Category Archives: Concert Review

Superjoint Puts on a Lit After Party

Superjoint kick off the San Diego Metal Swap Meet After Party!
(L to R: Guitarist Jimmy Bower, vocalist Phil Anselmo, unimpressed security dude, bassist Stephen Taylor, and guitarist Kevin Bond)

If you don’t keep up with any form of social media or Ugh Metal, April 29 was a very busy but fun day. First a pre party was held at the Soda Bar featuring Ugh Metal alumni Sergulath a day prior. Sadly, the evils of adulthood got in the way and Ugh Metal couldn’t attend. The day after (April 29), the eighth annual San Diego Metal Swap Meet took place in Downtown San Diego at the Quartyard and featured legendary power metal band Jag Panzer (stay tuned) as a performing act, both official and unofficial meet and greets, and of course great vendors and consumptions.

Lastly, the after party which took place later that night after the Metal Swap Meet at Ugh Metal’s home away from home, Brick by Brick. The night featured both locals, and known acts who were miles away from home, and the guests of honor Phil Anselmo and the rest of Superjoint. This whole thing was so yuuuuuuuge, the Klown had to call in some assistance for the show.

Jenny Oh: By assistance you mean me, right? Of course, I’m always here to save the day and clean up your mess.

Chuggo: Don’t get too full of yourself! The Klown called an actual assistant to the mix… a friend!

J: Oh… you mean the slave in training, Jason? Oh yeah… I guess.

C: Right… anyway the night started off with the local quintet known as Sight Unscene which the Klown can say that is the metalcore of the Killswitch variety.

J: I did feel like I was a teenager again listening to them.

C: Emo and cheap make up of the Hot Topic variety?

J: No, you dumbass. Angsty and no makeup! I refused to conform and I was making a statement…I was also too broke for makeup.

Sight Unscene stirs all sorts of emotions and the get us ’cause no one gets us!
(L to R: Guitarist Mike Halsdorff, Vocalist Anthony Dedrick, bassist William Buckwalter, guitarist Tony Lamarra)

C: I guess some things never change. But yes, the Klown can agree in the sense that it felt like a time in which metalcore was at its zenith.

J: It may not have been my cup of tea, now as an adult, but it is a nice band to listen to on a chill day and if you want to reminisce about your high school days. I will drown out my reemerging high school angst with Anthony Dedrick’s voice!

C: They get me. *chugs down a 40* They ended their time in the after party with a very feel good song with “Wait to Breathe.” Dedrick’s vocals along with the killer guitar riffs and solos left a balance between craze and appeasement amongst the already excited crowd.

J: The crowd was so excited that they disturbed the hive and brought forth Beekeeper.

C: Yes, the Klown was looking forward for some honey in the form of their brand of metal since the last time we saw them at the Brick. This time though the queen bee known as Ally Levine not only cranked the power to 11 but had a commanding presence to her. Not to discredit bassist Adam Wollach and drummer Dylan Marks.

J: They managed to do what not many openers can do, start a pit on the first song!

C: Damn straight! The Klown believes that Beekeeper may have been inspired by his former volatile roommate or the circus the Klown should have joined in the first place, “Vargas.”

Beekeeper made us into rabid metal junkies!
(L to R: Vocalist/lead guitarist/KWEEN Ally Levine, drummer Dylan Marks and bassist Adam Wollach)

J: Not everything is about you, Chuggo! Or your string of failures. This “Vargas” was anything but failure! They poured sugar on us for sure. Levine made us believe with “Fictitious” which not only kept the crowd alive but it’s riff kept buzzing in our ears.

C: The pit that these trio had going looked like a swarm of angry bees protecting the queen from possible danger. The Klown would also like to point out that our non metalhead intern, Jason, became an instant fan by this time.

J: I was surprised the slave… I mean intern in training, really dug them considering it’s not the type of honey he puts in his tea. Even he couldn’t resist KWEEN Ally’s ferocious campaign, who continued to shine with those riffs and interchanging vocals. Disney’s got nothing on her voice which has the ability of taking you deep into the scary forest and quickly bring you back to the beautiful castle.

C: That was beautiful, man. But now venturing out of Disney territory, Levine took us to the world of Dragonball Z and invoked the spirit of “Vegeta” which left the performance with a power of over 9000! The Klown also enjoyed Wollach’s performance as he rocked out with his bass and played like the late great Cliff Burton of Metallica.

KWEEN Ally Levine from Beekeeper stirs the hive with her growls and high notes and killer riffs

J: Too bad they shut off Beekeeper’s supply of honey prematurely, we were all screaming like a bunch of rabid junkies. But alas, it had to be done. Beekeeper may have blown off the roof of the Brick but Child Bite glued it back together… just not back in its place.

C: Yeah… Dylan Walker’s (Full of Hell vocalist) volatile father took the stage proving that he could throw a tantrum like a child on a sugar high.

J: Who dafuq…? Oh! You mean Trevor from GTA 5? It was great to see that he found a creative outlet and that the meds were kicking in. I do miss fucking shit up with him in Los Santos though.

C: Right you are! The best part was that they played the Klown and Ugh Metal’s theme song!

J: Ah yes, the song we recite, especially, right before a family gathering, “Still Fucked Up After All These Years.”

C: A timeless classic, it’s right up there with “Belle.”

Ever wonder how it would be like if Trevor from GTA V found a creative outlet for his outlet? Look no further!
(L to R: Bassist Sean Clancy, vocalist/contortionist Shawn Knight and drummer Jeff Kraus)

J: The Beauty and The Beast song? I… I think you may have inhaled too many Superjoint fumes already, Chuggo. Way to commit yet another “Molestation of the Arts,” Klown! Anyway, Trevor…Oh right I mean the vocalist Shawn Knight was bouncing off the walls and showing off his contortionist skills. Also how could I forget Knight playfully getting in my face and asked “What are you looking at?” My defense mechanism kicked in and stuck my tongue out at him. I can totally be a bodyguard! *Flexes*

C: Ah yeah, it was pretty entertaining and a unique experience but then we went off to battle!

