Category Archives: Album Review

The Trials of September 15, 2017 (Part 2)

Note from Team Klown: On behalf of Team Klown, the Klown would like to extend his deepest condolences to Mexico, Florida, Texas and Puerto Rico. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico got their ass kicked by Hurricane Harvey, Irma, and Maria respectively. As of yesterday, Central Mexico received an earthquake of magnitude 7.2. All the Klown can say is prepare for the end of days! In case you haven’t checked out part one you can help out hurricane victims here. To help the clown president’s favorite nation you can click here.

Hell Is Other People Release their First

Ugh Metal’s fetish has returned once more: Independent talent! The Klown had to check out what this other group from the mystical lands of the Canadás had to offer. Hell Is Other People has released their debut 4 track LP independently titled Embrace . The album begins slow and ambient with “Visions” which would then pick up speed and feature Brandon Gruber’s harsh, screaming vocals. “Embrace” would do the same at the beginning and remain somewhat ambient throughout the whole song but would feature James Ditty’s drum rolling and cymbal clashing as an indicating catalyst for the song especially when the drumming begins to pick up.

“Blossom” gives you a dose of both ambient and raw black metal which made for an awesome track. This track also features a brief but cool guitar solo that was somewhat atmospheric and some more treble drum play from Ditty. The final song of this album “The Colour Returns” gives you a combo of both raw and ambient but add some atmospheric influence. It is also worth noting that the song is a little over 13 minutes long.

This album was a pretty good start for these Canadians and was somewhat of a sleeper hit. The Klown highly recommends this album for those who love black metal in any shape, way or form. You can check this puppy out on the band’s Bandcamp to really hear what the Klown wrote about.

5 out of 6 Hell Yes!

Incidentally, Hell Is Other People is also Ugh Metal’s exact thought of people

Belphegor Present their Black Metal Ritual unto the Masses

The name Belphegor should not be so foreign to metalheads especially those who fancy themselves kvlt and consider themselves uber black metal aficionados. These Austrian black metal legends have blessed… cursed (depends on your perspective) with a 11th new album titled Totenritual through Nuclear Blast Records.

Right from the start, vocalist Helmuth Lehner unleashes pure hell, no pun intended. Unlike previous albums, Lehner takes a stronger and coarse approach, vocally, and an aggressive take instrumentally as the Klown evidenced through “Baphomet” and “The Devil’s Son.”

The band revisits their double kicks, that’s currently provided by Simon “BloodHammer” Schilling with a cacophony of church bell samples, and the ritualistic sounding chorus from previous albums with “Apophis-Black Dragon.”  “Spell of Reflection” was a pretty good track and felt like a classic Belphegor song but newer and featured an awesome solo from Lehner. The song is first met by the introductory track “Totenbeschwörer” which could best be described as a heavy, melancholic instrumental. Although the Klown liked “Embracing a Star,” he enjoyed “Totenritual” more.

The title track really features a combo of both old and new Belphegor.  The Klown, however, feels that bassist/backing vocalist Serpenth truly shined on this one. Whenever the chorus had to be featured, Serpenth didn’t end it there and continued to add more spice to the already peppery song with an extra diabolical voice. Lastly, the album finishes this devilishly exquisite album with two live renditions of “Stigma Diabolicum” and “Gasmask Terror.” The Klown demands that if you really love black metal, that you should get your ears wrapped around this album ASAP because it was worth the 3-year hiatus wait. You can get yourself a copy of this album here.

6 out of 6, Currently Seeking for the Next Sacrifice

Perfect soundtrack for your next ritual

Ensiferum’s Latest Will Lead You to Greatness

The Finnish Pagan Metal band known as Ensiferum has, at long last, returned from battle and graced us with a brand new epic album. Along with Metal Blade Records, the quintet released their latest tale of glory titled Two Paths. As soon as the intro “Ajattomasta Unesta” begins, you know you’re in for an absolute treat.

The Klown’s words hold true when it is immediately followed by the glorious new anthem for our beloved genre “For Those About to Fight For Metal.” The song contained all the elements to make a grand arrival such as the opening guitar solo from Markus Toivonen, Petri Lindroos’s harsh vocals, the manly epic sounding chorus, Janne Parviainen’s drumming, which at times sounded like the beats used in battle, and Netta Skog’s electric accordion to add a bit of whimsy.

This new classic is followed by “The Way of the Warrior,” “The King of Storm” “I Will Never Kneel” which can best be described as a bit toned down by comparison to “For Those…” T the track is also more robust and seemed reminiscent to that of fellow compatriots Children of Bodom. “Two Paths” has this band taking a page from Amorphis and feature Prog metal similar to theirs. “Feast of the Valkyries” has Lindroos taking a backseat and Skog take over with her vocals. Skog  is then joined  by the rest of the band for a manly chorus to make an awesome Viking/Pagan metal romp which can also be said about “God Is Dead” but with clean male vocals.

“Don’t You Say” has Toivonen take the helm with his clean vocals, Parviaine with his house drums, and Skog’s accordion to create an upbeat Pagan metal song. The album finishes how it began, with an epic song in the form of “Hail to the Victor” and the soft outro “Unettomaan Aikaan.” Just to let you peeps know the Klown named all the tracks on this album! As a bonus the album includes an alternative version of “God Is Dead” and “Don’t You Say.” You can check it out and get in Metal Blade’s Bandcamp.

