Thursday, 30 June 2011

The Amenta, Hour of Penance, Belphegor, Deicide @ The Masque, Liverpool 27/6/11

Bands: Deicide / Belphegor / Hour Of Penance / The Amenta
Style: Thrash/Death/Black
Venue: The Masque Theatre, Liverpool
Date: 27th June 2011
Promoter: Whiplash

On Monday night, probably the most high-profile metal tour to come to Liverpool since Sepultura back in the early nineties rolled into town, and of course, the crew of das Claw were there to witness the whole spectacle.

First up were Australians The Amenta, whose dark take on Death Metal seemed nothing too extraordinary, electronic/ambient/industrial elements aside. The fact that I had to struggle to hear them in the seemingly cavernous space of the Masque's large room probably didn't help either, sorry guys.

Next up, Hour of Penance, who again (from where I was stood stage left) suffered from a terrible sound, Paolo's vocals being so low down that it was literally like watching an almost instrumental set, apart from when the backing vocals came in. Shame, as I was kind of transfixed by their technical death/black metal, bringing to mind a more brutal Emperor.

Any problems at the sound desk were fixed by the time that Austria's Belphegor took to the stage, blasting out their brand of blackened death metal, whipping the crowd up and winning over new fans, although I resisted the urge to buy Belphegor underwear from the merch stall afterwards!

Strangely, this was my first time seeing Deicide, which is odd because I think that from that early crop of super-influential and genre defining Death metal bands from the late eighties/early nineties, up until Monday there was only really Glen and the boys that I'd never seen. Make no mistake, the insane vocal sound on the first Deicide album influenced legions of Black Metal hordes in the early nineties even if they don't like to admit it, partly because of a large section of the music press' seeming vendetta to make Glen Benton into some form of cartoon character in the at the time. This lineup features founder members Benton and Steve Asheim on drums, along with Jack Owen and Ralph Santonalla on guitars.

They come onstage in front of what must surely be a full house, and absolutely pummel the crowd with four or five songs without a break whilst the crowd pummel each other.  Seriously, I haven't seen a crowd go this apeshit for literally years, anywhere. Dead by Dawn is tossed into the set ridiculously early (I think like the second track?) and the crowd go insane. There is a small barrier along the front of the stage, and another one right above it to create a kind of tunnel for photographers, but the crowd are reaching right across and snapping the two together bang! bang! bang! against each other, only a brave man, a fool, or our very own SJW would venture in there for a photo! Playing a good mix of old and new tracks and some favourites of mine (Lunatic of God's Creation, Kill the Christian, Once Upon the Cross) and every track is delivered with such brutal ferocity it's hard not to get carried away.

Someone dives off the PA and manages to land about forty feet away from the stage right in the middle of the pit to huge cheers from the crowd.
Afterwards, we see a girl getting put into an ambulance on a stretcher, with her head and neck in a brace.
Deicide? They came, they saw, they handed us our arses.

In photos - The Amenta, Hour of Penance, Belphegor, Deicide (Liverpool June 27th 2007)

Monday, 20 June 2011

Tank86 - Rise

A couple of years ago back in 2008, at Roadburn, I was given a copy of Dutch band Tank86's second EP Behold which I reviewed here.
The guys got back in touch with us recently to give us the heads up on their debut full-length on Rising Magma Records, the aptly named Rise.

So, for the past week or two we've been giving it some heavy rotation at Claw towers, and we love it.

Eight tracks of instrumental fury, backed with reflective passages too, this is an instrumental band with one foot firmly in the doomy/epic camp, some huge and even evil sounding riffs within.

Dark, doomy, early-Cathedralesque guitar parts, and real headbanging riffs, with amazing drumming, I mean like really, I'm loving the drumming on this.  It's always hard to keep my attention throughout a purely instrumental album, and only Tank86, Kong and the much missed Capricorns have been able to do so in the past.

They're well worth seeking out, you can find them on the web here and their record label here.
There's a digital download available on Bandcamp as well for €6 which works out at 75cents a song, so pick it up for the price of a few beers, well worth it! I'm looking forward to checking the band out live at some point in the future; I'd really love to experience this at full volume!!

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Vibrating Vessels

It's only seven seconds long, but it's one of my favourite videos ever and I love reposting it.

Filmed back in 2009 at a sunnO))) ritual at Corsica studios in London, it's beer bottles riding a sonic wave to get off the stage.

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Unlucky, lad (part four).

Welcome to the Diner, We've got pies and cakes.

I Like It When you Die: Seth Putnam, Dead At 43

(Pre-note: If this blog post comes across as though we are being cruel or insensitive towards Seth Putnam's passing, that is not the intention. Thee Claw fucking loves the music of Seth Putnam and Anal Cunt. We just realise that his brand of "humor" is not properly reflected in the way that people simply say "R.I.P." whenever someone dies, even if the person in question was not a peaceful soul during their lifetime. Now that's been made clear, read the fuck on...!)

The legend that is Seth Putnam has died. To celebrate, laugh at the unfortunate and listen to his records. Also, do not say "R.I.P." like a stupid fucking cunt. Seth had no time for peace. Let's hope that his undying soul is currently somewhere horrible, getting poked up the ass by Rene Auberjonois in a fiery hell while being forced to listen to love songs for the rest of eternity. It's what he would have wanted after all.