J: We were starving for blood so Battlecross delivered a meal with “Force Fed Lies”

C: Indeed. Although they fed us they still said that they’re “Not Your Slave.”

J: Kyle Gunther was fun and seemed very happy to be there especially after seeing the selection of hot girls with ugly guys, according to him. This may motivate him to be a San Diego resident soon.

C: Yeah he said he has hope for himself. Either way Battlecross’s performance was “Beast!”

Battlecross serenaded to hot girls and dudes alike in this grand celebration.
(L to R: Guitarist Tony Asta, vocalist: Kyle Gunther, bassist Don Slater and guitarist Hiran Deraniyagala)

J: Kyle Gunther was figuratively the embodiment of “Flesh & Bone” because he gave that song some oomph. He may not have yet won the hot San Diegan girl he hopes to find but he won our respect dammit! ‘Cause he’s a strong, independent front man that don’t need no woman!

C: ….. Umm, Okay…Gunther’s performance didn’t just end with the set, he continued it by convincing everyone to crowd surf him to his merch stand. At first everyone was thrown off until he really dove in!

J: AND AWAY HE WENT! *Cues this anthem* Great set by these guys and they delivered. The quest we had with Battlecross was great and all but after a long hot day, we just had to wind down. So it was time to sit back, relax, drink and take a hit of Superjoint.

C: More like several, ‘cause it’s legal now. We burned something alright, but not what we were supposed to burn in the first place.

J: That’s right Phil Anselmo started “Burning the Blanket” but don’t worry, no actual blankets were sacrificed in this performance.

C: He blazed through his performance to the already lit show, or whatever the kids are saying these days. But he took it down a notch with “Ruin You.”

Phil Anselmo singing the Ugh Metal staff anthem “Asshole”
(L to R: Vocalist Phil Anselmo, bassist Stephen Taylor and guitarist Kevin Bond)

J: Hmm, that’s tame for you huh? Makes sense considering our ear drums weren’t ruptured, ‘twas a chill show I guess.

C: ‘Twas indeed. Then he dedicated one towards the Klown! Even though he “dedicated” the song to himself.

J: “Asshole,” Ah yes. I totally saw him looking at you before I nudged you so we wouldn’t make eye contact with him. We are not worthy! But you know what I think he totally dedicated another song to you, Chuggo.

C: Again, the Klown is NOT an alcoholic. He is “The Alcoholik” and even then he does not have a problem, other than why is his beer mug empty?!

J:  Anselmo added a dash of darkness in this audible trip with “Ozena” but quickly bounced back to festivity mode by inviting Sean Knight back on stage. Together they performed “It Takes Guts” and added more intensity with Anselmo’s fierceness and Knight’s hyperactive contortions. Good shit!

C: Knight was as good as any cocktail, a Molotov that is! It was nice though when Phil would slightly toned it down by sharing some of his personal anecdotes especially when he recalled the time he met Brian May from Queen in 1991.

Child Bite frontman Shawn Knight and Phil Anselmo tell us why “It Takes Guts”

J: The shock in Phil’s face when he realized he met May in 1991! That had to be his best and funniest story especially when he thought May was a delusion caused by the fever he had at the time. The shock factor didn’t stop there especially when May was surprised that Phil knew  who he was by naming prolific Queen songs. After that anecdote, it led Phil, Shawn and fans to sing the first verse of “Bohemian Rhapsody.”

 C: The Klown was amongst that group. It was fun to let it all out, I worked out those pipes. A shocking twist would occur towards the end of his stories. Phil was very transparent about a band’s concept of an encore and made it clear he wasn’t going to leave the stage because he knew they were going to come back anyway. But most importantly, his final message was feel good and spoke louder than the show itself.

J: Phil’s message was “be kind and respect everyone because all we have is each other” and added to be kind and respect yourself. The string of messages the iconic vocalist shared throughout the night, weighed heavier than Chuggo’s keg. Anselmo’s words were filled with more wisdom than the Klown’s drunken rants considering everything Anselmo has been through and done. Amidst the metal, the surmountable amount of people, and the good time Superjoint provided, it became a show seething with intimacy. Anselmo became a self professed cautionary tale seeking atonement who is on a mission to inspire both fresh and seasoned metalheads.

 

Werk it Phil!

 

Mictlantecuhtli Appeases The Masses

Mictlantecuhtli resurrecting the spirits of both the dead and the living.

April 1 is the American pranking day known as April Fools. Of course, unlike the days when the Klown was growing up, the day of fooling has toned down and is more innocent by comparison like local radio station 91X posting on their Facebook about a Rage Against The Machine reunion tour in 2018. One thing that wasn’t a joke was the Southern Californian based black metal euphoria that was held at The Merrow. This black mass featured bands that were both local and North of the 5 freeway.

The night commenced with the local one man band that has made a previous appearance in Ugh Metal’s domain, Morphesia. Unlike the first time Ugh Metal lent their ears to this man, the artist known as Zombie Thirteen kept it… simple. How? Thirteen simply got on stage with no corpsepaint or the “usual” black metal regalia and performed. It was almost reminiscent to the time KISS ditched their outfits and signature facepaint or, for recent memories, Corey Taylor when he’s doing Stone Sour instead of Slipknot. In lieu of Satan, Thirteen treated to us some Egyptology by invoking the king and god, “Ramses.” It would be one of the few performances that had Thirteen’s black metal vocals. In an act of charity as well Thirteen’s new straightforward approach, he gave away merch such as CDs he’s released, stickers, buttons and his stage banners with the pentagram.

