Category Archives: Album Review

The Trials of December 1, 2017

Honorable Mention

ChthoniC Reveal a Revolutionary Contemporary

Depending on your feelings of ChthoniC’s discography, their hiatus is a little tricky. But for those who’re like the Klown and are a fan of the Taiwanese titans then the wait… shall continue, unless you live in Taiwan or are in the Asian continent. If you haven’t heard, ChthoniC has been busy and full of surprises. Aside from frontman Freddy Lim venturing into politics in Taiwan, the band has gotten back together and has surprised us all. First, the Klown should say that the band have teamed up with D. Randall Blythe for two big projects. On that note, Lamb Of God’s prolific frontman is starring in a comedy with the band titled Tshiong.

The other collaboration with Blythe brings us to this brief excerpt which is a brand new EP titled 失落的令旗 (The Lost Flag): Souls of the Revolution which was released through Ciong Zo Records. Now, the reason why it’s an honorable mention, the Klown has only had the chance to listen to one song “Souls of the Revolution” which was written by Blythe and Lim because so far that’s all that’s been released. The song resembled the sounds of their 2011 Takasago Army album. Unfortunately though, it’s only available in Asia at this time. No word if they plan on releasing in the West yet. Good news for those that are impatient,  there’s a way to get it here, if you really wanna bite the bullet.

Shadow Realm Give Light to Their First

If you haven’t heard of Shadow Realm that’s okay, that’s what the Klown’s services are for. The Australian quintet known as Shadow Realm has been around for a little over 5 years and has made some noise in the metal scene. Although it’s been 2 years since the band released an EP, the debut of their studio has been officially released. The name of that first album is War On The Archons and it was released independently.

The album begins with an intro with Tim Robinson’s keys and created a melancholic, and intriguing composition that resonate more with a movie and will leave you curious. The intro immediately transitions to “Satanic Twin” which gives you some progressive thrash metal. The track alone features Torsha Khan’s powerful clean vocals which had a ton of feeling to really get you invested, and are accompanied by Matt Gillick’s powerful guitar riffs and solo.

“Dead Space” features more thrash metal than prog for the most part and really highlights Pahl Hodgson’s bass,  Constantinos “Con” Koutsouliotas’s double kicks, with the addition of Gillick’s solos which resemble that of Thomas Youngblood of Kamelot. The band  adopts a power prog approach in “The Awakening” and primarily highlights Gillick and Koutsouliotas’s guitar solos and drumming prowess, respectfully. This track also contains Robinson’s keys as a foundation and the tone of the song. It is worth noting that it is the album’s longest track at 9-plus minutes.

“Moloch Domain” had Khan briefly sporting some harsh vocals to emphasize gloomy aspects of the song. This song also features  an awesome solo from Gillick that would be able to fair with that of Herman Li’s or Sam Totman’s of DragonForce. The album finishes with “Shadows From Within” which has a faster and thrash metal approach, the Klown would best describe it as if Firewind and Rush had a baby.

The song also has Hodgson’s bass stand out more and really accompany the aggressive approach of the song. This album was outta left field and fresh to hear. The band does a great job expanding and adapting sounds to their brand of power metal and can have an impression on hard power metal aficionados. You can either check these guys out on Spotify or take the plunge here.

5 Out of 6, Sign Us Up for Victory!

Malvento Breathe Some Life into their Latest

The Italian black metal quintet known as Malvento have returned with their fourth album titled Pneuma through Third-I-Rex records. Right from the beginning, the band set the mood with “Pneuma (intro)” which sounds rather ghastly and dark. It is then followed by “Notte” which sports a long beginning that resemble that of the black metal masters of horror, Carach Angren. Unlike Carach Angren, Malvento keep it tame by comparison and has bassist/vox Luigi “Zin” della Rossa showing off his soft, distorted auto tuned vocals.

“La Vita Sinistra” has the band feature some sounds similar to that of Mayhem’s Chimara album but more ambient and has their drummer 7Se7en5 adding aggressive cymbal clashing that doesn’t cause any deterrence from the song. “L’Incanto,” although ambient and more intimate thanks to the shruti box, seemed more like a Gothic metal track. This track features Gianluca Martucci of Urna and he doesn;t hold back and blends his percussion skills with Nefastus’s slow riffs.

“Vortex” takes the Industrial approach and features another guest musician Bathory Legion to do some vocal work alongside Whip’s synths and programming. Legion would once again make an appearance in the purely industrial instrumental song titled “Apuania.” “Le Danze” has the band sporting some black metal similar to that of an early Rotting Christ. The album finishes just how it began with “Il Risveglio (outro).”

Not a bad come back from the Italian five-piece, it showcased their current sounds of Industrial and black metal. The Klown definitely recommends this album for those who enjoy experimental black metal/industrial. You can get your copy here and see for yourself.

5 out of 6, Will Leave You Breathless

Judgemental Release their First

Oh look kids, the Klown found another independent release! The Klown ran into this gem and thought he’d share it with y’all. The band from Little Rock known as Judgemental has released their debut studio titled Empires Fall. The album begins with a sound bite intro titled “A Boxcar and Jug O’ Wine” which then transitions strongly into some thrash metal bliss in the form of “Desperate Plea.” “Desperate Plea” features some powerful vocals and an awesome solo from Steve Mental.

Raise your hands if you are a fan of Judas Priest! Don’t be shy now because the band taps into their inner Priest with “Breaking the Chains.” At first the Klown thought it was a cover of Dokken’s song but when he heard this song, he thought that these gents had managed to get a Priest song he’s never heard of or managed to get Rob “the Metal God” Halford as a guest vocalist. The Klown can also say the same about “Search For Self” with the difference being if Halford had become the new frontman for Pantera.

The trio taps into their inner Metallica with “Broken Angel” and much like Metallica they start off slow before turning a 180 picking up the pace to end on a high note. The difference between Metallica and Judgemental is that these guys manage to keep it in under 5 minutes proving that short is sweet and gets to the point. The album finishes with “Empires Fall” which sounded like a supped version of a Megadeth song with extra bass playing and really highlighted Brock Calvert’s drumming.

