Thursday, 30 December 2010

2010

It's that time of year again, where we look back on what's gone on in the past 12 months.
Normally there would be a load of gigs in my list as well, but not this year.
There has, however, been a wealth of releases in 2010, so much so that when I was compiling this list I was utterly amazed that some of these were only released this year!
So, in no particular order, let's see what we've got.

Ghost - Opus Eponymous
Long awaited debut by Rise Above's new signings.  Initially a bit disappointing after the Mercyful Fate-esque darkness of the preceding 7" and demo, however, a grower that is actually just as good, if not better than them.

Black Breath - Heavy Breathing
Skogsberg-worshipping Seattleites kick out the jams on this from Southern Lord.
Total Motorhead/Crust punk knife fight in Chris Reifert's back yard.

Watain - Lawless Darkness
Harking back to the good old days of early black metal, Watain strip down to a melodic Hellhammer/Sodom type vibe, a refreshing change from overproduced modern black metal.


Darkthrone - Circle the Wagons
What can be said about Gylve and Ted that hasn't already been said on here?  Polarising opinions again, they are back with a slab of 80s Metal, filthy crust and dark humour that is over the head of quite a few people in the so-called scene.
Total class.

Iron Maiden - The Final Frontier
The build up to the release of each new Iron Maiden album raises the same questions, and each time Maiden answer them emphatically.  As relevant as any release on this list, The Final Frontier is Iron Maiden's best album for 20 years.

Black Sun - Twilight of the Gods
Glasgow terrorist's sixth album shifts through anger, sorrow, hate, anger... it's a very angry album.
Don't listen to it whilst you're driving.


Nachtmystium - Addicts: Black Meddle Pt. 2
Shifting away from all out Black Metal, more experimental prog/hard rock influences creep in, which is no bad thing.  Still filthy.


Alcest - Écailles de lune
French Black Metal that is as far away from LLN as you could imagine.  Introspective and brooding, akin to Amesouers etc (there are two members of the band in Alcest after all).  Rewarding, kind of post-Black Metal.  Now that symphonic BM seems to have gladly bitten the dust, we seem to be moving off in two directions; vltra-kvlt and feeling sorry for ourselves.  I like both.


Electric Wizard - Black Masses
Spooky cover of Venus In Furs aside, Electric Wizard have released an album that has had people scratching their heads, I'm on the side of people who actually like it. They've made an artform of jamming a riff until it means something else.


Kylesa - Spiral Shadow
It would have been hard to top last year's Static Tensions, and Kylesa do, and don't at the same time.
Energetic and dynamic, set side by side with mellower, trippy passages.  The only respect in which it doesn't top ST is because it shouldn't have to.


Xasthur - Portal of Sorrow
Guess which branch of Black Metal Xasthur's (apparent) final album falls into? That's right.
Cloying and suffocating, you get drawn in to this album before you realise there's only one way out.


Cathedral - The Guessing Game
Twenty years on, and Cathedral are still releasing fresh sounding albums like this.
A double disc with songs covering all kinds of ground.


Deathspell Omega - Paracletus
Quite experimental, even by DSO's standards, a less polished release than we are used to, and absolutely all over the shop.  Manic and demanding, but rewarding.


Autopsy - The Tomb Within
I know it's only an EP but hopes were high for this one and Reifert and the boys didn't dissapoint.
In no way is this a tribute or cash in, the new tracks here sit comfortably against their back catalogue.


Grand Magus - Hammer of the North
A worthy follow up to 2008's Iron Will, this saw the development of the band into a more classic-sounding metal band, without ever quite crossing over into the pastiche of metal that is power metal.
Every song on the disc is an anthem, and it gets better with every listen.


Orisha Shakpana - Spectral Duppymaan Black Metal
Jamaica's Lord Ifrit plays all instruments on this, and embraces the evil of man that is evident on the islands in the Caribbean to create some 80s style, hissy, monochrome, necro Black Metal.
Jamaica is just as scary as anywhere in Europe, filled with it's own mythology the heat and darkness of the islands can be felt throughout this album.
Even finishes off with a Slayer cover. 


All Pigs Must Die - All Pigs Must Die
A couple of "big" names in this group (Ben Koller, Kevin Baker) but don't worry about that, this is nast WB2D style hardcore with a metallic edge.  Reminds me of mid-period Discharge.

Bongripper - Satan Worshipping Doom
Sleepy instru-Mental fuzziness from Chicago. Four songs; HAIL - SATAN - WORSHIP - DOOM.
Does exactly what it says on the tin.


Conan - Horseback Battle Hammer
Local boys come good.  Stringbending, skullrattling low end dementia, momumental riffs in a sea of overdrive.
For fans of sunn/Burning Witch etc.