6 out of 6, Choose the Right Path for Glory!

Will Make You Choose the Right Path of the Warrior

The Trials of Sept. 15, 2017 (Part 1)

Editor’s Note: Mother Nature has unleashed her fury on mankind these past couple of months. Our deepest condolences to those that have perished in Hurricane Harvey and Irma, and for those that were lost in the 8.1 earthquake in Southern Mexico  on Sept.7, and the 7.1 earthquake in Central Mexico on Sept.19. You can help out your fellow man and donate to the relief for Hurricane Harvey and Irma here and for our Mexican brothers and sisters here.

Myrkur Creates Anything But A ‘Mareridt’

The Danish siren is back with her highly anticipated sophomore LP Mareridt via Relapse Records. Where to begin with this so called nightmare (which is what “Mareridt” means)? Amalie Bruun welcomes us in to this dream with her signature haunting and harmonic vocals in the title track before morphing into the growling black metal beast in “Måneblôt.

Bruun then sprinkles some of her magick and conjures up a rare kind of chills with “The Serpent.”  “Crown,” on the other hand, was a new level of epic wonder where Bruun showed us the sultry side of her vocals and fuels theatric element by adding the piano and a beautiful choir. “Ulvinde” has another beautiful union between chants and Bruun’s brief growls will make you battle ready. *Shivers* My skin is crawling…AWWW YEAH!

Bruun and doom songtress Chelsea Wolfe teamed up for the ambient “Funeral” and if you have the deluxe edition, the haunting ballad “Kvindelil.” Get ready for the raid with “Elleskudt” and be prepared to be lunged into a strange transcendence with “Bornehjem” where there is a chanting present while a female speaks in a distorted way. If you snag the deluxe version of Mareridt, Bruun will touch your soul with “Death Days,” and end in a heavenly note with “Två Konungabarn.”

Though Mareridt means “nightmare” let me tell you, that this album is what mystical black metal dreams are made of. This album is a superb follow up to the self titled debut, and though it’s painfully obvi how yours truly feels about this “nightmare” get your copy here. Though be warned that this baby will give you chills that will feel damn good.

6/6, Sweet dreams are made of this

Foo Fighters Continue To Cement Their Legacy

The Foo Fighters? Here in Ugh METAL?! That’s right bub you’re reading this correctly. Rating these rock legends was a must ‘cause say what you want, you know you can’t resist Dave Grohl and the rest of these Foos. These Foos are back with Concrete and Gold via Roswell/RCA Records and are ready to bare the good mature angst we can relate to.

Foo Fighters kick off their ninth creation with the “T-Shirt” which will entice you with a nice bluesy beginning before adding their signature hard rock element and back to the blues. Foo Fighters add some soul and a nice choir in the super real and divine hymn “The Sky Is A Neighborhood,” which is their current hit. Speaking of hits, I know you’ve heard or been singing their hit “Run” at the top of your lungs and have felt its heartfelt urgency.

Foo Fighters crank up the volume and play with subtle electronic elements in “La Dee Da” and will drown you with some nostalgia with “Sunday Rain” because it has a faint garage rock sound lingering in the back. This album concludes with the title track and will reward you with one final deep, melancholic but strangely uplifting song. Foo Fighters still got it going on and continue to produce the same ol’ angst we can relate while adding a few new ingredients into their mix that works so well. Get this chunk o’ gold here

5 Out 6, Solid

Prophets of Rage Deliver Their Debut LP

Prophets of Rage are back but this time, they come baring a gift. That’s right their self titled debut album has risen from this seasoned manifesto via Fantasy Records. Considering how my last reaction to their EP was, it was crucial for yours truly to dust off this new-old manifesto with an open mind. The supergroup made up of members from Rage Against the Machine, Cyprus Hill, Public Enemy and Audioslave don’t beat around the bush and dive in and hellbent on stirring these rebellious tendencies in the OG fans.

The first track “Radical Eyes” introduces the famous word play Rage was known for followed by the famous riffs from Tom Morello where Chuck-D takes over the vocals and B-Real chimes in. The Prophets then crank up the grit with “Unfuck the World.” These Prophets adds a hint of funk in the catchy “Legalize Me” where B-Real not only takes over for the most part but the band, as a whole, create an original sound that does not sound like RATM. Oooh! Digging the funky sound? “Take Me Higher” will have you dancing and humming the chorus.

“Who Owns Who” picks up the tempo again and adds a drop of electronic elements. Chuck-D shows off some of his legendary rhymes in the beginning of “Hail to the Chief” and “Fired A Shot.”   Do you miss Rage Against the Machine? No worries, the dramatic “Strength in Numbers,” “Hands Up” and “Smashit” will tease you with Morello’s iconic riffs yet again.

It was thrilling that Prophets Of Rage gave us original content, however, it feels like these musical geniuses still have ways to go when it comes down to finding their niche, their crème de la crème, their midnight special, their sound. This album will be enjoyable for those that grew up with the music of the respective members but yours truly can’t help but catch the feels and wonder where Zach De La Rocha is? This isn’t Rage’s highly anticipated album?! Nor Cypress Hill’s? How ‘bout Public Enemy? No!? Well, damn. Hmmm well this ain’t so bad for a start but dive headfirst and see how you feel about this new project here.