That all said though, Thee Claw has to give huge props to the man for the music and the obscene lyrics he helped bring to the world. Some sick shit, but some funny shit too.

Question that I want answering about what happens next: Since Seth ran his own record label (Wicked Sick), what happens with that now? Does someone else go to his house/apartment (where I assume he kept all of his merch and shit) and take over the running of his affairs? How much of a say do Josh and Tim get in any of the music that's unreleased? Was the fabled Picnic Of Love 2 already recorded? And was anything else? If so, will it be released? Any other stuff in the bag that is maybe sat on his home computer, waiting to be commited to wax and made available, maybe that could be arranged via Seth's long term collaborator, Limited Appeal Records. I mean, so many people will be talking about Putnam's death right now (with it being a news item) but soon all that will dry up and all that will be left is his music.

Finally, Josh and Tim, hope you guys keep doing what you do. Thee Claw knows that you guys were a huge factor in the AxCx legacy.

Link to Grim Kim's original post that let everyone know about Seth dying.

Saturday, 11 June 2011

Æthenor, Mugstar, Conan, Ex-Easter Island Head, The Kazimier, Liverpool

A couple of firsts for us; first time at a new (for us) venue, the Kazimier, Wolstenholme Square in Liverpool, better known as the original home of dance music's "superclub" Cream, and our first time watching a show put on by Behind The Wall of Sleep.

We arrive just in time to hear the end of Ex-Easter Island Head's set, dreamlike drones played on horizontal guitars.
I was a bit disappointed we'd wandered in so late because I could have really got my teeth into more of this. alas, next time, eh?

Conan take to the stage next, and this was our first time of seeing them.

The Horseback Battle Hammer EP has had a lot of play at Claw Towers, and as such I was personally really looking forward to seeing them for the first time and they didn't dissapoint. Jarring low-end drones give way to thundering headbang-demanding riffs, three lads shake the world and halfway through the second track hipsters exit to the beer garden in a huge skinny jeaned conga.
Conan are worth keeping an eye, and two ears, on.

Another first for us now, Mugstar are a name I've heard a lot, but not a band I've heard, and I must say I was pleasantly surprised. Hawkwindy/Floydy with a decidedly modern twist, putting me in mind of a both Gong and Kong, but neither at the same time. An absolute musical enigma.

After what seems like an eternity, Æthenor finally take to the stage.

It works on record, we've seen them at Roadburn a few years ago (2007, I think), and really enjoyed it, but tonight, they didn't really do it for me. Have a look yourself.

Three out of four ain't bad though? And the Kazimier is an exciting, intimate yet chilled out venue, and I got to see a band i'd been looking forward to and two more I'd never heard but will be checking out now!

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Sigiriya - Return to Earth (Patchie Review)

Claw favourites Sigiriya have given us an exclusive listen to their eagerly awaited long player Return to Earth...and it's amazing.
Remember that film where Kyuss build a mountain out of Black Sabbath albums and Thin Lizzy chased them up it, throwing early nineties Sub Pop albums at them which they deflected with a copy of Confessor's Condemned? No? Well this will give you an idea of the soundtrack to it.

Sounding completely effortless, and really quite accessible, this seven track monster rocks and gallops along, with more drawn out, jam-style introspective moments that build to a crescendo of fuzz leaving you absolutely floored.
Recorded in Mwnci studios with Gethin Woolcock and mixed by Billy God Damn Anderson, this low-slung fuzzfest has to go down as one of the releases of the year and we're only halfway through it.
Dark Fires is a galloping, heads down, fists in the air rocker, and on this release, vocalist Dorian Walters really lets rip on songs like Death Trip to Eyriri with a quite unique blend of soaring vocals with just a tiny tiny hint of that old, underground Sub Pop-esque sound. People who were disappointed with the recent Kyuss Lives reunion could do a lot worse than checking them out.
My favourite is the stomping Robot Funeral, where drummer Darren Ivey holds together some drawn out riffs and chugging, rolling parts with equal ease, with awesome leads from Stu O'Hara floating over the top whilst Mead's Geezer Butler-esque bass work lollops all over the fretboard in the background.
Absolutely awesome, and I can see why SJW has been raving about them since he saw them back in March last year and now I can't wait to see them.
Return To Earth is out on The Church Within records from Germany.

In a nutshell? Makes me feel ten feet tall walking around listening to it on headphones, Metal as Fuck listening to it loud on the stereo. Rifftastic. Wait, then buy.

Ears and Eyes here.

If you heard a thud coming from the North West of England.... was me falling over.

REFORMED industrial metal pioneers GODFLESH head up the latest bookings for Damnation Festival 2011.
Joining them at Leeds University Union on Bonfire Night, Saturday, November 5 will be post-rockers GOD IS AN ASTRONAUT, who top the third stage and the atmospheric black metal their fellow Irishmen ALTAR OF PLAGUES.
The three bands expand on the already diverse bill for 2011′s finest UK metal event, so far boasting Ulver, Decapitated, Doom, Amplifier, Shining, Dragged Into Sunlight and Astrohenge, with mainstage headliners amongst the many more still to be announced.
Tickets are on sale now priced £29 and are available from See, Ticketline: and Leeds
Tickets are also now available the official Damnation site and Facebook via Ticketscript:
For more information visit the official Damnation Festival sites: