Category Archives: Special Edition

These posts are unique, special and self proclaimed snowflakes. No, their mommy totally didn’t tell them that…..

The Best Albums of 2017

The Best Albums Of 2017

We did it! Somehow some way we just survived the year 2017 and for better or worse, it will be one to be remembered! It’s been one hell of a year and Ugh Metal would like to thank you all for your undying support even if this is your first time stumbling into the domain. Because we’re more important than the Grammys, Golden Globes and the Oscars combined, this year we are taking a page out of their book and adding one more slot to the album of the year! So without further ado here are the Klown’s and the “J’Oh-ster’s top SIX picks of the year!

The Klown’s 6

  1. Me And That Man- Songs of Love and Death

Had the year ended in July, the list would look slightly different. In fact, some names would have been in different placements and still remain top pick. On that note, the Klown would have had this Blues album in a higher placement. The side project of Adam “Nergal” Darski and European Blues legend John Porter was an anticipated surprise and a good one at that.

In fact, Nergal managed to reintroduce the Blues to an unexpected audience, us. The Klown hasn’t truly stopped listening to this album since its release back in late March and always welcomes it with an open ear every time a track plays on his iPod or when he chooses it voluntarily.

Favorite Tracks: “Nightride,” “On The Road, Cross My Heart And Hope To Die,” “Of Sirens, Vampires And Lovers,” “Magdalene” and “One Day”

  1. Kreator- Gods Of Violence

Going back to the previous statement, this is definitely one of the albums that would have been on the highest placement on the Klown’s list. Nevertheless, the Klown still loved this album. This current release from the legendary Kreator was definitely met with a lot of positive feedback and demonstrated why they are one of the masters of the Teutonic Thrash to this date.

Aside from a third of this album being a hit, the German quartet managed to create a new metal anthem for this generation in the form of “Satan Is Real.” Lest the Klown forget Kreator’s unforgettable performance as the headliner for the Decibel Magazine tour back in late March. The Klown can only hope that Millie and company can repeat it again for their future releases. *finger crossed*

Favorite Tracks: “World War Now,” “Satan Is Real,” “Totalitarian Terror,” “Gods of Violence,” “Lion with Eagle Wings,” “Fallen Brother and “Side By Side”

 

  1. Myrkur- Mareridt and Beekeeper- Slaves To The Nothing

This one was a hard one for the Klown to truly decide. The Klown didn’t get to rate the Danish black metal dame’s album but he sure ate this album up. Just from the beginning intro “Mareridt,” Amalie Bruun’s angelic clean vocals lure you in and unleash her demonic half with “Maneblot” as a perfect foil to keep the listener invested. The album, from there on, continues to keep one in a trance like a siren luring sailors to an unaware but blissful state.

The bonus of this album is it also featured additional vocals from Chelsea Wolfe in “Funeral” and, if you got the deluxe version, “Kvindelil” which is a gothic and ambient touch which would further hypnotize you and eerily soothe you.

Favorite tracks: “Mareridt,” “Maneblot,” “The Serpent,” “Crown,” “De Tre Piker,” “Funeral (featuring Chelsea Wolfe)” and “Ulvinde”

Beekeeper- Slaves To The Nothing

Beekeeper, on the other hand, is a complete contrast to that of Myrkur. Assuming you didn’t read the love letter that the Klown wrote about this band on these First Impressions alumni’s debut album, this record was just an awesome debut. The San Diegan trio does a great job immediately hooking you in with “Vargas.” The song had speed, power and Ally Levine showing off an array of vocal ranges from growls, to screams, etc.  Most importantly, once you think the band slows down, they pick up the pace with “Kamel Krusher.” The Klown can already see this band getting hotter in the upcoming years and hopes that the follow up will be just as good if not better. Keep them eyes peeled!

Favorite tracks: “Vargas,” “Fictitious,” “Subservient Submission,” “Kamel Krusher,” “Picket Fence Death Night,” “Instant Death” and “Trials of the Shredder”

  1. Rancid- Trouble Maker

The Klown just loved this album, he didn’t spent time analyzing it. The Klown will confess that he kept listening to this album a lot more than he thought. If it wasn’t the Klown choosing the album personally, his iPod would play it just as much when it was on shuffle. It’s hard not to when the quartet sings the Ugh Metal theme songs “Ghost Of A Chance” and “Where I’m Going.”