This album was a great start from the trio and really taps into the old guard’s nostalgia. The Klown would highly recommend this band if you fancy yourself a thrasher at heart. The Klown would also definitely recommend this band if you are a fan of Pantera, Judas Priest and Kreator. Lastly, you can check this latest out in Judgement’s Bandcamp to buy, listen or both!

6 out of 6 Bringing Back the Spirit of Thrash

Morbid Angel Release a New One at Long Last

The saga that was Morbid Angel has been an interesting one, to put it nicely. It’s been over 6 years since the divisive Illud Divinum Insanus was released and saw David Vincent part ways rather unceremoniously with the group. Flash forward to now and Morbid Angel has returned with Kingdoms Disdained through Silver Lining Records. The other cool thing about this brand new release, in case you didn’t check out when Morbid Angel was featured in Ugh Metal prior to this, the band brought back Steve Tucker to be at the helm.

Anyway, enough fluff and straight to the deetz! The album begins with “Piles of Little Arms.” The beginning was robust and really features Scott Fuller’s fast and powerful drumming accompanied with Trey Azagtoth’s shredding topped with Tucker’s identifiable vocals and bass. While “The Righteous Voice” and “Declaring New Law (Secret Hell)” revisit the sounds of the Heretic and feels rather appropriate given the fact that Tucker is at the helm once again. The song also transitions straight away to “Architect and Iconoclast.”

Paradigms Warped” is the song that has been representing this album for some time now. If the song doesn’t sounds familiar right off the bat, it’s because Tucker had been performing it as simply “Warped.” “The Pillars Crumbling” and For No Master” has the band sounding like a Six Feet Under song. While “From the Hand of Kings” sounded like a Cannibal Corpse song. The album caps off strongly  just how it began with “The Fall Of Idols.”

This album was great and definitely met the Klown’s expectations and anticipation. If you fancy yourself a Morbid Angel fan or claim to be a huge death metal fan, then you’d be foolish not to check this out. Lastly, you can check this album on Spotify and buy it here.

6 Out of 6, The Kings are Back!

The Trials of Nov. 24, 2017

Honorable Mention: The Adicts Show Us A Different Side In Latest 

ANOTHER record that slipped our buttery fingers! GAH! And a high profile one too! How could we neglect our favorite jokers?! That’s okay, we make mistakes or 10 but we are only human, humans that couldn’t wait for this record. The Adicts debut their latest  And It Was So! on Nov.17 under the the Nuclear Blast Records. That’s right, you’d know if you kept up with the interwebs. How was that so? Well not even Nuclear Blast could resist these jolly fellows.

The Adicts start this newest festivity with their hit “Picture The Scene,” which never gets old and show you their classic cheery selves. The super catchy “If You Want It” will give you the dancing bug while “Fucked Up World,” and “Gimme Something To Do” crank up the subtle punky angst they’re so great at!

These seasoned eccentric punkers take a different turn in the lovelorn wild child “Love Sick Baby” and “Deja Vu” because they possess a slow burning sensual 80’s Iggy Pop vibe. Keith “Monkey” Warren switches his upbeat vocals to a devious baritone who is just waiting to wow you a different way. It was a very pleasant surprise, more of this!   And It Was So! is more brazen than their previous albums which gives me more reasons to be exciting…especially because they use naughty words! Tee hee! Listen to the whole album on Spotify and get your copy here!

6 Out 6, And it was whoa!

**NOW BACK TO YOUR REGULAR PRE-GAMING!..I mean programming**

Taake Reigns With ‘Kong Vinter’

Winter is finally here! And she has brought to us Taake’s highly anticipated album Kong Vinter which was released via Dark Essence Records. Just ‘cause us ‘Mericans didn’t have the chance to see the legendary Taake this year, it doesn’t mean they were sitting around doing nothing. Aside from hitting up the rest of the world, they were hard at work producing this jewel. But does this jewel shine brightly? Buckle up, ‘cause here we go!

Taake will induce nostalgia to trves with that raw intro riff in “Sverdets Vei” which is followed by their first single “Inntrenger,” which is still exciting to hear and will make you dive head first in to the rest of this album. “Huset I Havet” will give you all the right chills and thrills not just because of the atmospheric howling and growling but because Hoest creates a barrage of instrumentals that blend in so great, they’ll blow you away.

The predominantly instrumental “Maanebrent” treads carefully allowing Hoest’s musical prowess to shine brighter than the metaphorical sunlit snow. If you are still itching for the best of all worlds, the final 10 minute track “Fra Bjoergegrend Mot Glemselen” is the cure. It has everything you see, black metal magick, snow, Hoest’s signature vocals and an amazing musical ensemble.

Taake’s latest gets in touch with a magick much stronger than Santa and Merlin’s. Kong Vinter reaches out for an ancient spirituality and it achieves this transcendence that includes the listener. Am I being too extra? You be the judge and listen to the album on Spotify and you if you decide to pledge your sword for Taake, get your copy here.

6 out of 6, Long live the ‘Kong’!

Wulfband Start A Dance Revolution With Latest

Wulfband are back to rescue you from perpetual boredom with their sophomore album Revolter released via Progress Productions. Wulfband will release die hunden and get your blood pumping with “Lass Die Hunden Los” and their hit “Full Frontal Sabotage.” Theses naughty lil rascals will make you wanna join this dance party AND liven up your dance party.

Wha? You can’t be tired already! This dancy revolution is just getting started and I guarantee you that “Kaos MF” will not only make you want to chant the awesome chorus but it will also keep you in a dance trance. BUT WAIT! There’s more! There’s another anthem in this album that is also an EBM ode called “Das Ist Musik” which is a track that will perfectly compliment your black light body paint. If you haven’t got any go ahead and buy some, I’ll wait.

