Saturday, 27 December 2008

SJW - Gigs Of 2008

Okay, so this is going to be my "Top 10 Gigs Of 2008" list. A few things that you should know about the list below:

1) This is the list of gigs that I attended that I enjoyed most
2) The gigs highlighted in bold were attended by 3 men, 6 claws
3) This list is in chronological order
4) I tried my best not to use the word "Awesome" while writing this, but it slipped out 3 times
5) If you don't understand what I mean, fucking listen to VENOM's Acid Queen

Okay, here's my picks for this year's winners!

Feb 8th - BRUTAL TRUTH (Sheffield)
We have a thing for Brutal Truth here at Claw Towers, they are our #1 grind band (followed closely by Rich Hoak's wonderful TFD). I am not too keen on the venue for this show, Sheffield's "Corporation", but that's possibly because they appeared to put BFT's set on in a small room at the back of the club. The band played on a stage that is 6 feet higher than the pit where the audience stands, so we got a great view of Kev Sharpe's feet at least! Also this was a memorable gig because hardly anybody bothered t "get into" the show until towards the end of the set - apart from THEE CLAW that is. After the set was over we ventured into the main Corporation club, where they had a rock night in full swing - and we were soon jumped by a very wild and very animated HOAK, who stunk to high-heaven of green. What a memory that still is! We travelled a fair way across England to be a part of this gig, but then again I did travel further for the next on the list...


Feb 16th - IRON MAIDEN (Tokyo)
So I took a short 10 day vacation from my hum-drum existence here in England (an existence that consists of listening to high volume relentless blood daubed blast beats) to jet out to check out the Japan leg of IRON MAIDEN's 2009 tour. All expenses paid for by THEE CLAW, we all drew straws and I was chosen as the one who got to head off to "The Land Of Moonspeak" to review the world's greatest 'eavy metaaaal band. What a trip man. I saw Maiden play twice while over there, first of all at a place called The Pacifico in Yokohama and then at the Makuhari Messe Convention Centre in downtown Chiba City (which is just outside Tokyo and right by Disney World Japan). Maiden's set at both gigs were identical - identically awesome that is! Fuck, you should see those Japanese metallers go for it when they are at a show, they are so into the whole deal. Maiden figure in the list later on in the year, at England's Twickenham rugby stadium.


Apr 17th-12st - Roadburn (Tilburg)
Patchie and Myself headed along to the Dutch ROADBURN FESTIVAL in April to ensconce ourselves in the Euro Metal scene in the truest of CLAW fashions. We came, we saw, we clawed the fuck out of anyone who came within swinging distance. Roadburn is a real blast, there is no other music festival like it. The whole vibe of the place is very Dutch - no fights, no friction, it's all about being happy and getting in as many awesome shows as possible into 4 days of glorious Tilburg. Highlights of Roadburn 2008 (for me) included CHURCH OF MISERY, TROUBLE, BORIS and THE DEVIL'S BLOOD. (By the way, THEE SKUM never came along because we all decided one of us had to go along to the GRASPOP FESTIVAL in Belgium and he drew the longest straw in that contest, the lucky dirty bastard!)


May 27th - DIO (Birmingham)
You know, I look back on the past 12 months of shows and I think about all of the great bands who we have seen, I think about all of the songs that I have witnessed being played by some of my favourite bands in the world. Strangely, the one thing that sticks out in my mind more than anything else is the moment during Rainbow In The Dark when DIO drummer Simon Wright messed up the beat and Ronnie James turned to him and screamed "ARE YOU FUCKING DEAF?!?!" in a blaze of rage. Dio is certainly a man with a temper, and while he might not have been in the best of moods during this show, you can be sure that THEE CLAW lapped up every last second of it. I am tempted to say that this show was the highlight of 2008 for me, but then I am biased as hell. Oh and it is entirely possible that GIRLSCHOOL were the best support band of the year too. (And Saxon do NOT count as a support band, just so you know!)


June 13th - JUDAS PRIEST / MOTORHEAD / KISS (Donington)
Another gig without THEE SKUM in attendance... what the hell were we thinking about by that?? Patchie and me made the wonderful trip to Donington once again, across the English countryside into a field set in the middle of nowhere. A field that played host to England's biggest metal festival of 2008. Let's not go into the whole "Nu metal has destroyed Donington" debate right now (although, now that I am thinking about it, I want to rant for a good 10,000 words about this very topic), instead let's talk about the 3 bands who really mattered at this event - PRIEST, THE HEAD and KISS. In all honesty, we turned up for PRIEST AND MOTORHEAD, we stayed for KISS. Priest were good, MOTORHEAD were great, and KISS... well, KISS were something else. I have never been so overwhelmed by a band who I wasn't 100% sure about, as I thought that this could have been a big let-down to be quite truthful. Far from it! As soon as they hit the stage (they were lowered down from 100 feet in the air on a huge platform), Stanley, Simmons, Singer and Thayer blew the fuck out of my mind. It was relentless, hit after hit, every song was a winner. I mean, they played Parasite for fuck's sake! Even Tommy Thayer's guitar solo was awesome. I just wish that we had stayed right until the end of the set, but duty called.


June 25th - MORBID ANGEL (Wolverhampton)
Childhood dreams achieved! I visited Wolverhampton this year! Haha, no not just that but we also saw MORBID ANGEL and even managed to arrange a press pass to get some photos and get evidence of DAVID VINCENT's exceptionally dodgy dress sense. M.A.'s set included all of the classics.


July 5th - IRON MAIDEN (Twickenham)
GIG OF THEE YEAR. At least it would have been, had Maiden's manager not have booked such awful awful AWFUL support bands. I will not speak their names on these hallowed pages, but I am sure that if you Google "Maiden Twickenham Support Bands" you will see who I am referring to and you will then think "Why the fuck did I bother searching for THAT?". Seeing THE IRONS slaughter almost every MAIDEN fan in ENGLAND, all in one go, that was well worth the journey. This gig was also my #1 of 2008 because this is the one which we saw with almost all of our friends. And I got to watch Patchie cry when he finally heared Wasted Years played live, haha!


July 12th - DOOM METAL INQUISITION(Bradford)
We had already visited the 1 IN 12 in Bradford earlier in 08 (to see DEVIATED INSTINCT), but a return trip to check out bands such as LAMP OF THOTH, WARNING and PAGAN ALTAR was more then welcomed by all of THEE CLAW. A long, long day but once PAGAN ALTAR hit the stage at midnight me and THEE SKUM were up front and centre, headbanging like a pair of slavering monkeys. I couldn't hear for 4 days after this show.


Nov 14th - MOTORHEAD & SAXON(Manchester)
It was a long wait but by November we got to add another notch to THEE BED when we saw SAXON and THEE HEAD together in concert at Manchester's Apollo. Again, it was more than 3 hours of the best metal you could hope for... why do gigs like this not come past as often as they should?


Nov 22nd - DAMNATION FESTIVAL(Leeds)
DAMNATION ended the beginning of the end of a long year of shows for us, and it certainly finished things off with a (head)bang. ONSLAUGHT, SIGH, BENEDICTION, NAPALM DEATH, CATHEDRAL... the list goes on. Oh and apparently a band who the kids all seem to like called CARCASS played there too. Again, all 3 men were there to watch their favourite bands in action, with 6 claws high in the air.


There were several other shows that we took in this year that I should really give a mention to, such as SUFFOCATION, EARTH, ORANGE GOBLIN, BORIS, WITCHCRAFT, CHARGER and the mighty BLACK SUN & THEY ARE COWARDS. In fact, I think that I should sit and write out another list really!

2008 was a landmark year for THEE CLAW, possibly not one that is going to be topped. If that is the case, well at least we did pretty fucking well while it lasted! See you in 2009, droogies.

Thursday, 25 December 2008

Saturday, 20 December 2008

Friday, 19 December 2008

Visual Aggression

On the death decks this week when I was in work (to the 19th Dec)
Entombed - Uprising (Music For Nations, 2000)
Sepultura - Beneath The Remains (Roadrunner, 1989)
Pentagram - First Daze Here Too (Relapse, 2006)
Saint Vitus - V (Hellhound, 1989 - my copy Southern Lord Re-issue, 2004)
Zyklon - World ov Worms (Candlelight, 2001)
Pentagram - Turn To Stone (Peaceville, 2002)
Darkthrone - NWOBHM (Peaceville, 2007)
Isengard - Vinterskugge (Peaceville, 1994)
Capricorns - Ruder Forms Survive (Rise Above, 2005)
Darkthrone - Under a Funeral Moon (Peaceville, 1993)
Darkthrone - Transylvanian Hunger (Peaceville, 1994)
Darkthrone - Panzerfaust (Moonfog, 1995)

Incoming.....