Zombie Thirteen of Morphesia trades in the corpse paint and black metal regalia for a fresh face and Ancient Egyptian gods.

After the royal introduction, Thirteen played “Osiris” which would be one of several instrumental songs. The Klown will admit that it was nice to hear the strictly instrumental songs because it felt like we had a glimpse in the mind of an artist when they are brainstorming or getting ready for a recording by jamming out. The night was closed with “Bast,” and though the night wasn’t filled with “traditional” black metal tunes, the night seemed rather intimate especially for a kick off. The Klown and Ugh Metal will stay tuned for what Morphesia will bring to the table next.

After the one man band cleared the stage, the quintet from Inland Empire,CA known as Sicarius took the stage and unleashed some black metal fury. The Klown is not exaggerating but if you haven’t seen these guys live, words alone cannot describe what a treat these guys were. The quintet opened the night with “Apocrypha” and followed with “Shadowalker” from their EP Scorch The Earth. When the Klown saw frontman Kurt Karcass, he believed that he may have summoned his inner Per “Dead” Ohlin (of Mayhem fame) for his performances.

Speaking of Mayhem, the quintet treated us to a cover of Mayhem’s “Funeral Fog” from the infamous De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas album, making this the second time this year the Klown has heard this song live. Karcass not only had a presence but also did something not too common with front men; he joined fans in the pit. Karcass paced within the crowd like a tiger stalking its prey, and circled around two dudes with punk band shirts and people lacking metal attire.

Kurt Karcass and Merihim of Sicarius invoking the spirit of old school Norwegian black metal.

After the vocalist spared his prey, he hopped back on stage to unleash his strong screaming vocals which were strengthened by guitarists Merihim and Argyris’ growling backup vocals. Lastly, before the Klown moves on to the next set of performers, if you missed these guys or don’t take the Klown’s words seriously, you’re in luck! You’ll get a chance at redemption on the 26th of May when they join the legendary Taake at the Brick!

After Sicarius cleared the stage after a jaw dropping performance, the local blackened death metal band known as Greenskull kept the night going. The residential quartet took us to another worldly realm with their performance and manifestation. Greenskull commenced with an appetite for that otherworldly realm by satiating us and themselves with “Worldeater.” Front man/ lead guitarist Travis Whiting had a towering aura shining amidst the fog fit for a superior. Bassist/ backing vocalist James Jungman and rhythm guitarist Zachary Simsay also flashed their auras to fans as the fog rolled in and covered the stage.

Vocalist/lead guitarist Travis Whiting and bassist James Jungman of Greenskull shine brighter than any crystal skull.

The group indulged us with “Ain Soph” and took it old school with “Primeval.” Greenskull would have felt rather negligent if they wouldn’t have performed the fan favorite “A Skull Shining in Darkness.” This song, which the Klown can say was blacker than death in terms of metal, featured Whiting’s mastery of the stage and talents. Not necessarily leaving Jungman completely behind, the Klown can say that he was energetic and gave a feel of a lieutenant ready to strike on command.

Local black metal trio called Necrochamber flung back the otherworldly aura that was left behind to a time when Norway began sprouting legends. Something worth noting is that Necrochamber has been around since 1998, the Klown was looking forward to see what the seasoned black metallers brought to the table. The group initiated their set with “A Ceremony for the Dead,” and immediately followed up their ritual with some black metal fit for an overlord in the form of “Lord of the Deceased.” Although the front man known as Nocturnal Overlord barely moved, the Klown shall note that what he lacked in motion was made up with his authoritarian charisma and music.

Local black metallers Necrochamber show the masses Norway ain’t the only ones that can black metal, bruh!
( L to R: Bassist Titan, vocalist/guitarist Nocturnal Overlord and drummer Tyson Wotan)

Necrochamber’s live sounds were nearly identical to Darkthrone and not just instrumentally. There was a time when the Klown thought that he was listening to the distinct vocals of Fenriz or Ted “Nocturno” Skjellum. The band kept the momentum going and treated us with “Necrochamber” and finished strongly with “The Fleshripper.” If you really fancy yourself kvlt, the Klown recommends that you keep your eyes peeled for these guys because they will indulge your black metal craving.

Although Necrochamber took us on a black metal ride to die for, the Los Angelino headliners went in for the kill. The five lords of the underworld known as Mictlantecuhtli (which is named after the Aztec manifestation of death) have been reigning the underground scene since 1998. As soon as the majority of the group took the stage, front man Cuauhtemoc would then manifest like a warrior’s spirit seeking retribution. Cuauhtemoc’s appearance seemed like that of a resurrected Aztec general that returned from Mictlan (the Aztec underworld) to prepare a rite fit for a jaguar warrior.

Cuauhtemoc of Mictlantecuhtli dons his armor.

Part of the ritualistic motif can be attributed to the clay chalice filled with smoke incense the  vocalist took out in the middle of the performance. Throughout the night, there was a blend of metal and folkloric style influences in their songs and were accompanied with Cuauhtemoc’s powerful screaming vocals. Going back to the Klown’s allegory, the group treated us to the black metal narrative “Night of Sorrow” from the Warrior of the Black Sun album.

Staying true to the Aztec roots, the group invoked the god of the sun, Tonatiuh, with “Heart of the Sun” from their debut album, Pillars of Silence and brought a bit of sunshine to the night. Mictlantecuhtli continued to celebrate the Aztec warrior culture by playing “One Last Battle” and as the group left, everyone in attendance fevered like the plebes after witnessing a sacrifice for the gods.

Behold the clay chalice of the underworld!

The collective returned to soothe the masses with their encore performance of “Broken Shields.” The Klown and everyone who was at the show were spoiled rotten and overindulged and the Klown really hopes to see these gents again in our humble abode.