It has all the sounds hardcore fans and casual listeners of the group are familiar with. Just because 17 tracks weren’t enough, Rancid even had a deluxe edition of the album with two more songs. Most important, this album further solidifies the quartet as a Punk titan and does a great job introducing themselves to a new crop of potential fans.

Favorite Tracks: Tracks 1-10, “I Got Them Blues Again” and “Cold Cold Blood”

Punk has never seen so fresh and safe

2. Empyrean Throne- Chaosborne

The Klown also didn’t get the chance to rate this album but did he eat this album up. Ever since the collective gave us an incredible performance back in late May, the Klown anticipated the album’s release. Of course, first the biggest surprise was their signing with M-Theory Audio Records early in the year, and then Chaosborne followed. Once “The Twilight Order” played on the Klown’s decrepit ears, he was hooked.

“Sed Nomini Tuo Da Gloriam” was not only one of the Klown’s favorite songs of this album but it also gave him a bit of goosebumps just with the instrumentals alone. Frontman Andrew Knudsen’s vocals and Mike Brennan’s backing vocals were the cherries on top. Just to coerce you to listen to this album, if you fancy yerself a big Dimmu Borgir fan then this is an album you really wanna give a good listening to. And read our chat with Knudsen here!

Favorite tracks: The Full Album

  1. Ensiferum- Two Paths

The Klown this year gives it to the Finnish quintet as the album of the year. It was not an easy choice to make. At first it was going to be another but the Klown gives credit where credit is due. Right from the start, “Ajattomasta Unesta” began a sense of anticipation and glory. “For Those About to Fight for Metal” and its epic manly chorus immediately compliments that sensation from the previous track and gives you a surge of adrenaline from the previous built up.

The Folk overtones and sung narratives of great battles, and the ways of the warrior just give you a sense of urgency to get out there and tear open a new one on whatever it is you’re willing to tackle. The bonus tracks of this album is that the band provides alternate versions of both “God Is Dead” and “Don’t You Say.”

Favorite tracks:  The Full Album

Will Make You Choose the Right Path of the Warrior

Honorable Mentions: Hellripper Coagulating Darkness, King Woman Created in the Image of Suffering, Black Anvil As Was, Cultural Warfare Future Kill EP, Varg Götterdämmerung EP, Immolation Atonement, Sicarius Serenade of Slitting Throats, Dropkick Murphys 11 Short Stories of Pain & Glory, The Furor Cavalries of the Occult, Anti-Flag American Fall, The MandoShanks Cavity Search, Bodycount Bloodlust, Venom Inc Avé, Kuoleman Galleria Pimeys Saapuu Pohjoiseen, Cavalera Conspiracy Psychosis

Jenny Oh’s Top 6 Albums

All these albums fought and played bravely BUT which ones won my affection? Oh… no honey this isn’t that exclusive ‘cause my love must be spread and who isn’t a music whore now in days? Even with this extra category, picking these albums was HARD! These are the brave men and women that have won my head on headbanging this year…

#6. Kreator- Gods Of Violence

This album rang in 2017 and it’s STILL very addicting and instantly became a classic. The legendary thrashers waved their “Flag of Hate” proudly in Gods of Violence and not only appeased OG fans but also enlisted a new batch of young metalheads in to their ever-growing legion. This album was not only filled with anthems but it also harbored a lot of badass, empowering and moshable songs that promoted unity in these crazy times.

Kreator have been stirring the pits and producing killer albums for a little over three decades and still got it going on. The quartet is still bursting with an insatiable hunger to create meaningful music that will motivate you to take life by the balls. Binge on this at Spotify and get your copy here! If you missed them at the sold out Decibel Magazine Tour in 2017 read about it in the link that’s in the Klown’s section above and see what he thought about the album here!    

Fave songs: “Totalitarian Terror,” “Gods of Violence,” “Army Of Storms,” and “Hail to the Hordes”

#5. Gothminister- The Other Side

Another comeback that did not disappoint! The Other Side was a great redeemer for their 2013 release Utopia because Gothminister returned to their industrial goth roots and charmed me again. Utopia felt like the Norwegian quartet took a detour and were trying to play hard ball for the sake of fitting in with the metal crowd whereas The Other Side led them back to their foundation.

Gothminister provides a great balance of goth/industrial and metal influences in this album much like their previous entry and should be made part of your breakfast! Don’t worry Utopia fans! This one still has an edge if you’re pining for it. Perhaps the J-Ohster (that’s right, I’m doing this again) is exaggerating but if you’re an avid Gothminister fan you’d understand. Gothminister provided a lot of beautiful gothic ballads and empowering tracks that will make you swoon and rise. It’s good to have them back! Cross over to The Other Side at Spotify and see how the Klown felt about it here.