Death metal LEGEND Paul Speckmann brings Master to Europe for an early 2009 tour:
STRIKE YOUR IDOLS DOWN
Europe –Tour 2009
with Castrofate (US), Nightmare Visions (UK) & Feral (SWE)

23. Jan. - Salut, Halberstadt (GER)
24. Jan. - PMK, Innsbruck (A)
25. Jan. - Viper Room, Wien (A)
31. Jan. - Marmaja Live Club, Cusano Milanino (ITA)
04. Feb. - Masters of Rock Cafe, Zlin (CZ)
05. Feb. - Zluty Pez, Pardubice (CZ)
06. Feb. - MS Stubnitz, Rostock (GER)
07. Feb. - Kleks, Greifswald (GER)
08. Feb. - Baroeg, Rotterdam (NL)
10. Feb. - The Music Box, Manchseter (UK)
11. Feb. - The Tunnels, Aberdeen (UK)
14. Feb. - Rios, Leeds (UK)

15. Feb. - The Rambler, Eindhoven (NL)
17. Feb. - Hafenklang, Hamburg (GER)
20. Feb. - tba, Bayreuth (GER)
21. Feb. - Heavy Metal Nix im Scheddel, Leipzig (GER)
25. Feb. - Gladhouse, Cottbus (GER)
27. Feb. - Dekompresja Club, Lodz (POL)
28. Feb. - Live Factory (Deathomania - Festival), Adelsheim (GER)
01. Mar. - K17, Berlin (GER)

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

I Just Can't Get Enough Of.....

...Two albums that are often overlooked in the respective discographies of each band but are total classics as far as I'm concerned...Darkthrone - Panzerfaust
Total necro production, every time the vocals (which are harsh as hell) come in, the rest of the mix fades away. Sounds totally cold, like it was recorded in a dungeon, with absolute Frost worship throughout. The Most Hated Band In The World.

Sarcófago - The Laws of Scourge
Everyone always bangs on about INRI, which is an amazing, primitive and raw recording from these Brazilian metallers, but for me, the more slick total thrash of The Laws of Scourge are just as valid. People tend to big up INRI without even checking out the rest of Sarcófago's offerings.
This is an amazing LP worthy of finding, no doubt you'll only be able to get it through Rapidshare.

two thousand and fucking eight

It's that time of year again, the end of another twelve months of travelling, headbanging (hetpenging), sleeping on floors, drinking, spilling tea all over bus floors, surviving on vegan curries and foreign sweets.
We outdid ourselves this year, visiting some amazing cities and meeting some new friends along the way. It's pretty hard to pick the "best" of the year out of everything that happened, and I'm sure I've overlooked some stuff, but let's see...

Top Gigs of 2008 (in no particular order)
Cathedral - Damnation Festival
Waited around sixteen years(!) to see Coventry's finest again, and they didn't let me down, apart from not playing Soul Sacrifice, but you can't have everything. Dorrian's Eyes!!!

Motörhead/Saxon - Manchester Apollo
Thee Head were amazing at Donington, but you can't beat seeing Lemmy and the lads in a theatre. The fact that it was a double whammy with the legendary Saxon too just made this Heavy Metal Heaven.

Pagan Altar/Lamp of Thoth - Doom Metal Inquisition
Amazing set from thee Lamp, a band on the brink of greatness, and as ever, a masterclass from NWOBHM/Doom legends Pagan Alltar, in the sweaty confines of Bradford's 1 in 12 club.

Iron Maiden - Twickenham Stadium
As part of the "Somewhere Back in Time" tour...a setlist to die for.
I finally heard Wasted Years live, and as such can die a happy man.

Morbid Angel - Wolverhampton Wulfrun Hall
Maze of Torment? Check. Chapel of Ghouls? Check. Evil Spells? Check. David Vincent may be the most unintentionally camp frontman in Death Metal but Morbid Angel are faultless live.

Ravens Creed -Leeds Fenton
Bank Holiday Monday, and an almost completely empty Fenton (shame on you) was treated to some true, underground thrash, worshipping the idols we grew up with.
Fuck all this Earache nu-thrash nonsense.

Gloomy Sunday/They Are Cowards/Black Sun - Manchester/Bradford
The same three bands played at the Star and Garter and the 1 in 12, and laid waste to both.
Three of the most intense bands walking this earth, all together getting drunk and loud....nasty.

Deviated Instinct/Extinction of Mankind - Bradford
A childhood dream come true, total terminal filth stenchcore in a sort of one-off, the pit fucking stank at this gig, and I was right in the middle of it. Two bands that will be sorely missed by me.

Trouble / Grand Magus / Church of Misery / The Devil's Blood - Roadburn, Holland.
The roaburn festival this year was a ball from beginning to end...from seeing John Lennon as Steve Harris in Liverpool Airport through hungover eyes (we'd been to Leeds to watch Witchcraft the night before) to trying stuff all our merch, CDs and Vinyl into our bags in the airport coming home, not even the non-appearance of Celtic Frost could ruin this weekend, with those four named bands being the highlights for me.
The only way they could top this would be to get Saint Vitus and Angel Witch back together to play next year....oh wait...they have....

Albums of the 2008 (Again, in no particular order):
Darkthrone - Dark Thrones and Black Flags
More blackened crust thrash from Gylve and Ted, true as fuck.
Jesu - Why Are We Not Perfect?

Something to relax with, sonic dreamscapes from Justin K Broadrick, expanding on the jesu ethos and blasting off into space.
Motörhead - Motorizer
A great album from an amazing band who never dissapoint, the new songs sounding amazing next to the classics in a live environment.
Grand Magus - Iron Will

Total fist-pumping, headbanging heavy metal. Very modern whilst still retaining that old-style true sound that Thee Claw loves.
Lamp of Thoth - Portents, Omens & Dooms
Victorian England's premier doom trio with their first full length album, updating some demo tracks and a weighing in with a couple of new compositions, recorded by gaslight in a Yorkshire stately home for you to listen to on your gramophone.
Black Sun - Paralyzer
Filthy fuckers from Glasgow who will come to your house, drink Buckfast and not flush the toilet after themselves, because they are in rush to get their clothes off in the pit at Charger gigs.
They Are Cowards - Demo

My tip from the underground for 2009...slow, brooding, hate-filled sludge from the wastes of Northwest England. With riffs....oh my god the riffs!!!


Personal Highs and Lows:
Highs:
Kirk Windstein telling me never to shave and kissing my cheek.
Orange Goblin playing some Saxon for me.
Singing with Skum onstage with Motorheadache.
The fact that me and SJW can now navigate our way around any major (and not so major) European city.
Finally seeing Deviated Instinct.
Moving house and being a dad.
The birth of Thee Cult ov Cold Lake.

Lows:
The death of Richard Wright.
The fact that Metallica are still recording, and performing a sell-out UK tour.
Celtic Frost pulling out of Roadburn and splitting up.
Not being able to get a copy of sunnO)))'s Domkirke LP after a 1,500 mile round trip to actually attend the performance that this recordng was made at back in 2006.

Anyway....next year is going to be even better!! \||||/ STAY TRUE!! \||||/

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Upcoming:

Here, gentlemen, is THEE CLAW's plan of attack for the beginning of 2009. Venues subject to change, blah blah blah.

24th Jan - Pagan Altar, Lamp Of Thoth & more (Wakefield, Snooty Fox)
31st Jan - Napalm Death (Birmingham, Asylum)
1st Feb - Wolves In The Throne Room (Manchester, Star & Garter)
10th Feb - Master (Manchester, Music Box)
12th Feb - Testament (Liverpool, Carling Academy)
14th Feb - Master (Leeds, Rios)
17th Feb - Judas Priest, Megadeth & Testament (Manchester, Apollo)
15th April - Unearthly Trance & Ramesses (Manchester, Star & Garter)
23rd April - Roadburn Festival (Tilburg, 013)
3rd May - Saxon (Manchester, Carling Academy)

More to be added shortly, there's no doubt about that.

