The Dead Kennedys Keep Punk Alive

Dead Kennedys are here to proclaim that punk is NOT dead!
(L to R: Vocalist/ Ron “Skip” Greer, bassist Geoffrey “Klaus Flouride” Lyall and guitarist Ray “East Bay Ray” Pepperell)

Here at the Ugh Metal site, we’ve covered shows that for the most part  the Klown and his sibling attend the shows  together because we mutually go to experience the moment. This time, however, the punk and metal gods clashed and caused a divide amongst us. July 21 was an interesting day not just for us but for San Diego. That Friday just happened to be the SD Comic Con International’s second official day and as if last year wasn’t enough to convince us of how the scene can surprise us, this year a splitter was thrown. “WTF are you talking about Klown?” you may be asking. Gather ‘round the fictional campfire, my droogs as your savior of misbehavior shall treat you to Team Klown’s time at the sold out Dead Kennedys show at the Brick by Brick.

The Klown got his night of drunk and punk started with local punk scene legends Systematic Abuse formerly known as The Resentments, winning the attendance portion of the split. The Klown knew then that two things were going to happen, his goofy ass was about to get kicked and that he was going to experience what the diehard punkers have with Systematic Abuse. The collective first treated us to “No Escape” from their 2015 release No Escape. Once drummer Adam Cripe began to hit his house drums and pick up the pace, guitarist Erik Dogol added more liveliness to this punk style mix.

Local legends Systematic Abuse kicked off the sold out show.
(L to R: Drummer Adam Cripe , vocalist Match and bassist Grim)

That speed would later be picked up once again after bassist Grim joined in. Once Match accompanied the ensemble with his harsh vocals, he added the much-needed attitude that night craved. Also from the same album, the band treated us to the energetic and guaranteed circle pit starter “Slasher” which also featured Dogol and Grim doing the backing chorus to amplify the song.

The real treat of the night was when Systematic Abuse paid tribute to our metal god, Lemmy Kilmister as they covered “Ace of Spades” and gave it a faster and punk twist to the metal anthem. The performance had left the early birds clamoring for more and the ones trickling in with intrigue.

Systematic Abuse left people wanting more!
(L to R: Guitarist Erik Dogol, vocalist Match, drummer Cripe and bassist Grim)

As the exploits of the Abuse left intrigued, Authentic Sellout had fans enjoying, moshing and headbanging throughout the show. The band kicked off their set by having a comic con vendor known as The Wizard act as a hype man for the night. Lead guitarist, Christian Borja, immediately followed after The Wizard with an infectious opening riff to lead the charge with “King of Rock n Roll.” Frontman Sulo King will have you doing a double take, at first, because of his resemblance to that of WWE superstar Dean Ambrose.

Once King began his vocal work, it began to sound like a decree to this dynamic song and he would immediately be joined, vocally, by bassist Rice Enright and rhythm guitarist Andy Danger. King continued to  showcase his showmanship by not only starting a circle pit but even joining it during the performance of “American Dream.” Not one to leave a fallen mosher laying on the floor, King helped a female mosher up who happened to tumbled down in the pit and serenaded the rest of the song to her before climbing back up to the stage.

Bassist Rice Enright and guitarist Christian Borja of Authentic Sellout make it rain with sime sweet riffs.

King seemed to be a fan of The Walking Dead because he had brought Lucille with him. For those unaware of Lucille, it is a baseball bat wrapped in barb wire at the base. King used the prop to send a clear message of their latest song “Technology.” King decreed that anyone on their cell phone would get them knocked off their hands by Lucille. King would then jump off stage to seek out anyone on their phones to knock them off their hands, like he said he would.

Authentic Sellout closed out their time with their hit song from their 2009 Live By The Dollar Sign, Die By The Dollar Sign EP, “Working Class Stiff.” Authentic Sellout left quite the commotion and accomplished to soften the crowd for the kill. Prior to that night, the Klown didn’t know what to expect and was glad that he had a hell of a surprise with these gents.

Sulo King of Authentic Sellout wants to show us his friend Lucille while guitarist Christian Borja strums an epic funeral song.

The local punk powerhouse known as Sculpins took the stage and the Klown, alongside all the attendees, could feel a new commanding and confident presence from this quartet. Although the last time the Klown saw these gents was a little over a year ago,  the Klown still believes that these gents represent the current generation of punkers. Sculpins do a great job to remind you that the death of punk has been greatly exaggerated. The quartet kicked off their set with “Social Acceptance” from their 2015 Force Feeding An Obese Society LP.

From the moment guitarist Branden Parish’s erratic guitar riffs began, the crowd was immediately in a fevered frenzy. But the true spectacle of the band was frontman Adam Gomez. For those who have had the chance to see this man in action, y’know exactly what the Klown is talking about. However, for those who haven’t, you my child are missing out because Gomez will one-up you when it comes to feeling the music.

Sculpins made us feel, man!
(L to R: guitarist Branden Parish, vocalist Adam Gomez and drummer Jarrod Monday)

When Gomez is not spazzing out  while he shows off his vocals, he will carry his mic stand with one hand, flip it over his shoulder and parade the stage with it while still blaring his powerful, screaming vocals. Another thing to note about Gomez is that the man embodies the punk attitude and spirit by sharing anecdotes of social justice or social commentary as a footnote and an intro to the songs he’s about to perform. After the band’s performance of “Reluctant,” Gomez would show his humility and gratitude for the opportunity given to them. This show was the first time a high profile and sold out show featured a lineup consisting of local bands with one major headliner at the helm.

Much like Sulo King, Gomez also got off stage to join the pit serenaded a female punker that was caught in the mosh before heading back to the stage, and serenaded a lucky lady that was sitting on a knee scooter and had a cast on her leg. Sculpins also premiered a brand new song titled “Peace Offering” and closed their unforgettable performance with “Aiding & Incorporating Death.”