Fave songs: “The Sun,” “Ich Will Alles,” “Der Fliegende Mann,” “We Are The Ones Who Rule The World” and “All This Time”     

#4. Grave Pleasures- Motherblood (Century Media Records)

I found myself blasting this album over and over and over again and with each time I hit that “Play” button, it felt like I was listening to it for the very first time. If you haven’t checked out this Finnish quintet before, you will understand why they’re so critically acclaimed and created gold with their sophomore album. Grave Pleasures serves the right amount of atmospheric dread and heartache with their fresh brand of post punk/new wave.

But not all is gloom by the way! Motherblood is also filled with angsty dance anthems that will have you shamelessly dancing on a metaphorical grave all night long! Yes, the infatuation with this album will be strong. 😉 Listen to the album on Spotify and see what I thought about it the first time I decided to dance with this wild child here.

Fave songs: “Infatuation Overkill,” “Be My Hiroshima,” “Doomsday Rainbows,” and “Joy Through Death”

#3. Septic Flesh- Codex Omega

Can you believe this one ALMOST didn’t make it here!? So there was an upside to my indecision because no matter how much I tried soaking in other incredible albums, I kept coming back to this one like a lost hell hound. Codex Omega blew me away and its elegantly dark powers are so strong, it gave me a delayed reaction much like that super special brownie you, my fellow Californian, are legally munching on right now. Septic Flesh put together another powerful and dark tale in to madness that we all just want to lose ourselves in.

The Greek quartet is one of the few recognizable bands that oozes the perfect amount of sophistication and unrelenting brutality. Septic Flesh returns to their niche by upping their theatrical game again in Codex Omega and will remind fans of their 2008 masterpiece Communion. Once you crack open this one, it will crawl into your brain and flow into your veins and then BAM! You are praising this album. HALLELUJAH! Listen to the entire album on Spotify, and get see what I thought about it the first time here. AND join us at the Brick By Brick on Feb. 23 to see them and get your tix here!

Fave songs: “Dark Art,” “Our Church Below The Sea,” “Dante’s Inferno,” “Trinity” and “Martyr”

#2. Myrkur- Mareridt

My goodness, what I can say about this beaut? The first time I played this album, I was smitten. Amalie Bruun did it again. She made me fall to my knees and praise the old and new gods for bestowing a siren like her on to this mortal world! I’m sure anyone that listened to this album will second my previous statement. Bruun ordains a sublime union between the old school Norwegian black metal sound and harmonic vocals and melodies which is something she always expertly executes. Bruun maintains her grace whether she’s delivering a haunting but angelic note or a fierce battle growl.

What made Mareridt more rewarding was that Myrkur not only collaborated with another rising songstress, Chelsea Wolfe, Bruun let loose and dipped into other influences such as instrumental atmospheric tracks, Doom, and beautiful folk pieces. Myrkur continues to reign supreme in metal and every time I played this album, it was like hitting a black metal nirvana. I can’t wait to see what Myrkur will do next and I’m curious as hell to see what other influences this band will choose to play around with. Binge on this album on Spotify and see what I thought about it the first time here!

Fave Songs: “Maneblot,” “Crown,” “Elleskudt,” and “Ulvinde,”

#1. Me And That Man- Songs of Love and Death

I NEARLY forgot about this Blue beauty and look where she ended up! Did you ever expect to see a Blues album in a metal countdown? Well, A. New Year new me and B. expect the unexpected which is a mantra we applaud Adam “Nergal” Darski. Darski FINALLY sent The Satanist packing…oh? Did I ruffle your feathers? Nothing against my buddy The Satanist, it’s just that it’s been too much of it ya know? My buddy was chained to the spotlight for too long and burned out from the overexposure! My crispy comrade earned himself a much needed rest which is something I’m sure Nergal would agree with.

On that note, Nergal got that artistic itch and dabbled with something different and tossed himself in to a whole new territory. Nergal wiped his corpse paint off, grabbed his black cowboy hat and leather jacket and simply became Adam, the elusive outlaw that will charm you with the Blues. Darski joined forces with renowned British/Polish blues star John Porter, and together they created a real and powerful magick.