Grave Desecrator - Insult
Coming out of The Brazilian darkness...Rio's favourite sons return with more ultra-thrash.
Much respected at Claw Towers, this Sodom/Hellhammer/Sarcófago style classic has been getting a lot of airplay.

ALBUM OF THE YEAR


Enslaved - Axioma Ethica Odini
Enslaved sit atop mountains at the top of the world with the latest in their fusion of psychadelia, black metal and full on vikingness.  Did Vikings listen to prog? They do now.
A great mix of the epic and the claustrophobic, Enslaved transcend their Black Metal roots to create a unique fusion of seemingly unrelated genres, prog-rock style basslines mixing with tremolo picked guitars, leaving me thinking more than once of ships sailing out from harbours under cold, cloudless night skies.
A prime example of where Black Metal should be in 2010.


Which brings me nicely onto the Turkey Of The Year...I don't know what exactly it was that I expected, but you still let me down Varg.  Belus was as if time had stood still, but not in a good way.
Like when you bump into an old friend you haven't seen for years and he's still telling the same jokes.

Reissues:
I know that they don't really count, but I must draw your attention to two reissues from this year, namely the Sanctuary Records deluxe editions of Black Sabbath's Seventh Star and The Eternal Idol, two massively underrated albums from a turbulent era of Sabbath's past, both firm favourites with Thee Claw.
It's the extras that really shine here; nine tracks from a 1986 gig with Ray Gillen on vocals, and the Gillen version of The Eternal Idol, remastered and properly produced.

Saturday, 25 December 2010

No Presents For Christmas


Merry Christmas to all you dirty Christians.

A belated GET WELL SOON to KING DIAMOND after his triple bypass surgery a couple of weeks ago. (I bet you he actually got lots of fucking presents this Christmas!)

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Food For Thought - Roadburn's Top10 List Of 2010

We are still mulling over our favourite albums of the past 12 months, but that's not stopped our friends over at Roadburn posting up their faves for 2010 already! Check it out:


  • ROADBURN - Top 10 records of 2010 list

  • Interestingly Jurgen has chosen Satan Worshipping Doom by BONGRIPPER, while Walter has - perhaps unsurprisingly! - plumped for TRIPTYKON's epic Eparistera Daimones record.

    Right now I am in a bit of a quandry, partly because it's been such a great year for new records, but also because I haven't actually heard everything that is out there yet... I want to sit down with the proper CDs (LPs if possible) for new MOTORHEAD, SODOM and even ANAL CUNT records, so I can give them the attention that they deserve and even to check out the artwork and inlays of the work. The music is not the only thing that goes towards a great album in my opinion (although clearly that is going to be what it all boils down to in the end!).

    Someone wrote online somewhere recently (on Twitter I think) that Top 10 lists are a pointless exercise, because there's no real way that any sane person could possibly listen to EVERYTHING that gets released in the record industry in one year. That's obvious. But, at the same time, I love reading other people's T10's and I always make an extra effort to try and find the more obscure stuff that I see people giving their thumbs up to. I love the whole process.

    So yeah, be sure to click on the link (the one that's a bit further up this post) and go see the Roadburn guys Top 10's and see what you think. Those guys really know their stuff and they have a great knowledge of what's new and what's upcoming so maybe you should try and track down some of the records that they have put in those lists that you ain't heard yet. I know that I will.

    Wednesday, 1 December 2010

    R.I.P. Armando Acosta


    The sad news that Armando Acosta, legendary drummer with SAINT VITUS, has passed away at the age of 58. Saw him in action at the 2009 Roadburn festival (photos included). I was fortunate enough to meet him and take a few photos of him, though only in passing. A real nice guy, laid back and unassuming.

    Here's a pic I shot of him with my buddy Ben, a long time VITUS aficionado.


    You can be sure he will be missed.

    Tuesday, 23 November 2010

    Black Breath @ Star & Garter, Manchester, UK [2010.11.22]

    Date: Monday 22 November 2010
    Venue: Star & Garter, Manchester, UK
    Line-Up: Closure, Hang The Bastard, Rot In Hell, Black Breath
    Promoter: Say It To My Face

    CLOSURE


    HANG THE BASTARD


    ROT IN HELL


    BLACK BREATH




    ...you weren't lying about the stacks huh Kam mate!

