set, yet. Still, want the album and some Carpathian Forest swag? The Klown’s got you.

Just like you Likeim!

Black Mass Perverter Bring Out an EP for the Antsy

Move over Midnight, there’s another trying to get at your perverse crown. Or so the Klown thinks. The black metal band known as Black Mass Perverter, unlike Midnight, use punk influence in their brand of music instead of speed metal. They have released a brand-new EP titled Life Beyond the Walls of Flesh through Blood Harvest Recordings following up their debut from two years back.

The album begins with “Imbibing the Sea of Darkness” which opens up with some gnarly guitars and sounds that are reminiscent to that of Satyricon but with vocals that sound eerily familiar to a younger Helmuth Lehner from Belphegor. Remember the punk style combo that the Klown spoke of? “The Golden Spear” meets the mark right after the prior track and give some trve speedy goodness in under 2 minutes! They would once again pull that off but much faster with “Behind All His Atrocious Deeds” and keeps it at a little over a minute.

Although not as fast, the band combines black metal and punk with “Suffering, Our Everlasting Bliss.” They keep the fast-paced drumming and guitar synonymous with punk and really features the bass. The trio would do this again with “Chains of Guilt.” The album finishes this EP off with “The Forbidden Path” which took the Klown aback for he thought that he was listening to Taake for a moment. The Klown should note that the last song also featured some real heavy bass and stood out a lot.

This EP was pretty good. The Klown recommends it if you fancy yourself a connoisseur of the black’n’roll subgenre. On that note, the Klown will recommend this album for fans of Kuoleman Galleria, Taake, Midnight and Darkthrone. If you feel convinced, check them out in your streaming service of choice or in No Clean Singing’s site. If you go the FTP route you can get them at the label’s Bandcamp.

5 out of 6 Perversion is the New Black

The Look of Trve and Kinky

Crematory Will Take You to Oblivion!

Hey kids, can you name a former death metal that went Goth? Well, its in the sub header in if you didn’t notice. Sure, Crematory has dabbled in other subgenres but the Industrial/Goth style seems to have suited them well. After 27 years, the band doesn’t seem to know the meaning of slowing down. With that said, the German collective has released their 14th album titled Oblivion and released through Steamhammer Records.

The album opens with an intro titled “Expectation” which features  some overture you would expect from an epic moment in a movie. Right after that it transitioning to an introduction to the band before going into “Salvation” which gives us a touch of symphonic industrial metal which would feature Gerhard “Felix” Stass doing his growling vocals accompanied with rhythm guitar/vox Tosse Basler clean vocals as backup. The band gives a pure dose of industrial with “Ghost of the Past” and “Immortal” in which Katrin Jüllich’s key and samples shined the brightest.

“Until the Dawn” features the group’s tender and symphonic side but keep the growling vocals for emphasis. “Revenge is Mine” features Jüllich taking the spotlight again but this time playing them in a melody most synonymous with power metal from the likes of Firewind. The same can be said about “For All Of Us” minus the keys and more on the samples. “Stay With Me” feature some the band’s tender side again but this time in the form of a power ballad. “Cemetery Stillness” picks up the pace again and remain melodic throughout.

The album ends with “Demon Inside” which was like “Cemetery Stillness” but with more use of the keys. The album was rather fresh and give a very melodic take on the industrial/goth style metal. The Klown recommends this album for fans of Schwarze Engel, Megaherz, Oomph! and Eisbrecher. Still skeptical, check it out in a streaming service of your choice. Did you like it after you heard it or took the Klown’s word for it? You can get it here.

5 out of 6 The Soundtrack for Your Inner Death

Welcome to Oblvion

Nekrogoblikon’s Latest is Cray

The Klown knows that Ugh Metal barely talks about Nekrogoblikon. But at least they were featured once, even if it was a while back. Three years after Heavy Meta’s release the goblins from Santa Barbara have released their fourth album Welcome to Bonkers through their own label Mystery Box.

The album begins with “Mold” which opens with Alex Alereza’s guitars and Nicky Calonne’s vocals. Both are then joined by Aaron Minich’s keys, in which he gets a solo later on in the song. “Row,” briefly starts with some deathcore and smoothly transitions the keys but keep the deathcore element. The collective also gives you a reminder of who they are by adding electronic music elements and samples making the song dance-able. The band revives their M.O. of comedy and metal with “Dressed as Goblins.”Do you like the sounds of retro video games mixed in? “Dragons” is definitely the song to your liking and turns in to some electronic rock.

