Tuesday, 31 March 2009

...In 1991, Euronymous asked me to replace Dead on vocals in Mayhem...


One of the most visually pleasing things I have ever seen, and full of bits to fill in the blanks that are all the way through the half a story you think you know.
Original mixes of Cursed In Eternity/Pagan Fears/Freezing Moon/Funeral Fog/Life Eternal with Count Grishnacht's bass mixed higher, different vocal stylings in some parts and a previously unheard drum intro to Freezing Fog.
Strictly limited to 3000 copies, this is a must for any serious fan of those early, heady days. I was extremely lucky, mine came in the post today, won off ebay for a sum so reasonable that I can't even believe it properly.
Atilla's notes on the inner sleeve poignantly describe his despair at the death of Euronymous, and the effect it had on him back home in Hungary, but I won't reproduce that here, you can no doubt read the story on the web somewhere now it has been told.

Well done to Mr Csihar, this package sounds amazing, and looks even better.

Thursday, 26 March 2009

Playlist



floating my "boat" this week:

Amesouers - S/T (Code 666, 2009)
Witch Cross - Fit for Flight (Roadrunner 1994)
Beherit - The Oath of Black Blood (Turbo Recs, 1991)
Olde Crone - Olde Crone (psycheDOOMelic, 2009)
Alice Cooper - Constrictor (MCA 1986)
jesu - S/T (HydraHead 2004)
Anathema - All Faith is Lost (Demo 1991)
Metal Church - The Dark (Elektra 1986)
Anvil - Metal on Metal (Attic 1982)

You can't do that!

 
Just out of shot, he's listening to Cold Lake.

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Watching...

...Anvil - The Story of Anvil

I Am Thee Claw

A.C.A.B. - ALL CLAWS ARE BASTARDS

Let's leave it to Kerrang.


I was, at some point this week, going to review the new records from Mastodon and Isis, both bands that used to get a fair bit of play at Claw Towers at one time, but to be honest, I personally don't like their newest records, and you can read all about them in Kerrang or whatever.
Or you can buy Terrorizer and get a free poster of Mastodon... I don't know what's going on with that...Posters?

Anyway, I've got a whole load more new, true, releases to share with you, that aren't going to be centrefolds in any magazine anytime soon.
Shall we continue?

Ea - Ea II (Solitude Records 2009)

Funeral Doom is an often overlooked genre, a niche within a niche if you like.
Short of Thergothon and Funeral, who do you really know of that creates slow, epic, grand doom? Ea apparently have one record out previously to this (Ea Taesse, 2006) but it's passed me by. After listening to this new opus though, I must say that I will be tracking it down.
In true mysterious underground fashion, I've found it hard to get hold of any background information on the band (other than, according to the Encyclopaedia Metallum, "Ea is based on the sacral texts of ancient civilizations. Ea uses a dead language which was recreated according to the results of archeological study.")
It's amazing, atmosperic Death/Doom like early (demo) Anathema, dISEMBOWELMENT etc, with layers of keyboards and sound effects.
Two tracks (both untitled) full of despair, yet strangely uplifting, just how we like our doom!

Le Kvlte

Set to divide opinion in the world of Black metal is the eagerly awaited debut full length from France's Amesouers.
Described by the band as "a kaleidoscopic soundtrack for the modern era", this is 11 tracks of music that encapsulates everything from shoe-gazing post-rock (how I hate that term), through chanson-style French pop, to - yes- howling Black Metal, quite often in the same track.
They may seem like odd bedfellows, shoegaze and Black Metal, but it works.
I don't know how, but it does.
Black Metal has often been about the alienation and isolation of the northern countryside; what I feel here is an album about the solitude of modern city life.
Many attempts have been made by BM bands to become a bit more modern and urban, but I've always felt that they've failed...not here though.
I'm going to put my neck out and say that this is my favourite release of 2009 so far, and there will have to be some fucking strong albums coming out over the next 8 months to knock this off my top spot.
Like I say, the eclectic mix of styles present here won't be to everyone's tastes, but if you like black metal, and you like the introspective nature of the likes of Ride, Cocteau Twins et al then give it a try.
French metal doesn't begin and end with Trust you know.

Amesouers Myspace

Straight From Thee Shire

This morning a parcel arrived from the lovely folk at PsycheDOOMelic Records, via those likely lads of the Shire, Olde Crone (top ale drinkers and leaf smokers)... including their rifftastic debut LP.