    Thursday, 18 November 2010

    Barred For Life


    Emerging from the fog of war that was the American Hardcore rebellion of the 1980's, few bands have experienced as much posthumous popularity as southern California's Black Flag. Shrouded in myth and illuminated as the inventors of the Punk Rock DIY ethos (yes, the entire thing), their individual contribution to Hardcore's golden age cannot be taken for granted.
    A resurgence of the band's legend comes complete with a resurgence of the band's logo, THE BARS, as a defacto icon for an entire generation that grew up on a steady diet of Regan-esque bullshit and skateboarding.
    THE BARS cum ink-in-skin are a statement dying to scream to the world, "we've been lied to again...!" Punk is still dead but its ideals are now being transmitted through time and space by this icon and by its wearers. And, predictably, we are here to tell the story. So stay tuned as we prepare to come to your town and give your story a shot. You don't have to be a Henry Rollins or Dez Cadena to find your way into BARRED FOR LIFE so start talking or forever keep your fucking story to yourself.
    People with Black Flag tattoos (send us your pics) and anyone interested in reading and/or seeing this project evolve.

    News To Make Your Head Explode: WINTER To Play Roadburn 2011


    Legendary doom pioneers Winter, along with Earth, Scorn, Beaver, Aluk Todolo, Menace Ruine, Hooded Menace, The Secret and Atilla Csihar’s Void Ov Voices, have been confirmed for Sunn O)))‘s curated event at Roadburn Festival 2011, set for April 15th at the 013 venue in Tilburg, Holland.

    THEE CLAW says: WHHHHHHHHHHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT?!?!?!?!?!?!

    More ?!?!?!'s to follow soon!

    Sunday, 14 November 2010

    This week:

    On the Playlist:

    Hateful Abandon - Famine
    Peste Noire - La Sanie des siècles
    Watain - Lawless Darkness
    Nachtmystium - Addicts: Black Meddle Pt. 2
    Alcest - Écailles de lune

    Thursday, 11 November 2010

    Maiden Come Home

    From the official site:


    UK Fans! We promised you’d be next and true to our word…here’s the full list of Maiden’s UK Tour dates 2011:
    JULY
    Wed 20 Scotland, Glasgow SECC
    Thu 21 Scotland, Aberdeen AECC P&J Arena
    Sat 23 England, Newcastle Metro Radio Arena
    Sun 24 England, Sheffield Motorpoint Arena
    Wed 27 England, Nottingham Trent FM Arena
    Thu 28 England, Manchester MEN Arena
    Sun 31 England, Birmingham NIA
    AUGUST
    Mon 1 Wales, Cardiff CIA Arena
    Wed 3 Northern Ireland, Belfast Odyssey
    Fri 5 England, London 02 Arena

    This will be an extensive 10 city arena tour for the final run of dates on their FINAL FRONTIER WORLD TOUR 2010/11. For the first time in many years, the band will be playing shows across the full length and breadth of the UK, including places they’ve not visited for up to three decades!
    Steve Harris comments; “Everything in the Maiden camp has been so full on these last five years or so that we haven't travelled around the UK to play for our home fans for almost that long.  These fans  supported us by coming to Twickenham Stadium, Reading and Leeds Festivals, Download and more recently Sonisphere so we thought we should get off our backsides and do the travelling this time and get round the country to see them all. We very much look forward to playing all four home countries and a couple of places we haven’t been for a very long time, Aberdeen and Belfast! And playing the O2 gets us as close to the East End of London where Maiden started off than we have been for many a year, probably since the Ruskin Arms! All in all l think this is going to be a very special series of shows and a wonderful way to end this whole world tour.
    “We intend to take the full stadium show into the UK arenas and fit everything we possibly can into each venue. The set list will be different to this year’s tour. Of course we will play more songs from the new album and some other recent material, but we intend to include a healthy dose of older fan favourites too for those who haven’t seen us before, plus a spectacular light show and stage set, not forgetting, of  course, …Eddie!”
    The UK shows will be the culmination of The Final Frontier World Tour, which began in June 2010 with a hugely successful 25 date tour throughout North America, followed by selected European stadium and festival shows, including Knebworth Sonisphere in the UK. As recently announced, early next year Ed Force One will fly the band, crew and equipment 50,000 miles around the World visiting thirteen countries before the band take a short break prior to the extensive European Tour (more announcements soon) of which the UK is the final leg.

    Looks like London for us!!!

    TFD - Meat Without Feet

    On a huge TOTAL FUCKING DESTRUCTION kick this past couple weeks. Hurry up with the new record Rich!!

    Total Fucking Destruction - "Meat Without Feet" - MDF VIII from Hellbound.ca on Vimeo.


    Total Fucking Destruction perform 'Meat Without Feet' with guest vocalist Jane Vincent from Abiku at Maryland Deathfest VIII.

    'Meat Without Feet' appears on the new full-length by TFD, which hits worldwide in 2011.

    Filmed by Handshake Inc., presented by Hellbound Metal (Hellbound.ca)

    Wednesday, 10 November 2010

    SOUNDGARDEN On Conan


    Just a quick one today...