Adam Gomez of Sculpins had a duet with the mic stand!

As much as the Klown really wanted to continue speaking of the show stealing Sculpins, it is time that the Klown chats you up about the legendary Dead Kennedys.  No matter the history, issues, or the roster changes, they are legendary through merit and have managed to stand the test of time. Although the Klown amongst many wish that Jello Biafra would still be part of the band, Ron “Skip” Greer does a great job filling the shoes that were left behind.

The group preceded their sold out affair with “Forward to Death” and the reception they got was bar-none as the crowd erupted and almost brought down the Brick. Greer not only had an infectious personality, he has a voice that can closely match Biafra’s and is not afraid to use humor when he has to. By the time the band finished playing “Police Truck,” Greer was aware of what was taking place in San Diego and took the time to address and joke about the Comic Con. Such jokes were not only comic book related but also pop culture such as Twin Peaks with the implication that the eleventh season was being announced, and the 20th Transformer movie featuring a very old Mark Wahlberg.

Ron “Skip” Greer of Dead Kennedys happy to see all the Comic Con Pop figures.

By the time “Kill the Poor” was finished, Greer once again started to joke and address an issue most aren’t aware of including musicians, having to look for some regular employment to make ends meet. In this case, he would turn that around and claim that he had taken a job with the Trump Administration and finished the joke with a confession of him being responsible for Trump’s alleged leaks to Russia. Of course, it would be rather incomplete if the band didn’t dish out their famous hits before the night was through which was done during the band’s encore.

That arsenal consisted of “California Uber Alles” and the band’s satirical cover of Elvis’s “Viva Las Vegas.” The night truly erupted when the famous surfer rock riffs of their mega hit “Holiday in Cambodia” began. Much like some of the other songs, it had crowd participation to sing along with Greer especially when he presented the microphone to someone in the crowd. The band teased the ending by giving us one more encore in the form of “Chemical Warfare.”

East Bay Ray uber alles!

This show was great and the Klown could only wish that a lot of you could have joined him alongside to partake in this moment. No matter what your feelings are regarding the Dead Kennedys, these men show that true artists must go on for the better or worse. But most importantly, the fact that these gents allowed the local punk scene to lead the way for them spoke volumes.

This shows anyone how much of a class act the Dead Kennedys truly were since it’s not too common for a titan to let the local bands pull the crowd in like moths to a flame. The Klown can only hope to see DK pop back in for another night. Most importantly, many thanks to DH Peligro, your drumming skills are exceptional but your humbleness truly defines you.

The Trials of August 11, 2017

Cormorant Return with Some More Black Metal from the Bay

The name Cormorant should be somewhat known to some both in the underground metal scene and in the Bay Area. But for those who aren’t, this quartet is known for being serious about remaining independent despite how many sources claim otherwise. With that tidbit aside, Cormorant have released their fourth album Diaspora independently. Unlike their previous 2014 album, Earth Diver, the band takes the approach of Wintersun and delivers in 4 track album with songs over 7 minutes long.

The album kicks off with “Preserved in Ash,” Brennan Kunkel’s drums open the 10-plus minute long Pandora’s box and is then followed by vox/bassist Marcus Luscombe’s screaming vocals. The best way the Klown can describe this song is if Opeth’s style of prog met with a lot of underground black metal influence such as Morphesia. With “Sentinel” and “Migration” the band makes a 180 and features more of a doom influence, switches it back to progressive becoming nearly 16 and 26-plus minutes long, respectively.

In “The Devourer” the band returns to the progressive black metal brand that they are known for and has guitarist/backing vocalist Matt Solis and Kunkel sharing the mic creating a ghastly and harmonic chorus. This album was quite a surprise given the band’s original poison of choice is black metal. The Klown highly recommends this album if you are looking to expand your tastes in the prog and doom field. You can check this quartet’s album out in their Bandcamp.

5 out of 6, Doomtastic  

Porky Vagina Release their Third Installment

Porky Vagina’s name alone will leave a lot to the imagination. Nevertheless, this Polish trio is back with their new release titled Astroschwein and was released independently. From the very beginning, “Chlew I Honor” plays on the sounds of Western movies but immediately turn to the sounds of grindcore  and remains experimental. Aside from this being the running theme of the album, the Klown can best describe these sounds as a marriage between Nekrogoblikon and Igorrr who conceived a lead singer that plays with his vocals and can mimic the pig squeals.

“Fekal Disko Party,” “Call of Knuru” and “Anal, Flaki I Prosiaki” are great examples of what the Klown speaks of. “Jan Maria Rakiela” sounded like an unheard of Asesino track if frontman/bassist Tony Campos decided to test out his Polish. Do you like Ghoul and are curious to know how they would sound like with a bit of rockabilly? “Czas Pogardy I Musztardy,” “Polej Smalcu” and “Oberiva ov Death” are the tracks you definitely want to give a try.

“Wunderschwein,” however, starts off with the rockabilly influence but was more of a mash up of the metal subgenres, some electronic, and a rowdy chorus. At first the Klown didn’t know what to make of it but he will admit that this was a good album and can hook anyone in if you are having trouble deciding what you want to listen to. You can get a copy at the band’s Bandcamp to check it out for yourself.

6 out of 6 That’s All Folks

Incantation Shall Offend the Unworthy with Latest

The pioneering trio known as Incantation has released their tenth album through Relapse Records. The newest album Profane Nexus will remind you why Incantation is a legend in the New York City death metal scene. The album first takes off with “Muse” in which frontman/guitarist John McEntee’s slow riffs build up quickly and features his harsh, growling vocals to boot.