Cover me, I'm going in!

Monday, 15 December 2008

Thee Claw Is Happy To Report: New Autopsy Shit!

AUTOPSY: First Recordings In 15 Years Due Next Month - Dec. 15, 2008
For the first time in nearly 15 years, two vile new AUTOPSY tracks were recorded in September 2008, bringing together Chris Reifert, Danny Coralles and Eric Cutler for another slice of death and decay.

These tracks make up a special, extremely limited (only 1,000) seven-inch vinyl release, titled "Horrific Obsession". This single will be available exclusively from Peaceville.com on January 26, 2009, with pre-orders being taken now in the Peaceville store.

In addition to this, a special two-disc edition of AUTOPSY's iconic debut album, "Severed Survival", will be released in February to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the original release.

Everyone's favorite San Franciscan sickos — an inspiration to an entire generation of death metal bands — have unearthed rare rehearsal and live material for a bonus disc, including demo versions of two songs, "Mauled To Death" and "Human Genocide", which were intended for the original "Severed Survival". Also featured in the package is a booklet with notes by the band themselves, detailing the history of AUTOPSY's early years, with rare photos and images.

Saturday, 13 December 2008

Seven Years Today...

 
And still very, very missed.  Thirty four is too young.

2 new dates... and a rant...

AC/DC's tour of the uk in april is all sold out.
2 new dates have been added for the end of june.
June 26th at Wembley Stadium London and June 30th at Hampden Park Glasgow.
Tickets are out on wednesday 17th december.
Way to kick us when we're down lads, yeah, wait right 'til fucking christmas when I'm skint on the pure bones of my arse and announce your dates 5 days before tickets go on sale, really fucking tempting but I don't think I'll bother. Could have waited 'til the new year but Nooooo.
I've been watching videos from the current tour and they've gone down the "downtune to save the singers voice" route and they sound terrible for it, really half arsed and slower, plodding on and also their setlist isn't really inspiring, mostly compiled of all the same usual predictable tunes that they cram into a two hour show, mostly back in black songs, the same old 5 bon scott era songs, the rest is new stuff and nothing else from the 80's, it's a pity cos Flick Of The Switch, Fly On The Wall and Blow Up Your Video are fucking excellent albums, under-rated is an understatement.
I read a good quote on blabbermouth.net when Black Ice came out, "If your band is taking 8 years to bring out an album and tour then it's over, finished, done, gone, out, etc..." and it really hurts me to say that AC/DC might just be done.
I'm glad I got to see them on a few past tours cos they really were amazing live, all good things come to an end I suppose, Such a shame.

Sunday, 7 December 2008

A few words on the year that was 2008....

By H...

A lot has happened in 2008, lots of albums, gigs, travelling etc, met loads of new metal minded folk on our travels, here are my highlights and lowshites of a very good year!!!!

Best Album of 2008
MOTORIZER- MOTORHEAD!!!
An amazing year for Motorhead. Their new album was their best offering since, well, the album before that haha!
The lyrics, the riffs, the solos, the drumming, vocals, attitude and also a killer gig in november and everything else they've been involved with this year, they delivered the goods in '08, one of my favourite, consistent, reliable bands ever, they never let me down.

Best Gig of 2008
IRON MAIDEN, Twickenham Stadium, July 5th!!!
What an emotional show, a setlist to die for, the greatest history lesson ever taught in this country from THEE greatest ever heavy metal band, a band we've grown up with, gone through all the highs and lows with and stuck with them through thick and thin, I've always said they're like a football team, even when they have their bad days you still support them to the end.
This was one of those gigs we'll certainly all still be talking about in many fucking years to come, an experience I will never forget, an excellent show on so many levels.
Support bands??? What support bands, as far as I was concerned there were no fucking support bands, just a load of time wasting cunts filling the air with their shitty sounds to replys of choruses of boo's from the Maiden Faithful.
A very long day, very long, drunk, knackering day, with apologies to thee driver of course!
Let's see Maiden top this show on the next tour, I have a feeling they'll be dusting off some old underated songs for the true few!!!!


Some of the Best Of The Rest.... 2008 Albums.... In no particular order...

Ross The Boss- New Metal Leader.
Whitesnake- Good To Be Bad
Yngwie J. Malmsteen- Perpetual Flame.
Darkthrone- Dark Thrones and Black Flags.
AC/DC- Black Ice.
Testament- The Formation Of Damnation.
Cynic- Traced In Air.
The Lamp Of Thoth- Portents, Omens and Dooms.
Alice Cooper- Along Came A Spider.
Death Angel- Killing Season.
Judas Priest- Nostradamus. (the first cd)
Exodus- Let There Be Blood.
Witchfinder General- Resurrection.
Sammy Hagar- Cosmic Universal Fashion.
can't remember anymore but there was a shitload of good albums this year.


2008 Personal Live Highlights.....

SUFFOCATION!!!!!
Seeing Queen.
KISS and Maiden ruling at Graspop, Belgium.
Forbidden at Graspop.
Testament at Graspop.
Pagan Altar at The Doom Metal Inquisition in Bradford.
Cathedral and Napalm Death at Damnation, Leeds.
Brutal Truths excellent show in Sheffield/Bamford!!!
Today Is The Day in birmingham.
Dio shouting at simon wright in birmingham.
Me and Patchie singing The Ramones with Motorheadache in birkenhead!!!
Our first look inside our new arena for Whitesnake in liverpool!!!!
Motorhead and Saxon in manchester!!!
Too fucking many great live moments to remember them all!!!

The Shit Bits of 2008....
Don't even get me started with Death Magnetic and Chinese Democracy.
The new Venom album sucked too.
The new Queen album was also a bit of a letdown.
Judas Priest at Graspop, very slow, very disappointing, playing old fast classics like Sinner and Eat Me Alive at a snails pace is not good, they must surely realise that megadeth and testament are gonna kill them live over here in february.
Def Leppard at Graspop, "Welcome to the sparkle lounge" said joe elliot, no thanks lad.
Can't remember if the Down 3 album come out in '08, I must have blinked and missed it cos I only listened to it twice.
The new Soilent Green album Inevitable Collapse in the Presence of Conviction didn't impress me.
I honestly can't remember any other shit.

The Death of Richard Wright.
This made me really sad.
The dream is over, and now fans can stop wishing for reunion gigs.
Personally I didn't want them to reunite for a tour but maybe do one or two shows and release it as a dvd, there is no way they can even contemplate doing anything under the pink floyd name now because Rick Wright's keyboards were the unmistakable, undisputed sound and mood of pink floyd. It baffles me they did The Final Cut without him but is that really classed as a proper floyd album? No, to me it ain't.
I'll miss Rick Wright, I thought it was great to see him involved on David Gilmour's last solo album and tour.
R.I.P. Rick!

Also the death of Jerry Reed.
I'm kinda glad that Jerry Reed's death wasn't as publicised as much as Johnny Cash's.
I haven't encountered any band wagon jumping yet but this is england, I can imagine it being different in america, Reed was legendary in his own country, over here if I mention his name I usually get the answer, WHO? then I usually have to follow that with "cletus the truck driver from smokey and the bandit" and the man meant so much more to me than cletus.
Reed was a great musician, totally love his guitar playing, he will be missed!

See you in 2009!!!!

...H

Friday, 5 December 2008

Doomsday 2009

Love the description of The Lamp of Thoth there, "Eccentric Victorian Doom".
See thee there!

Sunday, 30 November 2008

On the Death Decks

Aural pleasure this week:
Damascus - Open Your Eyes
Dorsal Atlântica - Antes Do Fim / Dividir & Conquistar
Saxon - Into The Labyrinth (Promo)
Cathedral - The Garden of Unearthly Delights
Sepultura - Beneath The Remains / Schizophrenia
Darkthrone - Goatlord / Total Death
Isengard - Vinterskugge
Lamp of Thoth - Cauldron of Withchery
Motörhead - Another Perfect Day / Orgasmatron

"You black t-shirt fucks, you are all Communists" Global Metal : A Review



As long time readers of Thee Claw will know, for us it's as much about the music as it is about the travel and the stories that go with it.
For years the three of us have been collecting sounds from all corners of the globe, long before the advent of the internet shrinking international boundaries.
(I always smile when I think to a conversation Skum and I had in the pub once:
Patchie :"I'll do you a copy of that live Tormentor stuff"
Skum:"The Hungarian Tormentor or the German Tormentor?")

So, after a long wait to get my hands on it, I finally got a copy of Scot McFadyen and Sam Dunn's follow up to (the frankly rather disappointing) Metal: A Headbanger's Journey, the new release being Global Metal.


Starting off in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, Scot talks to Max Cavelera (ex Sepultura), Carlos Lopes (Dorsal Atlântica), Rafael Bittencourt (Angra) and a load of academics and journalists about how metal arrived in the country, and what it means to be into metal in that country and how metal is different there to other parts of the world, how their culture has shaped the sound of the bands there (Sepultura's lacklustre Roots album being used as the prime example).
Did you know, by the way that there is a whole mall dedicated to metal in São Paulo? The Grandes Galerias is now on Thee Claw's itenary of must-visit places.
One thing that became even more sadly obvious from this segment of the film is how amazing Sepultura were back in the day, compared to how bad they are now.

From here Scot and Sam travel to Tokyo, highlighting the difference between metal fans in Japan and in the west, mainly that they tidy up after themselves at festivals.
They talk to journalists about Deep Purple's arrival in Japan opening the floodgates for western rock, and Kiss being idols there. Marty Friedman (ex-Cacophony/Megadeth), a resident of Japan, offers an insight into the Visual K phenomenon, and Sigh are also interviewed.
Sadly there is no sign of Japan's greatest (and probably most studio-intensive) metal band, the mighty Sabbat.
Too much jock-metal in this bit for me (Slayer, Lamb of God) and definitely too much Lars Ulrich.
The sight of the businessmen in a bar called "The Blackmore" in their suits singing along to Highway Star, playing air guitar and headbanging is pure metal gold.

The next stop on the journey is Mumbai in India, with an emerging metal scene.
There are some decent bands coming out of a new scene, the non-necro black metal sounds of Demonic Ressurection for instance, and the point is raised that in India, if you are into metal that's it, you are a metalhead. There is no division through religion or caste involved. There are even what Thee Claw know as geg-metal bands in Mumbai, check out Bhayanak Maut. (Or don't, preferably. They even look like SSS)

Travelling from India to China, they seem a bit unsure of what they will find. If there is anything that people with an interest in the history of metal know, it's that amazing metal often finds a way to flourish under Communist rule, need I name all the East German, Polish, Russian, Hungarian etc bands that were underground legends before the Autumn of Nations happened?
Scot talks to Kaiser Kuo from Tang Dynasty, who tells us about the arrival of metal in China.
When bands became "cut-out" of record companies back catalogue, their CDs weren't destroyed, but sent to China. Some decent Chinese Black Metal (Ritual Day) is introduced to the viewer in this segment, and what is becoming more and more apparent through this film is that Metal serves a similar purpose and attracts similar people, no matter the geographical location.

Indonesian metal? Believe it. Some amazing footage in this part of Sepultura playing Inner Self in 1992 (this actually made the hairs on my arms stand up). Max tells a story about playing there, and halfway through the concert the police waded into the crowd and battered them with bamboo sticks, and made twenty thousand people sit still and not make a noise. Can you imagine living in that situation? The difference between the haves and have nots in Indonesia is staggering. Unemployment is at 40%, Barney from Napalm Death mentions that there will be a high rise hotel, the most expensive place to stay, and rigt next to it there will be a shanty town. The injustice of this is painfully etched on the face of Andre from Siksabur when he talks about mountains of diamonds. It makes you realise that these middle class goth kids that I see hanging around the city centre with their scowls... they know nothing. Neither do we.
One kid sold his father's shoes to buy tickets to go and see Metallica in 1993. Think about that.
In fact, James, think about that when you record the follow up to Death Magnetic.

Scot strikes a good balance between the fact that he is a metalhead and that he is an anthropologist, but the anthropology becomes more obvious towards the end of the film when he visits Jerusalem, interviewing Allaru and Orphaned Land (who incorporate their culture into their sound). A parallel is shown between Norwegian black metal bands and their love of their mythology with the topics that are often covered by bands in Isreal who are, quite understandably, very pissed off about a lot of things.
Slayer show up again here, the fucking beauts, but where else are you going to get a good mix of views about the lyrics of Angel of Death? And Varg Vikernes sent Salem a bomb in the mail. Fact.

All in all, I came away from this film with two things in my mind.
Firstly, metal is the music of the underdog, anywhere in the world. If you are disenchanted, opressed, whatever, there are people in other countries who are feeling the same thing, listening to the same music and forming their own bands.
Secondly, Sepultura used to be fucking amazing before Chaos AD.
If they had kept their act together they would be the biggest metal band in the world and Max Cavelera would be the Bob Marley of metal. To me, that's stranger than seeing a metal festival in Dubai.
10% agreeable people, 90% dickheads.

Saturday, 29 November 2008

Heathen Uprising All-dayer - London, February 7th 2009

Live near London... and love your doom / crust punk? Maybe you are simply looking for a good reason to visit England... and love your doom / crust punk! Either way, the following promises to be a blur-orgy of beer, hair and fists that you simply just won't want to miss!


EVENT: Heathen Uprising All-Dayer
VENUE: The Unicorn, Camden, London
DATE: Saturday February 7th 2009
BANDS:
Centurions Ghost, Hang The Bastard, Dead Existence, Sick To Death, Witchsorrow, Armed Response Unit, Moloch, Flowers Of Flesh And Blood, Trippy Wicked, Hardcore Killface
DOOR TAX: None! Zero! Nil gratis! It's FREEEEEE!

So there you have it, a completely free day of loudness for you to partake in, all being held in "The Big Smoke" that is Old London Town.

SPECIAL BONUS OFFER:
If you actually *do* make it along to this great event, be sure to tell them that you heard about this on THEE CLAW webzine - in which case the organisers have agreed that they will let you in for half price!

Sax-On, Sax-Off!!!!...




I have managed to aquire a promo of the new upcoming Saxon album "Into The Labyrinth".
Due out on January 12th, what could possibly be a contender for album of 2009 is already top of my list in 08!!!
Biff and the boys have done well once again, for me personally everything they've released since guitarist Doug Scarrat joined in 1995 has give me a proper sense of "This Is How It's Fucking Done!".
Saxon have amazed since upping the intensity back on 1997's "Unleash The Beast", "Unleash..." followed (in my opinion), a whole bunch of shite saxon albums. The first six or so albums are pure classics, not a single bad song on any of them, but as nearly every uk rock and metal band of the 1980's went all pop and mainstream (priest, leppard etc...) so did Saxon and their popularity vanished because of it.
Every album released since 1995's live classic "The Eagle Has Landed Part 2" has been a true metal masterpiece as were the first six albums all those years ago and it makes me proud of this british metal beast for getting back on track, so onto the new album.

Into The Labyrinth

01. Battalions Of Steel
Close your eyes and you'll swear that you're listening to a young european metal band and that's how fresh the album sounds, this song will be a live favourite for sure, you wont think it's Saxon until you hear the vocals, unmistakably Biff Byford!!!!

02. Live To Rock
Short keyboardy intro reminded me of Turbo by Judas Priest but the song itself is a total saxon anthem, the most british sounding song on the cd, a pure chest pounding singalong!!!

03. Demon Sweeny Todd
You get two types of Saxon on any album, first you get the rock n roll anthem style saxon, and then you get the full on brutal, fast, in your face, double bass infused, heavy fucking metal saxon.
This is my favourite song on the album, I love it when they go full on, think of the last few albums, if you liked "All Guns Blazing", "Witchfinder General" or "Let Me Feel Your Power" then add this to your list!!!!

04. The Letter
Short acoustic intro leading to...

05. Valley Of The Kings
Another euro-ish stlye (i never said power metal style) but if this had any other singer then I'd lump it with bands like Hammerfall etc... but Biff saves this song, he makes it a great song!!!!!

06. Slow Lane Blues
Slow paced, bluesy and rocking like it's 1980!!!!!!! Loving it!!!!

07. Crime Of Passion
A mid paced heavy bastard of a song, i love the guitar sound on this tune, hope they play it live!!!

08. Premonition in D Minor
An intro possibly by Doug, could be Quinny, hard to tell, its got effects on it.

09. Voice
Ballad-ish, still good, heavy riffs, nice mellow parts, a refreshing change!!!

10. Protect Yourselves
Mid Paced and heavy once again, crunchy and riffy!

11. Hellcat
See track 3!!!!!!!!!!!!

12. Come Rock Of Ages (The Circle Is Complete)
Nice saxon rock out, can't remember if they played it in manchester the other week?

13. Coming Home (Bottleneck Version)
Acoustic blues slide guitar version of a song that was on 2001's Killing Ground, I like this version better, hope they do this live like motorhead did whorehouse blues live!!!!!

H

Friday, 28 November 2008

Hammerfest Festival, North Wales, April 24th & 25th 2009

So I just read about this festival going on in North Wales, called HAMMERFEST. Hmmm, my opinion is that it sounds almost half decent. That is to say 40% decent, 60% not so decent.

The line-up announced so far:

Opeth
Bullet For My Valentine
Saxon
Hammerfall
Skindred
Cathedral
Alestorm
Grand Magus
Sabbat
Tyr
Exit Ten
Trigger The Bloodshed
Dream Evil
Evile
Annotations Of An Autopsy

VERDICT OF THE LINE-UP:
A very "cobbled-together" set of bands there I think you'll agree. Bullet For My Valentine, headlining? I can't relate to that myself. Who exactly is this bill being aimed at? As much as I love SAXON, CATHEDRAL, SABBAT and GRAND MAGUS, this still seems like a bit of a hodge-podge of a bill to me so far. It's entirely possible that they will announce MANOWAR or somebody like that and prove me wrong, but what's the chances of that happening!

COST:
The price for the tickets is almost £300 - and that's for the cheapest tickets possible! There's a whole array of different packages on offer, prices for this go up as high as £900 for a ticket that'll get 7 people into the venue for 2 days. This price includes accommodation, fair enough, but still it's a hell of a lot to ask! The organisers of this festival should do something similar to the guys who put together Donington and release a few day passes closer to the day.

FESTIVAL CLASH:
The biggest drawback for this festival (as far as THEE CLAW is concerned at least) is that it is being held on the EXACT same weekend as the legendary ROADBURN FESTIVAL in Tilburg, Holland.

Anyways, now you all are aware that there's a big old hard rock / heavy metal festival next April, maybe this sounds like your idea of fun. If so, be sure to find Biff Byford and say hello to him on Thee Claw's behalf! Because it's very doubtful that any of us guys will be able to come along for this particular party.

Thursday, 27 November 2008

Nice Day For A White Shotgun Wedding

Congratulations from SJW and THEE SKUM to "Our Claw", AKA PATCHIE, who has had a crash course in brain surgery and popped the question to his soon-to-be missus! Any excuse for a stag do, right?

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Satyricon @ Rios, Leeds


I went along to watch Norwegian black metal legends SATYRICON play a show in Leeds this evening, a bit of a journey to get there but it was well worth the effort. They played everything that you would expect them to play; KING, Mother North, Fuel For Hatred and all the rest.

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Want that....


Ramesses - Misanthropic Alchemy Double LP / Mantricum Records Dec 2008

Monday, 24 November 2008

Damnation Festival 2008 (Patchie)

So, Saturday saw THEE CLAW head over to Leeds for the annual trip to the UK's most prominent underground metal festival, the 2008 Damnation festival.
This year's trip was a bit different for me than most of the road trips I've been on the with Thee Claw over the years, as I was joined by my girlfriend Becky who is four and a half months pregnant, so I knew there would be no going crazy in pits or getting covered in fake blood on this outing.
I didn't mind much because there were quite a few bands that I wanted to see, so let's get going.

We were also joined on this trip by the living legend that gave birth to the claw (The Claw, not Thee Claw), the godly being "Quagmire Petch". Gaze upon his metal countenance in the above picture and tremble.

After an unenventful trip through the Penines listening to loads of NWOBHM and King Diamond, we met up with the gang who had headed to Leeds from all four corners of this pleasant land, and went for a few pints...the sight of Quagmire drinking a pint of Stella with about two inches of candy letters in the bottom will live long in the memory.

We headed over to the venue just in time to buy some completely overpriced beer (£3.95 for a can of Tuborg? it's 90p a can in the shop at the bottom of my street!) and get a good position to watch the first band I wanted to see, UK thrash stalwarts Onslaught.
Their set was being recorded for an upcoming live album, which I guess will be pretty good to get a copy of to give to the baby when it's older, this being it's first gig and all! (as a side note, the little one had been asleep all day but immediately woke up and started kicking when Onslaught came on! Thrash baby on it's way!).
Onslaught played a mix of material encompassing their career, as you would expect from a band recording a live album.
They sounded top notch, Si's voice sounding as peircing and brutal as it does on The Force and Killing Peace.
Lots of people seemed to be using this time to get themselves decent positions for Carcass, who were headlining this room later, but when Onslaught had finished we went for a little walk.
Well, when I say went for a little walk, I mean we walked around in circles for about an hour, ending up in the Jagermeister room over and over again, bumping into people here and there.
We decided to sit down around now, get something to eat and get me a couple of drinks, before heading into the Rock Sound stage to check out Ramesses.
The other Claw Brothers weren't too bothered about seeing them as they were going to see them with Grief the day after so I left Becky and the bump relaxing on one of the sofas at the back and headed down just in time to hear them tear into "Master Your Demons"....I sweated a bit in that crowd and threw some total CLAWS, Adam looking menacing as fuck in an ancient Godflesh Streetcleaner shirt, and Mark hammering his drums to peices in the way only he can....amazing.

After this we headed over to the Terrorizer stage to catch Napalm Death... there were so many people in the room it was ridiculous, and when they started, all hell broke loose!
Becky and I were stood right at the back of the room (we could literally touch the rear wall) but we were getting shoved and jostled so much that we didn't want to take any chances and went back to the Rock Sound stage so I could get another drink. Devil Sold His Soul were on in here; we suffered their insipid Mr Fancy Pants Matalan Outfit Plastic Metal for half an hour or so, but at least we got amazing seats on the balcony (really a six foot hight wall at the side) next to the PA for a good view of Cathedral. DSHS - sub-par-cod-Isis-clone-mania. Avoid at all costs, unless you are going to kill them. And if you are, give me a call so I can film it. Geg-rock at it's finest.

I hadn't seen Cathedral since 1992 in Liverpool, so the whole disco-doom era passed me by in a live setting, and I was desperate to see them, with The Garden of Unearthly Delights being one of my favourite albums of recent years.
They didn't dissapoint!
Opening with Utopian Blaster (HUGGY BEAR OOOOH YEAH!) and going into Enter The Worms...I was leaning over the balcony with claws in the air!
When Lee Dorrian introduced North Berwick Witch Trials I abandoned my place and ran headlong to the front of the stage, meeting up with Thee Skum and SJW! Quagmire was off watching Carcass, so he missed Corpsecycle the airing of new song Open Mind Surgery. During Equilibrium I nipped out for a breath of air *ahem* and had a peek in the near empty room were Pitchshifter were going through the motions with their also-ran nu-metal.
Nice lads Pitch Shifter, but they should have stuck to the Godflesh worship.
Cathedral finished their set with a one-two of encores Ride and crowd favourite Hopkins (The Witchfinder General)....amazing setlist although I was pretty dissapointed there was no room for Soul Sacrifice.

All in all a brilliant day out, I just wonder how they will top it next year!!
I am reliably informed that Carcass DESTROYED all-comers at this festival. Songs from EVERY release were played, including, I believe, stuff from Flesh Ripping Sonic Torment. Ken Owen came out and played a little drum solo; apparently as soon as the room was full nobody was allowed in or out. Good on you Carcass, local boys come good.

If you are in Stockholm...

...and I know some of you are, you could do a lot worse than get along to this:



The Devil's Blood are revered at Claw Towers, get along for some occult fuzz rock!

