Category Archives: Album Review

The Trials of October 13, 2017 (Part 2)

Honorable Mention:

Transplants Got You Covered with Their Covers

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

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

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

Fozzy Make an Album of Biblical Proportions

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

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

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

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

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

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

Signatura Rerum Release their Darkest Follow Up

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

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

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

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

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

Gothminister Shall Help Parishioners to The Other Side

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

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

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

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

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

Enslaved Will Break You Free of Traditional Black Metal

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

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

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

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

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

6 out of 6 It Will Set Your Ears Free

Samael Will Subjugate Your Ears

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

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

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

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

6 out of 6, Dominance!

The Trials of Oct. 13, 2017 (Pt.1)

Solar Haze Delivers Debut

The 60’s may have had a purple haze but in 2017, we have a red haze and I’m not talking about global warming! I’m talking about something better and awesome like stoner rockers Solar Haze and their debut self titled album which was released independently.

These ultra groovy dudes can ride the desert and make it melt with “Hammer to the Head.” This song will still give you that boost on badassery and confidence even if you have a giant glob of dog dirt on your shoes or if you have a killer wedgie. The free spirited “Hawk in the Wind” will set you free baby and no dust in the wind can stop you ‘cause the world is your oyster with this one!

“Nefarious Natures & Truth Perceived,” “Stoned to Death” and “Coven” collectively ride out of the sunset and into the night by flirting with doom. There are instances where vocalist Stephen Falla resembles Ozzy Osbourne circa Black Sabbath especially in “Neafarious…” This album gives you the best of both worlds by giving you the orange tinted stoner rock and teases you with some light doom, a great way to entice new audiences. Let Solar Haze consume you and snag their debut album in there bandcamp and wait till you feel it *cough* and give ‘em a like to see how their mystery album artwork will look like!

4 out 6, *cough* I feel it! *cough*            

MYSTERY MEN!!

 ‘Metal Bear Stomp’ Is Fierce

That’s right Siberian Meat Grinder is here to rip your face and melt your ears off with their latest and epically titled Metal Bear Stomp via Rise Sound Records. The 90’s people may have slept till they reached Brooklyn but not us man! SMG’s crossover anthem “No Sleep Till Hell” will make us giddy to warm up by the eternal fire in our eternal slumber! *LAUGHS EVILLY*

“Hunt the Steel” will beat the wimp outta us and will be THE song when we’re crushing our enemies. Once sweet victory is ours, you bet “Walking Tall” will play as we walk away from the explosion and we put on our extra dark sunglasses. Vocalist Siberian Vlad sprinkles some light rap in to the mix in “Ruder Than Thou” and “No Way Back.” The rap adds an extra grittiness to these crossover songs along with Vlad’s raspy and thick vocals.

I know you are probably dying to know how the title track sounds like and let me just tell you it’s just as awesome as it sounds. It is also just as fierce as the commander bear that is dominating the album cover! “Style” sets the catwalk on fire and moshes on its ashes while “Cant Stop Wont Stop” has a nice little black metal riff towards the end.

I can go on and on about this but you just gotta check it for yourselves which I’m sure will have you as hooked as yours truly was! Listen to this feisty beast on Spotify and get your copy here! If you’re really hooked like we are on their crossover goodness, check out the rest of their material in their bandcamp.

6 out 6, Everybody’s doing the ‘Metal Bear Stomp’!

Exhumed Put the ‘Death’ Metal in ‘Death Revenge’

Exhumed welcomes us in to their horror show titled Death Revenge via Relapse Records. The legendary death metallers are hungry for blood and metal and so are we! Well actually just metal and they delivered. Exhumed starts this show with the instrumental intro that Michael Meyers would adopt as his new theme song, Matt Harvey soon takes over and lets that intro riff loose, and is soon followed by drummer Mike Hamilton and the rest of the band. That’s right they jump right in to the death metal extravaganza.     

“Night Work” has never been so good especially if it means we get another sweet riff from Harvey. “The Harrowing,” “A Funeral Party,” and “Unspeakable” are sure to get your blood flowing especially when you’re pumpin’ iron at the gym or running after the bus.  “The Anatomy Act of 1832” is a great instrumental track in this American horror story.

Exhumed do something different this time around and set the mood and pique our interest with the theatrical interludes and intros. That’s right, they don’t give up that sweet death metal right then and there, they make us salivate and work for it and hot damn we love it! I do love the horror flick vibe they are going for in this album and did I mention I like the concept? No? Well I really like it! And I’m sure you will too. You can listen to Death Revenge on Spotify and you can get you copy here. If you are a fellow San Diegan, snag your tix for their Nov. 15 in our city.