Me And That Man really captures the spirit of the Blues and with each song, they produce tracks that anyone can feature in their personal soundtrack of their lives. Aside from dominating their acoustics, and sharing soulful vocals, Darski and Porter also know which heartstrings to pluck. This duo forged a powerful manifesto the average Joes and Janes will feel understood by because Songs of Love and Death tackles the highs, the lows, and wanderlusts of life.

Darski broke out of the metal pigeonhole and did what he wanted to do. He and Porter took me on an exciting night ride on their bikes that made me wish it would never end. Songs of Love And Death will show neutral people what a “satanic” metal musician can really do, and even then I’m sure this is just the tip of the iceberg. The talented Mr. Darski and Mr. Porter reintroduced a classic and underrated genre to a fresh new crop of fans while creating a newfound appreciation for it. Did you ever imagine metalheads traveling in droves to a Blues show? Didn’t think so. Will I continue to indulge in this album like I’ve been doing so since its release? Till kingdom come! Will I continue to swoon over these two cowboys and always follow them? You bet! 😉 Will you also be the one for them? Well listen to the album on Spotify and see what the Klown thought about it here.

Fave Songs: “Magdalene,” “Of Sirens, Vampires, and Lovers,” “My Church Is Black,” “Cross My Heart And Hope To Die,” and “Voodoo Queen”

Honorable Mentions:

These fought the good fight and man it was so HARD! But alas, I shall honor them here and there is an 88% chance I totally forgot to add some more…Sowwy 😦

Beekeeper- Slaves To The Nothing, Ensiferum- Two Paths, Cradle Of Filth- Cryptoriana: The Seductiveness of Decay, Empyrean Throne- Chaosbourne, Russkaja- Kosmopoliturbo, King Woman- Created In The Image of Suffering, Immolation- Atonement, Sicarius- Serenade of Slitting Throats, Satyricon- Deep Calleth Upon Deep, GWAR- Blood of Gods, Cavalera Conspiracy- Psychosis, Wintersun- The Forest Seasons, and Carach Angren- Dance and Laugh Amongst the Rotten.

Firey Sides Chat: Empyrean Throne’s Andrew Knudsen

Andrew Knudsen of Empyrean Throne raising his dagger in victory at the Helheim show in May this year.

What could be more rewarding than fighting old ladies for the last of batch of gingerbread men? Or sitting in the congested mall traffic? If you don’t know the answers to those questions, we’ll stop being emotionally unavailable for now and fill you in. The answer to all of those questions is simple, chatting with Empyrean Throne’s frontman Andrew Knudsen, silly!

The elusive and badass vocalist opened up to our dumb interns, Jennifer and Santi, about himself, Empyrean Throne’s debut album Chaosbourne, and their current tour. That’s right, the quintet decided to spread some X-Mas joy and will conclude their conquest here in our beautiful city, Whale’s Vagina, USA (Yeah I went there, and yes I’ve slapped myself) A.K.A. San Diego at the Brick By Brick on Dec.23. After exchanging greetings, and after Knudsen told that fierce Texas storm they were caught in to shut up, this is what they chatted about.

Ugh Metal Staff: Metal has an infinite amount of subgenres, why did you guys decide to go with Black Metal in particular?

Andrew Knudsen: I think it’s the one that resonates with us the most in an interest level, a spiritual level, and I think it’s something, in our being, [that] is drawn to. When you have an intense connection with something and you’re drawn to some form of some expression then it’s not right to deny yourself that passion.

Knudsen in Empyrean Throne’s music video for “Sed Nomini Tuo Da Gloriam”
Photo Courtesy of Empyrean Throne’s YouTube channel

UMS: The Rock genre in general is filled with so many great bands, is there a particular band or artist that influenced you guys?

A: We get a lot of Dimmu [Borgir], other contemporaries such as Watain, Septic Flesh. They bring something special to the table, something unique. Of course the symphonic element is sort of an easy thing. I’m kind of into this band called Hermh they’re from Poland, and they sort of do the symphonic, blackened death sort of thing.

UMS: That’s a great arsenal to be inspired by.

A: It’s not just black metal bands or death metal bands there are other influences outside of the genre of metal that we take or thrive our inspiration from. I’m into film scores, we all have collectively our favorite classical composers as well. Gustav Holst is one of my favorite composers.

 UMS: Oooh.

A: It doesn’t need to be, in terms of influences, pigeonholed, in the metal genre. You get inspiration from any sort of musical outlet that helps the creative process. It can come from anywhere.