“Rites of the Locust,” “Xipe Totec,” and “Messiah Nostrum,” however, really bring back the powerful sounds that Incantation has been known for. They will destroy your eardrums in a good way and will have you clamoring for more of McEntee’s vocals and riffs accompanied with Kyle Severn’s excellent drumming and Chuck Sherwood’s strong bass strumming.

The band tones it down with “Incorporeal Despair,” “Omens to the Altar of Onyx” and “Ancients Arise.” Additionally, the songs will make you feel like you are listening to a Six Feet Under track minus the guttural vocals of Chris Barnes and, much like SFU, the tracks pick up tempo in between and continue their sluggish brutal sounds as well.

The trio’s latest installment will have any diehard fan begging for more and will leave them speechless to what they have heard. Most importantly if you loved Immolation and Suffocation’s latest releases, you will definitely love this album. If you want to challenge the Klown’s opinion on this, then mosey on up to the band’s Bandcamp and see for yourself.

6 out of 6, Phresh 

Venom Inc Will Have You Singing Hymns About Their Return

The legendary gods of the early black metal scene are back in full swing and with a vengeance. Okay… the majority of the said gods… the point is Venom Inc promised a new album and delivered with their latest debut installment Avé through Nuclear Blast Records. Before the Klown proceeds to type up this love letter, he wants you to know that this album just seemed to have everything and more.

The trio begins with “Avé Sathanas” which has a dramatically slow ominous sample with some deep, growling spoken word serving as a catalyst to Jeff “Mantas” Dunn’s guitar riffs and frontman/bassist Tony “Demolition Man” Dolan’s powerful bass strums. The pace immediately picks up with “Forged in Hell” and features Tony “Abaddon” Bray’s superb drumming as the opening sounds to this awesome track. The band also managed to make a new anthem for us metalheads and adds the speed metal element with “Metal We Bleed” making this a fresh and superb track.

The trio takes it old school in terms of elements and speed with “Time to Die” and “The Evil Dead” and will have you remembering that this group was also responsible for “Black Metal.” “Preacher Man” tones it down and has Abaddon thundering his double kicks and cymbals clashing as the founding element of this song. Remember how the Klown brought up “Black Metal?” You should since it’s still in this piece!

Venom Inc’s closing track is the awesomely titled “Black’n’Roll” which shows us everything the trio gots. This track has an awesome guitar riff from Mantas, all the drumming prowess and skills of Abaddon and the Demolition Man’s commanding vocals and bass that defy speed and logic! The wait for this current incarnation was well worth the wait and will have anyone being exigent for more. Luckily the Klown can tell you that you can get a hold of a copy of this current sacrament here.

6 out of 6, The Poison of Champions, Hallelujah! 

*UH OH! Jenny Oh has thrown in her 2 cents! There goes her life savings again.*

Empyrean Throne Are Dripping With Glory

Suit up! We are headed to the front lines to defend the Empyrean Throne who are thirsty for glory and are ready to conquer with their debut LP Chaosborne via M-Theory Audio Records. The Californian melodic black metallers celebrate their first conquest as a signed band by unleashing their infernal cavalry with “The Twilight Order” and release the rabid “Usurping the Obsidian God” (which is just as badass live!)

Prepare to be thrust in to the darker side of their empire and in to the ominous and theatrical “The Devouring Mark.” That middle instrumental sequence in this track is the perfect build up to this swan song. Empyrean Throne create a beautiful illusion with “Follow the Plaguelord Part II: The Harbringer ov Pestilence” by reeling you in with clean vocals from Andrew Knudsen and a beautiful acoustic melody to flow with his voice before Knudsen shows you his inner Shagrath.

Empyrean Throne continues their vicious campaign with the ominous “From the Mouth ov the Black Gods,” “Stormrite Ascension,” and “And None Shall Rise…” The infernal lords are sure to awaken the ancient spirits residing in their domain with the beautifully crafted “Haereticus Stellarum Part I” where the fiddle continues to add more ambience and emotion along with the percussion and spills out the dramatic chanting and drum tempo in “Haereticus Stellarum Part II.”

Empyrean Throne shine brighter than the crown Knudsen dawned at the Helheim show earlier this year. Every epic adventure has a beginning and what better way for this band to begin this new chapter in their story with Chaosborne? The metallers from Lake Forest deliver a full length debut album sharper than Excalibur and possess a stronger magick than the Sanderson Sisters! Yours truly can’t find the appropriate words to describe the superb theatrics, instrumental work and vocals in this album. So head on down to their bandcamp to get your copy and join this campaign by exploring their previous releases.

6 Out 6, We will gladly bend the knee

 

Metal Assault Brings #ThrashThursday To San Diego

Nihilist headlines Metal Assault’s Vol.2
(L to R: Guitarist Matt Smith,, bassist/vocalist Loren Tipton)

July 20 was kind of a significant date for San Diego especially of the nerdy and geeky variety. That’s right kids, the San Diego Comic Con International was already in full swing and it was sold out. Luckily for us, Ugh Metal and all the metalheads had a buffer and headed over to Metal Assault’s second concert volume at the Brick by Brick. Unlike the first installment, which the Klown regrettably didn’t get the chance to partake in, the second installment bolstered the night and cured the Comic Con blues.

The night kicked off with the OC quartet known as Siva. The Klown didn’t know what to expect from these gents but he was glad that they were a pleasant surprise. The quartet’s performance was rather refreshing and reintroduced the brand of metalcore that has sprouted known acts such as a Atreyu, Stick To Your Guns and Avenged Sevenfold just to name a few. The Klown witnessed the invigorated frontman, Kory Anderson, move voraciously throughout the performance. His performance reminded the Klown of Whitechapel frontman Phil Bozeman’s performance minus the platforms. Just like Bozeman, Anderson was a man of few words and allowed his actions and vocals to do the orating for him.