6 Out 6, Sweet Revenge

Nachtblut Will Convert You With Latest

Get ready to unleash the inner goth in you, metalhead! You will not resist especially after you believe in Nachtblut’s latest album Apostasie which was released to the masses via Napalm Records. The German quintet spread the love with the grim “Multikulturell” which has several little riffs and hooks from guitarist Greif that will tease you in to the rest of the album.

“Scheinfromm” will blow the lid off your skepticism that “goth” music is not your “thing.” Why?! You ask with venomous doubt! Because this “goth” track has that feisty attitude you like so much. A tune my industrial heads (?) will enjoy a little bit more is “Geboren um zu Leben” because it has more of that fun electronic element present which make you violently dance, the J-Ohster can already picture the awesome remixes on this one! And if you’re not feelin’ rowdy “Einsam” will soothe the beast inside you.

The edgier tracks that staunch metalheads will enjoy a little more is “Der Tod Ist Meine Nutte” which has another great intro riff, and “Wat Is Denn Los Mit Dir.” Apostasie is hellbent on making you believe in Nachtblut, no hypnosis needed! You see what I did there? I made a shitty vamp joke! …everyone’s a critic. Get you copy here and see if you are ready to follow Nachtblut.

5 out 6, You’ll believe!

Sicarius Create A Wicked ‘Serenade’ In Debut

For those of you that keep up with our shenanigans and read our latest edition of First Impressions, you probably have an idea who Sicarius is. The debut full length album from Sicarius is finally here and they are taking no prisoners in Serenade of Slitting Throats which was releases via M-Theory Audio Records.

These expert assassins sneak in and lure you in to a sweet melodic trap with their instrumental intro before plunging a black metal dagger into your ears with “Ferox Impetum.” Still want more unforgiving black metal eh? “Forceful Bleed” is the one for you! This track is sure to make your ears and butthole bleed! But in a good way that is. Sicarius will waste no time and pounce on you once again in this track to prepare you for the grand finale.

The title track “Serenade of Slitting Throats” and “Torture Trials” takes things down a notch but all in the spirit of fueling the antagonistic character of this album. These songs allow you to inhale and process Sicarius’s musical talent. That’s right you can swivel around Kurt Karcass’s thick borderline growling vocals.

Sicarius have risen out of the shadows with their daggers held high and have stepped into the spotlight with this strong debut album. For those that have not checked these guys out, man, you are in for a treat. After submerging yourself in to this bloody Serenade, rest assured you too will be joining the order of Sicarius. Join the Serenade and get your copy here, and see how you feel about these black metal assassins we just can’t stfu about!

6 Out 6, We raise our daggers high

The Trials of October 6, 2017 (Part 2)

Fireball Ministry Want You To Remember That They’re Back

The stoner rock quartet known as Fireball Ministry has returned and came back with their 5th album to date. Remember The Story, released through Cleopatra Records, will have you remembering why this band gained some traction from the beginning.

The album, unsurprisingly, starts off mellow with “End Of Our Truth.” Soon after the band picks up the pace a bit with “Everything You Wanted”  and feature more of a hard rock influence than that of the stoner variety. “Back On Earth,” on the other hand, speed things up some more and features some really cool guitar solos and James Rota II’s signature harmonic vocals.

“The Answer” features some good ol’ fashioned stoner rock and has  all the members showcasing themselves. Most notably, bassist Scott Reeder has a brief solo, and drummer John Oreshnick accompanying him with his own bass drum kicks. The same could be said about “Remember The Story” minus the bass solo by instead featuring a guitar solo. “Stop Talking” actually does as it implies and has the band give you full blown stoner hard rock instrumental with some heavy distorted bass and guitars. “Weaver’s Dawn” introduces some more harmony to the mix in terms of vocalization and composition and also features some psychedelic influences.

This album caps off with a tribute to St. Lemmy by covering “I Don’t Believe A Word.” The Klown had never heard another rendition of this song till that moment and he’s got to say that it was rather unique and enjoyable. Rota’s touch adds more pain to the song and makes it rather significant which is accompanied by Reeder’s bass and also features guitarist Emily Burton chiming in with her vocals in an ongoing chorus towards the end of the song.

This album was pretty good and if you huge of the Ministry the wait is over. The Klown enjoyed this album but not much stood out beside the Motorhead cover. You can check this album at the label’s Bandcamp and hear some for yourself.

5 out of 6, You Can Still Get Blazed to This Album

You can totally blaze to this

Necromante Will Mystify You with Debut

The Klown recently stumbled upon this nugget and just felt intrigued to give it a listen and spread the word of their existence. Necromante is a black metal trio from the land of the Cavaleras and Samba have released their first studio LP The Magikal Presence of Occult Forces through Machado Fantasma Records in collaboration with Iron Bonehead Productions.

Anyway, the album starts off with Arquimedes “Arquimedes666” Araújo playing the transverse flute to make a rather ominous and suspenseful mood with “In the Wings of the Dark Mother (pt. 1) and it is immediately followed by “Secret Eye.” When the Klown first heard “Secret Eye,” he thought he may have been listening to an old, secret Sepultura song during their death metal phase.