UMS: That’s great man! Not a lot of people like to admit that classical music is their influence. Classical music is another underrated genre that not a lot of people want to admit that they listen to.

A: Yeah to me it’s silly. When Beethoven came out with his symphony people were actually terrified of that shit because they hadn’t heard anything that sounded that powerful before.

UMS: He was the original metalhead!

A:  Oh yeah, absolutely.

UMS: What would you say was the main inspiration behind Chaosbourne?

A: Oh man…

UMS Chuckle

A: We wanted to tell a story, take the listener on a journey and one that, interestingly enough, sort of mirrored a personal journey that we were going through when working on the album. This is a concept album where we deal with a lot of Lovecraftian, gothic kind of theme. Everyone that worked on it, they sort of put part of themselves in the record and it was really cool, and it makes it special for that first debut release.

Knudsen showing off his awesome plague doctor mask at the Helheim show this year.

UMS: It’s interesting that you mentioned Septic Flesh earlier and all these other great classical composers, there are so many beautiful instrumental pieces in this album. Did you have that in mind when you were making the album?

A:  Oh yeah of course. The first piece of the puzzle was to get on paper the story that we wanted to tell, and then various members shook up parts of the story that they felt spoke to them the most. The album is broken up in to three different acts and each act has its own personality with what’s going on in the story, and while each act can stand alone, they feed into each other that was our goal.

UMS: What can we expect to see from you guys in the future in general?

A: We’re on our first crusade that’s taking us deep in to the heart of Texas here, and the gnarliest Texas storm that we’re being forced to slave our way through…

Everyone Laughs

A: We’re definitely going to be pushing this album so our prime focus for 2018 is touring. Needless to say we didn’t have any idea for the follow up release to the debut, it’s something that’s sort of in the back of our mind. We have a general concept, a layout. I know that our guitarists [Spencer Strange, Mike Brennan and bassist Gray] have been working on riffs, Leviathan [drummer Levi Xul] has been working on some stuff on his end too. Right now it’s all about giving Chaosbourne that proper send off to its home planet.

Never a dull moment with Empyrean Throne!

UMS: (Chuckle) Is there a band or artist you would like to work with in general?

A: Well you know we’re always open to collaborating with like minded individuals. We are playing with Scour [Phil Anselmo’s project] and we would certainly love to get together with them in the future. Bands that are out there pushing the envelope, making an impact, we want to be part of that, and it doesn’t necessarily need to be a black metal band. We would like to get out there do some really good tours with some other hungry artists.

UMS: Your name popped up in the Sicarius music video, and when I was reading through it, it said you were the director. How was that like? And are you expecting to do more in the future?

A: I have my special credentials in Television and Film Production. I edit all of our music videos that we have. But I love directing music videos it was a lot of fun! The shoot with Sicarius was really cool it was sort of a last minute thing that was thrown in my lap and I had the opportunity to help the boys out. If more bands wanna do a thing then they’re more than welcome to reach out to me!

Kurt Karcass in Sicarius’s music video for “Ferox Impetum” which was directed by Knudsen… this video is a must see! Photo courtesy of M-Theory’s YouTube channel

UMS: It was gnarly! The video came out really well and complimented the video nicely. Is there a particular music video director you admire?

A: Oh man. Mmmm… you put me on the spot.

UMS laughs

A: In terms of music video director I think it would be really fun to work with the Grupa 13 guys, the stuff that they’ve done with Behemoth and Belphegor is really cool. The gal [director  Joanna Rechnio] that worked with Nergal and Me And That Man [Singer/director Olga Czyżykiewicz] that’d be cool.

UMS: I like your way of thinking, you’re open to the universe! Does Empyrean Throne have a pre-show ritual?

Even though Mother Nature retaliated and dropped the call. The interns were relieved when Knudsen informed them they were all still alive and continued.  

A: We do have our preshow rituals as well umm… I won’t discuss any of those here, that’s private talk.

UMS laughs

UMS: That’s cool everyone has their own, we have our own we fumble around a lot [before a show], that’s our little ritual.

A: To each their own I guess!

Everyone laughs

UMS: Now going back to tour life, what was the craziest experience you’ve had on tour so far?

A: Geez, well this one has been full of them.

UMS laughs

A: Day 1, we had a transmission issue so that was cool. In El Paso, some guy came up to me and was like “Fucking awesome set!” and then he just like headbutted me like right…

Everyone laughs 

UMS: Oh my god! (Laughs)

Knudsen peacefully growling into the mic at the Helheim show this year. No headbutting happened that night…yet.

