Thursday, 29 October 2009

You Will Obey!

From waaaaaay back at the start of the year (January 25th to be exact) - a clip of THE LAMP OF THOTH's set at an all-dayer in Wakefield, UK.

This has been said before, several times over - THEE FUCKING CLAW loves THE LAMP.

Wednesday, 28 October 2009


(watch it melt whilst we sort out a Damnation report)
Drinking and listening to Wor Man Bigga - 3 shout outs on thee Hallowe'en show so far!

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

King Diamond Remasters - Updated Artwork

Remastered KING DIAMOND LPs were dropped on the unsuspecting public last week (October 13th) - and the new cover art looks sick as fuck!

Make it your mission to hunt these great records! NO FUCKING DOWNLOADING THEM EITHER - Support your favourite artists, buy some fucking records.

Monday, 19 October 2009


One of Thee Claw's favourite bands in the UK if not Thee World. Get it whilst it's hot hot hot.

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Sunday, 11 October 2009

Side Darkness/ Side Evil

Floating my boat this week/month

Baroness - Blue Record
Shrinebuilder - Self Titled
Demon - Night of the Demon
Megadeth - Endgame
Treblinka - Severe Abominaton
Stone Roses - Self titled
Motorhead - Rock And Roll
Black Flag - Damaged
The Pitchfork 500
Melvins - Stoner Witch.
Witchcraft - ST/The Alchemist
Saint Vitus - Hallow's Victim
Bathory - The Return of the Darkness and Evil/Bathory

It's going to be a hard task to put together a best album of 2009 list.

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Upcoming (More!)

Winters in Osaka / xJonathan Rossx / The Ergon Carousel / Insect Warfare - 7th October 2009, Manchester Star & Garter





Grindcore lunacy. Quote of the night: Shane (xjonathanrossx) - "Hi we're xjonathanrossx and we're going to play you 20 songs as fast as possible."

Absu / Pantheon I / Razor Of Occam / Zoroaster - Manchester, UK (2nd Nov 2009)

Say It To My Face Present:-

Crushing Mythological Occult Black Metal from USA

Extreme metal from Norway on Candlelight Records

Blackened Thrash featuring members of Destroyer 666

Psychedelic doom metal from Atlanata, USA

Monday 2nd November @ Moho Live, Tib Street, Manchester

Tickets £10 adv from and
Doors 7.30pm

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Big Four Score Draw

A while ago on Thee Claw we had the tagline: for when your "Big Four" is not the same as everyone else's.
I don't know whether I'm just a cynical person or if it's because I grew up in Europe and therefore had easier access to more of the continental Thrash, but the "classic" Big Four of Thrash Metal (that's Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer and Anthrax if you didn't know) never really sat too easily with me; I always felt this was a mindset peddled to the public by the likes of Kerrang! and to a lesser extent Metal Forces*.
I always thought that magazines were to eager to keep the status quo, so to speak, rather than go out on a limb and suggest something else to people.
For me, the so-called B4 strayed too far from the sound and feel of Thrash to ever be considered as the genre-defining acts that people claim them to be, except for the curious exception of Megadeth, which I'll come to in a bit.

What, really, did Anthrax bring to thrash metal? Shorts and Hip Hop, that's what.
I hold them personally responsible for Limp Bizkit.
After the initial leather, studs and total thrash assault of Armed and Dangerous and Fistful Of Metal, for me it was thrash by numbers with a large amount of goofiness on a par with the likes of the UK's Acid Reign until the more brooding Persistence of Time which had little to do with Thrash metal.  For me the band never came into their own until the addition of former (current) Armored Saint vocalist Jon Bush, and they were a far different beast by then.

Much like my beloved Everton Football Club, Slayer have been riding on the reputation of a flash of brilliance during the eighties for a long, long time now, using this as a deluded reason to be considered one of the best bands of the genre.
Sure, there was nothing like Reign in Blood before, and there hasn't really been an equivalent of it since, but what exactly have they done since then? A cover of Born To be Wild? Loads of shitty tattoos? The only reason that they are still touring is that their fans are 90% knuckleheads unable to reach out farther than Slayer into extreme metal, or are kids who think they are the next step up and the be all and end all of metal after Lamb of God or Slipknot. They have done nothing interesting since Seasons in the Abyss; after that their albums all become interchangeable.
Dumb music for dumb people.

Right. I think you all know how I feel about Metallica, and here at Thee Claw we have all taken a lot of stick either in comments of emails about how we feel about them.
So, how best to put this without upsetting Metallica Fundamentalists......
Metallica always had aspirations beyond thrash metal, using the tools and trust of the underground to find cross-platform fame and therefore I cannot condone their use as a genre defining act.

Megadeth are an odd fish, to say the least. Megadeth's early raison d'etre was to be faster, heavier and more complex than Dave Mustaine's famous ex-bandmates in Metallica, and to a certain extent, it worked. Through to Rust in Peace,  each consecutive album was a snapshot of current thrash; with some of the best musicians of the genre joining Messrs Mustaine and Ellefson. Like everyone they reacted a bit hastily to the shift away from thrash in popularity during the mid 90's, but some of their recent output is just as thrashy as anything they released in the late eighties, an astounding return to technical form.

Like I have said earlier, for me, a "big four" of thrash should consist of bands playing thrash. It seems obvious doesn't it?

Bands that could quite possibly make up Thee Claw's alternate big four.  There are many factors I'm choosing to keep this list fair; the main being a prerequisite that at least three albums of pure thrash were released by the bands, to keep in line with the media's "big four".

Formed in 1982 and still going strong 27 years later, Gelsenkirchen's Sodom have rarely put a foot wrong in the pantheon of Thrash Metal. A dozen albums of tuetonic thrash later, and having played on all of true metal's biggest stages, I think it speaks volumes that when the bloated excesses of the 80's thrash bands during the 90's, and the trendiness of the 90's Death Metal bands exploded with the counteraction of the second wave of Black Metal; Sodom were one of the biggest influences on the Scandinavian Invasion. If you need any proof, just look at Mayhem; Euronymous's record label was called Deathlike Silence, and all over black meta the performers took on psuedonyms a la Sodom, with a member of Mayhem being called Blasphemer.
Over a quarter of a century on, they still play Blasphemer live, and it isn't seen as a token gesture like when Metallica play Trapped Under Ice. Oh no, silly me, that isn't a token gesture. It's to sell more copies of Guitar Hero. Pah.

Again, from Germany, Mille and co have been thrashing away since, that's right, 1982; sometimes in the limelight, sometimes on the sidelines, but always keeping it true.
In 1988, they were one of the first load of thrashers to be signed to a major label, with Extreme Aggression being released on Epic and going on to cement their popularity around the world.
Strangely, when other thrash bands tinkered with their sound and went for a more polished, radio friendly approach, our boys from Essen went death metal. That's right.
After a few albums of this they returned back to their thrash roots with 2001's Violent Revolution, and much like Sodom, are still to be seen ripping it up all over Europe's truest stages.

Probably a bit controversial.
I think Nuclear Assault are one of the most underrated yet influential bands to have ever played thrash, and probably one of the more quirky ones without degenerating into farce like Anthrax.
After a few years of not really listening to NA for a while, we dug out their album Handle With Care once for a trip to London in Thee Clawmobile. Fuck.
Danny Lilker's proto-Brutal Truth bass sound was SO out of place with John Connelly's high pitched voice, but it fits together SO well.
I'll gloss over Something Wicked which wasn't too bad, but was missing the energy between Lilker and guitarist Anthony Bramante who had both left by now.  2005's Third World Genocide was a welcome return to form.

So now, we are after a fourth band to create Thee Claw's big four of thrash.
Who will I pick? there are so many bands that recorded some amazing thrash metal albums but transcended the genre from the outset (Voivod) or moved on to something completely different altogether (Sepultura) that I would have loved to include but I couldn't, so do you know who i'm going to pick?

That's right. Even with the born-again nonsense.
Skum summed it up best when he said "My big four of thrash are Mustaine, Ellefson, Samuelson and Poland. End of."

*as a genre publication, to me, Metal Forces is almost above criticism. Maybe I'm just being nostalgic, but I remember it with more fondness than I do Kerrang! or Raw.