Why… Grindmother What Great Vocals You Have!

The Grindmother hath cometh!!!!
On March 30, Ugh Metal took a trip to see the most metal grandmother of them all! We paid a visit to the Grindmother at our home away from home known as the Brick By Brick. Although not the same tale, the Brick proved to be a formidable house to keep the wolf at bay along with her powerful vocals. The night was rather cozy and intimate much like an actual visit to a grandmother’s house. But before we talk about Grindmother dearest, we shall talk about the other set of grindchildren that performed that night.

Chuggo: The night began with the local thrash band known as Sergulath. The Klown knew something was about to go down when front man/ lead guitarist Daniel Correa had a Dean Dimebag ML guitar in his hands.

Jenny Oh: Yes, the most outgoing grindchild of the group. They burst out onto the Brick By Brick stage for the first time and man were they happy to be there!

C: So… I guess this is a collab. But yes he was quite energetic and it was rather contagious. Sergulath gave a strong start by beginning with Black Sabbath’s “The Wizard.” Which, the Klown will admit, sounded a bit more energetic when thrash overtones were applied.

J: Sergulath may have started out with a classic but they unloaded quite a bit of new material on us such as a “Very Dark Place Indeed” which is sure to ignite the pit!

C: Oh yeah… they did, didn’t they? I forgot the name of the other songs, do you remember them?

Daniel Correa of Sergulath unloads all sorts madness in the mic.
(L to R: Keyboardist David Correa, vocalist/guitarist Daniel Correa, and bassist Henry Necochea)
J: Of course, silly. I’m glad you asked, *looks into a nonexistent camera for dramatic effect* they set the mood with the “Massokisst” and won us over with “Power Speech!”

C: I see… the more you know because knowing is half the battle.  *cues GI Joe PSA moment.* On that note, the group treated us and finished their set with another cover. Unlike the first one, the cover they performed was from the underrated Norwegian black metal band Old Man’s Child’s “Doommaker.” It was pretty bitchin’ to hear it since not a lot of peeps think of Old Man’s Child when it comes to black metal.

J: It was awesome seeing Sergulath live and can’t wait to see what other new goodies they have to offer. These guys may have been the fun and upbeat grindchild, but we switched gears and wrote a manifesto with Pissed Regardless.

C: Ah yes, the band that describes the Klown!

J: Still bitter about being kicked out of Clown College and the Railing Brother Circus, huh?

C: It was Ringling Brothers and yes!

J: The business card read Railing and you’re like the first song, “Not So Swift.”

C: I guess but the Klown thinks that front man Matthew Gerken tapped into the spirit of the Klown’s empty stomach when he brought up “Hot Dog without Mustard.”

A fan tries to make sense of Matthew Gerkin’s (from Pissed Regardless) manifesto.
J: But I thought you said that your doctor told you start “Takin’ It Easy,” you “Shit Sack.”

C: Well, first, it was a special occasions and in time for “Easter.” Secondly, the Klown has been taking it easy unlike you, you “Alarm Clock Bitch.”

J: Say what you want Klown, we’re both “Fucked Since Birth!” Great song. Their set was too damn short but, man, it was awesome! Don’t be surprised if you see these hooligans pop up in more shows and rattle the establishment, one hot dog at a time!

C: Indeed, after the hardcore punk revolution left a strong presence, our Grindmother dearest took the stage and spoiled us throughout the night.

J: *creepily hissing like a snake* Yeth! Together we brought forth the “Age of Destruction!”

C: Via a moshpit because “Dreams Become Reality!” Although the Klown’s dream involve a new a keg with good beer and the Grindmother’s famous cookies!

J: She promised she would bring some more the next time she comes back and sing hymns for the moshpit, as long as we didn’t get hurt!

Grindmother dearest will star a pit… as long as you don’t get hurt!
C: Oh Grindmother, what is a bloody nose and couple bruises? We is grown ups now… even if we live and depend on our parents but still! You can’t take the grandmother out of The Grindmother.

J: Seeing the Grindmother was like “Healing the Mind” because it was refreshing…

C: It was like a new take on an elder’s wisdom and knowledge passed down to a brand new generation and audience with an open mind.

J: I agree Klown-fucious. She not only offered us insight of ourselves but to our surroundings and got us in touch with “Mother Nature.” It was appropriate considering the new green shade of our state.

C: Speaking of which her son, RainForest stayed true to his green roots and didn’t shy away from requesting some of that green of the Sublime selection.  After all “History Repeats” itself and he wanted some at “Any Cost!” *winks*

J: How clever of you, Klown. But not on the Grindmother’s watch! They may not have gone completely green because she was so generous she gave us, her ever expanding grindchildren, a special green treat.

C: What was that Jenny Oh!? Tell me!!!

Grindmother didn’t have any more cookies to give us but she had more GRIND!
J:  To commemorate this new crisp new chapter in California and to further celebrate the Roots album…

C: Ah yeah… they brought the Klown’s childhood back for this one.

J: Yeah…? But this time they went further back by covering Sepultura’s Chaos A.D. and unloaded a fierce and grindcore version of “Slave New World.” It was an extremely pleasant surprise and a great way to end our Grindmother’s visit.

 C: Indeed, although there weren’t any cookies, the night felt right. We were treated to some stories and some songs from the Grindmother and tucked us away before we all heading to bed… But metal!

The Grindmother sparta kicked us to a new and brootal version of “Slave New World”
Join the dark side, ’cause they got Sergulath on full blast! While you’re at it, get your creative juices flowin’ for your manifesto with Pissed Regardless and their sick ass material and give Grindmother some love and check out her hardcore lullabies 

 

 

Oathbreaker Doomed the Soda Bar

Caro Tanghe from Oathbreaker will lure you with her siren like voice and mystery.