A: He had this big smudge of war [paint], and ash on his dome and I’m like “Whoa what?” and then he proceeded to buy all of us a round of beer. It’s fun going in to these new markets seeing when your music really resonates with someone and how amped they get over it. Sometimes we’ll be in the middle of selling merch then some guy comes out of the wood work like “YOU GUYS!”  But it’s really nice to get that positive feedback.

Everyone laughs

UMS: Never a dull moment!

A: If that’s gonna be on our tombstone “Never a dull moment” it’d certainly be a good fit there.

For those in Modesto, be sure to catch Empyrean Throne tonight at The Other Place and pregame for Christamas tomorrow (12/23) at the Brick By Brick in San Diego where you can get your tickets here! Be the next fan that will get super amped and get your copy of Chaosbourne here and see what we thought about it here!

Firey Sides Chat: Lord Dying

Lord Dying may not be a badass new character from Game of Thrones or a new Castlevania villain but they are just as cool! These masters of sludgy doom have risen from their crypt and are preparing to ravage the west coast for three days thanks to Black Arrow Entertainment. This special tour which will kick off July 7 at the Tiki Bar in Costa Mesa, CA, make a stop here in our backyard at The Merrow on July 8 and wrap their limited run on July 9 at the Bootleg Theater in LA.

The Ugh Metal overlords had their personal ASSistants, Jennifer and Santi, chat with guitarist/co-founder Chris Evans before they embark on their tour. After exchanging heartfelt “Thank You’s” and friendship bracelets, the interns asked Chris some burning questions to get to know them a little better.

Chris Evans of Lord Dying
(Photo Courtesy of Lord Dying’s Facebook page)

Ugh Metal Staff: Is there a particular meaning behind the name “Lord Dying?”

Chris Evans: Maybe a little bit. It was a phrase we came up with or whatever. A long time ago, right before this band, we tossed around a lot of band names. We thought this one sounded pretty cool. Erik (Olsen, vocalist/guitarist of the band) and I grew up in Salt Lake City like amongst a lot of Mormons and stuff and all that so it kinda (he chuckled) it kinda was there. A metal response to that in some way.       

UMS: It’s really cool and its very Game of Throney, so I really like it.

C: (Laughs) Yeah.

UMS: (Laughs) How did you guys meet? I’m pretty sure there’s no Tinder for bands out there so give us the deetz, man.

C: (Laughs) Well the band…the core of the band has always been me and Erik who is the singer and the guitar player. We met in elementary school in 5th grade. He was wearing like a Metallica shirt or something and we started talking at recess and we’ve been going in bands on and off together since then.  We learned how to play guitar together and stuff. So yeah this is kind of the next thing that we did and you know in the meantime we met…we’ve played with a lot of people in this band we’ve had a lot of bassists and drummers kind of in and out just ‘cause of how much we tour and all that. Not a lot of people can keep up with this.   

Everyone laughs

 C: But currently we’ve got Matt Price (bassist) and Chase Manhattan (drums) on drums and bass they pay in a band called Behold! The Monolith. They’ve been around the group and we’ve already played together It’s been working out really good.

UMS: How was your journey as a band before getting signed to Relapse Records?

C: Like I said, me and Erik have known each other since elementary school so I was trying to start a band here in Portland and I just wasn’t gellin’ with the people I was playing with and Erik was at my house one day and he stepped in and we wrote our first two songs that night. We had a friend who played in a band called Black Elk (ex-bassist Don Capuano) and right around that time they broke up and we asked the bass player to join and he did.  Then we were looking for a good double kick drummer in and in Portland, at the time, there really weren’t any but we put the word out and a friend of ours told us a guy had just moved out here from Memphis, he played double kick and was looking for a band and we all just gelled really well and that’s how we got the band started.

Vocalist/guitarist Erik Olson and Chris Evans jammin’
(Photo Courtesy of Lord Dying’s FB page)

UMS: This one had us a little curious, out of all the subgenres why exactly did you choose sludge metal?

C: Well honestly we don’t choose the sub genre we’ve always called ourselves a metal band. And I guess all the other descriptors come from other people, maybe that’s how it ends up sounding. We’re fans of sludge for sure and doom and all that but we’re never trying to do any particular subgenre of metal.

UMS: What would you consider your main influences?

C: They change all the time. I’d say originally it was, like one band all of us agree on is Slayer and we were always in to like old thrash like Megadeth, Metallica and Slayer. But you know also things like High On Fire and more riffy stuff like Black Sabbath of course. We’re also in to a lot of calmer things, like me and Erik love Pink Floyd and a lot of progressive stuff… And Opeth maybe?

Everyone laughs.

UMS: What new things can we expect to see from Lord Dying in the future?

C: Well right now, except for the three shows were playing in Southern California, we’re pretty much taking a year off the road and we’ve just been writing every day.  We’re about halfway done writing the new album so we hope to hit the studio by the end of the year and have a new album next year and hit the road.

UMS: WHOA! Is it possible to know what kind of concept you guys are gonna do on this upcoming album?

C: Well there is but we’re kind of messing with it, the content of the album but it’s a little too early to say what we’re doing right now but it’s certainly, so far, quite a bit different than the stuff we’ve been doing.

UMS: So will you guys be experimenting in this album?

C: Yeah a little bit, we just finally decided to take the time to really sit and write and took our time to focus on like making the songs as good as we can. Some of that has taken a sort of different shape than our last couple of albums. Still heavy and hard but there’s also a lot of calmer stuff and maybe more progressive elements to it but we’re kind of just doing whatever we like at the time.

UMS: Man, it all sounds good either way. We can’t wait to hear what you guys are gonna offer.

C: Yeah we’re really excited about it. We love what we’ve come up with so far.

UMS: Is there a particular artist or band you’d like to collaborate and why?

C: Oh man. *sigh* I don’t know.

UMS laugh  

C: I know we’d love to tour with Slayer or Mastodon. Collaboration wise I don’t know, that would be a difficult thing.

Lord Dying and Kirk Windstein from the legendary Crowbar.
(Photo Courtesy of Lord Dying’s FB page)

UMS: What artist or band that is not considered “metal” is your guilty pleasure?

C: I would say the Alan Parsons Project. I think it’s great music I like the idea of that band where Alan Parsons and Eric Woolfson wrote all the music and then hired musicians to play it. The concept of the music is all progressive and weird but the concept is super dark and I’ve always been a big fan of them.

UMS: Damn, I was shooting for Kenny G.

Everyone laughs.

UMS: What is the craziest experience you’ve ever had on tour?

C: Hmmm….I’m trying to think.

UMS: Ooooh! Whoa!

C: (Laughs) Oh no! I’m just trying to think there’s been plenty of debauchery. Maybe the craziest that comes to the top of my head is a show we played in LA with Toxic Holocaust it was at an unofficial tire place but they said they hadn’t sold a tire in years. It was in Compton, it got really crazy and the cops were surrounding it and while we played, the ghetto bird with the spotlight on us the whole time, and that was pretty crazy and Erik got to yell “Fuck the police, kill the police!” on stage so that was fun .

UMS laughs

Though Lord Dying has been around for seven years, they have managed to live the dream many bands hope to have one day. Expect to see more of these critically acclaimed doom masters in the future but while we wait, be part of this very special tour and catch them today (July 7) at the Tiki Bar, or for our local peeps catch them tomorrow (July 8) at The Merrow with Eukaryst, Raise The Guns and The Bastard Saints and On July 9 at the Bootleg Theater in the city of demons… I mean angels!

Yung & In Da Way: SD Metal Swap Meet Entry # 666

Entry #6

After a nice shopping day under the San Diego sun, a dope ass band called Jag Panzer came on stage and killed it with a amazing show. Jag Panzer rocked the whole swap meet and they were the perfect closers for the day. I thought what better band to close this event? I am not going to lie, I was fucking rocking out and I really did enjoy it very much. I was feeling the music just like how I feel rap but I mean rap is and will forever be my number one. But to be real with you guys, I had one of the best times I have ever had in a long time.

Jag Panzer made the Yung thug join the darkside for a bit.

I wish the hip hop or the rap scene had some cool events like this but sadly I haven’t seen any but overall, I enjoyed every minute. I walked in there and worked my ass off under the sun and met some dope and badass people who I didn’t even know were on this planet. Well aside from me of course.

TO MY NONMETAL HEADS,

This one is for you guys. You guys need to get out there see new things, try new things, meet new people and don’t be closed minded about music. Music is art. Why focus on one art piece knowing there are many more to pick from? It’s so crazy but I can’t wait to go next year and fuck shit up again! Have a cold beer with you homies while you enjoy the music along with the stands and the cool crazy shit.

