Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Black Tar Prophet / Crawl split preorders available

Atlanta's Crawl and Nashville's Black Tar Prophet are about to release a split CDEP of low end driven dirtdoom, the pre-order for which is now up on Crawl's bandcamp page, where you can also hear an edit of the track they have recorded for the split, Rise. Feast.
Head on over to Black Tar Prophet on the same site to hear two tracks clocking in at around 3/4 of an hour and get an idea of what to expect!

Black Tar Prophet:

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Updates update.

Today I've been making some minor changes to the site, but I think they are worth mentioning here.
First, we've added a search function to the main page, having almost 700 posts at the moment, the old archive/tag/labels system was becoming a bit cumbersome.

So now we have a box that you can search in (Really. Try "Leeds Fenton" or something similar) and the results pop up at the top of the site there, in a box you can click closed.
This has meant that we can streamline the archive a little bit so that it now looks a little neater:
 And over on our Facebook page, we have added a link for you to sign up for our email newsletter, which we plan to be a weekly update, sometimes with stuff we haven'y been able to get up on the site here.
 Anyway, there you go. Mounds of stuff to review, more posts tomorrow!

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Mage - Black Sands

There's only so much filth one can be immersed in before you want something...different, for want of a better word!

We recently received a promo copy of Mage's BLACK SANDS, and when we put it on, what a refreshing release this is!

Mage are rocking out, simple as that.
This is 10 tracks of Sabbath-infused good time Doom Metal.
It's nice to see bands with doom influences that are not bothering with the occult-shtick Scooby Doom nonsense that's so prevalent these days.

As soon as Cosmic Cruiser X blasts out of your speakers, it's time to crack open a cold one and enjoy.
The song grooves along, with the rhythm section of Andy and Mark working together to lay down some serious bedrock for the twin guitar attack of Ben and Woody to play across the top of.

Tom's vocals are classic heavy metal in the vein of Pepper Keenan or Ben Ward, and when it all comes together...well, I lost count of the amount of times I started playing air-bass or nodding along when I gave the disc it's first spin!
There are plenty of brilliant bluesy style moments in the tracks, alongside sections that really rock, such as the start of Rust.
In places the band have a feel of mid-period Cathedral or Kyuss, and I've found myself humming the basslines off a few of these tracks today!
Drowning Doom is a standout track for me, a straight up doom beginning leading into some excellent double bass drumming before the riff comes back in again, it also has an almost Alice in Chains feel to it, which is a good thing.
Witch of the Black Desert has a Sleep-esque start to it before it really kicks off, Sabbath style about two and a half minutes in.

All in all, this is a real stomper of an album, covering all kinds of ground, and Boulty's production really puts the band right in your face.
The band are self releasing this as a digipack CD, and it will be distributed online by the hard working Witch Hunter Records, you can get it on Spotify, iTunes and Amazon, and I can't recommend it highly enough.


Ilsa - Intoxicatations

Washington DC's ILSA return with the follow up to 2010's Tutti il Colori del Buio, with Intoxicantations; a true example of real crossover, merging metal, hardcore, sludge, you name it.
Foreign Lander starts with a squeal of feedack, and is into some serious riffing, with a tornado of drumming, moving forward at breakneck speed, with Orion growling atop it all.
Harking back to the days when death metal and hardcore mixed effortlessly, this is filthy, downtuned noise just the way Thee Claw likes it; brooding passages punctuated with bursts of feedback and death growls.

The cover art of a tiger downing a bad trip whilst lines of maggots are prepared should give you some idea of what's in store for you when you listen to the album.
The title track is a grinding juggernaut of a song, with stunning double-kick drumming from Joshy, there are even some black metal influences on show here, where Brendan and Garret hold the guitars back and Orion's voice reverberates over the rhythm section.

Deadbeat's Ballad is a punkier, more in your face track, where your head starts nodding along and your feet start to stamp, followed by Man-made Monsters, a more metallic track which brings to mind sweaty gigs in small clubs when you'd see a band you hadn't heard before and they'd blow you away whilst you tried to figure out where they were coming from, reminds me of dISEMBOWELMENT in places, and musically even the good old demo days of the unholy English trinity of Anathema, My Dying Bride and Paradise Lost.
Striding across all of it is some outstanding bass work from Sharad, real speaker-shaking bottom end.
Love it.