“Nekrokosmic Pentagram” take it a bit further and feature some length and black metal reminiscent to that of an early Celtic Frost. The Klown really took a liking to “Occult Cult” not only did it bring speed into the mix but it really featured Macabro Oculto’s drumming and Gustavo “GC Reaper” Coveiro’s heavy bass for some foundation.

“A’arab Zaraq” in the opening play a bit of a tribute to the sounds of Black Sabbath and proceed to pick up the pace soon after. “Prelude to Movement” feature Arquimedes adding some acoustic guitar as a catalyst for the rest of the song and has the song pass over to “Baphomet Movement” which is best described as a blackened speed metal track.

The album is capped off with outro “Enuma Elish” which was a rather soothing, faded acoustic guitar play that felt like the perfect cherry on top. Although this band is a black metal band, they featured quite a bit of death metal influence most notably that of old Sepultura and Death. On that note, this album was still heavily ingrained with black metal influences and even featured a bit of a curveball like the addition of flutes and acoustic.

Nevertheless, the Klown enjoyed this album more than he thought and would incredibly recommend you listening to them if you like black metal and early death metal. If you are looking of the cassette of this release all you have to do is email Machado Fantasma Records. Otherwise, for the contemporaries, you can acquire it here.

6 out of 6, Ready for the Next Ritual

so kvlt they even made cassette tapes

Marylin Manson Will Give You a Dose of Industrial Heaven

If you were to bring up Marilyn Manson to casual fans, you’d expect a mixed reaction. To other metalheads who grew up around his music or have listened over the years, they’d probably say that he has lost his touch over the years. Whether you care to admit it or not, you knew you were looking forward to Manson’s tenth album Heaven Upside Down which was released through Loma Vista Recordings and Caroline International.

The album begins with some Industrial with “Revelation #12” and continues on in the same fashion with “Tattooed In Reverse” and “Je$u$ Cri$i$” which actually sounds like the Manson from  Antichrist Superstar.  “We Know Where You F’ing Live” and “Say10” has the bit of censorship from the Klown and felt like a revisit of Mechanical Animals sounds.

“Kill4Me” was rather unique and features Manson sporting electronic dance influences with some funk with the added bonus of it being a dark ballad. “Saturnalia” features more of a mellowed out Manson by keeping closely reminiscent to some songs to that of Portrait of an American Family.The album finishes the album with some more of a goth rock with both “Heaven Upside Down” and “Threats of Romance.” The latter  features Blues rock influences and has a nice but the brief guitar solo.

This album feels like a comeback for Manson and seems to have rediscovered his iconic sounds that most fans are akin to with some new influence. In a way, Manson reinvented himself through rediscovering some of his old material. The Klown would recommend this album if you fancy yourself a diehard Manson fan or actually enjoy industrial. You can get your copy here and hear for yourself what the Klown is writing about.

6 out of 6 Brian Warner has Done It!

Still as Satanic as Dumb Parents Think

August Burns Red Release a New Anthem for the Fans

The metalcore band known as August Burns Red has returned with their eighth installment titled Phantom Anthem through Fearless Records. The album starts off strong with “King Sorrow” which can be described as a plethora of rage and speed. It begins with muffled opening riffs from John Benjamin Brubaker and it is immediately accompanied by Jake Luhrs harsh vocals and the rest of the band which is later met by Brubaker’s solo.

“The Frost” features a lot of guitar play from Brubaker and Brett Rambler. “Lifeline” has Luhrs show more of an angry side than his preceding tracks and has Brubaker and Rambler’s guitar play even more as well as a solo from Brubaker. The same can also be said about “Invisible Enemy,” “Quake” and “Dangerous.”

ABR stick to metalcore with “Hero of the Half Truth,” “Coordinates” and “Generations.” The album ends with “Carbon Copy” which is nearly close to how it began with the difference being that it was more metalcore but somewhat aggressive with some sweet solos from Brubaker.

It has been awhile since the Klown has heard anything August Burns Red and he was a bit more impressed with this album than he originally anticipated. In fact, this feels like a good comeback for the band. Check this album about to either deny or take the Klown word on this. Either way, it’s just one opinion and can get here.

6 out of 6, Apparently Burns All the Way to October

Apparently, burning all the way to our Octobers

The Trials of Oct. 6, 2017 (part1)

Lord of the Lost Takes Us To The Theater Again

Lord of the Lost traded in their industrial sound for a symphonic one in Swan Songs II via Napalm Records. The German rockers return with this follow up to their 2015 album Swan Songs with a bigger sense of adventure and wonder.