3 Out 6, Prophets of Meh

The Trials of September 8, 2017 (Part 2)

Editor’s Note: Y’all actually thought that Team Klown was down and out for last week? Ha! The Klown had not yet begun to fight! Representing Team Klown is none other than the Klown himself. Please hold your applause till after this review. The Klown felt like these albums should have been featured by the “J-Oh-ster” but she apparently said “Nah.” So now the Klown shall crack open these cold ones before they fizz away!

Comeback Kid Come From Behind and From Behind

Sorry “uber-metalhead” but the Klown has NF2G on what your thoughts are on the Comeback Kid. Seriously, no fucks especially you, sister dearest. If Nuclear Blast Records thought they were worthy of being snagged so be it. This import from the mystical lands of the Canadás has managed to bring back their brand of hardcore with Outsider. The band starts off with “Outsider” which has sounds of hardcore punk and features the sounds of lead guitarist Jeremy Hiebert, bassist Ron Friesen which are immediately joined by Andrew Neufeld’s harsh vocals and riffs for the extra bit that it needed.

This contemporary also features fellow Canadian and musical genius Devin Townsend as a guest vocalist for their latest single “Absolute” which really added some extra oomph to an already good song. “Hell of a Scene” and “Somewhere, Somehow” take you on a melodic hardcore trip that’s radio friendly. Speaking of radio-friendly, “Consumed the Vision” was rather soft on the ears but it had more of a punk influence and also featured Scorpio’s Chris Cresswell lend his vocals to the track. The band really highlights Hardcore Punk with “I’ll Be That,” “Outrage (Fresh Face, Stale Cause)” and “Throw That Stone.”

The Kid takes the path of Punk in terms of speed with “Blindspot” and “Livid, I’m Prime.” The band finishes this album rather melancholically at the start with guest vocalist Matthew Goud of Northcote and his signature brooding like indie style music combined with CBK’s hardcore punk sounds. With all that said CBK lived up to their name and made the original comeback kid (and inspiration for their name) NHL Hall of Famer Mario Lemieux proud. You can get a copy of this comeback right here and see what the Klown is talking about.

6 out of 6 Comeback from Outta Nowhere

The album that comes from the mystical lands of the Canadás and a big comeback indeed

Living Colour Returns with Different Shades 

Living Colour… let’s face it guys, when you think of them you think of one song. “Cult of Personality” shall always be relative to this band, gamers will remember because of GTA: San Andreas’ Radio X and combat sports enthusiast because of ex-WWE/UFC competitor CM Punk. The band that Mick Jagger invested on has comeback with a brand new installment titled Shade which was released through Megaforce Records. The album kicks off with “Freedom of Expression (F.O.X)” which can be best described as vintage Living Colour doing Hard Rock.

It is then followed by “Preachin’ Blues” which, if you haven’t caught on, contains some Blues and makes a really awesome Blues-Rock track and features some guitar play and solo from Vernon Reid. They would do that again with “Invisible” and with a cover of “Inner City Blues” from the legendary father of Soul and Funk Marvin Gaye. “Program” features some Rap blended with the bands famed Hard Rock sound. Speaking of Rap, Living Colour pays tribute to a Rap legend and adds the Hard Rock element by covering the late, great Christopher “The Notorious B.I.G.” Wallace with “Who Shot Ya?” They also feature some Funk with “Blak Out.”

Reid creates a Blues-Rock solo and transitions with some Jazz in “Who’s That?” Reid also blends some trumpets, hip-hop, and Funk in the form of an organ-keyboard, and lay out the rest with some Hard Rock. This album closes out with “Two Sides” which, albeit slow, feels like a nice closer to an album that contained a medley of musical influences. This album was a pleasant surprise and felt like a comeback album for this famous group.  Check it out and get your copy here to see what the Klown is talking about.

6 out of 6, 50 Shades of Awesome

This Album had Shades and was a Cult of Personalities

Cannabis Corpse Reveal their Newest Stash

Ah, Cannabis Corpse. The band originally founded by members of Municipal Waste, GWAR and Antietam 1862 which is also a name that has confused inattentive metalheads since 2006. The stoner themed death metal band from Richmond, VA has officially released their fourth album Left Hand Pass through Season of Mist Records. Let’s just say that this album kicks off in a blaze of glory with “The 420th Crusade.” Ray Suhy starting off this track with a slow guitar riff that paces a bit with some reverb and immediately picks up speed for some death metal bliss.

Phillip “LandPhil” Hall showcases a bit of Muni Waste’s influence in the beginning and continues with some death metal depth afterward to “Grass Orbit.” Going back to the Cannibal Corpse bit, the trio features some of those sounds and that of Nile’s with “Left Hand Pass” and “Effigy of the Forgetful.” Speaking of Nile, the band, in comedic fashion, take a page from Nile in the sense of storytelling with the short titled “Papyrus Containing the Spell to Protect Its Possessor Against Attacks from He Who Is in the Bong Water.”

This album finishes with “The Fiend That Come to Steal the Weed of the Deceased” which was a pretty good closer. The track starts off rather slowly and remains at the same pace toward the last minute which picks up a bit of speed towards the middle of the song. This album made a good impression on the Klown and has met the hype that the album was receiving prior to this. Lastly, you can check it on the label’s Bandcamp to check it out for yourselves.

6 out of 6 This Album is Brutally Lit!

