Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Be there, or be Patchie.

It's going to be a lock out, get down early.  Church of Misery; heroes of Roadburn, Charger, one of the best live bands from "Grot Britain" and some retro stylings from Firebird.

On the death decks this week well as lots and lots of Voivod....
 Early 90's Polish thrash masterpiece. I have NO IDEA what they are on about in these songs though!

Saint Vitus @ Roadburn 2009 - Dave Chandler's Guitar Solo

The Cult is Very much Alive

As you are no doubt aware, Thee Claw are hyowge fans of Darkthrone, throughout the different phases of their career.  
Tiding us over nicely between Dark Thrones and Black Flags and the next, as yet untitled (but probably recorded two years ago, knowing them) album, Ted and Gylve have worked with other artists for their next albums.
Nocturno Culto has just worked with Norwegian musician Sarke (Khold, Tulus, Old Man's Child and Sensa Anima) adding his vocals to an album of music and lyrics written by Sarke himself.  I've managed to get hold of a promo copy and I've been spinning it non-stop.  
It's a slightly more modern sounding album, in the vein of Khold, but with enough punky influences and black humour in the lyrics to not be too much of a departure for Mr Culto.  Ranging from mid-paced brooding songs to faster BM stylee, Sarke is every inch the musician you thought he was from his work with OMC, I just hope this one gets filed under "Sarke" as a new venture, and not under "Darkthrone".  Well worth getting, my copy is in the post now.  Check out the lyric "YOU'RE ALL OVER ME...LIKE AN OLD MAN'S DOG" hehe.
I haven't heard it yet, but Fenriz has teamed up with black metal LUNATIC Nattefrost  for the upcoming release Engangsgrill which I have on pre-order from Indie Records. fenriz' contribution is under the title Fenriz' Red Planet and contains three songs, and, according to the man himself: "“The songs are inspired by REVELATION 2nd and 3rd demo from 1987 (this band was later signed on Lee Dorrian’s label Rise Above, I think), BLACK SABBATH, TROUBLE, PENTAGRAM (USA), THE DOORS and also a song by SLEEP." Sounds pretty promising, my friends no?
I have no information on the Nattefrost side of the split, as the phenomenon I'm hoping doesn't happen to Sarke seems to happened here, the "Darkthrone Effect", and all I have is track names.  I expect the usual perverted black metal madness from Nattefrost here; after all, his fifth track on the split is called Humiliated And Pissed Upon. Expect a bit more when my copy arrives.

Sunday, 26 April 2009

Church Of Misery @ Roadburn, 25th April 2009

Take a moment out of your busy schedule to check this clip out. It'll be worth your while, let me tell you. I've got a video clip here of "I, Motherfucker" a little bit later on during this set, when Negi jumped head-first into the crowd and then somehow kept singing in time with the song. Can you believe this is his 1st gig back after years and years in the wilderness? It's like he never went away. His vocals remind me of Seth Putnam's in Anal Cunt, haha.

Church Of Misery took a gamble on bringing Negi back into the fold. Looks like they've hit thee jackpot.

I cannot wait for the chance to catch back up with these guys when they descend on Manchester on May 14th. It's gonna be killer.

Roadburn 2009, Day 3 (Beyond The Pale)

A fine Sunday salute to you! Day 3 of the 2009 Roadburn has been & gone and now all there is left to do is pick through the carcass, discard the rotting bones and savour the taste of it's still warm flesh. Remember kids, the dark meat is the best. And always eat the ollies first before somebody else gets to them!

Day 2 really took a lot out of me, so I'm going to keep today's post-ramble to a short meander. Day 3 offered up more good bands than bad, and the whole day climaxed with a 2 and a half hour set from Neurosis. We can't grumble about that, huh.

Here's what I can remember from day 3:

We arrived at the venue late today, hangover are a heavy load to carry my friends. It took the spring out of our step a little and made our walk to 013 a slow and stuttering one. I missed out on seeing GRAILS, AMEN-RA and GREY DATURAS because of my tardy disposition. Apologies to all the guys in the all the bands.

Nice bit of stone drone to start my day off. I headed into the photographer's pit and got some shots of Dylan Carson rocking back and forth like a slowed-down pendulum, then made my way up into the stands to sit in the darkness and enjoy the vibes. It was like being massaged from the ears down. Great show.