Lord of the Lost creates the perfect ode for all the anti heroes/heroines out there titled “The Broken Ones” and has a dramatic and cinematic intro that will grab your attention. You will feel sympathy for the devil after listening to the “The Devil You Know” which continues to play with the theme of being misunderstood, aren’t we all!?

“Ribcages” and “My Better Me” are not only a beautiful, hopeful and anguished songs that will hit your soft spot. “Wander In Sable” will serve as a great musical number when you are about to embark on an adventure of your lifetime to the taco shop. Though this album is not my cup of wine, this album is enjoyable, and serves as a great soundtrack to compliment your rainy days and your fan fic writing. Grab your best fancy shmancy suit and get your copy here.

3 out 6, Away we go!

The Black Dahlia Murder Will Swallow you Whole

The Black Dahlia Murder will slash and smash ya with their latest Nightbringers via Metal Blade Records. TBDM begin this new hellish ride with the ominous “Widowmaker,” which is just as brutal as any GoT episode, I KNOW YOU WATCH IT! So don’t even try to deny it! They stay on a roll in this bloody vengeance and though they slightly slow their pace down for the title track, it allows the nice little breakdown from Brandon Ellis to really simmer.

“Kings of the Nightworld” deserves to be the meaty center of this album not just ‘cause it has an awesome title but also because it’s an awesome and brutal song. Ellis takes the lead in that catchy intro before emptying itself out in to more death metal goodness. If you’re still not convinced, you gotta stick to the end and listen to the last track “The Lonely Deceased” which the J-Oh’ster is very certain is a tragic ode about her.

Travis Strnad is more relentless than ever and the rest of The Black Dahlia Murder is here to back him up fully. If you’re a TBDM lover, this is definitely for you as they still maintain their signature melodic death metal sound. Get your copy here and see how you feel about this latest travesty!

6 Out of 6, They are the night!

 

 

‘ The Atrocity Reports’ Will Have You Hooked

We fall into the void with Wheelfall as they crack open their latest album The Atrocity Reports via Apathia Records. The French industrial band solidifies their enigmatical presence with “The Way to Every Crime is Ours” and “Violence Is Seduction.” These tracks are perfect for your next escape mission. The calculated tempo from drummer Niko Giruad builds quite the anticipation and Fabien Furter’s vocals will put you on edge before those badass riffs lunge at you with the heightened instrumentals.

“Compulsions” lives up to its name and you will feel its faint volatility bubble beneath that thin veil of self control. The struggle is real man! Another song that will get your blood pumping is “Impenitent,” a track where Wheelfall let us have it! Giruad takes the lead in “There Is No You” piques your interest and makes you wonder what’s gonna happen next?! Right before you get catapulted in to the distorted wormhole known as “Control” and “Black Bile” where Furter greets you with clean and pained vocals.

The final song “Lost Cause” has Furter lay some of his deep vocals giving a hint of death rock elements to this song. Furter’s anguish and anger will continue to strike you down. The Atrocity Files is the Lynchian side of The X-Files and is a case worth taking. Check out their stuff and get your copy here.

6 out 6, Sign me up, Scotty!

Baldrs Draumar Show US The Tamer Side Of Viking Life

 Bust out your drinking horns and gather around the fire! ‘Cause we’re about to have a good time with Viking metallers Baldrs Draumar and their third independent LP . These warriors are determined to show you a great time with their jolly first track “Hymirs tsjettel” aren’t you glad I asked you to bust out your drinking horn in the beginning?

Viking life wasn’t all about pillaging and conquering, and sometimes they just wanna express themselves after a long day. Baldrs Draumar show their softer side in “Hadagrims ferttriet” before picking things up with “Deät Lun,” “Tsjoch op” which have a catchy chorus. That’s right, you will be singing along to these even if you don’t speak any Frisian.

Baldrs Draumar’s latest is a hell of a lot more tame and teaming with feelings, the opposite of their previous release Aldgillissoan. Fan Fryslans Ferline serves as a sweet homecoming after a long battle. Baldrs Draumar just wanna sit next to you by the fire and sing beautiful songs in their native tongue. There is a lot wonderful instrumental pieces from Baldrs Draumar and will leave you satisfied even if wasn’t quite what you were expecting. Check out their album here and once you’re wooed get the album here.

5 out 6, They’re happy to be home

 

The Trials of September 29, 2017 (Part 2)

Honorable Mention

Black Stone Cherry Release a Buffer for the Blues

The hard rock band known as Black Stone Cherry has released a brand new EP titled Black to Blue through Mascot Records. Before the Klown continues he shall note that he will not rate this album. The Klown is aware that there are metalheads who have this band as a guilty pleasure. Much like the reason that the Klown didn’t rate the current Motorhead album, this album is a compilation album.

Unlike most hard rock and metal albums, BSC decided to cover the blues. This six-track EP covers four of the Chicago Blues legends and give it a hard rock twist in one album. For those who are wondering who those legends are Howlin’ Wolf, Albert King, Freddy King and Muddy Waters. Check it out and get your copy here.