Warning: This Album was Lit and Will Leave YOU Hungry for More

The Trials of Sept.8, 2017 (Part 1)

Editor’s Note: Uh Oh! Another split?! That’s right! Though this is not another BIG ass split as seen in Team Klown’s Dead Kennedy show and Team ASSasIN’s Ministry gig, there was a minor crack in last week’s trials! Read Jenny Oh’s Team ASSasIN’s take on…

Monarch Are Set To ‘Go Forth…Slaughter’

These local thrashers have released their debut LP Go Forth…Slaughter independently. Like the title mentions Monarch has every intention to slaughter your ears and dare I say have you “Beheaded.” Okay not literally, but the brutal song will and it will do it with a bloody delicacy much like “Bloody Assault.” This “…Assault” is not like any other, this one will slowly stalk and reel in its opponent where vocalist/guitarist Matt Smith hits that high note to the T!

Not interested in high notes? Okay well “Dawn to Night” and “Memories of War” will be a good one to crank up. “Kill or Die,” “Entropy” and the title track “Go Forth…Slaughter” wastes no time in sinking its jaws in you and will induce a serious case of headbanging!

Monarch’s debut full length album will appease thrashers and casual metalheads alike. Casey Trask’s memorable riffs in this album along with the vigorous drumming from Adam West, and the bass foundation from Alex Pickard lays in this album will also seal the deal for you. And this is just the album, see what we thought about them live! Nuff of yours truly yammering on and on, now go forth my child and get your copy here and experience the power of this Monarch.

5 out 6, Successful invasion

Arch Enemy Shows A Tamer Side of Their ‘Power’

Where there’s a will there’s a way no? Well the will was very much there for Arch Enemy’s latest album Will to Power which was released via Century Media Records. You know something big is coming when you hear the instrumental “Set Flame to the Night,” this beautiful intro will have you wonder what’s gonna happen next with their epic riffs before launching you in to the fast paced “The Race” and “The World Is Yours.”

“The Eagle Flies Alone,” the empowering “A Fight I Must Win” (which yours truly really enjoyed), and “Blood in the Water” tone down their tempo allowing you to let the instrumentals simmer a little better in your worn out ear drums. “Reason to Believe” made us believe we have feelings especially when Alissa White-Gluz shows off her clean vocals along with her thick growls which are complimented by the splendid solo in between.

Arch Enemy slightly sanded their rough surface in this album and works well for them and added a tiny drop of orchestra (I’m looking at you, “A Fight…”). Arch Enemy also do a great cover of Charged GBH’s “City Baby Attacked by Rats.” It’s clear Arch Enemy are ready to play around to confuzzle their foes and can be quite a treat if you open your mind. Get your copy of Will to Power right here and see what this is all about!

4 Out 6, They’re finding their way.

‘Monocle’ Is 1 In A Million

Meanwhile in Norway, a ghastly wonder is being crafted by the experimental Atrox. Atrox is not like the other experimental bands. They have a knack for blending a lot of different musical elements which can be heard in their latest Monocle which was released via Dark Essence Records. The quintet bust out their unique blend of industrial that’s laced with a whiff of prog and metalcore. I told you they were special especially when they bring THE “Heat.”

Atrox add a little more of the gothic element, especially in the lyrical aspect, in the pained “Finger” which transitions into a deeper level of anguish in the predominantly industrial “Suicide Days” and “Target.” “For We Are Many” mischievously slithers out of this foreboding train ride and shows off its proggy scales before it flashes its vicious little fangs towards the end before swallowing you whole with “Movie.” *Catches breath*

Atrox continue to shine in the vast sea of metal and refuse to conform, you go boys! Rune Folgerø’s melodic and passionate vocals along with the rest of Atrox will carry you to a dark land in a galaxy far, far away. Monocle promises a great time with a refreshing and new sense of wonder for those that are willing to drink this baby in. Open your mind and be the best and unique nugget you can be and get your copy here.

6 Out 6, There can only be one!  

Stay tuned for Part 2 by Chuggo’s Team Klown!

 

 

The Trials of September 1, 2017

Note: We live in chaotic times and for some if not most, the work seems never-ending! The Klown knows this and so does his exasperated sister. So as the Dropkick Murphys have sung before in the “Workers Song.” “This one’s for the workers who toil night and day, by hand and by brain to earn your pay.” Happy Labor Day for you all, now on to the tune you can listen to so you can chillax to.

Honorable Mention:

Lemmy Gives Us One More Gem from Metal Valhalla

The Klown normally doesn’t do compilation albums unless something stands out. In fact, prior to this one, the only other compilation album the Klown did was Soilwork’s Death Resonance last year. Anyway, the name Lemmy Kilmister needs no further intro and the same can be said of his pioneering and iconic band, Motorhead.

Even though Lemmy took GWAR’s “Fuck This Place” to a whole literal level and joined Dave “Oderus Urungus” Brockie in metal Valhalla, the iconic frontman/bassist comes back with one more gift from the metal gods. Silver Lining Records have released Motorhead’s Under Cover compilation album which, if you haven’t caught on by now, is an array of cover songs done by this legendary band.

If you’ve ever wondered or never heard Motorhead cover Judas Priest’s “Breaking the Law,” the Sex Pistol’s “God Save the Queen,” David Bowie’s “Heroes,” Ozzy Osbourne’s “Hellraiser” or Metallica’s “Whiplash” inquire no further because this album has officially lumped them together to enjoy them all in one place.