Be more like the funny dudes from Critical Madness Productions.

After a long day of walking and buying all kinds of crazy cool things, I got to meet some amazing and sweet people. SHOUT OUT TO ALL THE PEOPLE WHO WERE KOOL TO ANSWER SOME QUESTIONS!!! I SEE YOU!

Yung & In Da Way: SD Metal Swap Meet Entry #5

Entry #5

Dear Diary,

To be honest, I have never spoken to amazing and down to earth people like that day. I can’t explain it but it was so powerful. A lot of people went to the Metal Swap Meet as a family and enjoyed the music, drank some cold beers, went to see Jag Panzer and just rocked TF out!

A metalhead and his boy shopping at the Metal Swap Meet. Parenting goals!

But what I enjoyed the most, however, was wherever my head would turn, I could see friends sharing a beer talking about their favorite bands and about their families. That was the most amazing part of the day for me. I got to see some cute babies rocking out to their parent’s favorite bands and I thought that was amazing.

The cool baby at the Metal Invazion stand thinking about his future band. Go get ’em kid!

Another crazy thing is that I actually saw a cute metalhead, yah I know! He wasn’t a rapper let alone someone that I’ve done a remix with but he was cute! I was shook. I’m a thug and everyone knows I’m a hustler and not anyone catches my eye especially a metalhead. You will never know who’s out there until you get yourself out there but anyways back to work!

The metalhead that stole the Yung thug’s hart. She’d like to do an exclusive remix with him.

Yung & In Da Way: SD Metal Swap Meet Entry#4

Another cool person I got to meet and talk to was this cool amazing mom who had her son with her. She stood out to me the most because she has her son dressed in a jean jacket with a couple of patches on it. I thought that was the cutest thing ever. So we went up to her and we let her know who we were. Her name is Gabriela Collazos and she seemed so excited that we found her and her son and they were so cute.

Parenting done right!

Once I started talking to her she really showed me her passion for the music. Let me tell you, her love and passion for music is beautiful when I asked, her why do you like metal? She answered with I can relate to it. She shared with us that when she was growing up her mom and dad were big metal fans and it was basically in her blood. I love it when I hear that the love for a music genre is passed on from generations. Music is a lively thing and no matter what it is you listen to, I believe passing it down to your kid and your kids pass it on to their kids, it’s just amazing. Now her son is growing up listening to the cool music and now he says he’s a metalhead at such a young age. That’s amazing.

Now in days, generations have been fucking up with this music but that was something I really loved about the mom and her baby boy. Thank you mom, keep killing it with your son keep the good work up.

This metalhead in training was WAY too cool to be an Ugh Metal intern. *sigh*

Yung & In Da Way: SD Metal Swap Meet Edition Entry #3

Yung Ka$ha looking at her Cheetoh empire.
(Font by Raslani Shaashimov at http://www.shaashimov.fr)

Entry #3

Now let me tell you about my next one. I am not saying I am hating on you boy but I was a little mad because I thought you were being honest. I was chilling walking around the swap meet and my interns again, pulled me to talk to a cool looking guy called CJ Graham. He had a cold beer in his hand and was just enjoying the event. So I was like “cool bet he’s gunna have some good shit to say, alright.” So I start asking questions such as “What do you like to buy here?” He deadass turned around and told me he stole everything he liked from a vendors.

Apparently, even Yung Ka$ha has her limits!
(Pictured CJ Graham and Yung Ka$ha)

WTF… first of all, why in the fuck are you here? You should be supporting your local bands, buy shit, bond with your homies, talk about music, help out vendors so next year they can make it bigger. Don’t get me wrong I am not a metal head at all but who in the fuck does he think he is coming up here stealing shit like come on my dude! Three type of people I don’t like are the those that don’t share food, liars and thieves. Before you guys go crazy looking for him, again, my bitch ass interns set CJ up to fuck with me. Let me just say don’t ever work for my dumbass bosses, Jenny Oh and the Klown, because they will hire dumbasses such as my interns that will put you to the test.

I swore to god that I was going to kill them when I got back to the office! But then I was like, you know what, I’ll just do a drive by at their house tonight and that thought made me feel a whole lot better also the smell of burgers. There was also a metal burger stand called Full Metal Burgers, and I thought that was nice but sadly I wasn’t able to try their burgers. Shoot, next time!

Till next time Full Metal Burgers!