On the way to the venue on Day 3, we got into a conversation about why we all seem to appreciate Roadburn more than most other festivals. This place has got something about it, I have never been able to put a finger on exactly what that something was before now. The conclusion of this conversation was that the good thing about Roadburn as a whole is that there is no ego to the occassion. We can sit around in the bars that surround the venue, sipping on Erdinger, watching the world go by... and then suddenly Wino will walk by, smiling to himself, and wave hello to you. Then the guys from Neurosis stroll past looking amiable. And so on, all day long. This is why Roadburn is "a cut above", because there is no media hype to it, there is no need for anyone there to prove themselves to anyone else.

Of course there are always exceptions to the rule. Eugene Robinson's spoken word set at Beyond The Pale made me realise that not everyone thinks about Roadburn as a chilled-out doomer/biker/hippie festival celebrating the leaf and chilling the fuck out. Eugene (of OXBOW) came to the stage with a book under his arm and took hold a microphone, then proceeded to explain a cut-down version of his life story to the audience. As he spoke, all of the good-will and mellow vibes of Roadburn evaporated, within 5 minutes it was a totally different atmosphere. I didn't expect this, but then I guess I should have. After 30 minutes of telling us stories (that cannot be repeated), Eugene then introduced his "good friends", BLACK SUN, who took to the stage in the form of a backing band and they ran through a new song called Tabula Rosa, which I think is from the next BLACK SUN record? Powerful, intimidating performance.

Dammit, my credits are about to run out on the hotel internet! Shoot. I will have to cut this review short, sorry guys. It's not like anyone is really reading this the whole way through though, right?

Here's the briefest of band lists I can squeeze into 90 seconds:

NADJA - They played the Batcave, I caught a very small section of their set but I never spent nearly enough time to be able to appreciate them fully. Good to have seen them though.
OM - 2 guys, drum & bass (but not in a dancy-dancy way). I liked this a lot.
ZENI GEVA - Japanese band who I have never heard of before. Will be checking them out for sure.
NEUROSIS - My good God, they just don't stop!
GUAPO - After Neurosis I was spent. This weekend never stopped, at all, even when we were outside the 013 venue. Guapo began to play just as we decided to head away for the night. I caught the start of the 1st song and that was us outta there! Sorry guys, I was really hoping to hang around and see this set too. Damn you, Hoegarden.

I'm away back home today... it's been a blast. Photos and thanks coming soon!!

Saturday, 25 April 2009

Roadburn 2009, Day 2

Ahoy land lubbers! 1st mate SJW here with another Roadburn 09 update for ye! Just surfaced after a night of slumber to a banging head and ringing eardrums... is this how Jesus felt after he woke up in the cave on Easter Sunday? If not, well, I guess that means that the resurrection that I witness last night over at the 013 Green Room was superior to the core lessons of The Holy Bible! But more about Church Of Misery in a moment!


Words fail me. I will explain better in a future update.

My 1st time watching these guys. The all-Japanese MONO are on my future gigs to watch list!

Great seeing Dorrian & Co on the main stage at 013 yesterday. They played pretty much the same set as the Leeds "Damnation Festival" at the end of 2008, they even gave the new song "Open Mind Surgery" another airing.

This whole day of shows was one of them days when you see 10 bands in a row and each time you think "That was the best band of the day by far!" again and again. Cathedral were great, but Vitus trumped them. They played everything you could want from their back catalogue: I Bleed Black, Clear Windowpane, Dying Inside, Born Too Late... and more. Okay, so the drum solo wasn't the best ever... so what? I keep reading that people weren't overly impressed with Vitus at Roadburn, but I bet you that these will be the very same people who will be bragging about being there in 10 years time. Saint Vitus's influence hasn't diminished with age, in fact I would recommend that all aspiring new doom bands get to a S.V. show and see how it should be done properly.


Gig of the day. No wait, gig of thee fucking festival. My 2 brothers of THEE CLAW weren't here to witness this show, but I am going to use my Claw Vito and hail this as a landmark gig in the history of this fanzine. This is pretty much what I traveled to Tilburg for, and C.O.M. never failed to deliver. Last year we saw C.O.M. here at Roadburn (playing up in the smallest room of the venue, called "The Batcave"), with a different vocalist, a guy called Hideki. In 2008 C.O.M. tore Roadburn a new arsehole with a brilliant high-octane set, with full-on unbeatable energy. Or so we thought! For some reason Hideki San left the band (shortly after recording their latest record "Houses Of The Unholy"), leaving the band in a possible wilderness. Bring in the new vocalist, Yoshiaki Negishi. This guy is the band's original vocalist, from back in the begining, and he played his 1st show back with The Church last night at Roadburn. Would he be able to live up to the reputation of this band and give the same kind of performance as Hideki before him? Well the answer is "Yes, and then more so". Jesus fucking Presley, Church Of Misery has been reborn on this world with the most amazing of bangs. Their set began fast and wild and as the set progressed they just got faster and wilder. Within the 1st 6 songs Negi San had been in the pit with the crowd no less than 3 times (he was dragged in at one point).