St. Lemmy and St. Philthy Send Their Regards!

Speed Metal’s Holy Trinity

 

The Convalescence Release their Hellish Contemporary

The Toledoan sextet known as The Convalescence have returned with a new installment titled This Is Hell through Unique Leader Records. The albums commences rather soft and eccentric with the use of the keys and opens with keyboardist/vox Katie McCrimmon’s vocals which are immediately accompanied by Keith Wampler’s growling vocals. Soon after these two begin, they’re met with combination samples and electronic to their metalcore sounds, this combo returns in “I Won’t Survive.”

The band sticks to deathcore in “No Way Out,” ”Murder Machine” and “There Will Be Blood” just to name a few. The Convalescence would also venture a bit further and showcase a bit more and become borderline DJent with “This Is Hell” and “With No Hope.” The Klown definitely took a liking to “Alone” and begins with powerful drumming and a great opening riff that hooks you in almost instantly. This track also contains a medley of keys, riffs and drums with growling vocals. This album was a pleasant surprise considering it was a bit of a sleeper hit by comparison to the other releases. You can check this out and get this album through the labels Bandcamp.

5 out of 6, They’ll Give You Hell

Epica Circulate The Leftover for Hungry Fans

If anything could best describe this contemporary it would be Christmas in September. That’s right Epica fan, the Dutch symphonic sextet has returned nearly a year later with their latest EP The Solace System through Nuclear Blast Records. The album starts with “The Solace System” which does a great job hooking you to this EP with the orchestral overture that the song commences with which is followed by Simone Simons’ powerful operatic voice.

The song is then followed by “Fight Your Demons” and “Architect of Light” which was nearly similar to the previous but contains chorus and some growling vocals by Mark Jansen. Simons also manages to  make the biggest macho cry with her voice through the ballad “Immortal Melancholy.” The album finishes how it began, with “Decoded Poetry” which features more of Jansen’s growling vocals and more of a metal element when he takes over the mic. Isaac Delahaye’s guitar play and solo and Ariën van Weesenbeek’s thundering double kicks shine in this track.

This album was a pleasant surprise considering that this album could have simply been introduced as a “special” edition for The Holographic Principle or could have been used for a follow up album in the future. If you love Epica or symphonic metal definitely an album that the Klown recommends for you and you can get you album here.

5 out of 6, Symphony to Your Ears 

 

Paradise Lost Make Their Mythical Album a Reality

The British Goth metal band and one of the original pioneers of the death-doom subgenre known as Paradise Lost have returned with their 15th album titled Medusa through Nuclear Blast Records. The album begins with the 8-plus minute track “Fearless Sky” which was rather slow but powerful. The song begins with the sounds of an organ which would then transist into a rather brooding and really features frontman Nick Holmes show off his vocals in many forms from harsh and clean.

The song is then followed by “Gods of Ancients” which features the band go back to their sounds of doom and features artist Steve Crobar as a guest backing vocalist. They really sported their Goth banner with “From the Gallows,””The Longest Winter,” “Medusa” and “Shrines” with the gloomy but melodic sounds as well as the harmonic but dark chorus.  Artist Heather Mackintosh also lends her vocals for “No Passage for the Dead” which would completely revisit the doom-death subgenre the band has been known for with some heavy distorted guitar riff from Aaron Aedy and a sweet solo from Greg Mackintosh.

The album finishes in true Goth fashion with their dark ballad “Symbolic Virtue” which not only made a great closer, it features some keys courtesy of Mackintosh and feature a beautiful chorus and harmony that is sure to win you gents and ladies some brownie points for that alone time with your significant other and is reminiscent to that of the late great Pete Steele’s Type O Negative in terms of composition, sounds and lyrical content. This album was great and was justly hyped, it even had yours truly hooked because it featured everything the band has had to offer since day one. You can totally get your copy here and enjoy my Goths and ghouls because this one was a good one!

6 out of 6, Perseus Couldn’t Slay This One 

*Uh oh! Here comes Jenny Oh to throw in her 2 cents! There goes her life savings…AGAIN*

Septicflesh Cracks Open The ‘Codex’

Did you miss these Greek extreme metallers as much as the J-Ohster did? Well luckily for us the wait is over for Codex Omega which was released via Prosthetic Records (here in ‘Mericuh that is). This 10th saga was waiting to be unearth and devoured by yours truly…don’t mind if I do *winks awkwardly.*

Septicflesh cracked open this bad boy, with a symphonic intro that they know how to do so great with their first single “Dante’s Inferno.”  Septicflesh crank up the cinematic and haunting sound in “Portrait of a Headless Man.” After stumbing out of the haunted mansion, “The Gospel of Fear” will get you ready for an epic battle where the Arabic flute pops in to guide you before casting a spell on you with “Dark Art.” In “Dark Art” rhythm guitarist/co-vocalist Sotiris Vayenas’s clean vocals work their magic in these gothic horror stories.

Not feeling the cinematic part too much? Well “Martyr” and “Enemy of Truth” tones down that element a little bit keeping the dramatic overtones with a rougher sound Septicflesh is ALSO known. What can’t these guys do, amirite? “Faceless Queen,” and “Our Church, Below The Sea”  has Vayenas’s clean and anguished voice beautifully dance around bassist/co-vocalist Spiro “Seth Siro Anton” Antoniou’s growl giving you the other side of the coin like a melodic Jekyll and Hyde.