    Great seeing SOUNDGARDEN playing a song on the new Conan late night show on TBS yesterday. We've missed Kim Thayil's guitar tone SO much!

    (Just sayin'.)

    Tuesday, 9 November 2010

    The Rest Of The Bands At That GRAVE DESECRATOR Show...

    Shit! It's been almost a month since I took the following photos at the GRAVE DESECRATOR show in Manchester (an all-dayer called "DEAD EVIL FEST") and I've only just taken a look-see at what the pictures turned out like. I'm a lazy fucking bastard... apologies to anyone who I've told "Yeah man, I'll get those photos sent to you in a few days." Little did I realise at the time that I had been shooting the photos in RAW format (meaning you have to sit at a desk for hours pouring over each and every frame one by one, adjusting and then reformatting each to jpeg or what have you) and, just to compound that a bit further, I took about 650+ pics during that day. All in some ridiculous format that I'd left the camera switched to from the day before. Idiot!

    Anyway, here's a photo from each of the bands that played before GRAVE DESECRATOR. For photos of the headline band, see the original post!

    PARASITIZED


    DECREPID


    THE GODS OF HELLFIRE


    TOWERS OF FLESH


    CLOACA


    SEREGON


    SEREGON were a right royal ballache to shoot, mainly because they moved so damn fast and never took a second to stay still! Which is great for a metal band, but so frustrating for a photographer haha.

    More photos available on request: Leave a comment and I promise to get them to you sometime before the next century begins.

    Sunday, 7 November 2010

    UGH!


    Post Sunn show pic, London, early hours of 23rd Feb 2009. Take me back there please.

    Saturday, 6 November 2010

    Not So Strange Bedfellows

    On a friend's recommendation I recently got a copy of English band Hateful Abandon's 2008 début Famine (Into the Bellies of Worms).
    It was sold to me on the strength of being "Joy Division worshipping Black Metal" and that's not far wrong, You can hear elements of all kinds of dark late seventies/early eighties pop on here, think Killing Joke, Warsaw, Public Image, even Bauhaus and The Fall mixed in with modern black metal a la Amesoeurs or Lifelover, which aren't as different as you think, I mean there are themes of alienation and misanthropy running through the output of all these bands.
    When it all comes together, such as on the track Boiling Seas, what you have is a truly unique sound that works unbelievably well, but don't expect a BM album, as with Amesoeurs etc, black metal is only one of many influences here and is not worn on the sleeve.
    There's more to come soon, I believe they have finished sessions for an upcoming release recently, and I look forward to hearing more from them.

    Hateful Abandon Myspace: http://www.myspace.com/hatefulabandon

    Wednesday, 3 November 2010

    Upcoming - BLACK BREATH - Manchester S&G - 22nd November 2010


    Say It To My Face presents:

    BLACK BREATH
    http://www.myspace.com/blackbreath
    Motorhead & Discharge mixed with Entombed on Southern Lord Records

    ROT IN HELL
    http://www.myspace.com/rotinhellband
    Holy Terror on Deathwish Inc. New album coming soon...

    HANG THE BASTARD
    http://www.myspace.com/hangthebastard
    Raw Sorcery from London

    CLOSURE
    http://www.myspace.com/closurehc
    Leeds finest

    Monday 22nd November
    The Star and Garter, Fairfield Street, Manchester
    £8 adv from Ticketline.co.uk
    Doors 7.30pm

    http://www.starandgarter.co.uk/

    Tuesday, 2 November 2010

    Iron Maiden Mystery...

    ....some noises on Twitter that there was going to be an announcement on Iron Maiden's official website this week, then today, this:
    So, at six O'clock the announcement is made aaaaannnnnddddd.......
    So, those tourdates in full:
    FEBRUARY
    Fri 11
    Tue 15
    Thu 17
    Sun 20
    Wed 23
    Thu 24
    Sat 26
    Sun 27 

    Moscow, RUSSIA
    SINGAPORE
    Jakarta, INDONESIA
    Bali, INDONESIA
    Melbourne, AUSTRALIA
    Sydney, AUSTRALIA
    Brisbane, AUSTRALIA
    Sydney, AUSTRALIA

    Olympiski
    Singapore Indoor Stadium
    Stadium Utama Gelaro Bung Karno Senayan
    Garuda Wisnu Kencana
    Hisense Arena
    Entertainment Centre
    Showgrounds (Soundwave Festival)
    Eastern Creek Raceway (Soundwave Festival)

    MARCH

    Fri 4
    Sat 5
    Mon 7
    Thu 10
    Sat 12
    Sun 13
    Thu 17
    Fri 18
    Sun 20
    Wed 23
    Sat 26
    Sun 27
    Wed 30