Don’t let the title fool ya the Klown thought it would be appropriate to summarize his brief but awesome demise of that time. On March 27, on the last day of a three-shows-in-a-row stint, the Klown went to the Soda Bar this time to indulge in some more music from our beloved genre. The night was filled with a lineup that would have thrown off most diehard and staunch metalheads.

The night opened with a band that doesn’t necessarily spell “metal” but definitely has a presence, Jaye Jayle. For those who haven’t heard of Jaye Jayle before, the consensus of their genre seems to be Indie rock with most people. The Klown, on the other hand, can tell you that if Indie rock sounded like these guys, then the world is ready to embrace their cynicism. When the Klown first laid eyes on the small stage, he had the impression that front man/guitarist Evan Patterson might have been a drifter tapping into the spirit of Johnny Cash by wearing black attire and black boots. All he was missing was the famous black Martin D-35 guitar to make this claim more accurate.

Although the group was missing one, these Louisvillians didn’t miss a beat and kicked off their set with the ambient and doomy “As Soon As Night,” where keyboardist/backup vocalist Jonathan Wood shared some bass drum duties with drummer Neil Argabright. During “Sugar Ran Wild,” Patterson shared some keyboard duties with Wood for some added intensity of the ambient variety. We were also treated to “Cemetery Rain,” which continued to set the mood for the night and saw Wood, in one of the few times, share guitar duties with Patterson.

Vocalist/guitarist of Jaye Jayle, Evan Patterson, channeling his inner Johnny Cash

Lastly, the good ol’ boys from Kentucky treated us to “House Cricks” and closed with “Hanging Mirror” from their recent album House Cricks and Other Excuses to Get Out. These guys sounded more like a serene version of doom because although their songs were chill, they felt rather melancholic. The Klown enjoyed their time on set and would recommend you to check ’em out if the chance permits.

After Jaye Jayle cleared the stage, a group from the Mile High took the stage and dished out their brand of doom. The quartet known as Khemmis began their set with “Above the Water” from their latest album Hunted where Ben Hutcherson has a killer guitar and has front man Phil Pendergast’s harmonic pipes. The band really represented the doom brand with “Serpentine” from their 2015 album Absolution and really highlighted everyone’s talent including Hutcherson’s screaming vocals to add an extra bit of oomph. The guy next to the Klown not only headbanged harder but even lost his shit when the opening riffs to the song began. That was just the guy next to the Klown because there were more just like him.

Khemmis work up the Soda Bar.
(L to R: Bassist Daniel Beiers, vocalist/guitarist Phil Pendergast, and guitarist Ben Hutcherson)

Khemmis sent off the crowd with the melodic “Hunted,” which kicks off with a kick ass solo from Hutcherson. Hutchinson wasn’t the only that impressed during this song, Pendergast’s interchanging vocals felt reminiscent to that of legendary front man Rob Halford. Not only were these guys on the verge of tearing down the house, but also left the present masses clamoring for more and set for the kill.

As Oathbreaker took the stage, front woman Caro Tanghe’s presence was rather captivating in her appearance once she took the stage alongside her band mates. Unlike most lead singers, Tanghe’s mannerisms, motions and presence felt more like that of a specter. By the time the band opened with “10:45” from their current release Rheia, Tanghe covered her face with her long brunette hair and immediately captivated all with her soothing, soprano-like vocals.

Caro Tanghe of Oathbreaker will lure you with her siren like voice and mystery.

Much like Rheia, the band followed with “Second Son of R.” The band picked up the pace when they performed “Immortals” where Tanghe’s siren like vocals turned to banshee-like screams, and lead guitarist Lennart Bossu go from calm to a man possessed by the riffs he strummed. It was also one of the first times that the Klown almost ate shit on the stage. Tanghe and company kept the ghastly façade by picking up the pace with “Where I Live” and simmering down with “Where I Leave,” a song in which Tanghe reintroduces her ghastly, siren-like vocals.

The Klown would take note of Tanghe’s dedication to her motif because she would crouch, huddle and rock herself like a tortured spirit discovered before unloading a climactic “scare.” She would sometimes turn her back to the audience and do the same gestures in front of the drummer Wim Sreppoc. The pace picked up again with “Needles in Your Skin” and managed to briefly calm the masses because the song would decelerate in between during Tanghe’s clean vocals.

Oathbreaker entices fans at the Soda Bar.
(L to R: Guitarist Lennart Bossu, bassist Gilles Demolder, vocalist Caro Tanghe

Oathbreaker finished the night powerfully by treating their faithful with “Glimpse of the Unseen” from their studio debut album Mælstrøm. This song is synonymous to them and so great, that the Klown practically kissed Tanghe’s feet not necessarily because he wanted to but because that’s how buck wild the moment got. This was truly a great show and the Klown would love to see Oathbreaker again, if they swing by San Diego.

Warbringer Vanquished The Sunday Curse

Warbringer bring the resistance to the Brick By Brick!
(L to R: Guitarist Adam Carroll, Vocalist John Kevill, bassist Jessie Sanchez and guitarist Chase Becker)

Some people spend their Sundays downing mimosas midday to forget of about the self loathing Mondays bring. Here in Ugh Metal we do all of that but on this particular Sunday (March 26), we traveled to Brick By Brick to drown our impending adulthood blues with Warbringer! We cracked open a beer or 10 and started a revolution with their impressive array of warriors.

The first to charge were none other than our very own OG Americans, Warpath. Making this our second campaign with these guys this month, but this time they faced a “hurdle” most up and coming bands would be intimidated by. What is this hurdle? The Sunday curse! WTF do I mean?! Glad you asked! The Sunday curse is a common affliction where it terrifies people and produces a thin crowd in public places, ‘CAUSE DAMN YOU MONDAY AND KHAN!  This would normally intimidate most new bands, but Warpath is not most bands.

Warpath didn’t shy away from the Sunday Curse.
(L to R: Guitarist/back up vocalist Chance Perez, Vocalist Johnny Osuna, bassist Jason Wolfe, and guitarist Harrison Whitecloud)

Warpath took over the stage with their war paint and sang and played their hearts out. Warpath combated the Sunday curse with “Mending Feathers,” “Defending the Sacred,” (yours truly’s personal favorite) “No Mercy” and ended this standoff with the first song they composed “Leeches.” At the end of their set, they took a bow after showing us how they get down on a chill Sunday night and it was a great way to start off this intimate thrash gathering. These gentlemen left quite the impression on a fellow performer that night, but more on that later.

Battlefront joined the second round giving us a dosage of epic old school heavy metal. Vocalist/guitarist Sean Ziemer took us on a saga with their metal hymns such as “Resurrection” and “The Chosen One” with impressive riffs from Joe Mish imbedded within. Their set had you feeling all sorts of things; nostalgia, wonder, and a readiness for adventure.

Battlefront return with epic heavy metal goodness.
L to R: Bassist David Walston, vocalist/guitarist Sean Ziemer, drummer Eric Dow, and lead guitarist Joe Mish)

When Battlefront wasn’t playing songs about legendary showdowns, Ziemer was having fun interacting with the crowd and poking fun at drummer (and singer of Helsott), Eric Dow. Dow showcased his drumming chops while bassist (and lead guitarist of Helsott), David Walston slapped that bass like an angry and certified bass spanker!

These local bands weren’t the only ones that knew how to get down on a Sunday. Cultural Warfare arrived to our shores from Oakland and continued the battle.  These seasoned warriors were on a mission to start a revolution at their first visit to the Brick. They drew first blood with “Shadow Priest” and promoted their latest self titled EP (which they also gave away for free) by playing “Ratten Krieg” and “Defy The Blade” to name a few.

Jacques Serrano of Cultural Warfare shines in a powerful performance.

Vocalist Jacques Serrano captivated the crowd with his theatrical movement and powerful voice. In honor of their EP, Serrano handed out free copies on stage and invited fans to head to their merch booth for more free copies of the EP. The vocalist also praised Warpath and jokingly mentioned he liked their Native American “gimmick,” being a Native himself. Cultural Warfare left a great impression and knew how to add some spice to this laid back brunch.

From the bowels of LA, Witchaven brought some of that “Black Thrash Assault” their banner proclaimed and unleashed a “Terrorstorm,” and inflicted the sweaty pit with some “PTSD” and the attention grabbing “ADD.”  When vocalist/rhythm guitarist Henry Montoya wasn’t raising hell, he was praising our burritos, our weed and attempting to keep the peace among rowdy fans (stay tuned for more) and an angry photographer they unwillingly sucked into the pit.

Henry Montoya of Witchaven takes a break from tooting our horns and slaps us with some riffs.

Montoya kept the peace by cracking jokes and MORE old school thrash. Witchaven may not be signed yet even though they’ve been working their thrashy black magick since 2006, but they have a strong and passionate following. With their nostalgic metal and playful charisma, it should be a matter of time a label snags these hooligans from the City of Angles… to bring hell on earth!

Warbringer wasted no time and released their fierce “Silhouettes,” and didn’t stop there. Staying true to their name, Warbringer continued to unleash singles from their latest album such as their current hit and revolutionary anthem “Right To Remain Violent,” and “Woe To The Vanquished.” These memorable tracks may still be fresh but damn, the live renditions of these songs are truly powerful, especially with Kevill’s fist high in the air like a living resistance propaganda poster.

John Kevill of Warbringer aims and shoots while bassist Jessi Sanchez turns the other way.

The thrashers didn’t just play their new stuff, they busted out a small artillery of older songs such as “Total War,” “Living Weapon,” and “Prey For Death” which not only ignited the pit on to full blast but had Kevill hurl onstage after chugging a beer. The vocalist blamed the taco shop across the Brick for serving him a large quantity of delicious Mexican food, and said he’s not one to leave good food go to waste, we get you buddy.

After the band briefly disappeared for the encore, the atmosphere was charged with more sweat, so much adrenaline and an arduous desire for them to return, the overly enthusiastic fans from before (told you there would be more on them) got on the stage and chanted for the band causing them to get thrown out of the venue after getting in to a mini fight with the security team. After Warbringer came out and collectively scratched their heads after the ordeal, they kept the party going. Kevill continued to shine his crazy eyes and aim and shoot the crowd one by one with his fingers. This was a fight we gladly surrendered and can’t wait for these gentlemen to return with their resistance.

John Kevill of Warbringer gives us the crazy eyes.

Ugh Metal Met Their Kreator

 

We saw our Kreator and we believe!
(L to R: Bassist Christian Giesler, drummer Jürgen Reil, vocalist/guitarist/metal god Mille Petrozza, and guitarist Sami Yli-Sirniö)

Here in Ugh Metal, we believe in many things. What sorts of things? Great question! We believe that Cthulhu will rise again, that someday we’ll implement a real deadline and have integrity, and that “Satan Is Real.” For our devotion to the metal gods, we were rewarded and saw THE foggy red stage lights on March 25! Our Kreator showed themselves to us, defending the faith and made every metalhead within the dark walls of Santa Ana’s Observatory validate their beliefs in them! Moments before our Kreator showed themselves to us, their loyal disciples stirred the faithful in this sold out sermon.

Horrendous was far from it and serenaded the sea of restless souls with soothing melodic DEATH METAL! The (super brief and somewhat suspenseful) synth keys from “The Stranger”  played in the darkness till the slow opening riffs from soon followed creating a smooth build up. The quartet from Philly soon picked up the speed with “Acolytes,” spewing out fairly faster tempos and more riffs and with Damian Herring’s and Matt Knox respectively interchanging growls and licks. While they let their instruments take the wheel, they felt metal’s unholy spirit course through them and burst with tremendous energy rightfully marking the stage.

Horrendous make sweet DEATH METAL!
(L to R: Vocalist/guitarist Damian Herring , drummer Jamie Knox, bassist Alex Kulick and vocalist/guitarist Matt Knox)

While most “popular” death metal charges like a rabid audible hellhound you saw coming miles away, Horrendous slithers in slowly. The creature from the Horrendous lagoon is a siren, slowly luring you in and seducing you with their beautiful melodies till it unleashes an unforeseen but silky scorn. For those who have an acquired taste for instrumentals sprinkled with some brutality rather than the raw jackhammering version of death metal, these guys are just what you need in your life.

Midnight, on the other hand, wasted no time and cut to the chase getting the sleazy black metal party started. The acclaimed hooded trio gave it to us good and left us wanting so much more, that it made us “Evil Like A Knife.” The leather clad (but shirtless ;D) Jamie “Athenar” Walters teased us a little when he announced that they’d be doing a cover “on Midnight,” revamping “Satanic Royalty” to “California Royalty” to praise the wild reception from the Golden State. Athenar once again flung a juicy chunk of black speed metal to the starving pit where it was devoured it as whole.

We were living before AND after Midnight!
(L to R: Henchman drummer 1, henchman 2/ guitarist, vocalist/guitarist/overlord Jamie “Athenar” Walters)

Throughout their entire performance, Midnight had instantly transformed the pit into a savage whirlpool of mayhem even when he belted out the romantic odes “Endless Slut” and (yours truly’s favorite) “Lust, Filth and Sleaze.” *Swoons*…oh, right you’re still here. When the elusive guitarist and Athenar weren’t unleashing their orgasmic guitar licks they were buzzing around the stage or standing on the speaker towering over the masses. By the time the trio wrapped up their set after they sacrificed an old guitar, it felt like time had flown too fast. Midnight left us hot and bothered as the observatory chanted their name.

Midnight may have kicked the hornet’s nest, but Obituary fanned the fiery pit. The death metal veterans fueled the fire and busted out the big guns with their classic “Internal Bleeding,” followed by “Chopped in Half” AND transitioned into “Turned Inside Out.” I’ll let that soak in if you’re feeling all sorts of emotions… okay that’s enough I know it’s overwhelming but we’ve gotta to move one. Yes, Obituary knew that they had to start off with a bang on this sold out show by using their brutal classics, but they also gave some love to their latest and greatest efforts yet. Obituary’s current single “Ten Thousand Ways To Die” and “Sentence Day” made an appearance shining the spotlight on their latest self titled album.

Certified necromancers Obituary WILL raise the dead and those horns.
(L to R: Rhythm guitarist Trevor Peres, vocalist John Tardy, bassist Terry Butler and lead guitarist Kenny Andrews)

To those that have yet to be exposed to Obituary’s goodness, vocalist John Tardy may seem tame with his chill pacing or when his pensive gaze quietly absorbs the madness in front of him, till he lets out his signature thick screeches and starts headbanging with the rest of the band. These pioneers ended their set right where they started with “Slowly We Rot,” which we can assure you we didn’t especially with their fresh and invigorating set.

With a thick veil of excitement looming over the packed venue, Kreator befittingly had the playback for “Choir of the Damned” play within the walls to their legions as they got into position on the dark stage. The thrashers kicked off their night with the perfect song for the ferocious pit, “Hordes of Chaos,” followed by “Paranoia.” To keep the hysteria and our faith alive and well, Kreator belted out the anthems “Satan Is Real,” and “Gods of Violence.”

Vocalist Mille Petrozza was vocal about his gratitude throughout the night sharing his excitement to be in California and saying “Muchas Gracias!” giving him more street cred than he already has. As headliners of the big Decibel Tour and as living breathing thrash legends, they didn’t stop there, no, that was only part one of their four intermissions. Kreator still had more tricks up their guitar strings and was only getting warmed up in their whopping 18 song set list.

Let there be fiuuuuurrrrr!
We saw our Kreator and we believe!
(L to R: Bassist Christian Giesler, guitarist Sami Yli-Sirniö and vocalist/guitarist/metal god Mille Petrozza)

Throughout the night, Petrozza enjoyed shredding alongside bassist Christian Giesler and then make his way to guitarist Sami Yli-Sirniö, making their fun airborne. Kreator continued to make the night memorable by resurrecting more classics such as “Extreme Aggression,” and paid his respects with “Fallen Brother,” paid tribute the “Phantom Antichrist,” “Enemy of God” and busted out the smoke machines for “From Flood into Fire.”

On the last intermission of the night, Petrozza busted out THE actual flag of hate and serenaded it with “Flag of Hate.” Kreator, much like Obituary, ended their fantastic set with a classic “Pleasure to Kill.” This retelling of that night does zero justice to the superb show these legends delivered, and the same goes for naming each and every song they performed. Seeing Kreator was believing and reminded us why they are the almighty. Petrozza proclaimed he would return, and his promise echoed in the packed venue and in our ringing ears, we’ll be waiting for the second coming!

Mille Petrozza of Kreator busted out THE “Flag of Hate” and I guess the song too…

 

Ugh Metal Celebrates Metal Blade Records’ 35th Birthday

Whitechapel singing a metal Happy Birthday in this shindig… not really.
(L to R: Guitarist Zach Householder, drummer Ben Harclerode , bassist Gabe Crisp, vocalist Phil Bozeman and guitarist Alex Wade)

In 1982, the Klown was Pennywise’s preconceived thought, Stephen King was probably still brainstorming to work on the Klown’s bible, Ronald Reagan’s administration was in place. Most importantly, a records store employee by the name of Brian Slagel was putting out sample cassettes helping local LA metal acts to make a name for themselves among them was Metallica. On March 9, Ugh Metal took a trip to downtown San Diego and in to the House of Blues to commemorate Slagel’s brainchild and celebrate his baby’s 35th anniversary.

In an Ugh Metal second, the Klown would like to extend another mea culpa to the opener of this birthday bash, Necromancing The Stone. For reasons that are best left unsaid, the Klown and company just had a doozy of a time getting there on time. T’was a real shame, the Klown was looking forward on seeing these gents kick ass. Possibly partake in a bit of “Bleed for the Night,” “Unfinished Business” or “The Battle of Morningstar.” Till next time gents, hopefully y’all will return to our humble abode so Ugh Metal could partake.

Ugh Metal’s night kicked off with the Coloradoan quintet known as Allegaeon. The group kicked us off with the energetic sounding, “Proponents for Sentience I – The Conception.” Frontman Riley McShane proved to be charismatic and upbeat to keep the crowd going. Right before the performance “Of Mind and Matrix,” McShane got a louder pop from the crowd when he announced that he too was a local boy, from Escondido to be exact.

Allegaeon start off Ugh Metals night…sowwy Necromancing the Stone   (L to R: Bassist Cory Archuleta, drummer Brandon Park, vocalist Riley McShane, guitarist Corey Stancel and guitarist Greg Burgess )

Before closing out Allegaeon’s set, McShane announced his appreciation for the support and for the opportunity Metal Blade Records gave them and then wished their label a happy birthday. The group closed out with the somewhat energetic “1.618,” a song which defines the band’s sound and musical style. Due to their signature style best heard in this song, it helped them gain recognition from the label.

After Allegaeon’s technical and melodic metal cleared the stage, the Klown had the pleasure of seeing the definition of extreme metal from NOLA. If you keep up with us, then it should be no surprise if you don’t, you can check out how the Big Easy came to the Finest City. Unlike last time, Goatwhore’s setlist was shorter than the last time but that was to be expected. Just like before, frontman L. Benjamin Falgoust II and the prolific guitarist and backing vocalist, Sammy Duet, put on one of the best shows the Klown has ever seen.

These gents from N’Orleans’ started their time with “An End to Nothing.” After “Collapse in Eternal Worth,” Falgoust hyped the crowd and showed some contagious charisma and joked about those who were checking them out for the first time and who haven’t bought their last album by simply saying to “get them at the merch stand or just download them illegally like everyone else!”

GOATWHORE!
(L to R: guitarist Sammy Duet, vocalist L. Benjamin Falgoust II, bassist James Harvey)

Goatwhore soothed the clamoring masses when they began to perform “Cold Earth Consumed in Dying Flesh.” Of course, a Goatwhore show would feel rather incomplete without their timeless classic, “FBS.” Right before Falgoust started “In Deathless Tradition,” he continued to hype and announced the band’s newest album and its approximate release, Falgoust however, iterated that they would not perform any of the new material. Goatwhore proved that their presence is as powerful as a voodoo spell this time around, managing to blow the roof off of the House of Blues and closed with “Apocalyptic Havoc.”

After Goatwhore left the crowd, the audience that night got more refreshed when local titans Cattle Decapitation took the stage. Cattle Decap kicked off with one of the Klown’s personal favorite “Manufactured Extinct” and followed with “Prophets of the Lost.” As always, it’s rather refreshing to see front man Travis Ryan be himself on stage. If you don’t understand what the Klown means, allow him to elaborate. If you’ve never seen a Cattle Decap show, Ryan unlike other front men, isn’t the “average” type of front man. Even as Ryan works the crowd, he manages to incorporate humor and every once in a while uses his signature high vocals to speak.

Hometown heroes/badasses Cattle Decapitation put on a hell of a show!
(L to R: Guitarist Josh Elmore, drummer Dave McGraw, bassist Derek Engemann, vocalist Travis Ryan and guitarist Belisario Dimuzio)

Cattle Decap also played the current theme song of the world: “We Are Horrible People.” Ryan would share their appreciation for Metal Blade, the fans and the opportunity to represent the label for 15 years and counting. Before closing out, Ryan would go on to show some California pride proclaiming it the best state in the country because of the weather and food among other things on his list, and dedicated “Pacific Grim” to the Golden State and its inhabitants.

The heavy metal dose of California love continued with Whitechapel. Time is a hell of thing, the last time the Klown saw Whitechapel was five years ago at the same venue co-headlining with Hatebreed. The boys from Whitechapel put on a hell of a show then and delivered again this time. They began their performance with “The Saw Is the Law,” a song the Klown believes was rather appropriate not only representing this type of metal blade and their symbol.

Unlike the last time, the band as a whole had a nearly invincible presence about them. Phil Bozeman’s showmanship was infectious and was a man of few words except when he had to growl. The band then took us back to their self titled 2012 album by performing “Faces” and “I, Dementia.” The band would have felt remised to leave out their latest album Mark of the Blade and performed “Mark of the Blade” and “Elitist Ones.” The masses bellowed in joy after “Possibilities of an Impossible Existence,” and the band generously treated fans to one more song.

Phil Bozeman, Ben Savage and Zach Householder hack us good!

Whitechapel finished their set with an encore performance of “This Is Exile” from their first breakthrough album, This Is Exile. This truly was an awesome birthday that Ugh Metal had a chance to attend. Assuming Metal Blade decides to throw another birthday bash, don’t forget to RSVP for the next time because you definitely don’t want to miss out.