Recommendation Of Thee Week - Baroness "Blue Record"

The latest release from post-rockers BARONESS is out shortly on Relapse. We've heard it, and we like this one a lot. Half a dozen spins in and this is proving to be quite a disc. Go to their Myspace page and listen for yourself.

This record is a huge step up from their last (and 1st) record, Red Album. The production here is great, the songs sink in after just a few plays... and there's a couple of definite classics that have been thrown in there too. The opening Bullhead's Psalm is the albums recurring theme, serving as intro, closer and it appears some place in between too. I can hear elements of THIN LIZZY in the intro / outro tracks - always a good indicator of a quality tune!

I am currently being hypnotized by the record's outro track Bullhead's Lament, with it's layered riff growing with each loop. It reminds me of something that Brian May might spend hours building up on an old 6 track or something. Lovely stuff.

This record is recommended for fans of prog and stoner, of technical metal and all you mainstream rockers looking for a gateway record to help you transition to something a little further from the beaten track than you're accustomed to. It's also for those annoying people who say things like "I like THE SWORD/MASTODON/ISIS, but I was never fully satisfied with their output". Yes, they should finally have something to coo about too.

Wait a second, did I just mention Brian May in a Baroness write-up?

This record is the future.


Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Church Of Misery @ Roadburn 2009

I uploaded a 2-minute long video of CHURCH OF MISERY onto Youtube today - from during their set at this year's Roadburn Festival in the Netherlands.

This clip just goes a little way towards proving why ROADBURN is my favourite festival by a country mile. CoM's great set was complimented by an amazing combination of stage lighting, background video, atmosphere, sound quality, and more.

And the 2010 ROADBURN looks as though it's going to be even better than 2009's festival... if that is possible!

Roadburn 2010 - Shrinebuilder

Roadburn is very pleased to report that doom supergroup Shrinebuilder will be part of the festival line-up on Saturday, 17 April 2010.

With Scott Kelly (Neurosis) and Scott "Wino" Weinrich (Saint Vitus, The Obsessed, The Hidden Hand and Wino) on guitar, Al Cisneros (OM, Sleep) on bass and Dale Crover (Melvins) on drums, Shrinebuilder's self-titled debut full-length (released on Neurot Recordings) is perhaps the most anticipated "Roadburn Festival album" of the year. Over the past 10 months we have watched the Shrinebuilder buzz rise to fever pitch.

Monday, 5 October 2009

Lazarus Blackstar, Bradford, 28 Sept 2009

Almost forgot to mention, I went along to a fine gig a couple weeks back that included a set by one of THEE CLAW's favourite UK acts, LAZARUS BLACKSTAR.

We have seen LBS a few times now, early on with Paul Catton (STUNTCOCK, MEDULA NOCTE) on vocals and then again when MIK HELL took over in that department.

I want to let you know, these guys are so much improved since the last time we saw them (also in Bradford at the 1 In 12 I think). Admitedly, I don't know their set. I recognise riffs of course, but I don't think that knowing their names of songs is the most important thing here. LAZARUS BLACKSTAR are high-volume, tuned-down, dirty, nasty, slow-paced and generally tight in their style of playing.

It is also worth mentioning that Mik's really settled into the front man role (yes, really - front man!), in which he appears to relish the opportunity to convey his utter disgust of the crowd before him. Well, not so much disgust maybe... his lack of concern with any sort of audience reaction to the performance of the band. I don't know if this is a contrived mood that he's projecting, or if it's sincere revolt. Either way he really brings something to the band as a whole. He's not up on that stage to make friends. THEE CLAW has been saying this for a long time: Dirty Scouser frontmen are the way forward!

LAZARUS BLACKSTAR will no doubt bring out a landmark full-length and everyone will be raving about them, in a depressingly doom-laden kind of way. I would like to see headline slots and US tours in their future.

LBS are next playing in our neck-of-the-woods on November 8th 2009 at the Star & Garter. See you there.


Filipino Antichrists

The ultimate annihilation in audio torture is now at hand! In this time of over-saturated bestial metal, Deiphago blazes their own barbaric trail to introduce Satanic Metal to the world and expose the posers as the the wimps they are. This record annihilates all the pretenders and offers the most punishing, primitive & bestial attack of 2009!!