What we've got here, you lovely people, is over an hour of Sabbath/Wizard/Goblin style riffing with rolling drums and psychedelic passages.
Boss biker bellowing from vocalist Lyndon, massive, massive riffs from Foxy and Dicky with Mark Greening style drumming from Fyfe holding it all together.
A trip to the Shire where the hobbits will tell you about the legend of Suspiria... you can't go wrong.
Just in time for thee Summer ov Doom - Thee Claw recommends!
I've got a couple of bottles of Löwenbräu Oktoberfestbier cooling for when I listen again in the dark.

Olde Crone Myspace
psycheDOOMelic Records

Listening To: Orcustus


The Wrathrash E.P. to be exact. How 2 songs classes as an E.P. is another thing entirely... but this is top stuff! Check out their new self-titled full-length ("Orcustus"). True Norwegian Black Metal, indeed.

30 you say....

Happy 30th Birthday "Overkill" from Thee SKUM!!!




That so called "difficult second album" is still probably one of the best ever "difficult second albums" from any band!
1979 was a good year! Motorheads far more superior 3rd album "Bomber" is also 30 this coming october and also the mighty Venom formed thirty years ago and the even mightier Iron Maiden released their first ever recording, the now legendary Soundhouse Tapes, in 79 too!

Sunday, 22 March 2009

Moon over Kara-Shehr


I'd planned to write a little bit about this release in a week or so, but with the impending release of "Live Inferno" and the 7" EP I thought maybe it would be time to dig out Wrath of the Tyrant again.

I was lucky enough to see Emperor on their 1993 tour (with a young British band who were the darlings of the UK underground with a couple of demos under their belt, what where they called? Oh yeah, Cradle of Filth. I wonder whatever happened to them?) whilst they were still wearing corpsepaint, before Faust and Samoth ended up in gaol.
It was an exciting time, the second wave of Black Metal was coming through from Scandinavia, Darkthrone were up to the second of their Peaceville black metal albums, and Death Metal, which had become a parody of itself, was starting to change in order to adapt, but in my eyes, never recovered.
On Wrath of the Tyrant, Emperor are still carrying baggage from their Thou Shalt Suffer days; namely death metal style downtuned guitars (if you can make them out from the grim, necro production.)
The demo was re-released later in Emperor's career with four tracks from a split with Enslaved cobbled onto it (rather strangely, at the beginning of the CD if I remember rightly) with Samoth moving over to guitars and Bard Faust coming in on drums, but release I'm interested in, Wrath of the Tyrant, features the trio of Isahn (Guitar/Vocals), Mortiis (Bass) and Samoth (Drums).
This still had the unproduced raw feel; by the time they released their debut full length In The Nightside Eclipse they had changed the lineup and brought the keyboards a bit further forward ("Rick fucking Wakeman" was one description I heard at the time, which was wildly exagerated but the sentiment was there) and for me, the magic was gone. The influence of the howling sound of this first tape is evident right up to the modern day (the new WITTR release is what prompted me to dig this back out again), and the fact that during their set at the Inferno festival, the reunited band included Wrath of the Tyrant.

PS: If you are following us on Twitter, you'll know I promised some reviews of new releases over the next few days...they are coming, but one CD won't be getting reviewed.  Just a quick note, if you include the phrase "Thrash Metal" in a press release, I don't expect a CD full of Lamb of God style, circle-pit buffoonery.
I'm looking at you, Ramp.

Tardy Brothers - Bloodline

Released next month, Bloodline sees John and Donald Tardy (of Obituary fame) and guest musicians Ralph Santolla, John Li, Scott Johnson and original Xecutioner guitarist Jerry Tidwell, but is it any good?

Before I start, I must admit that I wasn't overly impressed with either Frozen in Time or Xecutioner's Return, but as a fan from way back, I was looking forward to hearing what John and Donald would release once they were away from the Obituary banner.