While you were gone soothing your body paint needs, the Swedish duo made sure the party didn’t end just there and dropped a bomb ass track called “Kpt. Kaboom.” This Captain is far more powerful than any bombs and farts combined and will blow listeners away. “Total” is playful as hell, its bursting with a calculated rhythm while “Basta” and “Platzmachen” have off the chart energy, they can power up a whole city! AND definitely beats our hellhound Brydoh in this category of steady momentum!

Revolter is not only a party animal but it is also the life of the party, and is guaranteed to show you a great time. Like most wild childs, this light hearted album is the cool cyber goth friend you know you’re gonna have a fun and crazy night with. Wild rave stories, here I come! You can binge on this album on Spotify and snag the album here to compliment your glow sticks and cyber goth mask.

6 out of 6, DANCE PUPPETS DANCE! *Does the cabbage patch dance with glow sticks*

Anguis Dei Will Open Many Doors With Debut EP

The elusive Ur Èmdr Oervn, the mastermind of the AAAA collective (Arkha Sva, Avsolutized, Ahpdegma), debuts the EP titled Ad Portas Serpentium for his fourth project in this invasion of A’s called Anguis Dei. The four track EP slammed open that Porta via Svart Records and it’s on a campaign to convert new fans.

Anguis Dei start off with the cinematic black metal hymn “Maythorns over Uroboros” which might have some casual metalheads feel as if they are listening to a more extreme Cradle of Filth song but with thicker vocals from Oervn. This first track will lure you deeper in to this gateway where you will find the right balance between theatrics and aggression. Staying on the COF-esque role is “Angela Krudeliis Ambitiosa Nokturniis” which continues to sound like a rougher rendition of Filth, you bet we’re still lapping this EP up!

Anguis Dei adds a touch of elegance with the piano dominated instrumental piece “Origin.” This track is fit for any gothic horror story and slowly snowballs before flinging you in to “The Lionel.” Though there is no “smooth” transition per se, but the sudden and brutal commencement of this track works so well AND Oervn bellows out a high pitch battle cry Filth would be proud of. There is no in between here!

In this new project, Ur Èmdr Oervn offers a dramatic and structured new saga that not only balances his black metal roots with extreme gothic metal but is also bursting with a hunger to explore musically. Are you excited yet? The J-Ohster sure is if it wasn’t too obvi by now! You can listen to EP on Spotify and get your copy here.

6 Out of 6, HODOR!

The Trials of Nov.17, 2017

Godflesh Strip Down In  ‘Post Self’

Godflesh’s  Post Self  (Avalanche Records) is ready to take you to a deeper and darker extremity. Don’t bother with those flashlights! We don’t need ‘em where we’re going. The album starts off with the ambient single “Post Self” which is a great start in this Lynchian album. Oh yes, I think I will be using the term “Lynchian,” a lot and not just here but in other stuff and its valid ‘cause it’s in the world renowned J-Ohster Dictionary.

Like I mentioned earlier, “Mirror Of Finite Light” is a great build up and ambient AF. This track serves as a great precursor to the subtly cinematic and instrumental tracks in this album such as “Be God,” and “Mortality Sorrow.” “Parasite,” shows us its slimy little fangs and is ready to drag us in to the creepy looking lab where this evil morsel fled from with “No Body.” In the tracks I just mentioned, Justin K. Broderick shows us just how guttural his growls can get!

Bassist/ programmer G.C. Green continues to adds the right amount of suspense with his mixing board and adds an extra heaviness with his bass. This suspenseful album is filled with more mystery, instrumentals and dread than the previous album. This is a psychological thriller we all want to star in! Get your copy here and you can listen to the whole album in Spotify.

6 out of 6, Thrilling

Coraxo Burns Brightly With ‘Sol’ 

Finland shows that Gothenburg isn’t the only place that can make great melodic death metal just take a look at Coraxo. The duo gives us plenty of light with their sophomore album Sol via Snow Wave Records where they add drops of different elements.

The album starts strongly with “Of Stars Reborn” where Finnish saxophonist Ilkka Ferm lends his skills, which not only blends in wonderfully with this track but it also enhances the dramatic element in this song.  “Helios” will make you do a double take and wonder if you’re listening to a Dark Tranquility track, wait till you hear the nice breakdown from guitarist/vocalist/programmer Tomi Toivonen. The aggression level is cranked up in “Sacrifices Made” where Toivonen busts out a thicker growl that blends in great with his riffs and Ville Vistbacka’s drumming.

Coraxo produced a strong album that is sure to keep you replaying this album. With each time you hit that “play” button, you will find a new song to love and dive deeper into their storytelling. You can check out the album in their Bandcamp and buy it there too!

6 out 6, Shines brighter than a diamond

Electric Wizard Have A ‘Bloody’ Good Album

Electric Wizard wants to paralyze you with their latest bloody good offering titled Wizard Bloody Wizard via Spinefarm Records. Even though doom season (AKA October) left us too soon, it doesn’t mean we can’t sprinkle a little bit of doominess to this season of awkward family gatherings!

“Necromania” bares a devious little smirk that is sure to set the fire in your loins on fire, hell any hippy sex cult would approve. You WILL “Hear The Sirens Scream” because the catchy and contagious riffs will have the power to lure any unsuspecting listener in to the arms of Electric Wizard. The quartet cranked up the doom in the last songs such as “Wicked Caresses” and “The Reaper.”

The very last track of this album “Mourning Of The Magicians” is fit for any badass funeral procession. I got to say this final 11 minute track is my favorite song of this album not just because Jus Oborn gave us a badass and empowering chorus “I’ll see you in hell,” but because it the band showcases their talent. YOU HAVE TO LISTEN TO IT! This album is dripping with a good amount of doom to keep you coming back for more. You can listen to the whole album on Spotify and get your copy here.

5 Out 6, Bloody Good!

**Uh Oh! The Klown has thrown in his two cents on…**

Cavalera Conspiracy Give Fans Reason with Latest

For those that are like the Klown and worship the ground Max Cavalera stands and walk on, then this is one of the best news this year. The Klown had the chance to see Roots be played in its entirety with the current Cavalera Conspiracy lineup, then the ever benevolent god that Max is would announce a new Cavalera Conspiracy album.