This Codex balances the orchestral sound Septicflesh has mastered with their rougher side as opposed to their previous albums (Check out Communion for a symphonic masterpiece). Both of these delectable flavors will make you want to indulge harder and for those who are not familiar with these guys, this album will feel like the right balance for you. Snag THE Codex Omega here and dive head first into this new saga.

6 Out 6, Alpha *Sips on blood of enemies, puts on monocle*

The Trials of August 25, 2017

Queens of the Stone Age Make One for the Bad Guys

The desert rockers known as the Queens of the Stone Age have released their seventh album titled Villains through Matador Records. The album kicks off with “Feet Don’t Fail Me” which has a bit of funk to accompany the signature sounds of the Queens. This track also features frontman/guitarist Josh Homme’s voice combined with autotune which blend nicely with the song’s beat and rhythm. The song that paved the way for this album, “The Way You Use To Do” was somewhat refreshing and incredibly ear friendly, also felt borderline Indie in terms of sound, mixing and composition.

The Queens revisit some of their old sounds from Songs for the Deaf and Lullabies to Paralyze with “Domesticated Animals,”“Un-Reborn Again” and the current hit “The Evil Has Landed” which were all good songs and refreshing. It wouldn’t surprise the Klown if either “Domesticated…” or “Un-Reborn…” were to become the next hit. The Klown really enjoyed “Head Like a Haunted House” because the Queens mixed some rockabilly with their style of desert rock and incorporate the Theremin to make that famous spooky sounds you would hear for haunted houses and such.

The album caps off with the rather soothing but upbeat song “Villains of Circumstance,” which featured everything from Homme’s soothing autotuned vocals, Troy Van Leeuwan’s calming guitar riffs with some vibrato and bassist/vox Michael Shuman chiming in with some backup vocals during the chorus. This album was a pretty good listen and perfect for dedicated Queens of the Stone Age fans. You can get a hold of this bad boy here.

5 out of 6, One for the Bad Guys

The Adventures of Galaktikon Continue

Before Ugh Metal was born and Adult Swim attracted metalheads voraciously, the mastermind behind Metalocalypse, Brendan Small, composed, wrote and performed the metal opera known as Galaktikon. If you’re not familiar with Galaktikon, the Klown has got you covered. This tale is about a superhero named Triton who is going through a divorce, and whose nemesis, Beastblade, escapes prison and seduces Triton’s ex. While the hero is trying to stop his enemy, he gets enslaved by space pirates and ultimately unites the rest of the slaves to turn on their masters.

Triton’s odyssey continues with Galaktikon II: Becoming the Storm via Megaforce Records. Triton’s new epic tale can be best described as Dethklok meets Flash Gordon. According to drummer Gene Hoglan, this album was supposed to be a new Dethklok album. Which didn’t surprise the Klown as much considering Small’s performance of Nathan Explosion’s growling vocals with the Dethklok sound being featured on “Some Days Are For Dying,” “Icarus Six Sixty Six,”“My Name Is Murder” and “Become the Storm” just to name a few. Small also features some clean vocals in “Nightmare” and interchanges between harsh and clean in “The Agenda.” To close this out, you will love this if you loved the first Galaktikon, Metalocalypse: The Doomstar Requiem or are a fan of Small. You can get your copy of this album here.

6 out of 6, It’s Out of This World!

 

Akercocke Have Returned with Vengeance for their Latest

The name Akercocke has resurfaced after a ten year hiatus. This British quartet has returned with the long awaited Renaissance in Extremis through Peaceville Records. The album ironically begins with “Disappear” which can be best described as an energetic Himsa mixed with Bolt Thrower, most importantly you know the song meant business when guitarist Paul Scanlan used his awesome speedy riffs to open the song. The song take a prog approach and features frontman/guitarist Jason Mendonça’s growls, deep vocals, and his haunting clean vocals in the middle.

They follow up strongly with “Unbound By Sin” which takes a near-pure approach on prog at first but then switch it up to death metal. Much like the previous track, Mendonça different vocals, however, he reverses the order of his vocals by going clean and harsh exclusively towards the end. “Insentience,” “Familiar” and “Inner Sanctum” took a black/pagan metal approach similar to that of Primordial which can be best described as melodic but extreme with some ghastly melodic vocals to match. “First To Leave the Funeral” was a great song and featured a blend of both black and death metal with prog as an additive for a unique touch. Mendonça plays with his vocals some more in this song by briefly going out of tune with his clean for the chorus.

The frontman will, for the most part, serenade you with “One Chapter Closing for Another to Begin” which can be described as a ballad but with a demon that pops out to remind you that this is still a metal track. No joke. Mendonça busts out some screeching vocals as to say not to get too comfortable luckily for you, it’s towards the end. This album closes with “A Particularly Cold September” which mixes prog with goth and adds some blackened thrash in between. This track also features a great and melodic solo from Scalan which can put Rush’s Alex Lifeson and Opeth’s Mikael Akerfeldt in awe.

This was all over the place but was enjoyable and offered a little bit of everything to the faithful and the potential. You can totally check it out on Peaceville’s Youtube page or you can take the plunge here.