Kory Anderson of Siva let his motion do the talkin’.

Anderson and company treated us to songs from their 2015 album The Evolution of Decay such as the album’s forerunner “Leading the Blind.” Anderson also showed off some skills on the keyboard but the real treat wasn’t his skills on the keys. Anderson delighted the present congregation with a brand new, yet-to-be released song titled “Stone to Sand” which sounded pretty awesome and gave everyone in attendance more reasons to look forward to their next installment in the near future. The Klown will admit that these gents left quite an impact on him and the rest along with him. Siva did justice kicking off Metal Assault’s shindig.

Speaking of justice, the quartet from Torrence known as Heavy Justice took the stage front and center to dish out their brand of metal. The Klown can describe their style to be an unholy but awesome marriage between Judas Priest and Iron Maiden. Something worth noting was that amongst this pool of testosterone, some kick ass amount of estrogen was in the mix in the form of drummer Michelle Pickerine.

Heavy Justice was so ready to prevail!
(L to R: Vocalist/ bassist Neil Moutrey, drummer Michelle Pickerine, and lead guitarist/back up vocalist Greg Mullen)

The group treated us to “Gold Digger” and then “Apocalyze.” The best way to describe bassist/vox Neil “Neilio” Moutrey is that he looks like a younger version of the Undertaker during his American Badass phase from the early 2000’s. Moutrey’s vocals resemble W.A.S.P’s Black Lawless and are accompanied by lead guitarist/ backup vox Greg Mullen’s harsh vocals for an extra oomph.

Mullen was a treat because he was a spectacle in and of himself. When he wasn’t running back and forth on the stage to meet up with Irvin Garay for a strumming duet  replicating moments much like K.K Downing and Glenn Tipton. Not a fan of Priest? Fine. How about the combo from Dave Murray and Adrian Smith of Iron Maiden?

Greg Mullen’s enthusiasm level was off the charts!

Heavy Justice also treated us to “Fall of Giants” from their And So We Fall LP. Before the band vacated the stage, they gave the present masses a rewarding send-off with a brand new song, “TV Fails.” The song not only gave everyone something to look forward to but also left the crowd hungry for more.

As soon as Justice served, Monolith picked up and continued Thursday’s debauchery. This local quintet definitely began to turn the steam left behind into smoke. As we all know, when there’s smoke there’s fire. The collective from Oceanside sparked their flames by opening with “The Emperor (The Suffering of Fools)” from their 2015 debut LP Against the Wall of Forever which was released through Funeral Noise Records. The Klown can describe the song as thrash in its infancy but with Keith McIntosh’s vocals reminiscent to that of a young Bruce Dickinson.

McIntosh really showed off his windpipes and sang with feeling with “Against the Wall of Forever” totally had the Klown and the crowd eating it up. McIntosh would once again take the same singing approach with the toned down “Kindly Dr. Jest (The Interrogator)”which had lead guitarist Doug Walker show off a nice and slow guitar solo towards the end as a perfect ending for their first half. The second half of their performance consisted of Monolith introducing a new song titled “Wings of Steel” and played from their 2014 The Notebook EP with “I’m Going Home” and “Pyromania.” After the performance, the Klown understood why these gents were suddenly featured heavily.

Monolith bust out the coolest conga line!
(L to R: Guitarist Jared Bliss , guitarist Doug Walker, bassist Kevin Vickers and front man Keith McIntosh)

Thrash Thursday was capped off and met with one of the underground thrash locals, Nihilist. Although Nihilist is not widely known, they are an absolute treat especially if you are truly big on thrash. The trio kicked off with “Destroyer” from their 2006 Call Down the Thunder and also played “Blood Portraits” from their namesake 2009 release.

The band didn’t just stick too much in their past, they treated us to “Dethmacheen” which happens to have the same name as the EP. It didn’t seem to matter what these gents played because it still caused a commotion. Although the attendance didn’t exactly cause the Brick by Brick to implode, the pit that it garnered on that night is best described like the Grinch’s heart. If you don’t get that analogy, the summary is that the small pit grew threefold. The Klown may be exaggerating a bit but mark his words, that that pit was ever present and showcased how a dedicated and true fan base looks like.

Matt Smith and Loren Tipton of Nihilist keep the pit going on Thrash Thursday.

The frontman/ bassist Loren Tipton was a man of very few words who let his actions and performance do the talking. Not leaving guitarist Elliot Sloan out of the mix, he did a great job showing off his heavy and energetic riffs which complimented the brand of speed thrash that this band has been producing.

Nihilist originally finished with “Nihilist Kills” but fulfilled the request from the crowd, one more song. The band’s encore and final hurrah came in the form of Judas Priest’s “Freewheel Burning.” If you weren’t fortunate to catch this show, then the Klown pities you. Even though this show wasn’t a showcase of metal immortals it was still great to partake and be a part of. Sure, the Klown wasn’t present in the first volume of Metal Assault’s show in San Diego but hopefully this will give you an idea of what to look forward to in the upcoming editions the publication will bestow here.

First Impressions: Morphesia, Bloodborne, and Beekeeper

Honorable Mention: Morphesia

Morphesia has been growling and taking us into a spiritual black metal journey in the venues of San Diego for some time. Though this one man band finally got signed on July 7 by Sliptrick Records, doing a piece on Morphesia was a must for Ugh Metal! Zombie Thirteen…NO! It’s not Rob Zombie’s latest side project, but rather the name of the man behind Morphesia, who is unknowingly racking up more cool points with his killer name and an intriguing band name.