Ramesses, Korova, 23/11/08 (H)

A quick one about last nights gig at korova.
I managed to catch Goatspeed, Dragged Into Sunlight and Ramesses.
Grief supposedly had tyre trouble in the channel tunnel and somebody said that Trap Them were with them so they were both a no show, Grief are apparently playing korova for free on thurdsay but I thought the bands I caught were well worth the 8 quid!
Goatspeed played fast hardcore style metal with a few grooves, not bad!
Dragged Into Sunlight brought a pure grim atmosphere with smoke and flame and a pretty good nasty mix of allsorts of old black/death metal styles. They were great!
Ramesses were basically Ramesses, jamming out and dooming on, good shit!!!

Saturday, 22 November 2008

Damnation 2008 (SJW)

SJW here, this is "live from the gig" update from this years Damnation Festival in Leeds. These things rarely work out, updating during the event I mean, but here goes anyway.

VENUE:
I dunno what this place is called yet, but it's a different venue than last year. Much bigger and much better. Kudos to thee promoters! 3 big stages, it's a good set up.

Bands:

Here's who I watched at this year's event.

TAINT
Welsh 3-piece, I caught 4 songs by these guys. We were a little late turning up for the event so Taint were already into their set when we first got into the venue and it took us a little while to find The Jagermeister Stage (AKA "The Main Stage"). Their song Drunk Marksman was particularly good.

ONSLAUGHT
Some guy just came onstage to announce that tonight performance would be recorded and released as a live album. This keeps happening to us. After a few rounds of "Damnation!" and "Onslaught!" the intro music ushered the band onstage to a rapture of drunken applause.
Whoa - Sy Keeler's vocals are amazing. That voice is peircing! It's just like on Power From Hell. Skum is stood here with me and he doesn't recognize all of the guys in the band... but they're a tight unit, you can't deny that.
Songs included Metal Forces, Planting Seeds Of Hate and Demoniac. Great set.

SIGH
After some atmospheric intro music, avant-garde metallers Sigh started with a fury. These guys are from Japan and this is their 1st gig in the UK for 13 years. Man, what a display. The 2 vocalists, one guy and one chick, are sharing an almost constant barrage of the singing duties, only he (Mirai Kawashima) was doing the high parts and she (namely "Dr. Mikannibal") was a lower growl by comparison! There's hardly an 8-bar of music without one of them adding a touch more in the way of vocals. It's non stop!
Plus also the good lady doctor is wearing a tiny leather mini skirt and bikini top... I nearly forgot to mention that for a minute! There's lots of flesh on show up there right now. How could I miss out telling you guys about that one? The photographers down in the pit appear to be jockeying for position in order to get the best view up her skirt.

More about SIGH:
The guitarist (Shinichi Ishikawa) has the most awesome bowl-head haircut and is wearing a camo t-shirt for some reason, meanwhile Kawashima-San (male vocalist) is wearing some kind if 19th century style pall bearer costume get-up. It's strange how each band member is dressed for a different genre of music!
I have just noticed that our lovely lady vocalist, Dr Mikannibal, keeps having to fix her bra top in between every song. There's a guy in the crowd nearby to where I am stood who has shouted "Show us your teeets!" about 5 times now, like that's real funny to him or something. I dunno eh!
Also she's playing a saxophone as well, but you cannot hear it so well unfortunately. man, she's the real deal.
Sigh finish their set with a cover of Venom's Black Metal. At the same time that they are covering this black metal classic, Dr Mikannibal is holding what appears to be about a dozen red candles, which are lit, up in the air, directly above her chest and letting the hot wax drip down onto her bare chest! Whoa, what a gal!
SIGH all about the performance - it's awesome!

BENEDICTION
I've just ran straight across from Sigh's set to catch some of Benediction's set over on the Terrorizer Stage in the next room. Walked in just in time to see a crazy pit being fuelled by tremendously fast thrash! Another well designed room for a metal gig, the outside of the room is raised up while the centre is like a pit, literally. I only got here to see the last ten minutes of their set. Looks like Napalm Death are on in here next, so I am sticking around for that.

NAPALM DEATH
Sorry guys but no live review during Napalm... but it's kinda hard to blog from in a pit! That's right, I was one of the bald guys in the pit running about at the front of the Terrorizer stage watching everyone's favourite grind band from Brumingham.

Best gig of the day so far IMO. I knew all of the songs after all! Well 95 percent of them at least (they played a couple of new songs from an upcoming record).
One complaint from during this show - the on-stage bouncers were being rather heavy handed with anyone trying to stage dive during Napalm's set. I understand that these guys have ajob to do (I am a doorman in another line of work, in case you didn't already know), so I know that you have to be firm but also keep safety as a priority. Which is why I got very angry when I saw one bouncer react to a guy who was in mid-air, diving from the stage back into the crowd, he stopped the guy back grabbing him by the arm and pulling him back to the stage! That could have turned out to be a very nasty dislocation! Very unnecessary. And its not as if the band were put off by the stage diving.
Anyway, it wasn't that big a deal I guess.
Something I just learned: N.D. have been going 28 years this year. Imagine that! Speaking of old-school Napalm Death, next band up is CATHEDRAL...

CATHEDRAL


This show was Cathedral's 1st gig in 2 years, or at least Lee Dorrian told us from on stage.
They played North Berwick Witch Trials! I love that song!
It seems that each band gets better as the day goes on at this festival.
Bravo Damnation!

Cathedral Setlist @ Damnation 2008:

Utopian Blaster
Enter The Worms
North Berwick Witch Trials
Cosmic Funeral
Carnival Bizarre
Corpsecycle
Open Mind Surgery (New!)
Equilibrium
Cathedral Flames
Melencholy Emperor
Upon Azerel's Wings
Ride
Hopkins

Okay that's it, end of my "live review". Hope it isn't as bad and as jumbled as I kinda expected it to turn out!
It's been a great great day. Just a shame that the guys who put Damnation together this year weren't able to arrange THEE CLAW a photo pass to get our SLRs in for a few photos. Hell, we asked... I guess maybe we might get lucky in that department next time round. In any case, there's no complaints from our end of the deal - it's been a total ball of a day. Plaudits all round to the organisers, this was one of the best festivals we've been to this year (and we've been to a fair few so we're good judges as far as festival metal goes!).

Now I just hope my car is still in 1 piece and parked where I left in behind the fenton.....

Thursday, 20 November 2008

Listening in November


Destruction - Sentence of Death
Darkthrone - FOAD / Dark Thrones and Black Flags / Soulside Journey
Onslaught - Power From hell / The Force
Witchcraft - Witchcraft

It's getting to that time of year again where I would be putting together some form of Best of 2008 list;
But to be honest there have been so many releases that are worthy this year, and so many amazing gigs that we have been to it's hard to know where to start!
I'll do my best for you though! Probably the next time you hear from me (unless I hear some amazing new album or unearth some lost gem before the weekend - speaking of lost gems, check out NWOBHMBLOG) will be my review from the Damnation Festival.
Till then, keep it trve and ignore young bugs!

\|||/ Patchie \|||/

I very rarely link to download sites, mainly because I feel that proper record/cd collections are vastly superior to mp3s, but most of the links on NWOBHMBLOG are to out-of-print EPs that would be forgotten about if it wasn't for sites like this. If you don't speak the language, use it in conjunction with Encyclopaedia Metallum to unearth some classics.

Monday, 17 November 2008

You can't please all of the people all of the time...

...but it would be nice to please some of them some of the time.

As you can see, the running order of the bands playing at the Damnation Festival in Leeds next weekend have been announced. I apprecite that sorting out the running times for festivals is a bit of a logistical nightmare but, fucking hell.....Sigh, Benediction and Ramesses clashing? Napalm Death and My Dying Bride clashing?
One thing I am glad of though is that Carcass and Cathedral are clashing.
I must have seen Carcass about 15 times in Liverpool between 1990 and 1992, so I'm really not bothered about missing half of Arch Enemy cover Carcass tracks with Bill and Jeff*.
As this is the only UK gig the "re-united" Carcass are playing, hopefully everyone will be in there watching them leaving me plenty of space to enjoy some good disco-doom from Cathedral who I haven't seen since mid 91.  And as for Pitchshifter...what in the name of Fenriz are they doing on the bill? Hopefully loads of kids will be in there watching them.

*I know Carcass have reformed to do these shows for the benefit of Ken Owen who will most likely never work again, let alone play the drums, and I think that's very, very admirable of them, their motives for doing this should never be doubted by any metalhead who has a brain.  I've bought my ticket, so I've done my bit. I just won't be watching them.