They keep the electronic aspect rolling again but bump it back to metal with “Thanks for Nothing, Moon.” The song also contains some guitars from Alereza. They bust out a bit of power metal with some electronic influence with “Darkness.” “Killing Time (and Space)” features Job For A Cowboy’s Al Glassman playing the opening sequence on the banjo before transitioning to the fast-paced metal song. The album ends with “Goblins” which sounds like In Flames but with comedic overtones and singing about goblins in their lives.

Assuming you haven’t heard of Nekrogoblikon, the Klown can recommend this to fans of Alestorm, Psychostick and Avatar. If you have heard or are a Nekrogoblikon mark then this album is a must-have for your collection. Not convinced, check it out on the band’s Bandcamp and hear for yourself!

5 out of 6 No Trollin’ Around 

This Album was Simply Bonkers!

 Satanic Surfers Return like a Bat Outta Hell

Punks, Skins and Droogs rejoice! One of Sweden’s finest has returned after an 11-year breakup and it has been 13 years since the Swedish punk group known as Satanic Surfers last made an album. Yup, it’s been a tween ago since these punkers last gave us gold. Their seventh installment is appropriately titled Back From Hell and it was released through Mondo Macabre Records.

The album begins with “The Usurper” which starts kind of fast and is a great song for our current times. The band’s speedy drumming from Robert Samsonowitz and Andy Dahlström’s bass slapping along with the guitars compliments Rodrigo Alfaro’s vocals. If you are looking for absolute speed the quintet give you the ironically titled “Catch My Breath,” in which Dahlström  shines brightly because the bass stood out the most, and proved to be the foundation of the song.

“Self-Medication” features a bit of reggae influence in between and Alfaro by no means attempts to do the Jamaican accent. Not a bad thing its just that the Klown doesn’t see the point of adopting a Jamaican accent when singing some reggae. Remember how the Klown brought up a soundtrack for today’s current events? Although, “The Usurper” does hit the mark, “Madhouse” hits it again with absolute precision! Not only was the song fast paced and aggressive, the lyrical content is on key with the world’s political climate, not just the US and Europe.

The Surfers didn’t just keep to themselves for their return, “Pato Loco” features soloist Patricio Vergara jamming away with the band in that instrumental. The contemporary closes with the title track, “Back From Hell” which finish the way it began, only much faster. The album was good and really felt fresh despite the lineup being tweaked just a bit. The Klown definitely recommends this album if you fancy yourself a true punker and recommends this album for fans of Offspring, Rise Against, Bad Religion and NOFX. As always if you don’t believe the Klown, you can always check their Bandcamp and see for yourselves.

6 out of 6 Surfs Up Buttholes!

Join Them in their Comeback Wave

*Uh oh! Here’s Jenny Oh with her 2 cents*

The Damned Conjure up ‘Evil Spirits’

The Damned are saying hello from the other side and have decided to grace our mortal ears with their first album in a decade! Evil Spirits was conjured up via Spinefarm Records and is quite the hard boiled fun loving  rebel. I am well aware that that was a bit of an oxymoron but these icons are know n to be quite the wild cards and are ready to be the best complicated rebels.

“Standing On The Edge Of Tomorrow” is just what you would love to play when you are deep undercover… under your covers on a weekday and holy shit! You are late for work! “Devil In Disguise” is the misunderstood bad boy that will take you by the hand and will have you shimmying all night long. “Look Left” indulges the sense of longing for that impossible love with that conniving burrito because you’re broke or working on the Psycho Las Vegas bikini bod… or maybe even a person. *Gags*

“Shadow Evocation” gives us the nice goth shade The Damned are so great at and vocalist Dave Vanian vocally drops the bass just like the good ol’ days but not deep enough to send us back to the past. Did you know The Damned also created a song for the Ugh Metal staff? It’s called “Procrastination” and it is perfect for our next montage when we’re trying to play catch up in these reviews.

The Damned are well known for reinventing themselves because that’s what pioneers do. They profess their love for all things noir in Evil Spirits and even though yours truly is hungry for more of Vanian’s signature deep vocals, it is very nice hearing him belt out his tributes in a high baritone harmony. This comeback record was an enjoyable ride with a fresh new attitude and if you are a hardcore fan of The Damned, you will have a soft spot for this hard boiled detective. Listen to the album on Spotify and get your copy here.

4 out 6,   Will give you the good kind of willies