“I’m a big fan of HR Giger’s art. Around the same time I started playing guitar, I bought some of his Morpheus calendar prints and would stare at the art for hours. The name Morpheus always stood out to me, because to me, it represented the male side of his art, so I wondered what the female version of that name would be.” Said Thirteen regarding the band’s name. “One afternoon after college, I was taking the bus home and it just came to me, Morphesia, so I wrote it down and proclaimed that as my future band’s name.”

Thirteen had previously played in a few bands but found his identity as a musician after delving deeper in black metal. Thirteen credits Norwegian black metallers Old Man’s Child as the catalyst that lit the fire for Morphesia because their music compelled him to write his first track in 2005.

Morphesia at Til Two in 2016 decked out in his black metal armor.
(Photo courtesy of formulavi on Youtube)

Though Morphesia was now out in the universe, it went through some growing pains and struggled to have a stable line up before becoming a solo act. The evolution of this one man band has continued to flourish and has shifted its concept, venturing more into the ancient spirituality of Egypt.

“I wanted to shift the focus from the aggresiveness/hatred coming out of my writing and show the inner core of where all that came from, putting myself out there instead of targeting a specific subject.” Said Thirteen when asked about his new musical direction.

“I got tired of writing the same ‘Norwegian style’ song and decided to destroy ‘the barrier’ I had hid behind for many years, exposing a much more personal and deeper side I was reluctant to share at first, as I was under the impression that I ‘had’ to keep a certain image going.”

Zombie Thirteen of Morphesia transcends during the Helheim show in 2017.

Morphesia will be releasing his second full length album I Forever End later this year and luckily for all of us, he has a bandcamp filled with black metal wonders! If you haven’t seen his new material live, check out our reviews and his YouTube channel, you are in for a transcendental treat. Morphesia will be at The Merrow on Aug. 15 with Wormreich, and will be joining locals Ruines Ov Abaddon and many more on Oct. 14 at LA’s 5 Star Bar and like him on Facebook to stay in the loop and congratulate him!

Beekeeper

San Diego is buzzing and dripping with thrashy sweetness that is slowly trickling down onto metalheads and winning them over. Local thrashers Beekeeper are slowly invading the West Coast one riff at a time and conquering the hearts of metalheads. This hive is helmed by the three amigos, lead guitarist/vocalist Ally Levine, drummer Dylan Marks and bassist Adam Wollach who vowed to rule the world through the power of metal.

“We formed [through] our mutual love and respect for old school thrash and death metal.” Said drummer Dylan Marks. “WE ARE TAKING THE WORLD BY SWARM.”

Ugh Metal has been fortunate to see this thrashy trio in action before and it was love at first sting! We are still buzzing after Beekeeper put to shame the big bad wolf by blowing away the Brick By Brick at the San Diego Metal Swap Meet After Party. Staying true to their house saying, they will be embarking on a North American tour starting on August 23 where they’ll be playing at the Soda Bar supporting their debut LP Slaves To Nothing which they released independently on July 1 and made quite the impression on the Klown. Be sure to snag their debut album here, you will not regret it! It’s only a matter of time till we see a record label snag these guys up.

Beekeeper dismantling the Brick By Brick at the SD Metal Swap Meet After Party in 2017.
(L to R: Vocalist/lead guitarist/KWEEN Ally Levine, drummer Dylan Marks and bassist Adam Wollach)

Bloodborne

Because everything’s bigger in Texas, they produced a bigger and meaner local super group called Bloodborne. The quintet from Del Rio came together in 2015 for a fun jam sesh among friends when they had some down time but  quickly  started taking on a life of its own. Guitarist Rick Arneson, drummer Chris Clark and guitarist John Martinez drew first blood before having bassist Fred Vela and vocalist David “Gorilla” Rodriguez a few months later.

“We all just love writing music with influences of the things that we like. Things like tempo changes, memorable hooks and songs that all have their own vibe.” Said John Martinez “We don’t care for all songs to sound the same.”

Bloodborne create a type of metal reminiscent to the late 90’s, early 2000’s wave of groove and nu metal *sigh* Aww yes, that takes me back to when yours truly was a heathen in training *sips on margarita.* Not many bands can pull this nostalgic branch of metal off, but Bloodborne surely can especially because each respective member add a unique ingredient of their own.

The quintet released their very first EP titled Hour of Demise independently on July 12 and you can check out their Reverbnation page and see how they do metal in Texas! Check out their music videos for their hit “Angels and Demons” off of their new EP and drop them a line in their Facebook page to get your copy!

The Trials of August 4, 2017

Accept ‘The Rise of Chaos’

Accept is back bearing gifts. The heavy metal icons are here to supply us with a great soundtrack applicable to everyday life with The Rise of Chaos via Nuclear Blast Records. These legends begins this mayhem with the honorable “Die by the Sword,” and keep the epic overtone going with “What’s Done Is Done”  which will amp you to finally stand up to that cardboard cutout of He-Man’s ‘cause it’s been looking at you funny for some time now.

Not everything is all fun and games with Accept, especially after they warn us with the catchy “Koolaid.” Which only makes yours truly crave the sugary and processed elixir a little more especially while looping this track, and yes this track might sock you right in the childhood if you’re not too familiar with the reference, young one.

After issuing their warning against the beloved drink, these metal vets showcase their heaviness and great riffs in their single “The Rise of Chaos,” “World’s Colliding,” and “No Regrets.” Accept maintain their iconic sound and are one of the few OG metal bands that have stood the test of time. This record will make you rise with your horns high up in the air. Get yours here and check it out!

4 Out Of 6, Still Got It 

Dead Cross Debut Lives!

For those unfamiliar with Dead Cross, this is quite the supergroup which has the master of percussion Dave Lombardo (ex-Slayer, Suicidal Tendencies), vocalist Mike Patton (Faith No More), fellow San Diegan, bassist Justin Pearson (Retox), and guitarist Michael Crain (Retox). Together, they have finally released their highly anticipated self titled album via Ipecac Recordings.