Flash forward to now and the release of Psychosis through Napalm Records finally arrived. Immediately, the album opens powerfully with “Insane” which gives you a full dose of fast-paced groove/thrash metal. Also worth noting that this album had a wide array of special guest starting with Mixhell ,which is the stage name of Max’s son Iggor, and Laima Leyton who worked on its intro. “Terror Tactics” feature a bit of Industrial influences mixed with the groove and thrash sounds that Max is known to have and includes an awesome solo by Marc Rizzo.

“Spectral War” has a lot more Industrial influences in the beginning and in between thanks to the programming and synths applied by Dominick Fernow of Vatican Shadow. Fernow would once again make a reappearance with “Hellfire” and “Excruciating.”  “Hellfire” was completely Industrial like Nailbomb and also featured Godflesh’s Justin Broadrick, while “Excruciating” featured guest vocals from Liquid Metal’s DJ Jose Mangin, and “Crom” was like “Terror Tactics” but with guest vocals from Jason Tarpey and Roki Abdelaziz.

“Judas Pariah” featured some ambient, hard groove and Christian Cavalera on the hurdy-gurdy. The Klown assures you that it’s an actual musical instrument with a funny sounding name. Meanwhile “Psychosis” just gives you a song that is nothing but instrumentals of the groove and thrash variety. If you haven’t caught on, the Klown nearly talked about the whole album. Although the previous was quiet and felt lackluster to a lot, this album will immediately remind everyone that even the best have bad days. You can get this album at the Cavalera’s Bandcamp.

6 out of 6, The Cavalera’s are Back!

The Trials of November 3, 2017

Nemere Release Their First Album

The Klown has delivered by feeding the Ugh Metal fetish, once more! The Hungarian quartet known as Nemere have debuted their first studio album titled Vérmező, independently. That’s right, kiddies an independent act and they are black metal. This unconstrained release kicks off its inauguration with “A Múlt Kapuja (The Gate of Past)” and right away it features some pretty aggressive and fast-paced black metal like 1349 or a fast version of Highland.

“Harci Dal (Battle Song)” does justice to the song by first introducing the sounds of marching drums courtesy of G.J. and then followed up by some strong guitar riffs and backing growling vocals from V.T. to accompany frontman V.ZS’ harsh vocals. The quartet continues the battle theme with “Végső csatánk Veszni látszik (Our Last Battle Seems to Gone)” which can be described as a 5-plus minute of intensity that is somewhat reminiscent to that of Helheim.

“Vízió (Vision)” starts off with some slow guitar riffs and builds up right away takes you to some raw black metal bliss.If you enjoy the sounds similar to that of Watain, Nemere’s “Az éjszaka Holdja Alatt (Under the Moon of Night)” and “Vérmező (Bloodfield)” demonstrate that they can give you a quick fix without having to wait too long for new material. The album finishes with “Utolsó Utam (My Last Journey)” which has a similar intro  as the first track  but slows down and picks up again with V.T.’s guitar riffs towards the end of the song.

This debut was a pretty good start for this band and clearly features their influences well. The Klown recommends this album for fans of Watain, Helheim, 1349 and Highland. If you consider yourself “trve” this would be an album you may want to consider listening to. You can check out this album in their Bandcamp.

5 out of 6 Straight Outta Transylvania

Tetragrammacide Go ‘Primal’ With Latest 

The blackened death metal trio show us how India brews their metal in their latest Primal Incinerators of Moral Matrix which was released via Iron Bonehead Productions. The album starts with “Hyper-Spacial Mandala of Intuitive Latencies” which contained spoken-word and distorted chants to set the mood before transitioning to “The Prognosticators of Trans-Yuggothian Meta-Reason.”

“The Prognosticators…” would be best described as a mix between Full Of Hell or Nails with some blackened death metal influences. The song features really harsh growling vocals mixed with some auto-tune to give a muffled effect the way black metal sounds like at times.“Radicalized Matrikavyeda Operation: Militarized Cosmogrids Destabilization (Heralding Absolute Contraction)” and “Cyberserking Strategic Kalpa-Terminator (Advance Acausality Increment Mechanism) took a complete stance on the blackened death metal like that of Hellfire Deathcult.

“Transcranial Ka’abatronic Stimulation Collapse” serves as an intro to “Intra-Dimensional Vessel of Were-Robotics, N-Logics and Assorted Latice Intelligence” sounded like old Cannibal Corpse with Chris Barnes. The album caps off with a one-two combo of “Imperial Cyanide Voltigeurs (Quantum Threshold Leapers of Hatha-Sorcery)” serving as the blackened death metal catalyst to “Dismal Ramification of Mathematical Marmas and Sandhi” which followed the same effects as in the first track.

Aside from being a mouthful, the album was a pretty good start for this Indian trio and will give you adrenaline for days. The Klown highly recommends this album for those who fancy Hellfire Deathcult, Archgoat, Full Of Hell and Nails. You can check it out and get it here.

5 out of 6, Khali Would Be Proud

Anti-Flag Release a New Piece of Americana

The legendary punk band from Pittsburgh is back after a two-year hiatus with American Fall and it was released through Spinefarm Records. The Klown was glad to hear that Anti-Flag was back and just as angsty as ever. The album fires away with “American Attraction” which gives you a bit of a radio-friendly version of punk like other American punk greats such as Bad Religion and Social Distortion. Other songs that can be described the same but with a bit of oomph are “The Criminals” and “Trouble Follows Me.”

“When the Walls Fall” features the band taking a page out of Rancid book and features some ska influences with their punk. Much like Rancid’s songs, they are catchy as hell but they also provide a message. “Finish What We Started,” aside from being a forerunner for the Ugh Metal theme song for the upcoming Christmas shopping, features Chris “Chris#2” Barker’s bass heavily and a powerful harmonic chorus from the whole band. Barker’s bass once again shines with the fast-paced “Liar.”