Big praise to the rest of Thee Church too, of course. I don't need to say that, but it's all about manners when you are speaking about a Japan-based band, haha. Tonight I got to watch a lot of them, as I was right front and centre for their whole set (probably annoying the fuck out of the rest of the crowd with my constant camera waving). This time round I got a good look at JJ on drums, last time because of my position in the crowd and the lighting in Roadburn's Batcave I never saw too much of him. Great playing on a basic drumkit set-up, no Nicko McBrain kit here my friends! Also, as per usual, Tatsu's bass was scraping the floor, looking as cool as an I Motherfucker. and Tom Satan's amazing too. I was stupid enought to get into the pit with my camera. Pics soon!

There is a supermarket 5 minutes walk from my hotel. Why didn't someone tell me this 3 years ago??
Wino's belt buckle says "Clutch"
Lee Dorrian plays a left-handed air guitar
Negi from Church Of Misery is a fucking nutter

Friday, 24 April 2009

Roadburn 2009, Day 1

Mornin, squirts! SJW here, live from Tilburg with a Roadburn update for ya. I'm here in the sunshine with a gang of doomers. It's a veritable feast of musical excess. Wish you were here.

I got totally smashed all day yesterday, which was very bad of me because I am our gang's dad but it was also the best possible decision because we all love drunk dad. Lots of photos were taken by drunk dad. I think he's a bit drunk now still, haha.

Highlights from Day 1:

Wolves In the Throne Room
A quote from a traveling companion about WIITR: "The best band of all time. They reminded me of... nothing else."

Black Sun
My band of the day. True awesome power violence from Glasgee. I took far too many photos of them... like 5 gig of data. Man, they ruled.

Orange Goblin
Ben has had a haircut.


I have only ever seen TDB at Roadburn. That is to say, I saw them here last year and I saw them here agin last night. Very atmospheric, lots of brooding menace in the air. It's like being at a black mass watching The Devil's Blood. I saw The Ghost of Patchie's Past stood at the front of their show with his claws in the air, it made me smile and cry at the same time (haha!).

The end of the night brought us the annual ORANGE GOBLIN HEAVY METAL DISCO, which did not disappoint. We were given a brilliant jukebox selection of rock and metal, including "Rock All Over You" by AC/DC and "Down Down" by Status Quo. You can't go wrong with a bit of Quo, right??

Okay, we're off to the supermarket now. Be safe gang and stay clean!!

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Monday, 20 April 2009

Set Course For "Hole In The Sky"

Have you heard about the line-up for this year's Hole In The Sky festival in Bergen, Norway?

HOLE IN THE SKY 2009 (August 26th - 29th) Confirmed acts:


THEE CLAW says: WhhhhaaaaaaaAAAAAAA??????!!!!!

A Quote from the H.I.T.S. Myspace page:

"Enslaved and Hole in the Sky presents A Blaze in the Northern Sky – Hole in the Sky 10 year anniversary.

Wow, it’s been 10 years already. Who would have though that when we first started planning the first festival in 1999 as a tribute to our late friend Erik «Grim» Brødreskift. It’s been a phenomenal ride, with lots of great memories to cherish, fantastic concerts and an incredible audience that shows up in numbers each year. This calls for celebration. We’ve always paid much attention to tradition, but we’ve also tried to look ahead at the same time. With the 2009 edition having the strongest focus on the local scene since the inception of this event, it feels like we’ve come full circle. To prove that Bergen scene is as vital as ever, we’ve invited Enslaved to host the birthday bash of the century. A band that helped set the bench mark for what Norwegian extreme metal was all about and what it has grown to become.
«A Blaze in the Northern Sky» will be a perfect reflection of just that, cutting edge and progressive together with a dive into the historic vaults of what defined the Norwegian scene together with prominent guests from (among others) Darkthrone, Emperor and Mayhem.

