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!

Wednesday, 29 September 2010


WATAIN, DESTROYER666 & LORDAERON thanks to those lovely people at WHIPLASH. Hope you got the tyre on the tourbus fixed Sal!


Enslaved, Bergen's marauding viking heroes really came of age to me when they stepped in at the last minute to cover the non-appearance of a resurgent and highly popular Celtic Frost at 2008's Roadburn due to the forefathers implosion.
They turned up and I remember watching this driving, tremolo-picking leviathan on a stage with projections of Norwegian nature behind them, their amps covered in runic flags and just being shocked; this was when I started to sit up and really take notice of them.

After I hastily obtained a copy of 2006's Ruun (a strong album and contender for one of my favourite albums of any genre of metal, ever) I felt a bit let down by 2008's Vertebrae, thinking that the progressive elements were taking over, not a bad thing in itself, but not quite gelling with the Black Metal template.
So, it was with equal parts excitement and trepidation that I waited for the new release, Axioma Ethica Odini.
I needn't have worried.
The prog parts are  still there, and are as prevalent as ever, but it all fits together.
The whole impression I get is of standing by a harbour watching the sea, and in some parts looking out  over the bow of a ship as you crest another wave and crash into the sea under a star filled sky.
The sense of space and grandeur is ever present on this album, whist some tracks are cold, claustrophobic slices of creepy raw Black Metal.

Overall, one of the strongest Black Metal albums I've heard in a long time, Good enough to sit proudly alongside Hammerheart.

Monday, 27 September 2010

RIP to Thee Master

February 10, 1962 – September 27, 1986

The following YouTube video clip is embedded on most Cliff Burton tribute pages today, quite rightly. It's just incredible watching him on stage, he moves like no other. That's it, I am digging out my old Cliff Em All VHS and watching it for the first time since god-knows-when. Seeing him in this video is a flashback to better times. He was the living breathing embodiment of all that I ever wanted to be in the world.

I ask you now the same question that we all know Hetfield must have been asking himself all of these years: Why him?

Other Cliff Burton tributes (aside from this one):

  • THEE CLAW SAYS: Not enough tributes.

    24 years already? Man.

    Saturday, 25 September 2010


    Date: Friday 24 September 2010
    Venue: Star & Garter, Manchester, UK
    Line-Up: Thade, Bastards Of The Skies, Volition, Black Sun
    Promoter: Future Noise

    A special "Album release" show for the new BLACK SUN record, entitled "Twilight Of The Gods". Nice line up and a long show, starting at 8ish with THADE and carrying on til 10 to 1 in the morning when BLACK SUN left the stage!

    Apologies to THADE - never had the camera ready for their set. Did watch them though - sludgetastic!

    Friday, 17 September 2010

    New tracks by SIGIRIYA now available

    Remember I mentioned to you a while back about the amazing Welsh band SIGIRIYA? No? Well you really should do. Saw them some time back at a gig in Bradford (where they played alongside Claw favourites ASOMVEL) and I was quite literally a fan for life within half a song.

    Anyway, they've been in the studio, recorded some stuff and had it mastered. This is the resulting track.

    Hope you take a moment (or 10) to click the play button and enrich your life!

    7. DEATHTRIP by Sigiriya

    Monday, 6 September 2010

    Doomsday III, Wakefield, UK

    Went along to Wakefield's Snooty Fox yesterday for the third installment of the Doomsday festival. Traveled there on a spare-of-the-moment jaunt with friend of thee blog Robbo and also the inimitable DOOMLORD and Conan. I had suspected before the journey that I might be in for a long day but, partly due to the great bands that played and partly due to the atmosphere in the venue, the event seems to whizz by quickly. At the same time though, I have now sat down to write a brief round-up of the day's events and I realise that far too much happened for me to make this any like brief. For now let's just add a couple of photos of the bands on stage and some of the crowd.

    Bands that played:








    Why did LORD VICAR have a sign with "CUNTBUMMER" on stage during their set??

    Well that goes to Mr RANDOLPH REAPER Esq of THE LAMP. Someone even fed him a pint during his wanderings but I didn't manage to get a photo of that. Damn.