The album ends with a one two of Martyrs and Skin and Bone, the former is another stomping, crusty anthem with some metallic riffs that will send crowds mental, the latter being a doomy, crawling number at the start, that the drums join at around the two minute mark to create a nasty, lumbering beast of a track with a hauntingly atmospheric guitar solo, before becoming complete Whitehouse-style noise that cuts off suddenly and is replaced with the sound of an air raid siren.

Take heed, Ilsa mix together all aspects of the underground and may well be one of the bands of 2013.

Out now on a389 Recordings.

a389 Recordings
Ilsa (facebook)

Friday, 30 November 2012

Let him who has understanding reckon the number of the post, for it is a human number....

This is our 666th post on Thee Claw, and what else could we have ever possibly posted?
Thanks to you all for putting up with us...here's to the next 334!!

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Last Stand

Toronto's VILIPEND have just unveiled their debut video for the track 'Last Stand Of The Hopeless Romantic' from their 2012 full length 'Inamorata' (A389 Recordings)
 Watch the video for VILIPEND 'Last Stand Of The Hopeless Romantic' here! (c/o Metal Injection)

VILIPEND 'Inamorata' 12"/Digital Available NOW on A389 Recordings
Listen to the album in full here: http://a389recordings.bandcamp.com/album/a389-105-vilipend-inamorata-12 


My writings have often praised William, but for this act I can only condemn him....

"I persecuted the native inhabitants of England beyond all reason. Whether nobles or commons, I cruelly oppressed them; many I unjustly disinherited; innumerable multitudes, especially in the county of York, perished through me by famine and sword…I am stained with the rivers of blood that I have shed."
One of our favourite English bands, Wiht, are releasing their The Harrowing of the North, on clear vinyl on 2013, courtesy of Devouter Records.

  Taking influence thematically from the subjugation of the North of England by William the Conqueror in the 11th century, The Harrowing of the North tells the troubled history of doomsday-era Yorkshire- the king massacred it's people and destroyed the land to ensure it held no economic or cultural worth and would remain under his subservient rule.(from Wiht's bandcamp)

Pre-order one of 300 limited copies from the website today.

Wiht previously recorded an 2-track album called The Harrowing of the North in 2011, which you can hear over on their bandcamp page.
The 2013 release will also include an unreleased bonus track, End of the Reign, the last track the band recorded together.

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Metalcore 0, Wiccan Wanderers 5

(long time coming, crazy situations - P)

Well, better late than never, the review of one of the UK's hardest working band's second CD, Ravens Creed's THE POWER.

From the moment the CD starts, with an air raid siren wailing and the staccatto, Hell Awaits style riffing comes on, you know that RC are about to serve a treat to your ears, a snap to your neck and a kick to your yarbles, if you have any yarbles that is.

Worshipping at the altar of 84-92 death/power/speed/thrash/whatever, all the adjectives that Cronos used to use to describe Venom in interviews, they pick up where they left off with 2011's Nestless and Wild EP, and pummel you into submission.

Younger readers maybe haven't ever heard a band like Ravens Creed before, and their blend of Venom/Kreator/Old Sepultura music would have you thinking you were listening to a South American tape on Cogulemo, with crystal clear production that really gets behind your eyes.
But don't kid yourself, this is no rose-tinted trip down memory lane, Ravens Creed are aggressive and hungry.
Vocalist Al Osta barks out commands like Patrick Mameli encased in Dalek armour, on Wiccan Wanderers sounding like a nastier version of Moonfog-era Darkthrone, with (as we have mentioned on previous occasions) outstanding drumming from Jay Graham who must surely be one of the greatest drummers in UK metal today.

There are traces of, dare we say it, groove in some of the tracks, such as on Raped by the Graveyard, which ploughs out of the speakers, with Fraser Craske's bass bubbling underneath Steve Watson's guitar, track after track of vicious, old-style, relevant metal.
None of the tracks are more than three minutes long, leaving you reeling from song to song, like going 16 rounds with David Price.

Standout tracks: Wiccan Wanderers, Rat King Rosary and Silence in Crow Court.

The album is out on Doomentia Records orange vinyl, black vinyl and Cd available and affordable.
Get over there, and Unleash the Rat Bashers.