You know you’re going on a volatile ride when you begin with “Seizure and Desist” which has a great and dramatic chorus while letting you peek into some dystopian mind. This first track ends just as abruptly and mysteriously as it started…which hooks you in because curiosity fed the cat!…Addicted to the erraticism? So was yours truly! So when “Idiopathic,” “Divine Filth” and “Grave Slave” blasted in to these weary eardrums you bet it melted my prized ear wax reservoir!

Now the J-Oh’ster must publicly declare her love for Dead Cross’s take on Bauhaus’s “Bela Lugosi’s Dead.” This collective add a new layer of grimness, grit, and angst and I just jizzed myself. Another song that made me feel warm and fuzzy inside is the death rock-esque “Church of the Motherfuckers.” You better believe these two particular songs were replayed quite a few times in the Ugh Metal fortress…okay maybe not just these two songs.

Patton slays and showcases his many interchanging vocal ranges and the rest of the band shine along with him. Patton is NOT just the dude from Faith No More, Lombardo is NOT just the ex-Slayer drummer and Pearson and Crain are NOT just some legendary punkers from Retox. Dead Cross is a testament of what gifted musicians can do together and damn… Experience this and grab your copy here and catch them in San Diego and stop by our hood on August 19 at the North Park Observatory.

6 out 6, The J-Oh’ster’s speechless

Bonehunter Unleashes Their ‘Sexual Panic Human Machine’

This Finnish trio is here to do THE business. Bonehunter is here to seduce you into the dark side with their sophomore album Sexual Panic Human Machine via Hells Headbangers Records. Bonehunter slap us silly with their hefty, blackened speed metal and add a little bit of foreplay before saying “nah,” and getting down to business with “Enter Satan’s Dimension,” and “Electric Nightmare” to name a few.

What’s that? Fuck the foreplay you say?! Okay ‘cause you asked for it raw and straight to the point, “Digital Evil” and “Spectre of Sex Vengeance” will cum at you hard! The title track and “Devil Science,” however, have a slower tempo making you soak in all the great beats from drummer S.S. Penetrator, the bass foundation from Witch Rider and Satanarchist’s high black metal growls.

Bonehunter’s black speed metal is NOT like their label mate Midnight’s brand of naughty. The trio from Oulu adds more emphasis on the Norwegian branch of black metal but beef it up with tremendous agility. Bonehunter used the feather tickler a little more this time around and know the power of a great build up. Most of these tracks will tease you before it turns animalistic, and will sandwiches you in between a slow breakdown before it slowly ends again…Woooo! Someone get me a frozen Blackout Lemonade! Get your copy at the label’s bandcamp right here and see what I mean and because you know you wanna see the FULL cover 😉

6 Out 6, Bonerrific

Click the link to their Bandcamp to see the FULL surprise 😉

**The Klown Has Cracked Open A Fresh One**

Russkaja Roll Out Their Fifth

The Klown is back with this gem! Although Russkaja is from Austria, the Russian singing Ska Punk septet has returned with their latest album titled Kosmopoliturbo via Napalm Records. The opening track “Hey Road” and “Cheburashka” are great examples of the band’s famous Ska and Russian polka brand of music. The euphoria of upbeat trumpet sounds for Ska combined with the sounds of the fiddle, the potete trumpet for some Russian polka influence will fill your ears. Georgij Makazaria’s screaming baritone vocals complete the mix.

“Alive” was an extremely pleasant surprise to the Klown. Why? The group incorporated some hip hop samples to the mix which enhanced and didn’t deter the song. Are you still longing for bae? Russkaja once again reintroduce a breakup song with “Still In Love” but unlike the previous album they present the hopeful but slow ballad “Send You An Angel.”

Just like the previous album they incorporate other languages into their music such as “Mare Mare” which feature Makazaria singing in Italian. Another example is the combo of Russian and German with “Volle Kraft Voraus” accompanied by the rest of the band’s loud and harmonious chorus.Lastly Makazaria shows off his Spanish vocals once more in this album with “La Musica.” This became one of the Klown’s favorite song not just because he understands it but because of the lyrical content. The song’s message being translated as music is our religion which is something the Klown and his peeps can all agree with. You can get a hold of this record here and see what the Klown is overselling!

6 out of 6, These Russians Can Putin Their Music Anywhere

Lord Dying Rules The Merrow

Lord Dying on their limited tour at The Merrow!
(L to R: Bassist Matt Price, guitarist/vocalist Erik Olson, drummer Chase Manhattan and guitarist Chris Evans)

It was a hot night in July 8, and the Ugh Metal team had the fortune of returning to The Merrow for the second night in a row! The night before we went to the sweet show Metal Assault and Dark Gem Entertainment put together, if you missed out no prob! Read all about it here. If you did not catch our Firey Sides Chat with Lord Dying, feel free to catch up afterwards or during, who are we to judge? We didn’t remise the invitation Lord Dying guitarist Chris Evan and Bret August of Black Arrow Entertainment extended to us. It was truly an offer we could not refuse especially because it was Lord Dying’s limited engagement.

Jenny Oh: We be special! Lord Dying chose to come to our shitty town! *Weeps*

Chuggo: Emphasis on shitty. *Winks* Either way the Klown was looking forward for some booze and Bastard Saints!

J: The members from father’s cult? Why do you care so much about them? They don’t even share their Coronas with us. Bastards!

C: The Klown meant The Bastard Saints. And that’s okay, they can keep their shitty Corona lights! The Klown wants REAL beer. Such as the stuff they serve at The Merrow.

J: So I guess you’re not a beer slut after all, huh? But The Merrow sure serves delicious booze especially when you’re enjoying a nice gig from The Bastard Saints.