    Melbourne, AUSTRALIA
    Adelaide, AUSTRALIA
    Perth, AUSTRALIA
    Seoul, KOREA
    Tokyo, JAPAN
    Tokyo, JAPAN
    Monterrey, MEXICO
    Mexico City, MEXICO
    Bogota, COLOMBIA
    Lima, PERU
    Sao Paulo, BRAZIL
    Rio De Janeiro, BRAZIL
    Brasilia, BRAZIL 


    Showgrounds (Soundwave Festival)
    Bonython Park (Soundwave Festival)
    Steel Blue Oval (Soundwave Festival)
    Chamsil Gymnasium
    Super Arena
    Super Arena
    Banamex Theatre
    Foro Sol
    CC Sapo
    Estadio San Marcos
    Morumbi Stadium
    HSBC Arena
    Nilson Nelson Parking Lot

    APRIL

    Fri 1
    Sun 3
    Tue 5
    Fri 8
    Sun 10
    Wed 14
    Sat 16
    Sun 17


    Belem, BRAZIL
    Recife, BRAZIL
    Curitiba, BRAZIL
    Buenos Aires, ARGENTINA
    Santiago, CHILE
    San Juan, PUERTO RICO
    Sunrise, Florida, USA
    Tampa, Florida USA 


    Parque De Exposicoes
    Parque De Exposicoes
    Expotrade
    Velez Sarsfield
    Estadio Nacional
    Coliseo De Puerto Rico
    Bank Atlantic Center
    St Pete Times Forum 

    JULY
    Jun 30 - Jul 3
    Fri 1
    Wed 6
    Fri 8
    Sun 10


    Roskilde, DENMARK
    Gothenburg, SWEDEN
    Oslo, NORWAY
    Helsinki, FINLAND
    St Petersburg, RUSSIA


    Roskilde Festival
    Ullevi Stadium 
    Telenor
    Olympic Stadium
    SKK Peterburgskiy 


    With the following cryptic message tagged onto the bottom:
    UK fans - don't worry, we most certainly haven't forgotten you... you're next!

    Tuesday, 26 October 2010

    GRAVE DESECRATOR, Manchester, UK [2010.10.24]


    (This video clip ends just as the real action starts... but you get the idea!)

    Date: Sunday 24 October 2010
    Venue: Satan's Hollow, Manchester, UK
    Line-Up: PARASITIZED, DECREPID, GODS OF HELLFIRE, TOWERS OF FLESH, CLOACA, SEREGON, GRAVE DESECRATOR
    Promoter: Clanglestrim Produckshins


    WORDS: I went along to an all-day metal show last Sunday, called DEADEVIL FEST, and held at Satan's Hollow venue, a high class metal dungeon in downtown Manchester, England. I didn't know what to expect from the line-up, mainly down to the fact that a lot of the bands are still very much what you might class as in the "up and coming" category (no offense intended by that label there guys). Also take into account that I am a lazy son-of-a-bitch and never did my homework on the line-up of acts.

    The day started with 2 death metal bands (PARASITIZED and DECREPID), so I guessed that was going to be the trend throughout the day ("This next song is called... *undecypherable death grunt*") but then the 3rd band hit the stage, THE GODS OF HELLFIRE, and they were more of a heavy Crowbar style sound, so that was my "death metal only fest" idea blown out of the water.

    There was also a drone band, CLOACA, who went down very well with the crowd (which pleasantly surprised me - the positive crowd reaction I mean! I expected people to be like "What the fuck is this slow shit??") and then another act (SEREGON) who played Sacred Reich style thrash.

    Finally GRAVE DESECRATOR set up and started their set, blinding filthy Brazilian death/black metal. I was in love from the very first chords of their show.

    I have a busy work schedule today (rent is due, car needs fixing, etc) so I don't have too long to play about with all of the photos that I took throughout the day (sorry to anyone who I have promised pics too, they'll be with you soon!). I'm going to be coming back to this review and adding extra stuff later this week, so hold tight! The whole day was a definite "2 claws up!", I wasn't sure what to expect (well, except for G.D. obviously!) but I am pleased to report that this was another fucking great outing for THEE CLAW!

    For now, take a moment ot bask in the glory of some GRAVE DESECRATOR photos. You should have been there, lads!!