Tree of Sores in wax release on ALERTA ANTIFASCISTA

Claw favourites TREE OF SORES are set to release their, well, basically their back catalogue on vinyl through Germany's ALERTA ANTIFASCISTA. This contains the recent full length "A Cry of Despair" and the debut on one 12".

Starting out with crushing guitars and abrasive vocals a pounding rhythm soon is established leading to some haunting guitar work it sets the tone for more to follow. 
Tree of Sores must really be commended for the quality of this release. 
Every member excels to provide the listener with a stunning listening experience. 
 "A Cry Of Despair" takes a more subtle turn around the ten minute mark. 
A delicate riff builds with chiming momentum giving way to a brooding passage of density and euphoric greatness . Free of vocals, the music carries the song while maintaining the flow . 
It gives way to more atmospheric moments before gathering in pace again. Ending in brutal fashion with pummelling drums and layers of guitar, eventually fading out in drones of feedback and effects overall its an outstanding accomplishment Tree Of Sores can be proud of. 
This Release also contains almost the whole first EP (one song is missing) on the B-Side and a A2-Poster (size: 17x24inch)!!!

Corrupt Moral Altar to release CD on Baitin' The Trap

News via Baitin' The Trap Records:

So here we have it, Sludge/Grind new boys Corrupt Moral Altar blew me away with their demo 'Needle Drugs', so much so I had to work with them.
Their debut EP will now be the first release on Baitin' The Trap Records and will be limited to 150 copies on CD, with artwork coming from Chris of Iron Witch.
A digital download will also be available and pre-orders for this bad boy will be up within the next few weeks.

You can find the demo here - http://corruptmoralaltar.bandcamp.com/album/needle-drugs

You can also catch them on the following social networks -

You can also catch them live at the following gigs -
Birmingham, 2nd Dec. (Event page)
The Pilgrim Pub, Liverpool, 6th Dec.


Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Just How We Like It!

For those of you (like us) who grew up in the eighties/nineties loving us some good hardcore alongside our metal, you'll love Iron Reagan, who have just signed to A389 Records:

Richmond VA's IRON REAGAN are the latest band to join the A389 Records family.
 Featuring members of Municipal Waste and Darkest Hour, IRON REAGAN deliver raging 80's hardcore infused crossover thrash, influenced by the likes of D.R.I. Cro-Mags and Nuclear Assault with their own twists and turns thrown into the mix.
 The band has just wrapped up tracking their debut twenty-track LP ''Worse Than Dead', which will be seeing an early 2013 release on A389.
 In the meantime, Clearview Records has just released the band's 5-song demo as a 1-sided 12" EP.
 Stream the IRON REAGAN demo on their bandcamp page below:

Friday, 16 November 2012

Enlightened, Inducted, Northern.

Arkham Witch - Legions of the Deep
Metal On Metal Records 2012

Legions of the Deep is Keighley quartet Arkham Witch's second album (following on from the demo and début full length On Crom's Mountain), a group of musicians who have paid their dues over the years in well known bands in the doom underground.

On the band's first release on Italy's Metal on Metal Records, and has a sound that whilst rooted in the doomier side of metal, transcends any such limitations to become, quite frankly, one big, bollocksy traditional Heavy metal album.

Starting with David Lund, a song about the leader of The Dew and the Light society in 1870s Keighley, over eight minutes, a complex tale of supposed slights between rival occultists*.
Backed up by an almost NWOBHM sounding riff, Simon Iff's unique vocal delivery plants you firmly amongst the mills and the lodge meetings of the upper class in Victorian Yorkshire, and the fact that there was a north/south divide even amongst upper class esoteric societies!
I love the little bit of spoken narration just before the solo in this track; it's the band setting out their table, inviting you into their parlour if you like, and setting the tone for the rest of the album to follow.
At The Mountains of Madness follows, and is built around some anthemic British Steel type riffing from Aldo and a thrash-like middle section showing that the band employ more traditional metal leanings than one might expect from a band considered by many to be "doom", this is also evident on the track Infernal Machine with it's chanted refrain of INFERNAL MACHINE-OI! which calls to mind the likes of Atrophy's Violent by Nature.  The way Simon gets his larynx around the lyrics to Kult of Kutulu is worth hearing! There is a great one-two of Kult of Kutulu and the title track with it's Manilla Road-esque chorus (featuring a guest appearance from Leo of the band Forsaken) following each other, can't wait to hear this track played live, Emily's drumming coupled with John's bass playing providing the driving force for Aldo's NWOBHM/Thrashy riffs over the top.
I was initially surprised to hear the sea shanty-style section in the middle of the track, but a grin soon spread across my face! A sea shanty strait into a doomy evil riff. Not many records that happens on!
Intensely proud of their Yorkshire heritage, the ablum closes with We're From Keighley, an Orgasmatron-tempo track that speaks quite vocally of being in England, but not of it.
Great Stuff.