Transyuggoth Debut Their First Ritual

Team Klown has done it again! He found a new independent act in the form of the Norwegian quartet known as Transyuggoth. This Norwegian independent in true black metal fashion has released their first album 3rd Deich as a cassette. If you were an 80’s and 90’s kid or have checked out some commemorative re-releases then that relic should be familiar. #shitwereold.

The debut starts off with “Drive Me Into Oblivion” which, right off the bat, will have you experiencing some raw black metal like the type you would experience at a live show. Frontman Eirick Seeberg will have you descend into madness with screaming vocals that are further enhanced with the use of the autotune for the reverberant, echo effects.

The cassette gets a little more interesting when Seeberg decides to unleash his inner wolf with “Eraser” by howling like a wolf in between the lyrics. Brings in the spirit of the banshee and ghosts with “You Shall Know Me” and “The Universe” which the Klown shall note had some doom metal influences in it. The latter really featured Torgeir Berg’s bass and Seeberg having a bit of spoken-word for a chorus. The cassette caps off strongly with the “Natteskrekk Og Undre” which only picks ups the pace but also had Fredrik Falk’s erratic guitar play from beginning to end.

Although this album was rather enjoyable, not much stood out. However, the Klown keeps in mind that this is still their first album and you can’t win ’em on the first try. This debutant may have been released in cassette but fret not peeps they are also on an up-to-date format as well. The band has this available, digitally, on Bandcamp. Keep an eye open on these gents they may yet still surprise us.

3 out of 6, This was Raw. This was Real!

36 Crazyfists Light Up their Return

The Alaskan quartet known as 36 Crazyfists have returned after a 2-year hiatus. Their seventh installment Lanterns has officially been released through Spinefarm Records and brings back a bit of their brand of metalcore. The album kicks off with “Death Eater” which can be described as a song that was rather ear-friendly and featured more of a hard rock element. Brock Lindow’s vocals, although not really too harsh, were melodic and infectious.

The same can be said about “Sleepsick.” The band really shines melodically in “Wars To Walk Away From” and “Bandage for Promise” which the Klown wouldn’t be surprised if the song ends up playing on public access radio someday (sorry, Sirius XM you can’t have all the fun!).

The band really features pure metalcore with “Better to Burn,”“Below The Grave” and “Old Gold” are just but a few that will appease that craving. The band sings one for the ladies and the gentle bros who want a bit of oomph with their ballad in “Sea and Smoke.” But if you’re really craving an actual ballad, the 36 has you covered with “Where Revenge Ends.”

The 36 cap off their albums with “Dark Corners” which was not only  a slow dark ballad but felt like a fit ending for the album. This was rather enjoyable and wasn’t what the Klown was expecting. The Klown still isn’t much of a fan of the 36C but can respect a band that produced a mature album. Most importantly keep an ear open because this album seemed to have been made radio friendly. You can get your copy of the album here.

5 out of 6, Jackie Chan Still Approves

Act Of Defiance Return to Cause More Damage

The metal supergroup known as Act Of Defiance has returned with their awaited sophomore album. Their latest installment Old Scars, New Wounds has been released through Metal Blade Records and it is a must-listen. The album begins with “M.I.A.” which opens with Chris Broderick’s legendary riffs and quickly followed up by Shawn Drover’s killer drumming.

Those names should sound familiar especially if you are a Megadeth fan. The song is followed up with “Molten Core” and really features some aggressive harsh vocals from Henry Derek and a sweet solo from Broderick. Derek should also be familiar to you if you have kept up with us in the past  and if you used to keep up with him in his Thrown Into Exile days.

Speaking of which, the Act ventures into metalcore territory similar to Thrown Into Exile with “Overexposure” and has Broderick accompanying Derek vocally. “Reborn,”“Conspiracy of the Gods” and “Another Killing Spree” feature an aggressive take with some growling vocal action and a very awesome guitar solo from Broderick. The album caps off just how it began with “Rise of Rebellion” but more aggressive in terms of vocals and instrumentals and featured more of Broderick’s solos.

This album was pretty enjoyable and will definitely pique your interest into a much more serious version of metalcore. For Megadeth fans, it definitely shows a new side of Broderick and Drover for those who couldn’t picture them doing something other than thrash. You can check this album out here and hear what the Klown just wrote about.

5 out of 6, Defies Metal Norms

Kadavar Will Mellow Out Your Roughest of Times

The German stoner/psychedelic trio has returned with their 4th album Rough Times. Ever since Nuclear Blast Records has been featuring these gents in adverts, the Klown had to check what all the noise was about. The album begins with “Rough Times” which starts off real heavy with Simon “Dragon” Bouteloup’s heavy, distorted bass and continues this trip with a bit of recorder flute and sax in the mix and Christoph “Lupus” Lindemann’s mesmerizing fading vocals.