    Monday, 25 October 2010

    VI (Or, Right Place, Right Time, Wrong Speed)

    Six years ago, John Robert Parker Ravenscroft passed away whilst on holiday in Peru, shortly after an expidition to Machu Piccu.
    It's hard to measure the impact of the former radio presenter without making it a personal story; for me, Peel was the elder brother or cool uncle I never had, listening to his show was like hanging out with said imaginary sibling and having the run of his record collection.
    I used to sit next to the radio with a pen and pad, writing down bands and comitting them to memory in the pre internet days when finding new music meant dedication.
    Aside to my personal story, Peel's impact on underground metal in the UK can never be underestimated.
    Stories abound of the Peel family turning up en masse for gigs at The Mermaid in Birmingham to watch proto grind gigs from ENT and Napalm Death, without Peel's support, Scum would have probably never been released.
    Intrigued by the nascent Grind/Death scene, over a twelve month period in 87/88 Peel invited the great and the good from the UK to record sessions for BBC Radio and he broadcast them on his show.
    Later released on Strange Fruit as "Hardcore Holocaust", check out this track list:
    Stupids - Heard It All Before
    Stupids - Dog Log
    Electro Hippies - Sheep
    Electro Hippies - Chickens
    Electro Hippies - Mother
    Extreme Noise Terror - False Profit
    Extreme Noise Terror - Another Nail In The Coffin
    Extreme Noise Terror - Carry On Screaming
    Extreme Noise Terror - Conned Through Life
    Bolt Thrower - Attack In The Aftermath
    Bolt Thrower - Psychological Warfare
    Intense Degree - Skate Bored
    Intense Degree - Intense Degree
    Intense Degree - Day Dreams
    Intense Degree - Bursting
    Unseen Terror - Voice Your Opinion
    Napalm Death - Moral Crusade
    Napalm Death - M.A.D.
    Napalm Death - Divine Death
    Napalm Death - Control
    Doctor And The Crippens - Pink Machine Gun
    Doctor And The Crippens - The Garden Centre Murders
    Doctor And The Crippens - Skin Tight
    Doom - Exploitation
    Doom - No Religion
    Also recorded where the likes of Bolt Thrower et al, and Peel's attention hurtled the UK Hardcore bands to the front of the NME and into the nation's subconscious.
    Without Peel, grindcore would have stayed so far underground that I probably wouldn't be talking about it now.

    My favourite Peel moment happened a long time ago when I was in work, back before I was in charge and we used to listen to the radio when the boss had gone out.
    Eternal numb-nut and MTV favourite Lisa I'anson was off air for the dinnertime show for some reason, and for some reason known only to the BBC bigwigs they brought in Peely who played, in the middle of the day, whatever he wanted.
    After one song, he came out with the following gem, around 12.30pm on a Wednesday afternoon:

    I’ve had several complaints today, all asking to bring back Lisa I’Anson. This next record is for you, Mr Simpson of Plymouth. It’s Bolt Thrower....

    Sunday, 24 October 2010

    Spinning


    N.M.E. - Unholy Death. A really unique and timeless, yet dated, album.  If you've not heard it, get it or die!

    Con Clavi Con Dio

    This week I have been listening quite a bit to the eagerly awaited debut full length by mysterious, secretive, Satanic Swedes Ghost, Opus Eponymous. After much spinning of their demo and the Elisabeth 7" from Iron Pegasus, hopes were high for this release.

    Here we have the three songs from the demo and 7" re-recorded, plus new material.
    Ghost seem to inhabit that strange ground between metal and occult rock, using similar mise en scene to The Devil's Blood, etherial organs, genuine feel of occultism and the distance from everyday lifecreated by the old sound favoured by these bands.
    However, I feel that the demo and single had more of a warm, 70s feel to them whereas the album feels a bit more modern.  Gone is the Mercyful Fate-style promise of the demos and instead the band sound a bit more clinical and produced.

    But that's just a small gripe.  What the cult have produced here stands apart from all other releases I've heard for a long time due to the complete Hammer horror style atmosphere that pervades the entire album.
    Top notch, well worth the wait.

    Speechless...

    Roadburn is elated to announce that Birmingham’s seminal post-punk / industrial behemoths, Godflesh, will perform their seminal debut full-length album, 1989’s Streetcleaner, in its entirety at the 2011 Roadburn Festival, Thursday, April 14th at the 013 venue in Tilburg, Holland. Not only will founding members Justin Broadrick and Benny Green play Streetcleaner in full and in track order, they will be playing the Tiny Tears EP, which was conceived as part of the overall Street Cleaner vision, in full as well.
    Roadburn Festival regards Godflesh as one of the biggest influences on the burgeoning doom, sludge and drone scenes, alongside their Birmingham forebears Black Sabbath and New York’s unyielding instigators of aural punishment, Swans. The artistic resonance of GodfleshStreetcleaner can be heard and felt throughout the entire festival and in many of the bands invited to perform. Its ability to create an all-encompassing yet devastatingly claustrophobic vision from minimalist means, it treated guitar textures that would later be siphoned off into Justin and Benny’s respective drone projects, Final and Vitriol, and its willingness to meet the abyss head-on are all elements whose fumes have pervaded Roadburn over many years.
    It is a massive understatement to say that we’re beyond thrilled about having Godflesh headlining the Thursday Roadburn date with such a highly anticipated performance. We are still pinching ourselves that the fever dream of having such a coup for Roadburn has become a reality – it’s an absolute honour for us, and a testament to a band whose  impact influence has spread so far, wide and deep.