“Digital Blackout” and “I Came. I Saw. I Believed,” feature some aggression but remain friendly to the ear with a very harmonic chorus and frontman Justin Sane and Chris Head’s infectious guitar riffs. “Racists” and “Throw It Away” exemplify the spirit, message and sounds of punk. The album finishes strongly and appealingly with “Casualty,” contains a very melodic chorus line, some gnarly guitar riffs and Pat Thetic’s drumming and cymbal’s clashing to go along making a perfect blend.

The Pittsburgh quartet proves that although they were busy fighting for social justice and equality, they can still  provide material powerful to bait and hook you. Anti Flag even managed to make their two-year hiatus seemed shorter than what it was.

The album was a pretty good surprise and served as a great soundtrack to express themselves given that the one year anniversary of election day was a few days after. Nevertheless, no matter what your feelings are about E Day, you can get this album here or don’t. The Klown doesn’t feel like he should say it but if you love punk, you’ll love this.

6 out of 6, The Soundtrack for Present America

Moonspell Memorializes its Past with their Contemporary

Portugal’s national treasure has resuscitated from their 2-year temporary extinction and has released a brand new album for the masses. Y’know because of the title of their last album was called Extinct? Anyway, enough of the Klown’s failed attempt to be witty onward to 1755 which was released through Napalm Records.

The Portuguese quintet, unlike before, has taken a step back to their roots by singing in Portuguese and produced a memorial to a tragic past in their homeland’s history. The brief history lesson is that of the Lisbon earthquake of 1755 which not only devastated Lisbon but other parts of Portugal, Spain and Morocco. This 8.5-9.0 earthquake then caused a tsunami that affected the UK and Ireland.

The album begins with a theatrical opening song titled “Em Nome Do Medo” which was had a great use of overture and church-like choir alongside with frontman Fernando Ribeiro. This would serve well as a built up, and dramatic intro into “1755” which sticks with the theatrics, and has keyboardist/programmer Pedro Paixão busting out some middle eastern samples. The song also features some awesome guitar play and a solo from Ricardo Amorim. “In Tremor Dei,” “Evento” and “Ruínas” feature some Gothic metal similar to that of their Memorial.

The band dedicates the actual date of the event with the symphonic, theatrical Goth metal song “1 De Novembro.” The song features Ribeiro singing with clean screaming vocals, with the occasional growling vocal in between, sounding like someone in agony. Amorim does another great guitar solo as well. This album concludes with “Lanterna Dos Afogados” which is best portrayed as a dark ballad… or so the Klown thinks.

As a bonus, if you couldn’t get enough of “Desastre” this metal Muzzy treats you to a Spanish version of the song. The Klown will not oversell this album too much for you but he’ll just say check this baby out and take the plunge here.

6 out of 6, You’ll Never Forget

Cannibal Corpse Slays Again

Cannibal Corpse… what more can be said about this legendary death metal band? The Klown supposes that he can talk about their latest album Red Before Black which was released by Metal Blade Records. On that note, their 14th release produces an aggressive Cannibal Corpse which sounded much angrier than the last couple of releases. At least that’s what the Klown thinks.

The album commences this bloody saga with “Only One Will Die” which was a really strong and aggressive beginning to get any death metal fan completely invested. The song also featured a pretty awesome solo by Pat O’Brien and the same can be said about “Red Before Black” and “Heads Shovel Off.” The band take it back to the last albums and features the heavy sounds mixed in the intro of the song before transitioning to the erratic sounds that gave them fame. This can best be heard in “Code Of Slashers” and “Remaimed.”

The Klown found another favorite Cannibal Corpse song, the very PG titled “Shredding My Human Skin.” The best way that the Klown can describe it would be if “Evisceration Plague” picked up the pace to match the intensity of Kill but is slow enough to allow bassist Alex Webster to add some intensity. Webster shares the spotlight with O’Brien where he gives us the gratuitous solo.

If you really want something similar to that of Evisceration Plague, however, then you will definitely like “Firestorm Vengeance.” Another favorite of the Klown was “Scavenger Consuming Death,” which is also worth noting that Webster had a solo of his own in this track making this song more interesting and good. This contemporary ends strongly with “Hideous Ichor.”

Not much else to say about this album other than it was a pretty awesome album and if you fancy yourself a hardcore Cannibal Corpse fan then it’s a must-have album. You can lend it your ear on Metal Blade’s Bandcamp and buy it there.

6 out of 6, It Goes for the Kill!

The Trials of Nov.10, 2017

Honorable Mention: Morphesia Mystifies With ‘I Forever End’

I know I know we still can’t believe this morsel slipped our greasy buttered fingers but here we are! Local black metal treasure and First Impressions alumni Morphesia has risen with his second full length album I Forever End which was released on Oct.24 via Sliptrick Records. For those that are fashionably late to this black metal ball, Morphesia’s sophomore release is his first album as a signed musician! So without further ado, let’s dive in shall we?

We had the pleasure of checking out Morphesia’s three track demo earlier this year and discussed the songs “Within,” “Forever,” and “The Moon,” so you can read about that here. “Towards The Sea” is foaming with great riffs that will take you to any depth before submerging you deeper with the soothingly ominous “Underneath,” you just wait till you reach the bottom of this track. Morphesia’s ultimate overlord, Zombie Thirteen, continues to be the master of anticipation by slowly setting up the stage for his growls to take over which can best be heard in “Shadows.”

“End,” on the other hand, greets listeners to a mellow and beautiful instrumental piece composed solely in piano and exemplifies its title. The bonus track “At Last” gives you something to remember and will unleash its dormant fury on you while it drips with black metal goop. Morphesia has brought an album that is far more relaxed and open to new possibilities but still stays trve to his roots. I Forever End will keep you fascinated with its mysterious new aura and will keep you as artistically hungry as Thirteen. Listen to the album on Spotify and get your copy in major platforms here.

5 Out 6, We Forever Like

Witchery’s ‘Legion’ Is Unstoppable

Oh yes you are reading this correctly, only this time around, yours truly will talk about these black metallers and not the smelly Klown. BUT you can see what the Klown thought about their previous stuff here. Witchery is back with a new infernal soundtrack titled I Am Legion which was released via Century Media Records and are here to show their strength in numbers.