*More here; this is something I am still learning about.  Not since the early days of hearing Iron Maiden for the first time have I felt compelled to go away and research the lyrical subject matter of songs as I have with this album.
That's got to be a compliment!

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Friends don't share.

Just a quick note on file sharing.

As a website that does reviews (duh!) we get sent stuff all the time through the post, pick stuff up at gigs, buy stuff online and in shops and so on, but there are a few labels who sort us (and others reviewers/media types) out with digital downloads of releases, sometimes weeks before their street date because, as I'm sure our erudite readers will know, the way it works is thus:

  • Album is recorded
  • Selected people get to hear it early
  • They like it! They tell people how good it is, and they should go buy it, or..
  • They don't like it! So they don't pass judgement on it*
  • When the album is actually released, all the people who have read the reviews go out and buy it.
  • Everyone is one big, happy, crusty doomy metal punk family.
Or at least, you'd think so.
We get our links sent via email in a round-robin style communication, and today in the inbox was a missive from a label whose mailing list Thee Claw have literally only just joined, but instead of news and music, it was bulging with a tale of how someone had recently leaked one of their as-yet unreleased albums onto the internet.
Evidently we were concerned, this is a label whose output we are floored by and we'd spent a while trying to pluck up the courage to apply to join their mailer (Hey, even international jet setters like we are geek out sometimes and get a tiny bit overawed), and to think that people think that little of a label that are inviting them in beggars belief.

Running Wild - The only type of Heavy Metal Piracy that we approve of!
I mean, what have you got to gain? You've been given a link to a digital album (which will be available to listen to for free on Bandcamp when it's finally released, and will literally cost about $3 for a download) from a band who whilst good, aren't exactly Metallica, you know, you couldn't sell it on, so that means fiscal reward can't be the reason you're doing it.

And you know, they're not professional musicians (very very few of the bands that Thee Claw, and ergo our readers, care about actually are!) so you know, this has been recorded during time off work, during time when even the record label owner would be doing something in their personal life that's just as fulfilling.

And you surely mustn't be doing it for cool points, else you'd just review the album, get people to buy it (now that's a cool thing to do) and then buy the band a beer each when they come through your town.

So....you must be doing it because you're an arsehole, and quite frankly, everyday life (work, mixing with the public, having to get the bus with drug addicts etc) is that full of arseholes that do we really need you thinking that you're welcome here?
Fuck off and get into some rip-off flash in the pan scene like fucking goa trance dubstep or something.
Or! Take advice from Uncle Patchie as to how he reviews his albums.

First, I assume that if you are serious about music, you have some form of decent Hi-Fi system, and that you have somewhere you can sit and listen without being interrupted, as opposed to, let's say, an iPod dock in your kitchen that you listen to whilst you wash the dishes.
We do that at Claw Towers by the way, but it's not how we do our reviews.
We'd get soapsuds all over the keyboard.
Here at Claw Towers we have a special vault (known colloquially as THEE PIG'S ROOM, because prior to it's conversion to a room crammed with Vinyl, CDs and the like, it was in such a state that "only a pig would live in there") with a pair of big comfy leather chairs in that I do all my reviews in.
Here's how it goes:
  • Download link arrives
  • I copy files to a digital music player, then delete the files - This removes any possibility that they'll be shared even "accidentally", as I use a shared PC.
  • I then connect said device to an archaic machine known as a MiniDisc deck
  • MiniDisc is then digested over the period of about a week whilst a review forms in my mind
  • I then write (with a pen!) the review in a notebook (on paper!) when I'm ready, then bring that notebook to the PC (which is in a different room than the music) and type it up and publish it on Thee Site.  This is why there is often quite a delay from receiving the album to the review going online.
Think once, think twice, think about how a few hours of being an arsehole ruins months of peoples work† , and think about the damage you could do to the reputations of those of us that are honest; if a small label can't trust people who like what they do, what hope is there for any underground scene?