    Thursday, 21 October 2010

    Bruce Bruce, International Football Pilot


    Taken from the BBC News website:
    Heavy metal legend Bruce Dickinson is flying the Liverpool squad to Naples ahead of the club's Europa League clash with Italian side Napoli.

    The Iron Maiden frontman, 52, who holds a commercial pilot's licence, will captain the Astraeus Airlines plane from Liverpool John Lennon Airport.

    Dickinson, despite admitting he had no allegiance to any football team, said he hoped he would bring the Reds luck.

    Liverpool are due to play Napoli at 1800 BST on Thursday.

    "I was originally supposed to be going to Iceland and flying down to Las Palmas and Tenerife, but this looked a lot more interesting so I'm flying the team down to Naples."

    Dickinson, who joined Iron Maiden in 1981, said he was lucky his day job left him time to perform.

    "People ask me, which do you enjoy more and I honestly can't say, but what I can say is that I am never, ever going to give up singing.

    "That's been my life and fortunately I'm in a job where I can get the time off to do it.

    "In fact, the airline that I work for, Astraeus, we designed an aeroplane for an Iron Maiden tour and flew it round the world, we've done it twice now.

    "It's never been done before, bands have had private jets before, but no band until Maiden has even come up with the idea of taking all the equipment, and the road crew and the band on one aircraft.

    "It's like the biggest tour bus in the world."

    The flight was due to leave Liverpool at 1100 BST on 20 October 2010.

    THEE CLAW says: UP THE IRONS! Bruce has done this before, taking football teams to games in Europe that is - He piloted the plane that flew the Rangers team to a European game one time in 2007. (And yes, you heard us, Bruce Bruce!)

    Listening To

    Amongst other things...



    Tuesday, 19 October 2010

    Jay-Jay Winter R.I.P.


    Taken from the ASOMVEL Myspace page:

    "It’s with heavy hearts that we announce that Jay-Jay Winter, bassist & singer with ASOMVEL has lost his life in a car accident. He was driving home on October 18th when en route he was forced off the road by another drivers incompetence. Jay later died in hospital from the injuries he sustained. Jay was a great man, he was one of the most honest, forthright and brutally truthful people you could ever hope to meet. With his razor sharp wit and frank opinions, he was loved and respected by all of his peers in the UK Metal community because of his strength of character. He was generous and helpful to a fault with people who deserved it, and sometimes even with people who didn’t deserve it. Such was his love of fair play and the underdog getting the upper hand. He was more than just a bandmate, he was also a family member and a true friend. We are all stunned by this turn of events and hope that you will all understand why all our forthcoming gigs are now cancelled. R.I.P. Jay Jay. Lenny Robinson & Ian Wright (ASOMVEL, October 18th 2010)."


    Grind me down and suck my will - you ain't defeating me
    I know that my time will come and then you'll surely see
    That I can rise above it all and be who i want to be
    To never fucking give into, a life of Drudgery

    Earlier today I spoke to our friend Randy Reaper (from THE LAMP OF THOTH) about Jay Jay passing. R.R. had been a good friend of Jay Jay and had only recently been to ireland for a show together (THE LAMP and ASOMVEL played a few shows together, always blinding).
    RR: Everytime you looked at Jay you saw the fire in his eyes, the beers, the gigs, the whiskey, the laughs that we shared, he was a great bloke with a heart of gold for those who were worth it. He might not be around anymore, but we'll carry on the fight and he'll never be forgotten.



    The last time that we met Jay Jay was in September 2010 at a show in Wakefield, UK. The band played a great set, seemingly still getting tighter as a unit with each successive show. Later in the day Jay could be spotted around the venue, trademark wrap-around shades across his face, while he stood leaning against a post and watching the video playback of their set (The Snooty Fox venue always record each band's set and then show it again shortly afterwards... might be worth contacting the venue to enquire about getting a copy of it actually). He looked quite pleased with the video.

    An example of Jay's on-stage humour: All the way through the ASOMVEL set Randy Reaper (he of THE LAMP OF THOTH) was holding up huge hand-written signs at the band with "TWAT", "BUMMER" and other expletives written on them. At one point in between songs he held up a sign facing towards the Snooty Fox's webcam (the event was being live-streamed on the internet) and Jay stopped for a second and shouted "That better not say TWAT!". Randy turned the sign round and Jay read it. "Oh Cunt, that's ok". They then went straight into the next song.