You feel the impending doom brewing in the cold, dark wasteland ala GoT in “True North” and “Welcome, Night,” the white walkers will approve and they’ll probably adopt these songs. “Seraphic Terror” and “Dry Bones” picks up the pace and fuels their grimness at the same time and will have you raising dem horns. The uber awesome “A Faustian Deal” will not only become a favorite for Satyricon lovers (like moi ;D ) but they will make you want to strike an unholy deal with this song especially with the intro drum tempos.

This album has more magick in its midst and doesn’t lose the fierce attitude their previous albums have conveyed. I Am Legion lurks in the dark recesses of the forest and will pop up to surround you before you willingly give in. Get your copy here and beware because this album will conjure up many horns.

6 Out Of 6, They are ‘Legion’, they are legend

Blaze the Thunder Light Up The Skies With Their Debut

Blaze The Thunder have their hearts set to ignite your ears and horns with their debut LP Tonight the Revenge Starts which was released independently. The trio from LA start off with “Through the Night” and “Nightmare” which are both ready to get your blood pumping and are great tracks to get this Revenge started. Something worth noting about “Nightmare,” is that it’s packed with the ruthless riffs and an awesome breakdown from Roberto de la Rosa which even caught the attention of the J-Ohster’s non metal head minion/cousin’s ear while she lounged in the Ugh Metal Fortress.

Blaze The Thunder continues their electric streak with the sneaky “A Vulture” which is coming for ya whether you’re ready or not. “Deceiver” has a great little build up with a slightly calmer tempo which is great because you can absorb the trio’s musicianship. “Razor” cuts slowly and beautifully with their acoustic intro which snowballs and transitions to the heavy metal goodness.

When Roberto de la Rosa’s riffs aren’t captivating you it’s his vocals which work so great with their brand of American heavy metal. When De La Rosa isn’t charming you, then its drummer Matt Oloffson and bassist Weedz who will take you higher giving you a fun marygeejuahana trip. That’s what happens when you inject marygeejuahana right? Blaze The Thunder produced a strong debut and I have a feeling they will not dissipate once they strike your ears. Snag your copy of their debut here.

5 Out 6, TONIGHT!

Amberian Dawn Shine In The ‘Darkness’

Amberian Dawn shine their power metal light in Darkness of Eternity via Napalm Records. The Finnish quintet is gathering all sorts of magick to charm the casual metalhead since they are well aware we are entering power metal season! JK! Every season is power metal season! Will it work though? Let’s see…

The track “Sky Is Falling” is contagious with its upbeat rhythm which is quite a 180 from the previous cinematic track “I’m The One.” The hit “Dragonflies” dims the lights and teases your imagination with the dramaticism with its instrumentals whereas the empowering break up song “Maybe” will touch your tummy heart, body, and soul, and remind you that you’re awesome and that person you wasted your time and effort sucks ass! But enough about the story of my nonexistent love life. 😉 “Luna My Darling” will entice you to stay on this magic carpet ride and feel the stars and far, far away from my sad sack stories. I really appreciate the lower notes Capri Virkkunen hits.

If you are missing your dose of a classical song Amberian Dawn do so well don’t fret they throw in “Symphony Nr.1, part 2- Darkness Of Eternity.” Though symphonic metal is not the J-Ohster’s cup of Joe, this was a very nice album where any open minded metalhead can appreciate. Virkkunen continues to shine with her spot on vocals which can make a rock feel and her voice compliments any style this band chooses. You can listen to the whole album in Spotify and can get your copy here.

5 Out 6, Magick

The Trials of Oct. 27, 2017

Butcher Babies Release ‘Lilith’ On To The World

These feisty metal vixens are ready to slay with their latest album Lilith released via Century Media Records. In their single and title track “Lilith,” Heidi Shepherd and Carla Harvey give us the best of both worlds by interchanging from clean to grit! The songstresses continue to offer these two flavors in “Headspin” and “The Huntsman” which the J-Ohster really enjoyed.

“Burn the Straw Man” paints the sky red with their no clean vocals and “#iwokeuplikethis” takes off its makeup and shows you its bare face with fangs and all. Another song the J-Ohster must admit that stuck with her is “Oceana” not just because Shepherd and Harvey continue to play with their vocals but also because Henry Flury’s devious riffs show off the popular groove metal style riffs from the late 90’s.

Lilith is a different kind of fiend where the quintet lets loose and makes you feel their need for adventure. This album may not be up in your grill and burgers like the previous releases, but it is still a subtly volatile and misunderstood album. It will pique your interest and will make you wonder what these gals and gents will want to experiment with next. Check out the album on Spotify and get you copy here.

5 Out 6, Praise ‘Lilith’

Pink Mass Puts Out With ‘Necrosexual’

The bondage clad quintet are not only heating up New Jersey, they are warming us up for their latest installment Necrosexual released independently. Before Pink Mass spits out their pervy grindcore, they invoke all that is unholy with the synthy intro before they flay you with their opening track “Hedonist’s Lament.” Oh yes, it’s gonna be that kind of party once you are done listening to this opening track.

“Extinction of the Breeders” not only is rough and will make you tumble, but it has a nice little breakdown from Van Lee Tassels the Obnoxious. Wut? You want more roughness? Pink Mass will whip you stupid with the erratic “Vorefied” and “Altar of Domination” which sounds like an ultra aggressive Midnight track with a mixture of guttural growls.

“F.O.A.D N.S.B.M” has another great breakdown and…who am I kidding, the riffs in this song in general are boner/lady boner inducing because it will make you scared and aroused at the same time. Pink Mass will satisfy your dirty grindcore needs, no games nor emotional unavailability for once! Get your copy in Bandcamp and lock this mother down here!

6 Out 6, They put out!

Winds Of Plague Slay With ‘Blood of My Enemy’

The deathcore quintet are back to drench the masses with blood and deathcore and more metal stuff with their latest Blood of My Enemy which was released via Entertainment One Records. The album starts off with “Nameless Walker” where there is quite a bit of harmonic influences mixed with the brutality. Another great track is “Kings Of Carnage” which will strike fear in to your enemies especially when Johnny Plague warns you that this is a warning and he’s about to lose control…You don’t mess with Johnny man!