The Bastard Saints are far from lame with their brand of thrash!
(L to R: Bassist Rowland Bluntz, drummer Nick Trzos, vocalist/guitarist Fernando Ramirez, lead guitarist Jason Trzos)

C: Enough of the gratuitous advertisement of The Merrow’s big ass beer selection! Not that there was much advertisement to begin with. ON TO THE BASTARD SAINTS! They had the ability to bring the old school back to the new school.

J: Fernando Ramirez made us see colors and clouds every time he nailed them high notes! You go, boy! They even played a cool song we will be using for our revenge montage called “Wrath.”

C: Yeah! Death to O’Douls! The Klown shall wear his “Evil Crown,” no longer will he be the jester but the Klown King…

J:  Whoa there! Hold on there you angry little man…

C: Wrong concert dumbass! “Evil Crown” touched basis on the Teutonic thrash movement most famously pioneered by Kreator and Drunkard. It was a good substitute if you didn’t have the chance to catch Kreator on the Decibel tour earlier this year.

Bassist Nick Trzos and vocalist/guitarist Fernando Ramirez of The Bastard Saints serenade the beer selection at The Merrow.

J: The Bastard Saints ended their set “Ripping the Stitch” which was just as ruthless as the title. This song had a foreboding sense of doom with great riffs from Ramirez and lead guitarist Jason Trzos. Snitches beware!

C: Now we go from raising our drinks to these Bastards and raising our guns!

J: With Raise The Guns! The trio became a quartet for the night by having their buddy, guitarist Chris Kim, join them for this performance.  Some fun facts about these guys is that Dylan Marks drums for this band aside from Beekeeper and Eukaryst, and the frontman/guitarist is Bret August. What can’t these guys do?

Raise your drinks for Raise The Guns!
(L to R: Guitarist Chris Kim, vocalist/bassist Bret August, drummer Dylan Marks and guitarist John McMillan)

 

C: The Klown has asked himself the same question but has yet to get an answer. Enough unanswered questions, it’s time to talk about the Guns! They shot off with their own brand of Thrash.

J: Raise The Guns shot up the place…with extreme adrenaline! Especially when they shined the light, the “Light Of Malice.” August’s presence commanded the stage and you knew he meant business and Chris’s enthusiasm was contagious. Who wouldn’t be after they get to play with a cool band?

C: I don’t know some plebeian? Pardon the first person, I’m pretty sober at the moment. Enough about the Klown, the song that stuck out to him was the song that should be made into a law, “Silence By Law.” The opening riff alone is enough to hook anybody!

Bret August of Raise The Guns is your neighborhood badass.

J: Indeed Klown their set was not long enough! But quality over quantity, if you guys ever have a chance you must catch Raise The Guns, it will be a decision you will not regret. Now because it was Sinday eve, we had to receive our Eukaryst.

C: We were treated to our local sacrament, at long last. Worth nothing since the sister already took Dylan Marks away from me as a fun fact, the Klown has one of his own. This is the band that has Belisario Dimuzio as a full time guitarist when Cattle Decapitation isn’t borrowing him.

J: Oh yeah! Well here’s another fun fact Klown, SCREW YOU! Also Dylan Marks was on double duty that night and drummed his heart out for Eukaryst too.

Vocalist of Eukaryst Ben Marotta preaching their prog death metal hymn.
(L to R: Guitarist Belisario Dimuzio, vocalist Ben Marotta, and bassist Gino Fontana)

C:  They indoctrinated us into their “Lost Tribe” of Prog Death Metal.

J: They added more emphasis on the death metal with “Eucharist.” This unholy beast comes right at you a la Facehugger and is sure to start a pit.

C: The only thing the Klown is thankful for is that there was no actual “Anthropophagy” happening at the time of the performance. He was beginning to think there was going to be some giving the state of some of their possessed congregates.

J: Not even Ben Marotta could resist the power of the Eukaryst and when he wasn’t growling like the creature from the black saloon, he was rolling on the floor succumbing to this possession.

C: I still wish they woulda showed the Klown where the actual “Witch  House” was. The Klown needs a booty call.

Ben Marotta of Eukaryst stars in the “Creature of The Black Saloon,” an Ugh Metal Production of course ;P

J: You’re too much of a bitch for her, but enough about you Klown. It was nice to finally see these locals in action especially after hearing so much about them.

C: Indeed*cough*bitch*cough* we were dying a bit from the musty air but the angels of doom,  Lord Dying, revitalized us.

J: They started off with their hit “A Wound Outside of Time” which has a starting riff that will give you all the right chills in all the right places. Though to be fair this whole song is teaming with amazing and definitive riffs.

C: Lest the Klown forget the pit it immediately started. He was a little flabbergasted because he is not used to seeing that in a doom/sludge show that often. With that pit it felt like “[All Hopes of a New Day] …Extinguished.”

All hails Lord Dying!
(L to R: Bassist Matt Price, guitarist/vocalist Erik Olson, drummer Chase Manhattan and guitarist Chris Evans)

J: Lord Dying resurrected some of their older stuff and briefly triggered a tiny existential crisis with “What Is Not…Is” which totally was where it’s at and it is what it is.

C: Settle down, Jenn-den Smith! Not even today’s top philosopher’s can decipher both of you! Here’s a bit from Klown-fucious, when you think there is light “Darkness Remains.”

J: With your shitty “philosophizing,” enlightenment is just a myth. But this song, however, is the shit especially when Chris Evans and Erik Olson lay down more super sweet guitar solos. Olson’s screaming vocals are sure to give any metalhead enlightenment.

BFFS/ Founders of Lord Dying, Erik Olson and Chris Evans, jamming side by side.

C: Olson’s vocals were harsh, but not too harsh. In fact, they were rather soothing despite of the harshness he incorporates. The rest of the band’s rhythm and melody suited the vocals like the perfect blend from your shitty Starbucks drink, right Jenny Oh?