"Having a good part of the Norwegian black metal royalty sharing stage with Enslaved in a historic lection of Norwegian black metal history must be the ultimate celebration for ourselves and the fans. I’m sure the band will elaborate about the content, but we’re confident that it will be more than spectacular."
--Torgrim Øyre, Promoter

2009 is indeed a special year. This year we will celebrate the 10th anniversary for, in my humble opinion, the greatest metal festival in the world. It is not the biggest festival in size, not even in Norway, but definitely in atmosphere. Just ask the metal heads travelling from all over the world once a year to a small town on the west banks of the pile of rocks called Norway, just to absorb the atmosphere of this unique event. I think most of them will agree.

Since this is a big event for both of us, we figured that we wanted it to be more than a convential Enslaved gig (if that is concidered conventional?). Therefore we decided to ask some great friends to join in on the celebration. We have asked legends in the extreme metal scene, that has supported us, inspired us and have been partying with us over the years. Every single one of them had just as little doubts as we had and are honoured to play their parts on this very special evening."
--Grutle Kjellson, Enslaved."

Saturday, 18 April 2009

Ravens Creed "Albion Thunder" Artwork


This album is going to be awesome yet under appreciated more than likely. You all know about it now though, so be sure to get your hands on it when you have the chance ok.

Albion Thunder will be available through Doomentia Records. You can get their 7", called "Neon Parasite", through that same website too.

Thursday, 16 April 2009

Lazarus Blackstar / Ramesses / Unearthly Trance - Manchester Star & Garter (15th April 2009)

Af'ernoon droogies! Ste here - reporting in after a great show at Manchester's Star & Garter last night. Totally love the S&G, great venue. I would wager it's one of the loudest venues in England, if not thee world. The volume in that place is totally unnecessary for a venue of it's size, but more about that another time maybe.

Before I go on to the gig, a quick word about parking at the S&G for all you boys and girls to take heed of - DON'T just turn up early in the day and park your vehicle in the pub's back lot without mentioning it to the guys lurking downstairs in the beer cellar first! I did just that yesterday and ended up getting myself a parking ticket for my troubles. £60 fixed penalty... balls. Fortunately your friendly S&G landlord was able to have the fine rescinded for me later on, but it's still not a pleasant experience to get back to your car and find a fucking fixed penalty notice slapped onto your window! Next time I will be leaving a "Doctor on call" note on my window or something. Anyways, just so y'all know!

Okay, here's some gig facts for you.


Lazarus B*S were 1st up tonight, and they had a decent crowd. I could be wrong here, but I remember a different band line-up last time we saw these guys. Also, this is the 1st show I had been to at the S&G in 2009, it was probably the same for a lot of the other people in attendance too. Man, I forgot just how fucking loud this venue is. Really, really fuckin loud in that place. L.B.S. got on with their set pretty sharpish and I'm guessing that they had all of their knobs set to 11. Sorry, no idea of what the setlist was... I should have asked. Talking to mikey (vocals) later on, he was happy with their set, he said they had a much better show here than at Scumstock in Sunderland recently.

After Blackstar finished their set, there was a HUGE wait between the end of their set and the beginning of Ramesses's. Like an hour or something. Not a problem for everyone else, the crowd spent this time wisely (at the bar getting drunk).


THEE CLAW loves Ramesses and they always do a good show. Just like Lazarus Blackstar before them Tim, Mark & Adam just got up on stage and played, no dramatics, no ad-libbing with the crowd. Seemed to me that Ramesses had the biggest audience of the show (plenty of people in the crowd musta needed to make tracks to catch the last train half way through Unearthly Trance's set). Again, no idea of the setlist. Shit reviewer, I know. It didn't make much of a difference anyway, they were so fucking loud and the crowd was so damn into it. The temperature in the room had gone up by about 10 degrees by the end of the Ramesses set.


It was quite late in the proceedings when U.T. got to the stage, about 11pm I think. Okay, so that's not really *that* late, but the waits between sets seemed to make it feel that way. That's no complaint from me there btw, I am always happy hanging around for post-midnight rock & roll. It just worked out to be a bit too late for some of the crowd, that's all. Ah well, the folks who left early missed out I guess!

One gripe: U.T. didn't play a lot of the material from their Electrocution record. At least, I expected more. But the set was still good... people around the front of the crowd went a bit nuts when they played Raised By Wolves. At the end of their set I was at the front of the stage, next to the speaker; as I was bent down (putting my camera back into my bag) a huge blast of feedback screamed out of the speakers and sent my head into a spin... like some kind of sonic torture implement! I stood back up and fell over because all sense of balance was suddenly gone from my body. Today I am still getting a sickly whistling sound out of my left ear, I think that's my hearing finally fucking gone. Haha, thanks a lot Unearthly Trance, you have just arranged lifelong tinnitus for me! Earplugs for me from now on I guess, you bastards.