Sunday, 16 November 2008

Motörhead, Saxon, Manchester (Patchie)

On Friday night we made the short trip over to Manchester to see English/Welsh/Swedish institution Motörhead supported by Saxon at the Apollo.
Due to some major major traffic on the way into town we missed openers Danko Jones, and arrived just in time to run down to the front for Saxon as they finished their opening song Motorcycle Man.
This was my first time watching Saxon, and they didn't let me down.
With an extensive back catalogue to choose from and newer songs that fit well next to them, we were treated to a masterclass in English heavy metal from Biff, Quinny and the lads.
Highlight of the set for me apart from the more obvious ones (747, Princess of the Night and Denim and Leather) was And The Bands Played On, which really lends itself to a good old sing along!
They are back in April apparently, I'm a bit worried about this because I have a lot on that month but I'm going to do my best to get down and see them.
They played a song from their forthcoming album "Live to Rock" called Hellcat - in Skum's words "a bit dodgy".

After what seemed like an eternity, Motörhead hit the stage.
Lemmy looks twenty years younger behind the mic with a bass in his hand, Mikkey Dee is a powerhouse behind the kit and Phil Campbell, well, even wearing an identical hat to one that my girlfriend wears can't take away from his legendary awesomeness.
Opening up with Iron Fist the set, much like Saxon's, is a great mix of old and new, songs from the Motörizer album, such as future crowd favourite Rock Out nestling in well amongst surprise inclusion Another Perfect Day (those two were the standout tracks for me) and Be My Baby from Kiss of Death.
Of course we had the usual Metropolis/Stay Clean and Just Cos You Got The Power, I can't help echoing Skum's sentiments in his review that with such a large amount of amazing material in their locker they could throw out some curveballs now and again (Snakebite Love or even something like (Don't Let 'em) Grind Ya Down would be nice. I know it's too much to expect No Class or The Claw!).
An excellent performance from Thee Head, reminding all these young bugs how it should be done.

Top notch! 9.75/10 (0.25 marks lost for not rotating their back catalogue enough!)


On a bit more of a negative note, what the fuck is wrong with some of the people at Motörhead gigs?
As has been mentioned in other reviews on this very zine, 90-odd-percent of people there are only at the gig to hear Ace of Spades, but that's no excuse to act like you haven't been allowed out the house since the 1982 Reading Festival. People who you suspect could very well be your area manager from work soaking you in shitty Australian lager and trying to start "a pit" whilst shouting for Ace of Spades from the start of the show and calling Mikkey Dee a "fat cunt" during his solo.
Grow up lads. You put me off being at gigs there for a bit.

Saturday, 15 November 2008

Motörhead and Saxön 14/11/08 by H...

It's that time of the year again, the annual hike up the m62 to attend yet another Motörhead gig. (not counting the missed motörhead show last year ha!)
The UK's most consistent/reliable band treading the boards at the manchester apollo theatre for what seems like the millionth time, manchester is the closest Motörhead's gonna get to a homecoming gig for Lemmy who's originally from nearby stoke.
We missed opener Danko Jones but we weren't to bothered about him to be honest, after a quick technical difficulty on the road we hit the apollo like a ton of bricks cos Saxon were just coming on so we all legged it down as far to the front as we could and sang along to a few classics (And The Bands Played On, Heavy Metal Thunder, Never Surrender, Princess Of The Night, Denim and Leather, 747 Strangers In The Night etc...) and a more recent classics (Witchfinder General!) They also played new material from their upcoming album due out in january and announced a uk tour in april and promised a date in manchester. Saxon sounded great, a little low on volume but still rocking!!! Guitarist Paul Quinn is still a big hero of mine!!!!



When you attend a Motörhead show you have to accept the fact that possibly 70 odd percent of the audience have only turned up to hear fucking Ace Of Spades and Overkill etc, and the other 30 percent are all waiting for them to play obscure songs off Another Perfect Day, Orgasmatron and Bastards!
They played a blinding set which included 2 songs from Another Perfect Day and 1 off Bastards but most people see Born To Raise Hell off the film Airheads and not the Bastards album.



We got a couple off the new album and a few off the last album which was cool because I missed the last tour and was dying to hear Kiss Of Death songs live so it was like 2 tours for the price of one ha!
Motörhead more or less play the same standard classics live every single year, year in year out every tour we get songs like Stay Clean, Metropolis, Going To Brazil and Just Cos You've Got The Power, they need to be dropped for lesser played classics like Bomber and Nothing Up My Sleeve and songs not played for centuries like I'm So Bad Baby I Don't Care, Steal Your Face and Burner (Even "Claw" from orgasmatron would be nice, just a thought!!!)

Same time next year then... and bring this guy with you next time....!

Sunday, 9 November 2008

Let There Be Rock...

I took a trip into town last night to see what was probably the best AC/DC tribute band I've ever seen, Live/Wire.
What sets them apart from other AC/DC tribute bands is that they have 2 singers, they offer up two live sets for each vocalists eras, they played a near 2 and half hour set, first hour of the show was all Bon Scott songs, complete with thee best Bon Scott impersonator and a very good selection of their 70's stuff, they had their sound spot on. They took 3 songs from Powerage (my favourite ac/dc album!) which was a nice surprise!
Part 2 was all Brain Johnson songs and they were still spot on! They mixed it up a bit near the end with "Bon" coming out to do duets and to sing a few more Bon tracks, hope they come back soon!

I'm off to see Danko Jones, Saxon and Motorhead in manchester this coming friday night, it shall be a one man pilgrimage to see thee mighty head so expect some pics n shit!!!

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Lucky Bastards.......

In Australia.......

Using this quiet time to try and help out some friends.....



"Olde Crone are still waiting to hear from all you budding drummers and guitarists to join Olde Crone.

We have had some people saying they wouldn't be able to do Foxy's Solos or some of the beats Fyfe has created. We are looking for people who can get close and even add there own touch to whats already down and open to suggestion. So if you know anybody male/female or yourself male/female want to give it a go please contact us and we will go from there.


The album is due out soon and we will update you on that as soon as we know anything.


Olde Crone
"

Doom on! - P

Monday, 27 October 2008

Thursday, 23 October 2008

This Week......

It's been a good week for album releases and gigs, Darkthrone, AC/DC and Ross The Boss all with excellent albums coming out in the last few days and a gig in the shape if thee mighty Queen and Paul Rodgers (QPR???) at Liverpool Arena.
Me and SJW got to see some childhood heroes in action this past saturday, personally I just couldn't wait to see Brian May cos he's my all time favourite guitarist without a doubt but man of the match went to my least favourite member of Queen, Roger Taylor and it was all because of his drum solo.
He started with just a bass drum and a hi hat and did some beats for a few minutes, then members of the road crew brought him a snare, then a few beats after that they would start to bring out tom toms and cymbals to add to his kit, Taylor was still playing his solo as the crew constructed the drum kit around him and it all lead to an excellent performance of an old obscure Queen classic, "I'm In Love With My Car", obscure in the sense that anybody that just owns the greatest hits albums will probably never have heard this excellent song before.
I was pretty disappointed by the new songs, they're just not my cuppa tea but that heavy riff on C-Lebrity is spot on!
Only 2 paul rodgers songs got played but they were good ones, "Bad Company" (by bad company!) and Free's "All Right Now".
A special part of the gig that needs mentioning is Brian Mays performance of "Bijou", he was joined by Freddie Mercury via the big screen, amazing stuff! Freddie would show up again later to sing the first half of the almighty "bohemian rhapsody"!
Excellent gig!!!!!

I've also aquired the new CYNIC album, "Traced In Air".
I like Cynic, and this new album is an amazing follow up to their 1993 debut "Focus".
"Traced In Air" is very technical and experimental, with loads of jazz and fusion influences just as on "Focus", very, very intelligent music, all members are on top form here, makes me look more forward to the Pestilence reunion I keep hearing about and a possible new Atheist album in the future.

BUT......
The best album I think I'll hear this year is...



ROSS THE BOSS. NEW METAL LEADER 2008

New Metal Leader is what Manowar should fucking sound like but instead manowar continue to insult metal fans with their recent abysmal downtuned symphonic bullshit and constant trips to mailand europe. I don't get it, They release two legendary albums after Ross left manowar but in the last ten years they've faded into excrement, I didn't even bother buying the last Gods Of War album because Warriors Of The World was absolutely dreadful.
The story about the RTB band is that Ross wanted to do a band and found a manowar tribute band in europe somewhere and asked them if they wanted to be his new solo touring/recording band, pretty cool i think!!!
Ross The Bosses new album sounds like the manowar I know and love and I'm hoping for a tour from him.
Every song is a reminder of how amazing Manowar could be, each song has its own nod to an old mano-classic, I love it!!!

Enough now, me cuppas getting cold haha!!!!

Monday, 20 October 2008

Hellbound Underground Sound

Last night, Thee Skum and I went along to Korova in Liverpool to check out a few bands, twas OK but the couple of pints of Hoegaarden listening to Lick and a Promise and The Chase is Better Than The Catch was a good time too!
Anyway, the main crux of today's post is something that came in today's post!

The much-anticipated (at Claw Towers at least) new Darkthrone album, Dark Thrones and Black Flags.
So what have Gylve and Ted come up with for us this time?
In short, this is one of my favourite Darkthrone albums for a long time, carrying on from the "new/old" style that's been obvious on The Cult is Alive and Fuck Off And Die. Anyone expecting a return to the so-called "classic" Peaceville trinity from 92-94 will be dissapointed, but Darkthrone care not for the likes of you.
Like the greatest albums of old, and following their recent tradition, the album is split into two "sides"; a bit unworkable on a CD unless you follow my advice; grab a cold beer or two and listen to the first five tracks, then pause the CD whilst you retreive a few more tins from the refrigerator/shed/hole in a frozen lake.
My CD comes in a super-crazy case that's going to be a nightmare to pull out of the shelf when I'm drunk, and contains some lyrics, and the usual remarks from Gylve Fenriz about plastic mr-fancy metal and satan's purse. No, really.
The Winds They Called the Dungeon Shaker starts the album off, an opening riff reminiscent of Burzum, some amazing clean-ish vocals from Fenriz here. He's really getting into the role of vocalist now and he has a surprisingly unique (and totally metal) voice. That riff is amazing, comes in again at 2.30, total evil sounding. Oh, and the title makes more sense when you realise it's delivered in the chorus as The Winds! They Called! The Dungeon Shaker!
Death of all Oaths (Oath Minus) is one of Nocturno Culto's trademark "finger-moving riff" songs, there's no lyrics included in the booklet, but it's a solid, old-sounding thrasher with a solo after a minute and a half that is totally necro - and some atmospheric evil sounds after two and a half minutes or so.
Hiking Metal Punks if a song with that title and the lyrics "MAMMOTHS OF THE FOREST....WORLDS COLLIDE" doesn't do it for you, then you're going to hate what Darkthrone are doing now. Fenriz wrote this one as well and his metal-scream half way through is amazing.
Blacksmith of the North (Keep That Ancient Fire) is another one of Nocturno's, which is again lyric-less in the booklet. This has a total fist-pumping, headbanger of a main riff, with evil vocals from Nocturno, reminiscent of Shut Up from the Cult is Alive. Norway in September closes side A, to me this is the most reminiscent of older Darkthrone material, but still with Ted's more gruff vocal style that he's used on the more recent records rather than the total black-metal approach of older ones, a great finger-moving riff on this one too...THE LARGER THE LIFE THE CLOSER IS DEATH....total thrashing riff at 3 minutes forty...
Now, more beer before I get into side B.....
Grizzly Trade
Hanging Out in Haiger
Dark Thrones and Black Flags
Launchpad to Nothingness
Witch Ghetto

Thursday, 16 October 2008

Arrived Today: The New Record By The Lamp Of Thoth

It's here, it's finally arrived!

What, you ask? The record of the year! That's what!


The new record by THE LAMP OF THOTH arrived here at Claw Towers today: "Portents, Omens & Dooms". THE MISKATONIC FOUNDATION have really done the band proud with this release, the sound and the packaging of the CD are top notch! I opened the package to find it was bound in a velvet pouch, along with a copy of the latest demo by THE LAMP (on tape - old school as hell) as well as a big old LAMP badge too.

Most of all, the record sounds fucking awesome. I mean, really atmospheric. I was on my way out to work when the package arrived and so I had the privilege of giving it my 1st listening while driving around the street of Liverpool in my cab and picking up the unsuspecting public to take them from A to B. I had a granny in the back of my taxi when Blood On Satan's Claw began, along with the "Hey! You! You motherfucking whore! opening chant... Needless to say, she didn't leave me any tip.

In fact, you know what, I am going to head back out to do another few hours work now... just to give this baby another few listens. Expect THEE SKUM to be raving on about this record once his copy is in the clutch of his grubby claws!

I know that this record is a limited release (250 copies I believe), but believe me when I say that this shouldn't detract from the fact that the world finally has a truly great modern doom album from a future underground giant of a band. The Lamp Of Thoth are going to be huge - you heard it here first, second and third.

(I would go as far as to advise ya to go check out the MISKATONIC FOUNDATION website, but it's down at the moment...)

Sunday, 12 October 2008

Thursday, 9 October 2008

ONSLAUGHT....



Onslaught November UK tour dates...

Nov. 01 - Gloucester, UK - Brunswick (free entry!!!)
Nov. 14 - Birmingham, UK - Asylum
Nov. 15 - Nuneaton, UK - Queens Hall
Nov. 21 - Swansea, UK - Sin City
Nov. 22 - Leeds, UK - Damnation Festival
Nov. 28 - Kingston, UK - The Peel

Wednesday, 1 October 2008

Gigs......


Sunday 19th October, Korova, Liverpool (thought korova had closed down?) Entry £1 (you can't beat that, a lot of quality bands from all over the country for a quid!)



Bradford Deathfest, Saturday 25 October, Bradford, The Exchange, £5 Entry (a fiver for 11 bands, 4 nicker in with the flyer, boss value for death!!!)

Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Metal legends in the UK...



3 of metals best, Judas Priest, Megadeth and Testament will join forces for what is being billed as the "Priest Feast Tour" play the following dates over here in february...

Feb. 13 - Sheffield, UK - Sheffield Arena
Feb. 14 - Birmingham, UK - NEC
Feb. 16 - Glasgow, UK - SECC Hall 4
Feb. 17 - Manchester, UK - Manchester Arena
Feb. 18 - Nottingham, UK - Nottingham Arena
Feb. 20 - Cardiff, UK - Cardiff Arena
Feb. 21 - London, UK - Wembley Arena

FUCKING TESTAMENT!!!!!!!!!

Some of you older metalheads may remember this tour happening back in 1990 when Priest had Painkiller out, Megadeth had Rust in Peace and I think Testament had Souls Of Black out, but us in england had to settle for Annihilator on the 91 tour which was cool but fucking finally we are gonna get that tour that everybody else got!!!

Monday, 29 September 2008

Alright Queen!!!...



The Cosmos didn't Rock as much as I expected it to, still very good though.
Hopefully they won't play too much off it when we see them in october!

Riiiiiiide Thhhhhhhhe Liiiiiiiiightniinnnnnnnnnnng

Check this out: METALLICA's Ride The Lightning, dronified. Get onto FADE TO BLACK - slowed the hell down it makes for the most awesome drone song never written!


I don't know who worked this out but it's fucking doom as hell.

(Link stolen from elsewhere by the way, so don't blame us for pirating your shit, okay Lars!)

Sunday, 28 September 2008

Upcoming: Grief *AND* Ramesses To Play Korova Bar, Liverpool

You heard the man, there's a big gig coming to town.


Date:
23rd November 2008

City:
Liverpool.

Venue:
Korova Bar, Fleet Street, L1

Line-Up:
GRIEF
RAMESSES
TRAP THEM
THE FREEZING FOG
SEROTONAL
THEY ARE COWARDS
DRAGGED INTO SUNLIGHT
HAMMER ATTACK
GOATSPEED

THEE CLAW says:
Geg alert! Expect to see lots of faces come out to play that you haven't seen for years and years, all in a tiny windowless cellar, all at once! An actual bona-fide metal all-dayer in Liverpool. Expect lots of fringes and plaid shirts to be stood in your way. Yessiree.