*I am well aware that some people write bad reviews, but my shelves are full of demos I didn't like, but who am I to rip people apart?
I know there are plenty of people in bands that work on the ideal that they'd sooner have 400 people download their music and come and see them on tour than one person buy it and sit in the house.  Horse for courses, I suppose.

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Limb - Demo CD

London four piece LIMB originally went into the studio in January to record their demo, just went in and did it live, and Witch Hunter Records have remixed the three tracks for release on this CD EP.
When I say remixed though, don't expect any kind of polished nonsense though, it's still a raw sounding document of a band laying down their tracks together in the studio, overdriven and tight as anything.

Opener Daemoness is a slow paced track with crushing riffs and bass lines reminiscent of Godflesh or Neurosis, with quieter passages also helping to set the mood.
Black Rat has a more bluesy, desert-y feel to it, with a more traditional rock vibe to the track if that's possible with such a fuzzed out monster, Sam Cooper's hands wandering along the frets like Geezer Butler getting the fuck out of Birmingham.
 Rob's vocals are quite low down in the mix, demanding attention but letting the music flow effortlessly around them, the whole mix stirred up by Jodie's drumming.
I love the way the closing track Dead Voice goes from a Witch-style stomper to Goatsnake-esque sludge easily, and then back again as they ride off into the sunset.

 Magic, can't wait for the full length.

Limited to 100 copies on CD, this comes with a folded card inlay and parchment insert, housed in a plastic wallet, with artwork by Chris Alliston and layout by Limb. It is also available through Bandcamp (pay what you want download), Spotify, Amazon and iTunes.

bandcamp online player - http://witchhunterrecords.bandcamp.com/album/limb-demo-cd 

bigcartel link - http://witchhunterrecords.bigcartel.com/product/limb-demo-cd



www.youtube.com/watch?v=g0VJGYrF_k0 - Video for 'Daemoness'

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Midnight Assassins

YES!!! We can't wait for some good time rock and roll action with our good pals in ORANGE GOBLIN.
See all the Scousers working this one into their Valentine's Day dates... "It'll be too busy on the 14th love, let's go out on the Tuesday instead..."

 Following ORANGE GOBLIN'S amazing shows supporting DOWN across the UK we are happy to announce that the band will be hitting the road for a full UK headline tour in January and February 2013. Dates are as follows: 
30th – Cardiff, Clwb Ifor Bach 
31st – Brighton, The Haunt 
1st – Southampton, Talking Heads 
2nd – Plymouth, White Rabbit 
3rd – Bristol, Fleece 
5th – Norwich, Waterfront Studio 
6th – Wolverhampton, Slade Rooms 
7th – Sheffield, Corporation 
8th – York, The Duchess 
9th – Manchester, NQ Live 
11th – Glasgow, King Tuts 
12th – Liverpool, O2 Academy 2 
13th – Nottingham, Rock City Basement 
15th – London O2 Academy Islington 

Irish dates will be also be added. 
Special guests to be announced. 
 Tickets available at www.kililive.com, 0844 871 8803 and usual outlets.

Saturday, 13 October 2012


Wor Skum turned me onto this:

How the fuck can you not love Alcoholic Rites? This is the spirit of True Heavy Metal and we love it.


For us, its all about the True Wave of British Heavy Metal, and so it should be for you too. Awesome backing vocals from Leo of Forsaken on this. Simon has one of the sickest voices in Metal right now, and the band...oh my word the band.

Friday, 12 October 2012

Time for Tea

From the Bloodstock Website:

Here at Bloodstock HQ we’re excited to announce our first headliner for 2013.
The Grammy-nominated, Danish metal legend KING DIAMOND will dazzle eyes and perforate eardrums in the Friday night top slot. After a six-year touring hiatus, the band triumphantly returned to the stage in 2012 for European festivals, Hellfest and Sweden Rock. Friday night’s closing performance at Bloodstock Open Air 2013 marks not only their first ever UK festival appearance, but their first UK show of any kind in many years and will be their only UK date in 2013. 