Boutelop’s bass once again takes the helm and takes you on a detour away from Mars with “Into the Wormhole.” Lindemann then returns to the spotlight but this time with his guitar for “Skeleton Blues” and will take you back to a time where Jimmy Hendrix reigned supreme.

Kadavar continue to dish out the psychedelic sounds of the 70’s hard rock style with  “Vampires”and features a really cool guitar solo from Lindemann. The trio will continue to trip you out with “Tribulation Nation” as they add some sci fi style effects to their psychedelic hard rock brand, and is very melodic, and features some backup chorus work from Bouteloup. The trio takes a page from the Beatles with “You Found the Best In Me” and try to sound similar to The Beatles in terms of style and harmony.

The album finishes this trip with another tame track that features new age elements and French with “A L’ombre Du Temps,” and has Lindemann doing more of a spoken word chant that was atmospheric and experimental. This album was a bit of a curveball in term that the Klown didn’t know what to expect outta this installment. Despite that it was rather enjoyable, it was not the Klown’s stein of beer. Naysayers and fans can acquire this album here and enjoy till their hearts content.

5 out of 6 It was Still Far Out, Man

The Trials Sept. 29. 2017 (Part 1)

Archgoat Cometh With An EP

Ya think Archgoat is gonna leave this year quietly? EI! To celebrate the last day of September, the Finnish black metallers threw us a bone and released their EP Eternal Damnation of Christ via Debemur Morti Productions. Though Eternal… only contains two track, they will give you an earful of pure, tar black metal.

Archgoat begins this short sermon with the hypnotizing “Black Mass Mysticism” which has the power to entrance any black metal aficionado and will certainly invoke a choreograph of  headbanging and raised horns. Kai “Ritual Butcherer” Puolakanaho takes the lead in this black mass before Rainer “Lord Angelslayer” Puolakanaho’s thick guttural vocals work their black magick with. Another awesome element to appreciate is the insatiable pounding from Tuukka Franck whose cymbals fuel the anticipation of this incantation.

The title track “Eternal Damnation of Christ” will slowly rise out of the darkness and will lunge at you with an otherworldly force. Franck and Ritual Butcherer will surround you with this brutal combo till Lord Angelslayer swoops in and collects your nachos, ‘cause chances are you sold your soul for ‘em. Eternal…is a great little sampler of what’s to come, get it here!

6 out 6, You’ll be damned if you don’t get this

Brace Yourself For Vontrov’s ‘Second Summoning’

The one man black metal band Vontrov has risen with his second EP Second Summoning which was released independently. For those who haven’t listened to his first EP Zenith, which was released earlier this year, you are missing out! We were totally smitten with the EP we had to use the track “They Have Come” as the intro in our SD Metal Swap Meet segment. Enough about my endless splurging over Zenith and more on Second Summoning.

You know winter is here for realzees when you first hear the horn of winter go off in “And Horns Bellow” before the black metal goodness of “The Last of the Snow” engulfs your ear drums. This track will give you the right kind of chills that only a great song or a yummy burrito can give you.

Just when you think all is calm, “An Angel Upon Mortal Soil” will lure you in to its chambers with a nice acoustic intro before consuming you with pure heaviness. Vontrov ends this four track EP with a great cover of Watain’s “Total Funeral.” Why is it so damn great? Well, Timmy glad you asked! Vontrov speeds things up in this rabid rendition adding more attitude, giving this wolf sharper fangs.

Though there are only four songs in Second Summoning, it will leave you thirsty for more. Joe “Arevera” Johnston’s thick vocals and riffs are appease and lure any trves in to a darker side of black metal. See why this local one man band got us all hot and bothered, and get your copy at bandcamp. Be prepared to see more about Vontrov ‘cause we ain’t done talkin’ about him.

6 out of 6, Your kvlt lord and master

Grave Pleasures Gives Us A ‘Mother’ Load With Latest

Craving a newer wave of deathrock? Grave Pleasures will satisfy those needs with their latest Motherblood via Century Media Records. The Finnish/British deathrockers, who were previously known as Beastmilk till 2013, may have switched up their name but they’ve still retained their infectiously sensual, angsty and love lorn style. I see you discretely dancing to this, stuffy metal head! You can’t hide from the J-Oh’ster’s all seeing eyes! Nuff about me spying on peeps and more on Motherblood.

Grave Pleasures cut the foreplay and get down to business with “Infatuation Overkill” which has a great starting hook from the whole ensemble, and who could resist Mat McNerney’s intro verse? Don’t tap out now baby, Grave Pleasures is just getting started! Their current hit “Be My Hiroshima” will be stuck in your head for all the right reasons, and “Joy Through Death” will get your fine ass dancing. Just ask the girl on the music video and the staunch metal head that’s secretly dancing in their seat.