Saturday, 11 April 2009

Jesus Cröst

Ah, Dutch Powerviolence... I just can't enough of that wonderful stuff.

I've been listening to a lot of JESUS CRÖST's self titled 2008 release this week. A great record, 20 tracks in total and none of them longer than 90 seconds in length. Check out their Myspace Page and see what you think.

The main reason that I am mentioning them on here is because they're due to tour in August and they have plans to come on by our neck of the woods. Of course THEE CLAW will be heading on over to check em out.

27th August 2009 - JESUS CRÖST are playing in Manchester, England at a TBC venue.

See you there, guys.

Friday, 10 April 2009

Upcoming: CoM in the UK

Future Noise in association with DFFD & Liverpool Noise

Thursday 14th May 2009 @ The Star & Garter, Manchester

Church of Misery



Doors: 7.30pm

Damage: £8 Adv

Pre-order tickets from

Thursday, 9 April 2009

Wikipedia Knows What It's Claw is For


Playlist, year 31 edition

on thee death decks this week:

Beherit - Engram (Spinefarm 2009)
Scorpions - Tokyo Tapes (RCA 1978)
Motorhead - Snake Bite Love (CMC 1998)
Bathory - Twilight of the Gods (Black Mark  1991)
Church of Misery - Houses of theUnholy (Rise Above 2009)
Darkthrone - Total Death (Moonfog 1996)
Iron Maiden - Buenos Aires, Argentina (Bootleg, 2009)
Black Sabbath -Technical Ecstacy (Warner 1976)
Venom - Possessed (Combat 1985)

Church of Misery - Houses of the Unholy

Out soon on Rise Above Records, Japan's serial-killer obsessed and one of the highlights of last year's Roadburn festival (see photo above) Church of Misery's latest release Houses of the Unholy .
First impressions are that this is the album where everything seems to finally come together for the band; chilling serial killer intros, fuzz-laden bass lines, rolling drums; I never imagined there would be a time when Japanese sludge with lyrics based on serial killers would acually sound like such a good-time album, if you know what I mean? It's not necessarily as brooding as their previous releases; you could listen to this album on a road trip or even have it on in the background whilst you have a few beers with friends as comfortably as listening to it on your headphones in bed, paranoid through chemicals.
Mood transcending J-Sludge? Yes please.


It's been 13 years since the last Beherit album (1995's Electric Doom Synthesis) but it has been fifteen years since the release of the last full-on black metal release from the band.
Reforming last year, and now a four piece, Beherit have now released their latest album ENGRAM and.....
it's true black metal in the vein of Drawing Down the Moon but maybe a bit less raw, less necro, maybe even a bit more modern sounding.
Holocausto still has that mad, fucked up vocal style that always set Beherit apart from a lot of other bands*, and there are enough traces of the two dark ambient style albums in here to make this sound unique compared to a lot of the recent BM releases (eg Orcustus etc).
It's still unholy, grim black metal, but it's a different head of the same beast.
It's powerful, relentless and even when it does slow down, there is enough atmosphere to creep you right out. Beherit are as crucial today as they were in 1991.

*I always wondered why, when all manner of chancers were content to plagiarise Transylvanian Hunger over and over again that nobody ever tried to rip off the vocal styles of Holocausto or Atilla Csihar.
I still wonder why now, because they're two of my favourite vocalists in BM.

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Not Long To Go Now Lads

For one reason or another, 2009 has been a very disappointing year for tours. Blame goes to the economic meltdown (or some other fake excuse), but whatever the reason one thing is clear - there just haven't been as many tours in Europe lately.

Fortunately though, there is one thing that you can rely on to get bands flocking.


This year's Roadburn Festival in Tilburg, Holland is only a week or 2 away now. And about time too, this event marks the beginning of the European festival season. We went to the past 2 years of Roadburn and it's a great festival to check out.

Sure there's performances from the likes of Saint Vitus, Church Of Misery, Cathedral, Angel Witch, Wolves In The Throneroom, The Devil's Blood, Earth, Black Sun and Ufomammut... but THEE CLAW knows that the true highlight of ROADBURN is none other than the ORANGE GOBLIN LATE NIGHT DISCO.

See you there - if you see us, be sure to come say hello. We'll be the guys sat at the bar, next to the Amstel tap, looking awesome.