6 out of 6, The Ten Year Itch has Been Soothed

Dagoba Show Their Might with Their Latest Release

The French Industrial band Dagoba has returned and didn’t hold back the punches for Black Nova which has emerged through Century Media Records. Dagoba bring in the type of Industrial that is reminiscent with Dawn Of Ashes. “Inner Sun” starts out with some industrial by incorporating some samples, electronic mixes and synthesizers combined with some good ol’ fashioned metal. This song features Pierre “Shawter” Maille’s ever changing vocals which go from harsh, screaming, clean and soothingly harmonic vocals to accompany the chorus. Dagoba really give a dose of melodic death metal similar to that of Dark Tranquility and The Haunted with “The Legacy of Ares,”“Stone Ocean” and “Lost Gravity.”

“The Infinite Chase” take a straight industrial metal approach with a somewhat melodic influences and add some electronic and synth samples. Remember the Dawn Of Ashes comparison? Dagoba take a nearly identical approach to their sounds with “The Grand Emptiness” and “Fire Dies.” If you happen to get a chance to listen to this album on Spotify or buy the CD book version, you’re treated to demo versions of “Inner Sun” and “The Legacy of Ares” which sounds just as good, if not a bit better, than the final mixed versions on the album. Speaking of buying you can get a hold of this bad boy here.

6 out of 6, S’il vous plaît Monsieurs, avez-vous un peu plus?

The Haunted Show You That United We Stand

Although The Haunted may not be one of the founding fathers from the famous Gothenburg metal scene, they are still one of the moset underrated forerunners of that brand. 2 years after Exit Wounds, they return with their ninth album Strength in Numbers released through Century Media Records.

The album builds a hype with the intro “Fill The Darkness With Black” and unload with “Brute Force,” which the Klown has to say is the perfect title of the song. The song immediately begins with Adrian Erlandsson’s fast drumming which catalyze Marco Aro’s growls. “Spark” will continue to do just that, the song can also be described as such because if the beginning doesn’t light your interest than the rest of the song shall set your ears ablaze.

Although “Preachers of Death” has a slow beginning due to Erlandsson’s drumming, Ola Englund has his time to shine. At the beginning, Englund’s riffs immediately accompany the drumming, and midway he performs a killer guitar solo and finishes with some slow, melodic guitar riffs. “Tighten the Noose,”“This Is The End” and “The Fall” has the band revisiting the Made Me Do It and the self-titled album sounds and includes growling vocals, guitar solos and a little less melodic. The band turns metalcore with “Means to an End,” and the awesome guitar solos, the rhythm and melody of Jonas Björler’s bass, and Patrik Jensen’s rhythmic guitar combined with Aro’s growling vocals made the song seem like an anthem for the masses.

As you can see, the Klown clearly enjoyed this album and if it wasn’t evident enough, he just practically almost named every song. Yes, this album is good especially if you love The Haunted or are big Swedcore fan. You can totally take the Klown’s word for it and get the album here or you can check out through whatever streaming service you got.

6 out of 6, This Album Will Empower Us!

The Trials August 18, 2017

Can KMFDM Get A ‘Hell Yeah’?

Society be killin’ Punk and industrial, man! But the sheep are wrong! KMFDM have risen and will convince you otherwise one beat at a time with their 20th studio album Hell Yeah which was released via earMusic Records. Not to be confused with their EP Yeah! Which came out a few months ago, which you should totally see what Klown thought about it right hurrr.

The title track takes the first bow, revealing itself like a divine and dancy answer to your troubles and has quite the empowering lyrical content helmed by frontman Sascha Konietzko. Much like the title track, “Fake News” and “Rip The System V.2.0” also have a sharp lyrical tongue. KMFDM unleash their warning called “Total State Machine” which starts with an intensity before suddenly decreasing its tempo allowing Konietzko’s voice to morph in to a dire message before picking up speed again.

Lucia Cifarelli’s sultry vocals encourage us to let our “Freak Flag” fly…really? You mean it Lucia? She gets us man and you know what, we will be dishing out our best flag choreography sequence to go along with this track. Ms.Cifarelli also lets us feel her pain and serenades our love sick desperation with “Murder My Heart” which includes a brief Italian verse in the very beginning. The frontwoman continues to help us pick up the pieces with the pleading “Only Lovers.” Cifarelli shows off her shouting vocals and interchanging prowess in the anguished “Rx 4 The Damned.”

You thought the early 2000’s buried KMFDM? Well you are sorely mistaken. This iconic industrial band has been doing great and are showing no signs of slowing down. I can already hear you singing the chorus of “Glam, Glitz, Guts & Gore” and you know what, check it out for yourselves and get it here. Like what you heard? Then get your tickets for their upcoming North American tour starting Oct. 1 and for our San Diego peeps catch them at the House of Blues on Oct.20!

5 out 6, HELL YEAH!

Thy Art Is Murder Brings More Death To ‘Desolation’ 

These Aussies are back with an album that will help them with their promise of making Deathcore Great Again. So as part of their campaign, they delivered their latest album Dear Desolation via Nuclear Blast and are determined to stay true to their cause. The quintet start off strongly with a string of brootal tracks such as “Slave Beyond Death,” their current hit “Puppet Master” and the super real title track reminding you that there are “no happy endings.” Ain’t that the truth *sips on frozen Blackout Lemonade* Mmmm, never mind guys you’re wrong.