If your black lil heart is aching and craving a deathrock song about star-crossed lovers, “Doomsday Rainbows” will hit the spot but if you’re just a psycho like moi, “Mind Intruder” is catchy and will voice those feelings ‘cause you really really care. How about the darker and slower setting of this subgenre? Well the “Atomic Christ” is here to save you, my child. Grave Pleasures guarantees you a good time whether you are “hardcore” or not. So for a good time check out their album at Spotify and once you get GP whipped, get your copy here.

6 out of 6, We’ll Be Your Hiroshima 😉

Unsane Will ‘Sterilize’ Your Membrane

Unsane has broken out of their rusty cage and is hellbent on cleansing us with their latest Sterilize via Southern Lord Records. These underrated pioneers aren’t playing around especially after their five year break and begin strongly with “Factory” which has a smooth build up, memorable riffs and pained vocals all from Chris Spencer.

“No Reprieve” shines the spotlight on the trio and one can fully absorb and swallow Spencer’s riffs, Vincent Signorelli’s heavy cymbal bashing and tempo, and the bass foundation laid by Dave Curran. What a track! Amidst the shouts and the subtle distorted effects, you know it’s gonna be a bumpy ride!

“Aberration” will put the “noise” in the “noise rock” banner Unsane goes by and has another great build up. Unsane gets it because they made a song using the phrase that is near and dear to my gut and that is all too familiar to us here in Ugh Metal, “We’re Fucked.” Like in real life, this angsty and huffy track maintains a steady beat with a volatile interior bubbling beneath the surface, just like you would in IRL when you’re fucked and trying to dig yourself out! Unseen gets it man!

Sterilize will purify Unseen fans of any doubts that this trio would ever return. This album will also induce nostalgia for the OG 90’s grunge kids that saw these fellas reign. See what you think and get your copy here.

5 out of 6, Not just noise

Jag Panzer Strike A ‘Chord’

Power metallers Jag Panzer are here to conquer your ears with their 10th studio album The Deviant Chord via Steamhammer/SPV records. The Ugh Metal team had the chance to experience these epic gents in living color at this year’s San Diego Metal Swap Meet which you can read here and watch here, but we’re curious as to what they would produce six years after their last album.

Jag Panzer were ready to make everyone believe and kicked off with a magical riff in “Born of the Flame.” Because Jag Panzer wants to keep this album lit, they added fuel to that sense of adventure with “Fire of Our Spirit” and “Far Beyond All Fear.” There are more killer riffs featured in these tracks!

The title track “The Deviant Chord” is both touching and haunting. One has the opportunity to admire and relish Henry “The Tyrant” Conklin’s clean and melodic vocals and admire his high notes! Because we are also softies inside (C’mon admit it!) “Long Awaited Kiss” will certainly pull all of your heartstrings and win you over. Because you’ll have to part ways from your beloved and fight the evil work monster, “Foggy Dew” will be the perfect song as you ride away in to your shitty job.

Jag Panzer rolled in with a new tale that’s ready to take you in to the Tardis and onto an adventure. Power metal aficionados will definitely appreciate this and it can also be the gateway drug to metal heads in the making. The Deviant Chord is available for streaming on Spotify and once you fall for this album, you can get it here.

4 Out 6, Struck ALL the chords!

The Trials of September 22, 2017 (Part 2)

Counterparts Came Forth with their Fifth Album

The Klown recalls mentioning these Canucks briefly for the Vans Warped Tour segment, check that out when you can. Anyway, the hardcore punk quintet known as Counterparts have released their album You’re Not You Anymore through Victory Records and right off the bat, these Canucks bring on the noise.

The album commences with a short intro and follows up with some aggression in the form of “Bouquet.” The song could be described as screamo as opposed to hardcore punk in terms of vocals and composition as well as a very melodic chorus. “No Servant of Mine,” however, exemplifies the sounds and influences of hardcore punk.

The Klown took a liking to “A Memory Misread” it was catchy and featured the screaming hardcore punk chorus, maintained the aggression, and really features Blake Hardman’s heavy guitar riffed solo to solidify that aggressive touch. The album caps off with the title of the namesake album which begins rather slow and immediately builds up fast and slows down during the chorus and the end for a soft melodic solo from Hardman.

Despite what the Klown has said about the album, the album doesn’t really stand out as much. It is rather aggressive at times but felt mostly repetitive. However, the Klown will say that if you’re looking for a nudge into the hardcore punk genre this would make a good starter album. As always this is one opinion, this album is definitely for the fans and you can get your copy here.

3 out of 6, The Klown is Still the Klown!