With a background of demo tapes throughout the 90's & their debut full-length endorsed by the Ross Bay Cult, the Filipino Antichrist's succeed in making this hi-speed attack even more rewarding than before. No wannabe Fallen Angel Of Doom, no wannabe The Oath Of Black Blood, no Angelcunt or even War Cult Supremacy. Just pure uncompromising, unconventional violence: this is bestiality. Deiphago are the true beasts.

Features 11 chaotic SONGS illustrated with a full color painting courtesy of Joe "Motorhead" Petagno to further exalt their 20 years of Chaos!

Fuck off to the false!!

Frozen in Time

Lately, I've been listening to a lot of bootlegs.
I love bootlegs, they are a snapshot in time of how an artist sounded at that particular time, regardless of whether it was a good gig or a bad gig.
One that I've been playing a lot lately is the one pictured above; Sepultura from the Slaughter festival in Brazil from 1986.  I've tried to do a bit of research on this gig but all I have managed to discover is that Mutilator played too.
This EP has the early lineup of Max, Igor, Paulo and Jairo, and is an energetic run through of Morbid Visions/Bestial Devestation -era tracks, worth hearing for Max's gruff onstage raps no português. There is also a cover of Kreator's Living in Fear thrown in for good measure. Quality isn't perfect, but for a 23 year old recording of an underground thrash metal band playing a gig, it's pretty good.
I t's a shame that Max has spent the major part of his career pumping out third rate jump up and down music in collaboration with Kerrang poster boys.

Saturday, 3 October 2009

Steve Shelton - Condemned Drum Pattern Explained

Patchie told me about this video (last night, during our "vinyl night" episode) showing Steve Shelton (drums, Confessor), explaining how he came up with the drum pattern for the Condemned record.

It is in your esteemed interest that you click play on the following video. If you are a fan of doom metal, drumming, or music in general, this is not only time well spent, but educational too.

Only one word springs to mind when watching Steve do his thing in this clip: WHOA.

Upcoming - Gates Of Slumber, Birmingham

Friday, 2 October 2009

Vinyl Night 3

We're onto our 3rd ale (Leffe) and our 11th record. This has turned into a bit of a heavy metal disco here, haha, Orange Goblin at Roadburn comes to mind. Okay, down to business.

11th record: BLACK FLAG - DAMAGED

VERY YES. The next 5 records are all Patchie's choices. We're takin turns being the DJ or the reviewer, ha. How cool this is, playing vinyl and drinking beers. Its been a while since I sat playing records... I forgot how they look while they are spinning about, on the deck, the way that the vinyl is warped and rises and falls as it spins. God I love vinyl.

DAMAGED is the 1st record of the night that we played for more than 1 track. RISE ABOVE, SPRAY PAINT, SIX PACK and WHAT IS SEE got an airing. Patchie has turned into a horror, I hope he doesn't start trashing his house up.


The SHOCKER soundtrack is sick as fuck. Sick meaning awesome. We're not gonna be obvious and play No More Mister guy, no thanks. We're playing the B-side, the excellent Different Breed by DEAD ON. The reason that MEGADETH couldn't record a B-side (according to legend) is that Megadave was too strung out on smack to play 2 songs. Just as well, cause what we have here is some much overlooked, underplayed metal.

13th of thee night: CELTIC FROST - COLD LAKE (1988)

Okay, here we are, at the peak of the night. The much-maligned Cold Lake, the same year as Reek of Putrefaction, GN'R Lies and Seventh Son. All of which we arent playing tonight. This record takes precedence in our musical tastes. I don't care what ANYONE says, COLD LAKE is an amazing record. Spandex? Cock rock? Juices like Wine? I could listen to this all day. Tom G, you need to reconsider this record. The rest of you lot do as well!

14th on the decks: GRINDCRUSHER (UK VERSION) - (1987, Earache)

Patchie's choice, we've got ourselves a compilation record. Choice track: FILTHY CHRISTIANS "Party & Fight For You Right". F.C. inspired a whole host of Swedish bands, ENTOMBED and AT THE GATES spring to mind. The track starts off like something from blastbeat central and then ends with a cowbell-gasm.