The elusive “Death Dealer” lures you in to this deadly trap with a great, grim but simple short instrumental intro which casts a macabre anticipation till CJ McMahon lay sit on you. McMahon and company continue their campaign of metal desolation with “Fire In The Sky.” Definitely one of the J-Oh’ster’s favorite tracks of this album. This album takes its final bow with the appropriately titled “The Final Curtain” and you know what, you won’t even believe this wild ride is over when the curtain falls on you.

Truth be told, the J-OHster had actually forgotten that Thy Art Is Murder are still under the deathcore banner. Their merciless approach in this album felt more like they had jumped in to the reaper’s hot rod and joined the death metal genre. Don’t get me wrong, deathcore influences are still very much present, but only lightly and quite frankly, the predominant death metal sound is a sound yours truly can get used to. Get your Dear here and see if I’m trippin balls or nah!

6 out 6, Will inflict ‘Desolation’ in your ears

Eluveitie Deliver Their Follow up!

The wait is over, my warriors! Eight years later, Eluveitie has finally delivered the follow up to Evocation I and are ready to take us on this new melodic adventure with Evocation II: Pantheon via Nuclear Blast Records. Fabienne Erni greets us with her beautiful vocals midway of the intro ambient track in a place magical which for once is not your kitchen. Erni then takes over and whisks away in her dragon with their latest single “Epona,” ‘cause who said there’s only one mother of dragons?!

Erni doesn’t enchant you with one track though, there 18 tracks in this album and she has plenty of enchantment up her sleeves. The frontwoman fascinates you with every song her voice graces and with every chant she belts out like in “Esvs”

Though this is primarily an album where Erni takes the reins in this album, frontman Chrigel Glanzmann makes a brief vocal appearance in the battle worthy “Catvrix” and “Tarvos II (Sequel)” which is a great song to play when you’re pumping up your buddies for the next beer pong challenge.

Once you crack open and dissect the pages of Evocation II: Pantheon, it will surely carry to another world where the trees are green, the air is clean and filled with fog especially when the beautiful instrumental pieces make their way to your ears. This album will fill you more with wonder and adventure and felt a little less rougher around the edges than its predecessor, not that Evocation I was bad. Erni weaves softer melodies that will wrap itself around your heart, assuming you have one, while the instrumental pieces sandwiched in between will take you on a horse ride in to the forest or set you up with battle. Grab your knapsack and begin your journey in this second chapter here.

5 out 6, What is this sorcery?!

The Necromancers Will Make You Serve

The Necromancers are here to communicate with the living with their debut album Servants of the Salem Girl via Ripple Music Records. The Necromancers begin with “Salem Girl Part I” which has a faint touch of stoner rock influences and works very damn well. Lead guitarist Robin Genais lures you in with his bridges and will shoot you back to the witch trials with that killer breakdown, sealing the deal and making you want to continue this doomy story.

Now that you dove in, the French quartet slows things down to explain the story with the grim “Lucifer’s Kin” and work their magic “Grand Orbiter” which will immediately glamour you with that great intro from the ensemble before slowing down, and wait till you get to the riffs! In the catchy “Necromancers,” vocalist/guitarist Tom Cornière inserts a little extra intensity while thickening his vocals which becomes a beacon in this doomy tale. Wanna hear Cornière interchange his vocals? Listen to “Salem Girl Part II.”

Servants of the Salem Girl dazzles and will entice you to serve in the growing legion of The Necromancers. Each track delivers a great gloomy tale of servitude that is made more dramatic with the amazing instrumental work and vocals that will make you succumb to this band. Serve the Salem girl and get your copy here.

6 out 6, We shall serve!

*The Klown has cracked open a new one*

Death Yell Debut Their Long Awaited Album

For those who love blackened death metal from South America rejoice because the Chilean death metal juggernaut known as Death Yell has now delivered their first LP titled Descent into Hell through Hells Headbangers Records. The quintet formerly known as Pestilence has awarded the patience of their loyal fanbase with this brutal gem.

The album begins strongly with “Soulless” with a medley of Andres “Pulga” Herrera, and Andres “Pollo” Lozano’s guitar riffs combined with the thundering drumming, and cymbal clashing of Jano Moyano  mixed with Felipe “Guatiu” Allende’s powerful bass riffs. Vocalist Sergio “Galleta” Arenas then adds his strong harsh vocals before he moves on to the following tracks. This song in particular also features a guitar solo from Pollo which was awesomely similar to that of Cannibal Corpse’s Pat O’Brien.

The band delivers some black metal bliss, in terms of material and influence, with “Descent into Hell,” “Cries of Nazarene” and “Betrayed Chastity” just to name a few. For the latter song, Pollo would once again revisit the solo synonymous to that of Cannibal Corpse and would also feature Jano’s thundering double kicks and cymbals. “Thy Will Be Done” reminded the Klown of a fast version of Bay Area metal group Ghoul mixed with some of Slayer’s Kerry King’s killer riffs and solos.

“Bluffer” and “Will Never Enjoy” will give you some full blown death metal and leave you on an adrenaline high. Although this album was released on the 15th it made a great addition to this week’s review and should be put on notice. Lastly, you can check this bitchin’ debut through their bandcamp to get a good listen of it.

6 out of 6, This Album is Muy Caliente!