    Towards the end of the night a couple of us found Lenny to ask if they had any ASOMVEL "merch" with them to sell (none has been layed out on the merchandise desk). Len looked at Jay Jay who was busy holding court with a few people outside the venue; Jay gave a serious smile and said something along the lines of "Come on then" and lead us around to his car to get some tshirts from the trunk. He could have easily told us to wait a while (or even to get lost!) but as was his nature, he sorted the situation out pretty quickly.

    An utter gent.


    Rest In Peace Jay Jay mate and thanks for the good times, THEE CLAW.
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  • Monday, 18 October 2010

    Sunday, 17 October 2010

    Birthday Claws: DVoid


    Happy birthday to brother of the claw DESIGN VOID.

    Roll on April 2011!

    Tuesday, 12 October 2010

    Spinning Now:

    Words to follow; Early indications EXCELLENT!

    Friday, 8 October 2010

    Pek

    When the wind cries out my name
    And time has come for me to die
    Then wrap me in my cape
    And lay my sword down at my side

    Then place me on a ship of Oak
    And let it drift with tide
    Let the flames purify my soul
    On its way to hall up high


    My life would have been very different without you mate.

    Time to add a bit more I suppose.
    Pek was a local legend; he was in Disattack before they were Carcass; he promoted so many gigs at Planet X and was then security guard at Quiggins for years.
    That's it in a nutshell, total crust warrior.
    I didn't know him that well; well enough to let onto and have a drink with, he was good friends with my friends.
    Like most people my age, my overwhelming memories of Pek are of trying to look at least seven years older when he walked past me at whatever gig we had managed to get into in Planet X in it's Hanover Street incarnation.
    It was funny the first time a mutual friend introduced me to him years later, they said "Here's Pek" and I didn't have to run off to the toilets.
    Anyway, enjoy some Disattack here and here, and drink some fucking scrumpy for the lad.
    (read the comments on the second blog post)

    Friday, 1 October 2010

    Now Listening To: GHOST


    Listening to my copy of the recent 7 inch record by GHOST. You not heard them yet? Check out their shit, it's unreal. It was announced a little while ago that they are playing at the 2011 Roadburn festival in Holland, so I'll be checking them out live there. I also read that they are due to play in London sometime soon (like in 3 weeks time from the date of this blog post) but it's unlikely that I'll be able to make it along to that. But you never know!

    GHOST will be releasing their debut album, "Opus Eponymous" in 2 weeks from now on October 18th 2010. I'm guessing that a lot of people won't read this blog post before the record is released (if ever!), so may I take this opportunity to recommend it to you highly and point you in the right direction to go and BUY a copy of it!

    Roll on RB11!

    Thursday, 30 September 2010

    WATAIN, Liverpool (UK) 29th September 2010

    Date: Wednesday 29 September 2010
    Venue: The Masque, Liverpool, UK
    Line-Up: Otargos, Deströyer 666, Watain
    Promoter: Whiplash

    Great black metal gig held in Liverpool city centre last night. I got there just in time to see Deströyer 666 (already on stage as I walked in), with lots of fist pumping and happily angry Scousers running about the place and thrashing out. Even saw a couple of fights brewing (including one that was right down by the stage-side crash barrier a blonde girl tearing some guys hair out of his head). And this all before the headline act had even set foot on stage.


    WATAIN's show may not be as well known to some, mainly because they probably don't get to air their set-up fully at every venue (partly due to health and safety concerns). After all, it's not every band who have a couple of 10 foot-tall burning crosses on stage during their show. I found this especially surprising in a basement venue such as the one they were playing in Liverpool tonight. Surprising yet awesome!


    The WATAIN set included a fair amount of material from their latest record, Lawless Darkness. A few songs I recognised from it ("Malfeitor", "Reaping Death" and more). They also played "Sworn To The Dark" and "Devil's Blood" from the Casus Luciferi record. They left the stage only once, coming back on to play a Bathory cover - Sacrifice I think.


    The main memory of this show, for me, was that it was the first time I have ever got a suntan at a gig at midnight. This was thanks to the two 15-foot high flamethrowers that WATAIN had on either side of the stage! They only sparked these bad boys up towards the end of their show, during Reaping Death (I think)... there was no warning for the crowd before this happened, none that I heard about anyway! The first that I knew of the flamethrower stunt was a sudden burst of heat (the basement venue was already hot to begin with!) and 90% of the crowd saying "WHOA!" in unison.


    I'm quite glad that I had got a few good photos early on during the WATAIN show and retired to the back of the hall to watch the rest of the set from behind the sound desk area. Because the flamethrower to stage-left was directly below where I'd been stood taking photos of the bassist. Otherwise I wouldn't be sat here typing out a review, I'd be laid-up in the Liverpool Royal Hospital's burns unit.


    Very fucking memorable show!