15th song: RAVENS CREED "Neon Parasite" 7" (2009, Doomentia Records)
We haven't heard this record yet, bought it earlier this year from a Czech label. We saw RAVENS CREED a couple of years ago at a dingy little venue in Leeds (The Fenton). I think about 10 people where there. Mad. The song we are listening to, I think it's the B-side. It starts with a quick word from Satan himself (God knows what he is saying... pun intended) and then it slams into 2 amazing riffs, played a full tilt, looped again and again. Aside from the message from His Unholiness, it's an instrumental.

Hell with it, let's play Neon Parasite as well! The A-side has got sick vocals from Ben Ward and is blisteringly fast (as expected). Sounds like pre-Arise Sepultura, Venom-ized. Jay Graham is banging those drums like he's just caught them shagging his missus, haha. Sorry Jay mate, just an analogy there. What a track. Again, the riffs are on repeat, fast and frenetic, going into overdrive.

Okay, time for another swap of duties.... My turn to choose the tunes, Patchie's words.


Vinyl Night, Part 2

6: after Demon, Witchfynde's Give 'Em Hell.... top Pagan Altar style NWOBHM.

7: Stephen Shelton.
STEPHEN FUCKING SHELTON. We rocked Confessor's Condemned next...what can I say about this album that I haven't said a thousand times? Top techno doom.

8: Then - Xentrix - For Whose Advantage? This, as far as I'm concerned is a totally overlooked gem of UK Thrash, no scratch that, just a fucking classic album. Never given a fair crack of the whip by the British press, who preferred to get Ross Halfin over to take photos of anyone with a Bay Area zip code and then produce fawning articles over them. Bitter, me? Nah.

9: Misfits - Horror Business Sessions 77-81 Vol 2 
This is actually a bootleg that Thee Claw picked up in Tokyo. This is the first time it's been played in Britain, it's British debut if you will. Nobody else in Britain (probably) owns this, it's number 171 of 666 copies, let's give it a spin...As this is sessions, the quality is supreme, and we love it!!!

10: Orange Sunshine - Bullseye of Being. This is a record that we picked up somewhere that we can't even remember. Was it at a gig or festival? Probably.
Let's see....Sitars....this is the obligotary "head shop" music from a bad 70's BAD COP film. Fuck this off, get some thrash on or something. Waste of Vinyl so far...let's try face B. It's got an OK cover of Sunshine of Your Love on. NEXT!

Vinyl Night, Part 1

Hello from Claw Towers.

Ste here, bloggin off Patchie's account.  We're having our 1st Vinyl Night in aaages, to review some of the literal 100s of records that we've amassed during Thee Tour.

Right, let's crack open a few drinks and get down to business!


We started tonight by checking the needle on the record player with DOCTOR FEELGOOD by MOTLEY CRUE.  Sounds good... 10 seconds of Hair Metal and it's time to get started.

BRUTAL TRUTH are one of DAS CLAW's favourite grind bands.  It did exactly what it said on the tin, says Patchie: Eyehategod cover blistering our ears.  We never listened to thee B side (TOTAL FUCKING DESTRUCTION covering Kill Your Boss), because time is apressing and there's lots of ground to cover.....


A red 10" record, red vinyl, with A SIDE by STUPID BABIES GO MAD and B SIDE by BORIS.  Sounds very Boris using up their last 10 minutes of studio time during a session, haha.  Enjoyable as the ales go down.


Living backwards

Gotta love the Lamp.  We checked out a couple of tracks from this one: Lamp Of Thoth and Frost & Fire. I am so used to the Portents & Omens L.P. version of the s/t track, this demo version is pure stripped down in its recording style is comparison.  Also, we were taken back by this version of Frost And Fire, very VERY slow compared to the original (and to how LAMP OF THOTH play it live).  Love this record.


Okay, I (Ste) havent heard this record before. What better time to tell you what i think about it.

I'm expecting this to be proper Satanic stuff. Track starts up with a nice horror soundtrack bass pedal heartbeat effect... and WHOA, it's gone all SCORPIONS all of a sudden!

This is excellent NWOBHM stuff, it completely took me by surprise.  Nice work lads!

Dead Congregation @ Manchester, Nov 2009


NOTE: Same day that WASP play Manchester.

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