The title track “Blood of My Enemy” is a battle song that develops a sense of tragedy with keyboardist Adrienne Cowan lending her vocals for the chorus. “5150” picks up the pace and Johnny Plague opens a can of whoop ass! ”Either Way You Lose” will make you feel like a winner because you will be singing that to your enemies the moment you are turning them in to wieners!

Winds Of Plague have been a fascinating band to observe and have certainly changed since their debut Decimate The Weak. Winds Of Plague have continued to follow the symphonic path and are ready to show the masses that they are not just another deathcore band, the J-Ohster feels like they’ve come into their own. Listen to this album in Spotify and get your copy here! 

6 out of 6, Let the ‘Blood’ Flow

Nordkarpatenland’ Awaits!

Time to crack open a fresh cask of black metal from the Slovakian quartet known as Malokarpatan. These kvlt warlocks have conjured up their sophomore album Nordkarpatenland via Invictus Records. Warning! Malokarpatan will lure listeners with instrumental intros that seem to have been crafted for a Disney fairy tale before it flips into a song that can be featured in a Grimm fairy tale. Hang on to your cloaks lil red riding hoods, ‘cause we’re going balls in!

“Ked svetlonosi započnú v močariskách nazeleno svícit (When will-o-the-wisps begin to shine green in the bogs)” adds traces of doom and some stoner rock riffs to this black metal blend and the mixture is divine. Malokarpatan continue to be the masters of curve balls by kicking off some of their most brutal tracks with upbeat, orchestra, folk intros before giving you the good black metal stuff which is best heard in “V hustej hore na stračích nohách striga chalupu svoju ukrýva (Within the dense woods, the witch is hiding her hut on magpie legs),” which is the J-Ohster’s favorite track, and “Na horárni ve folvarku šafári rohatý jáger (A horned jaeger governs the gamekeeper’s lodge in the uplands).”

Malokarpatan continue to mix other influences such as the old school heavy metal riffs courtesy of guitarist HV and if you’re dying to see what I mean check out “V okresném rybníku hastrman už po stáročá vyčína (In the provincial pond, a water goblin has been raging for centuries),” and “Ked gazdovi upeleší sa v chyži nezdoba zmok (When a bugger kobold settles down in the farmer’s household).”

Temnohor’s vocals will give you a serious case of nostalgia and will remind listeners of the late 90’s wave of Norwegian black metal. Malokarpatan weaved together a black metal fairy tale that is darker than the charcoal ice cream all the kids and foodies are raving about but much like that ice cream, it is very flavorful and teeming with so many great melodies and stories. And this is only their second full length album y’all! But these seasoned metallers know just what they’re doing. Fall in to this rabbit hole and listen to it at Bandcamp and get your copy here!

6 out of 6, We’re headed to ‘Nordkarpatenland’

Ne Obliviscaris Open The ‘Urn’

Melodic extreme metallers Ne Obliviscaris will team up to lure you in to the other side and make you submerge yourself in to their latest Urn released via Season of Mist Records. The quintet from down under continue to let the symphonic and extreme elements dominate this album. If you are not butt hurt about their ongoing direction, good! We can continue.

Tim Charles will soften any blow with his beautiful clean vocals and his faithful fiddle especially in the first track “Libera, Pt.I: Saturnine Spheres” and “Intra Venus” which has a balanced amount of growls from Marc “Xenoyr” Campbell. Another nice song where you can really appreciate the high notes from Charles is in “Urn, Pt.I: And Within the Void We Are Breathless.” Random note, the J-Ohster appreciated the Apocalyptica like opening violin in “Urn, PtII..”

Like yours truly mentioned in the beginning, Ne Obliviscaris continue to fully embrace the melodic side of things and it continues to work for them. Also these songs may not be predominantly “Prog” but they were sure to keep the length of Prog songs meaning 6+ minute songs so that you can enjoy these tracks longer. Not every track is pure melody and mellowness because lead guitarist Benjamin Baret, guitarist Matt Klavins, and Xenoyr team up and sprinkle some great riffs and growls into this batch. You can listen to Urn in its entirety on Spotify now and get your copy here!

5 out 6, Can you hear the music, Mr. Krabs?

The Trials of October 20, 2017

Veil Of Maya Releases Albums For their Nonbelievers

The Chicagoan quartet has returned with their sixth release False Idols through Sumerian Records. The contemporary marks the end of their 2-year hiatus and unlike the years prior, the band has decided to feature more DJent than the metalcore brand they’re used to strutting.

The album opens with the brief intro “Lull” and immediately transitions with “Fracture.” The song is a prime example of the DJent subgenre adopted by the band and the song features erratic guitar play and programming by Marc Okubo with some double kick action from Sam Applebaum. Another good example of docile DJent influences are  “Whistleblower” and “Graymail.”

The band returns to metalcore with “Doublespeak” which featured Lukas Magyar clean vocals a bit more. The same could also be said about “Overthrow” and “Echo Chamber.” The bassist Danny Hauser shines really bright with the tracks “Pool Spray” and “Manichee,” his bass sounds similar to that of Meshuggah’s Dick Lövgren.

The latter features Magyar performing nothing but clean vocals as opposed to incorporating some growls in between. “Follow Me” has the band feature some subtle deathcore. This album caps off with “Livestream” which has the group featuring more metal than DJent but still features some core nonetheless.

This album was a bit of a surprise since it showcased the band experimenting a bit before completely taking the DJent banner. The Klown is definitely not a fan of VOM but will admit that this contemporary was alright. The Klown felt like this album was used as a lure for those who are legit fans of DJent but also made sure not to exclude their faithful fan base. You can check this out on Spotify or take the plunge and get it here.

3 out of 6, The Veil Has Been Lifted for the Nonbelievers

Hail Dali?