Obviously, John's vocals aren't too different from what you'd expect to hear on an Obituary album, but the trademark crunch of the guitars isn't there, which is the main factor in you realising that you're actually listening to a side project.
There are lots of stop-start dynamics on the first few tracks to get you nodding your head along to, but the album comes alive on Deep Down, a fast paced thrasher with amazing drums from Donald, and some amazing leads traded off over the top.  The Celtic Frost influence that pervades most of the brother's main band's releases is replaced here with their obvious love for more straight ahead classic metal. 
Uniting this with John's unique voice was always going to be a struggle, but it works.
Wired is a semi-acoustic passage that leads into Fates Call,  a total hetpenger of a track with sick double kick drumming in. Fade Away is the album's closing track, and has a swaggering rock feel to it, by this time it is obvious that the lads have a lot of influences that are desperate to be realised but are beyond the constraints of Obituary.
Verdict? Buy!

http://www.tardybrothers.com/

Thursday, 19 March 2009

Eleven Months Younger Than Me.

 
Released thirty years ago next week (the 24th, fact fans) was classic Motörhead album Overkill.
An album that influenced everyone from the burgeoning speed metal scene in San Fransisco right up to more modern metallers like Orange Goblin, this album sounds as thought it was recorded yesterday.

Featuring a trademark Joe Petagno sleeve, there is quite simply not a bad track on the album.
Stay Clean and Metropolis are still staples of the live set as of last year, and bad-ass anthems No Class and Damage Case are mandatory sing along anthems on any road trip that Thee Claw goes on.
The title track is an unrelentingly bombastic song that Lemmy and Co still play as an encore, (I Won't) Pay Your Price is a swaggering attack on the false.
You can get a double CD version of Overkill now, with the b-sides from the No Class 7" (which came in three different sleeves (I want the Philthy Animal one!) but Thee Claw says - visit your local second hand record shop and get a copy for a few quid or a few dollars and drink some cider with the money you've saved.

All hail Lemmy, Philthy Animal and Fast Eddie Clarke!!!

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Sunn 0))) - Euro Tour, May / June 2009


As seen on SOMA's blog:

Shoshin/Grimmrobes 2009 EU

22nd May Riga / Viestarts festival @ Anglican Church
23rd May off
24th May Berlin / Prater Theatre
25th may Rotterdam / Arminius Kerk
26th May Leuven / Predikheren Kerk
27th May Paris / Sonique Villette festival (w/ Jesus Lizard & Bohren)
28th May off
29th May Barcelona Primavera
30th May off
31st May Dudingen (SWI) / Kilbi Festival
1st June Cesena / Teatro Comandin
2nd June off
3rd June Vienna / Arena (w/PITA)
4th June Prague / Sacre Coeur


I guess that the London gig just wasn't enough for them!

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Incoming...

Gigs... Gigs... Gigs...

CLASS A AUDIO - LE COUTEAU JAUNE / MONOBROW / PNEU / SHIELD YOUR EYES- UPstairs @ The Calidonia Liverpool 21st March 4 pounds

Jesus Of Spazzareth, Ocksen, Zangief, Mechagodzilla, The Caledonia Liverpool, FREE/Donations, 4th April

Future Noise Presents: UNEARTHLY TRANCE, RAMESSES & LAZARUS BLACKSTAR Star & Garter Manchester 15th April

Future Noise, DFFD & Liverpool Noise presents: CHURCH OF MISERY, FIREBIRD & TBC, Star & Garter Manchester 14th May

Listening To....


Tuesday, 10 March 2009

jesu News

In the pipeline from JKB....


Live at ATP Festival 'Fans Strike Back' 08 May 2009 to 10 May 2009, Butlins Holiday Centre, Minehead, England
Live at ATP / PRIMAVERA Festival , Barcelona, Spain From 28th To 30th May
'Opiate Sun' EP Caldo Verde July 2009. CD & Vinyl
'Infinity' LP- Avalanche Recordings June 2009. One song LP. CD, Vinyl & digital Download.
'Heart Ache' - 2xCD Hydra Head Version (2nd CD Bonus Unreleased EP from 2003) Sept 09
ENVY/jesu - Split LP (Hydra Head CD Version) Inc. Unconfirmed Bonus Mix

Time Flies When You Are Having Fun


Varg Vikernes (a.k.a. Count Grishnackh) — the former BURZUM mastermind who is currently serving a Norwegian prison term for the August 1993 murder of MAYHEM guitarist Oystein Aarseth (a.k.a. Euronymous) and setting fire to three churches — will soon be a free man.

In September 2008, Vikernes's fourth application for parole was denied, but a couple of weeks ago he finally received the message he has been waiting for: after almost 16 years in prison, he will be released.

"I will have to report [to the parole officer] for one year — initially every two weeks, and then once a month," Vikernes told the Dagbladet newspaper.

Varg's mother, who last year wrote a letter to Dagbladet in which she argued that her son was being unfairly treated by the justice officials who repeatedly denied his parole application, is very relieved that her son will be able to join his family in Bø, a municipality in the county of Telemark, Norway, where he recently purchased a small farm.

"I am very happy that he has been so strong and that he held out," she said. "It will be good for the family that they can be together every day."

For the past couple of years, Varg has been allowed to leave the prison regularly to walk around Tromsø, Norway (where the prison is located) and visit his family: his mother, his wife, eighteen-month-old son and sixteen-year-old daughter.

"I'm ready for society — and I have been for many years," Vikernes told Dagbladet last July . "I have learned from my mistakes and become older. Now I just want to be together with my family. My mind has never been in prison; I think all the time about what I should do on the day that I am released." He added, "I have barely seen my son since he came into the world. Even though I hear his voice on the phone almost every day, it is very tough to not be present while he is growing up. I miss my family. And I look forward the day that I could work on my farm, create music, write books and be with the wife and kids around the clock — and live a normal life. I have received tremendous support from my family. It means a lot."

Last year it was reported that case workers at the Justice Ministry feared that Vikernes would be unable to adjust to life on the outside after his years in jail.

In denying his parole for the second time, the Justice Ministry emphasized that Vikernes escaped from prison in 2003 and that he has ties to neo-Nazi groups.

"I haven't been in contact with them for a long time. Police security services know this," Vikernes previously told the VG newspaper.

Fucking Hell

 
Absu - Absu (Candlelight 2009)
BUY IT!

Saturday, 7 March 2009

Brutal Fucking Truth Cover Art


The saviours of grind are back! BRUTAL TRUTH's new record, "Evolution Through Revolution" is due for release in April via RELAPSE. THEE CLAW suggests you should do yourself a favour and check this shit out.

Next Gig...

...is Monday March 9th (3 days from now!) in Manchester, England.
The bands: THEY ARE COWARDS, RED STARS PARADE, HAMMERS AND UNE (JAPAN)
The venue: RETRO BAR, MANCHESTER CITY CENTRE

THEE CLAW says: Our good friends THEY ARE COWARDS are playing a gig this week, and THEE CLAW will be there cheering on our favourite angry doom merchants for another show.

Friday, 6 March 2009

The Devil You Know...


The new Heaven And Hell album cover!!!
Thee Claw cannot wait for this, the most anticipated metal release in years!!!

Monday, 2 March 2009

sunnO))) - Corsica Studios, London (22-F-09)


sunnO))) and their live rituals are heavily interwoven in the story and reasoning of Thee Claw.
We have, after all, travelled all over Europe to experience them, and their unique, one-off shows gave us the impetus in the early days to do a bit of travelling and be part of something special.

We didn't get a chance to see them at all during the last twelve months, so when the chance to see the original two piece Grimmrobes lineup of Stephen O'Malley and Greg Anderson in a gallery space in London came up, we jumped at the chance.

Skum, SJW and I travelled down from the North early on Sunday morning, listening to some Jon Lord fuelled rock and roll on the way down. We made good time and even had enough time to hang around for a bit doing the whole tourist thing before meeting up with the lads from They are Cowards, who had done an in-store in the capital on Friday night, for a few pints and something to eat.
A little stroll over to check out the venue and it was back for a few more pints before the gig.

The venue was nice and small, with the performers being raised on a stage at one end.
This was the eighth (I think) time I have watched sunn, and was the first time I wore earplugs.
I have a family now and I want to be able to hear the music my children are listening to before I ridicule it.
Some of the other venues I have seen sunn in had no need for ear protection, but here I was right up against the stage and to be honest, it actually enhanced the performance for me.
Sunn, stripped to a two piece (Tos was also with them earlier in the pub, but wasn't visible onstage) instead of the usual guest ensemble, played their trademark slow, punishing drone that Les Paul would never have believed could come out of his beloved invention. The feedback and low, low rumblings are heavy metal stripped down to the most primal level, wave after wave of cyclical riff.
Near the end of the set I took my earplugs out and it's there again, the utter chaos that was there at the start of Thee Claw's adventures, all through the past two years and into the future.

sunnO))) scare Tony Iommi.

Sunday, 1 March 2009

News From Putnam - 21 Years Of AxCx

(On a related note, Seth Putnam formed Anal Cunt on March 1, 1988. Happy 21st birthday, AxCx!)

LATER THIS YEAR, I WILL BE RELEASING ON WICKED SICK RECORDS ( http://www.wickedsickrecords.com ) A CD WITH THE MOST OBSCURE A.C. RECORDINGS EVER, WHICH WILL INCLUDE:

1.) OUR FIRST DEMO, WHICH WAS RECORDED IN APRIL, 1988. I STILL HAVENT EVEN MIXED FROM THE ORIGINAL 4-TRACK TAPE YET. NO ONE HAS EVER HEARD IT, EXCEPT FOR ME, MIKE MAHAN, TIM MORSE, AND THE 2 BROADS WHO WERE THERE WHEN WE RECORDED IT, BUT THEY HAVENT HEARD IT SINCE 1988. I HAVE HEARD IT RECENTLY, AND DECIDED IT'S ABOUT TIME IT GOT RELEASED.

2.) THE "BREAKING THE LAW" 7" E.P., ONLY 200 COPIES OF THIS WERE MADE ON A 7" IN 1993. FOR THOSE WHO DONT KNOW ABOUT THS RELEASE, IT IS FROM TWO SHOWS WE PLAYED IN 1993 (ONE IN MASSACHUSETTS, ONE IN SAN FRANCISCO) THAT WE PLAYED FOR ABOUT 2 MINUTES, AND THE REST OF THE SIDE IS PEOPLE YELLING AT US, CALLING POLICE, GETTING HURT, ETC.

3) THE "HOWARD IS BALD" 7" E.P., THERE WERE ONLY 53 COPIES OF THIS RECORD PRESSED (AND 4 COPIES OF THE CASSETTE DEMO). IT WAS RECORDED IN THE MIDDLE OF A DRUNKEN EVENING AT OUR HOUSE WITH SETH, TIM MORSE, AND SCOTT HULL. IT'S PRETTY FUCKING FUNNY.

4) UNRELEASED 1991 STUDIO RECORDING. THIS IS A RECORDING THAT NO ONE HAS EVER HEARD EXCEPT FOR ME AND TIM. IT HAS ORIGINAL VERSIONS OF SONG #5, AND 5 OTHER SONGS, IT'S PRETTY HEAVY

5) SONGS FOR SOCKEYE TRIBUTE RECORD THAT WE NEVER SENT IN. ME AND TIM RECORDED VERSIONS OF "DONT FUCK WITH FOGHAT" AND "YOUR CITY SUCKS" BY SOCKEYE. IT WAS IN 1992.

6) GG ALLIN COVER "I'LL SLICE YOUR FUCKING THROAT", RECORDED IN 1994.

7) SONGS RECORDED FOR A BOSTON HARDCORE COMP THAT NEVER CAME OUT. INCLUDES DIFFERENT VERSIONS OF 4 SONGS FROM "40 MORE REASONS TO HATE US" AND A SKREWDRIVER COVER ("I DON'T LIKE YOU:").

I WILL ALSO BE GOING THROUGH EVERY TAPE I HAVE TO FIND THE MOST OBSCUE STUFF I HAVE, I'M SURE THERE ARE LOTS OF THINGS I HAVE FORGOTTEN ABOUT. IF I CAN GET ACCESS TO A 16 TRACK, 1 INCH REEL MACHINE, I MIGHT EVEN PUT OUT THE ENTIRE 5,643 SONG E.P., EACH TRACK SEPERATELY, SO THERE A BASICALLY 16 DIFFERENT 7"S WORTH OF MATERIAL ON THAT. THERE IS ALSO THE FIRST RECORDING OF "EVERYONE SHOULD BE KILLED" THAT WE DECIDED TO RE-RECORD. NO ONE HAS EVER HEARD THE ORIGINAL VERSION OF IT. THERE ARE ALL KINDS OF UNHEARD OF, UNRELEASED A.C. STUFF LYING AROUND. I WILL ONLY GET THE BEST QUALITY STUFF FOR THIS RELEASE. ANY SUGGESTIONS, PLEASE GET AHOLD OF ME.

BYE,
SETH PUTNAM