J: As a newly enlightened person, I will ignore the low blow of bringing Starbucks in to our personal disputes but I will agree with the rest of your statement. I’m sure the rest of the gleeful and/or inebriated moshers would too. The pit was very much alive and well for the entirety of Lord Dying’s set. This special show worked all sorts of magic on the crowd.

C: The Klown concurs although he is weary as to why they sang about the Klown’s ex-girlfriend.

J: The snooty lady clown from Railing Bros.? She didn’t even know you existed. And I don’t think Lord Dying had the misfortune of seeing that three-ring shit show.

C: They may have and that bitch always likes to spread lies about not being with the Klown. She was always expecting the Klown to be “Suckling At The Teat Of A She-Beast.”

J: I doubt they garnered inspiration for this brutal song from your failed endeavors. It was a great song to close their night and yes the pit grew into a mighty whirlpool where fans were having their last hoorah. It was an honor to serve in the court of Lord Dying.

Erik Olson of Lord Dying’s voice is not of this world!

The No Name Gang Keep The Party Going

The No Name Gang headlining this party.
(L to R: Bassist Zac Harriot, guitarist John Haskin, vocalist Justin Hendrick and guitarist Dana Roselli)

The Merrow was teaming with energy and all sorts of hooliganism on July 7 and not just because of ‘Mericuh’s birthday. Hooliganism on a Friday night? How perfect! Metal Assault and Dark Gem Entertainment kept the 4th of July party alive with local cool kids The No Name Gang and a supporting acts that made the night all the more memorable.

Lighting the first spark of the night was Tijuana heavy metallers Meltdown which happened to be their first time at The Merrow. Frontman/guitarist Ian Roa was the embodiment of old school heavy metal not only because he was donning the tight pleather pants but because he had that charisma metal vets posses. Roa along with bassist Daniel Cázares and guitarist Carlos Savage lit up the stage when they lined up and played side by side and had a mini riff battle.

Meltdown stir The Merrow
(L to R: Guitarist Carlos Savage, vocalist/guitarist Ian Roa, and bassist Daniel Cazares)

When Roa wasn’t hitting those impressive high notes and owning the stage, he was sharing stories of their eager fans while they encountered minor technical difficulties. If you think Tijuana doesn’t get down, well think again. Meltdown reinvigorates an old sound with their jovial energy and will certainly spark your interest. The quartet showcases the type of fun and fresh new acts Tijuana is producing that will appeal to both the youngins and the diehard metal OG’s.

After Meltdown finished their impressive set, Long Beach busted out their big guns with Railgun. No, it was not the Klown’s signature move from his short lived days in the Railing Bros. Circus but it was the kick ass band called Railgun! Railgun came out and meant business with their unique brand of thrashy power metal or whatever they classify themselves as, but all yours truly knows is that they’re damn addicting!

IDK what type of genre Railgun identifies themselves as but we lurrrve it!
(L to R: Bassist Brice Snyder, vocalist/rhythm guitarist Cole Jones and lead guitarist Luke Cohen)

Frontman/rhythm guitarist Cole Jones wasn’t wrangling onstage like a mad man but his storytelling vocals and diligence in his guitar playing was more than enough to reel you in. Guitarist/back up vocalist Luke Cohen, however, didn’t hold back and let it all out. WHOA THERE! Not ALL out, he is a classy gent!  When Cohen wasn’t in a frenzy because of his awesome riffs, he was engaging with fans and playing alongside Jones and bassist/backup vocalist Brice Snyder. These guys certainly gave this night more oomph, not that it needed any.

The night didn’t die there. Not even close! Especially when Livin Alive took over and lived up to their name and stirred the amped crowd some more. Livin Alive shredded with their brand of skater thrash and was the band of cool rockstar kids you went to school with. The vocalist/lead guitarist of the group put the wow in Wowie which is not only his stage name but we’re also going to assume that it’s his birth name ‘cause trust us we be investigators… The drummer Big “This is his real name too…” D, shined brighter than the stage lights by giving us a badass drum solo that resonated even when the show was over. Livin Alive can and will resurrect the dead.

ITS ALIVE!!!! With Livin Alive!
(L to R: Bassist Alain Simental, drummer Big D and vocalist/guitarist Wowie)

After we learned to live with Livin Alive, it was time to give in to the secret society of The No Name Gang. Okay they are not a secret society… YET. They are but a “simple” band…ok ok you caught me again! They are NOT just a simple local band. They were the headliners of the night with an alluring moniker. Though the quartet were not the original headliners of this gig, the hometown collective stepped up to the plate and knocked it out of the park to say the least. Vocalist Justin Hendrick made us feel the profound power of his lyrics as he belted out the songs and shut his eyes channeling each emotion in to the verses. They even premiered a new song called “I Fear,” guess you shoulda been there huh?

There were many things to celebrate that Friday night, aside from it being Friday, ‘Meriuch, and life. Speaking of which, it was a special birthday show for bassist Zac Harriot who was giddy because who wouldn’t be? Harriot was all of us especially because it was his b-day AND he was performing in the headlining band. Someone buy him a shot! Who cares if it’s a month late, buy him an unbirthday shot! You know what, buy everyone in the band an unbirthday shot.

Justin Hendrick of The No Name Gang can’t contain his excitement over that unbirthday shot you promised him…

Though this band has only been around since 2012, they continue to leave an impression on new and old fans alike. The No Name Gang didn’t need any fancy props, lasers or fog machines to reel the audience in. Sometimes all a band needs to catch a crowd’s attention is the simple humility and passion for the craft which is something this band of free spirited dudes has.

Presented By Jenny Oh and Chuggo the Klown