Trivium Shall Punish The Non-Metalheads

Last year the Klown featured this quartet’s EP/reissue. Now they make a return this year with their eighth album titled The Sin and The Sentence which was released through Roadrunner Records. For those still suffering from the In Waves PTSD, this album features more of Matt Heafy’s screaming vocals mixed with his strong thrash and groove style.

“The Sin and The Sentence” is a really great example of this return and happens to be the first track of the album and so were “Betrayer” and “The Wretchedness Inside.” The former would contain clean chorus vocals from Heafy, guitarist Corey Beaulieu and bassist Paolo Gregoletto.

“Beyond The Oblivion” feature some groove metal which is something that the band is not normally known to do. In “The Revanchist” the band takes on thrash and Heafy lays out aggressive clean vocals but, for the most part. The backing vocals, on the other hand, features growls and other range of vocals. The album caps off robustly with “Thrown Into The Fire” and features Beaulieu’s powerful opening guitar riffs and some awesome solos.

The album, aside from the tracks that were mentioned, doesn’t feature much that stands out. The one thing the Klown can say is that Heafy and company may have decided to revisit the old sounds from the Shogun album combined with Silence In Snow. For the dedicated Trivium fan, this is good news. The Klown actually enjoyed the album and it felt nice to hear some new Trivium. You can get your copy here and check out this potential comeback.

4out of 6 Move Over TriviuT, Trivium Has Returned

Not sure what that is but TriviuT is oust!

Xipe Totec Are On a Role with Their Newest

The Aztec death metal duo known as Xipe Totec have been on a releasing spree as of late. The Klown regrettably didn’t get the chance to check out their previous release four months prior. So without further ado, the fifth release is titled Axomimitl  through Defox Records.

The album kicks off with some Nahuatl spoken word with the sounds of tribal drums courtesy of Martin Martinez which would transform straight into some brutal death metal with “Cihuateteo.” The song would feature Martinez’s all around instrumental prowess with Alejandro Camacho’s aggressive growling vocals. The same concept is featured “Ahneli Tlahtolnemiliztli” but instead of Nahuatl, it would be a Spanish narrative instead.

“Axomimitl”  and “Tonalyecantoc”on the other hand, turns a 180 and feature sounds similar to that of Behemoth mixed with Aztec flutes, drums,  a rain stick, and a killer guitar solo. The band features deathcore in “Cuauhxicalli” and “In Mimiqueh in Tlatohl,” the latter would feature some tribal drums. The band showcases some brutal death metal with “Miquitohtl.” “Tlachihualiztli” was more on the technical death metal side and featured  Aztec flute aside from the tribal drums.

The album closed with “In Tequihuahyotl Itlantica” which was an outro that featured Spanish and Nahuatl narratives with the same native instruments mentioned earlier and included soothing acoustic guitars. This album was a pleasant surprise and totally different. Usually Ugh Metal is pretty good at finding you a link  to purchase these albums, depending on your perspective,  BUT this band has this album available digitally through all major sources such as Amazon, the Apple or Google store.

6 out of 6, No Human Sacrifices Needed

Not Even Trump Can Stop this Mexican export

GWAR Has Emerged from Metal Valhalla with Latest

C: The Klown isn’t entirely 100% for this but he supposes he can share this segment. This album, The Blood of Gods,  is and was highly anticipated. After all, GWAR’s future was uncertain since the unfortunate passing of frontman Oderus Urungus because of Mr. Perfect… the futuristic creature, not the late great wrestler Curt Hennig.

J: Sharing is caring, ya filthy Klown! GWAR is back baby!! And no force, nor selfish Klowns nor evil creatures are gonna hold these scumdogs back or the J-Ohster from throwing in her two cents! The scumdogs from Planet Home are ready for battle right in the beginning with “War on Gwar.” I especially love those Black Sabbath-esque riffs Pustulus Maximus slapped on this track.

C: Talk about the soundtrack to our doom. Either way, it sounds kinky as hell. The Klown loves the catchy and groovy sounds of “Viking Death Machine.”

J: Ah yes! This track was on fire! It was a lot more lit than my mixtape! And my mixtapes are pretty bitchin’ and totally available if any of you want ‘em *winks* Hey Klown, GWAR gives a little shout out to your fave rancid Cheetoh humanoid.

C: Ah yes… the clown president gets a tribute song “El Presidente.” You know greatness is yuge when the scumdogs of Planet Home already made a song celebrating the greatness that is his duty!

J: Giving rich Cheetohs like him “taco salad” induced diarrhea? That is true! Like we need more reasons to crash in his golden pad when we were on our fancy Vegas trips. Not all heroes wear capes, some wear orange toupees. But enough about your clown in arms, and let’s talk about the legends. GWAR took a stab at ACDC’s “If You Want Blood (You Got It)” which we had the pleasure of seeing it live at this year’s Warped Tour. Also, I gotta say this Klown, but their latest hit “I’ll Be Your Monster” is an instant classic and dare I say it reminded me of a rougher version of a Lordi song.

C: One of the things the Klown enjoyed about this album was a revisit to their punk rock roots with “Auroch” which was pretty awesome. To quote the old timers,  you can “slam dance” to this. They even picked up the pace for a Sunday special just for us heathens with “Crushed by the Cross.” Of course, they provided a perfect song for when we feel like when we no longer live on this planet anymore.

J: Speaking of revisiting, GWAR pumped out another beautiful ballad “Phantom Limb.” *Tears up* This is an ode Oderus would approve. Oh gaaaawd! It was love at first “Play,” who said these Scumdogs don’t have feels?! Hands down, one of my fave songs from this album.

C: Yeah… it was the first time GWAR made the Klown feel the feels. The Klown was glad he waited to see what meaningful tribute the fallen leader would get with adequate time. This album was worth the ear, the wait, and emotional investment. The void is there, sure but Blothar did Oderus proud filling in and leading the pack to further glory. If you want to disprove the exaggeration and be a good bohab and look up Metal Blade Records Bandcamp to really check out The Blood of Gods.

6 out of 6, There Will Be Blood!

Nectar of the Gods!