King Parrot ‘Produce’ An Attractive Album

In honor of the fact that Ugh Metal didn’t get the chance to see these guys for their 2 day stop in our fine city, the Klown shall talk about their latest release. The Aussie quintet has indulged their fans with their third release Ugly Produce which was released through Phil Anselmo’s label Housecore Records. The album begins strongly with “Entrapment” with the opening aggressive guitar riff which would abruptly stop and  before Matthew “Youngy” Young’s harsh, screaming vocals and Todd “Toddy” Hansen’s double kicks joins in. This track is then followed by an erratic version of the former which is titled “Piss Wreck.”

The band really features the grindcore they’re known for with “All Hail the Grub,” the Ugh Metal mantra when it comes to working, “Ten Pounds of Shit in a Five Pound Bag” and “Numb Skull.” “Die Before You Die” features some of the thrash metal that this band is sometimes known for which the Klown can describe as Muni Waste if frontman Tony Deforesta were to adopt aggressive screeching vocals.

This contemporary finishes with “Spookin’ Animals Dead” which can be described as a combo of grindcore and thrash and has Wayne “Slatts” Slattery’s powerful bass slapping featured and solidifies itself as the foundation of this song. The Klown can see why this album was highly anticipated by the diehard fans and some of the casual ones. To hear what the Klown is talking about check it out on Housecore’s Bandcamp for some clarity.

6 out of 6, This One’s for the Birds… and People

Wolves In The Throne Room Have Finished Weaving their Latest Work

One of the forerunners for the American black metal scene is back. After a three-year hiatus, the Wolves In The Throne Room have now released their sixth contemporary titled Thrice Woven through Artemisia Records. Before the Klown continues, he shall inform you that this album is five tracks long but definitely not slim by any means and featured an array of guest musicians.

The Wolves open with “Born from the Serpent’s Eyes” which features Anna von Hausswolff on vocals and begins  melodically due to  guest acoustic guitarist Don McGreevy before transpiring into a atmospheric black metal song. It is then followed by “The Old Ones Are with Us” which was like the latter but this time with Neurosis’s Steve Von Till on vocals and acoustic guitars.

The Washingtonian trio honors the Nordic heritage by performing a dark hymn for Loki’s giantess of a wife and Fenrir’s mother in “Angrboda.” It is also worth noting that the song was more of an avant-garde style black metal and it was a little over 10 minutes. The album caps off with a one-two punch combo and has “Mother Owl, Father Ocean” serve as an atmospheric and new age 2-plus minute intro to the final track. “Mother…” has von Hausswolff on vocals, guest drummer Phil Petrocelli and Zeynep Oyku Yilmaz on the grand harp.

The finisher “Fire Roars in the Palace of the Moon,” gives you black metal reminiscent to that of Bathory and plays for 11 minutes. This album was well anticipated and delivered. If you really are a fan of WITTR or really love black metal, don’t hesitate to check out this album. You can access this album in the Wolves’ Bandcamp to give it a listen and see what he means.

6 out of 6, Fenrir Is Proud!

Cradle of Filth Return with Tales of New-Fangled Victorian Darkness

Well, well, well… the Klown shall get to talk about Dani Filth once again but this time with the band that he’s been known for. Cradle Of Filth is back and has released their 12th album titled Cyptoriana: The Seductiveness of Decay through Nuclear Blast Records. The album kicks off with the deliciously evil title “Exquisite Torments Await” which has a dramatically slow start but because it’s endearingly fast and is the shortest song of the album. The track also serves as the catalyst for “Heartbreak and Séance.”

The latter was a pretty good song that contains some awesome and heavy guitar riffs and the infamous banshee screams from Filth himself. “Achingly Beautiful,” aside from being a song dedicated to the Klown, was a song that revisits the theatrics and gothic-like influence that Cradle Of Filth is known for. This track also features the femme fatale keyboardist/vox Lindsay Schoolcraft and her mesmerizing ghostly vocals.  “Vengeful Spirit” also includes this similar formula.

The band also revisits another gimmick that they’re known for with “Wester Vespertine” in terms of Schoolcraft setting a darker tone with a spoken word narrative during the song’s brief pause. The song also features a really awesome guitar solo. Speaking of which, “The Seductiveness Of Decay,”“You Will Know the Lion by His Claw” and “The Night at Catafalque Manor” features quite a few solos and contains some dramatic chorus, effects, and some sweet double kicks from Marek ‘Ashok’ Šmerda.

The latter happens to be a bonus track. When in Rome, Filth treats his ghouls with another bonus track in the form of a cover from Annihilator’s “Alison Hell” which also takes a turn at the dramatic but takes a heavier and aggressive approach, and in a way shall remind you of the Damnation And A Day album. This album was a pretty good comeback and will really pique the interest of fans who’ve lost some interest in the band. You can check it through Spotify (give Ugh Metal &/or the Klown [chuggotheklown] a follow if you do) or you can take the Klown’s word and get your copy here.

6 out of 6 The Album Will Take You to the Great Beyond