 When asked about Bloodstock, the mighty King quoth: "I'm looking so much forward to this, we all are. Finally back in England! The people at Bloodstock have gone the extra mile to make this possible, and will be expanding the stage to fit our full production. This is gonna be DARK and very HEAVY!" This special headline appearance racks up alongside the previously announced special guests, ANTHRAX and ACCEPT, and UK exclusive appearances from FIREWIND and FOZZY. 

 Bloodstock ‘Early Bird’ tickets are available from the Bloodstock store at the bargain price of £100 (plus booking fee) for a four-day weekend pass. Snap ‘em up quick, as this limited time offer won’t last forever!


Headless Kross - Demises

On the ol' Death Decks this morning: Demises from Glaswegian trio Headless Kross.
Punishing! It's punky doom metal, with the emphasis on the METAL! A two track EP, this sees the band knocking out some great riffing, with some intense Kevin Sharp style vocals from throatman/bassist Derek - who is no slouch on the fretboard either!
First track Army of Serpentine has a real headbanging riff running right through it, a slow middle section with an almost Floydian feel to it, which I like a lot.
The Great God Proteus (That's the Old Man of The Sea for those of you who didn't study Classics at school) starts with some funereal drumming and slide guitar. Why don't more doom bands use a bit of slide? I think Tommy Duffin of the Kross is onto something here! The track then morphing into foot tapping, head nodding territory, sounding huge. Love the drum/feedback outro too, Jonny!

The EP is available for just £5 (that's around €6.50 or $8, jet-setters) from their Bandcamp page (which also has a link to their album Bear on it too) and you get a free patch and immediate download in your choice of file format.

In a nutshell: If the band you're in starts playing different tunes, I'll see you on the dark side of the doom

For fans of: Charger, Amebix, Floyd, Black Sun.

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Maiden England 2013

Check the shit out of this!

An official Iron Maiden press release from earlier today:

"More dates have been added to the Maiden England European Tour 2013. Maiden will play 5 shows in Germany - the dates are: the Festhalle Frankfurt on 11 June, the O2 World in Berlin on 18 June, O2 World in Hamburg on 19 June, Open Air Arena Singen-Aach on 29 June and Open Air an der KöPi-Arena in Oberhausen on 06 July.

Tickets go onsale October 20th with our fanclub presale starting on October 15th."

THEE CLAW says: Fuck yeah, Bruce Bruce and the boys are back in Europe!

Booze Blues

Baitin’ The Trap Records Presents…
Iron Witch
‘Single Malt’
1. A .45 To Pay The Rent - 4:33
2. Single Malt - 5:06
3. Booze Blues - 4:10
4. Jailhouse - 3:50
5. The Cruelty Of Mankind - 7:02
Running time – 25 minutes
Release date: February 2013
Format: LP
Cat #: BTTR002

We already reviewed this bad boy back last July and we said it was boss, so you should get yourself along to sort out grabbing a copy now it is being reissued on vinyl.
Buy or Die!



CVLT NATION are streaming the tracks from the upcoming HEKSED 7"; a Type O Negative and Joy Division cover that really should be heard, JD have been getting dropped all the time for a few years now, but it's nice to see one of our favourite groups since way back, Type O Negative, getting some plaudits from people who don't own Hello Kitty mousemats.
Do you get me?

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Incoming: Full Moon Dog Festival 2012

Hail, droogies! SJW here... I just wanted to give a big shout out and give all of our best to Len and the boys in the mighty ASOMVEL for the 2012 edition of the Full Moon Dog festival, being held at The Cockpit in Leeds, UK. Both myself and Patchie are as sick as dogs (pun intended) not to be in attendance for this year's show but we are planning on holding our own tribute to Jay Jay over the weekend, summoning the awesome majestic spirit that he brought to the stage each and every time he got the chance. What a guy... What a fucking guy!!

This is what it's all about, kiddies!!

The 2012 FMD fest line-up is a cracker, and it is sure to be a great day. We look forward to seeing the DVD when it is unleashed on the great unwashed masses some time in early 2013!

Break a leg guys! Stare at death & SPIT!

R.I.P Jay Jay - And long live ASOMVEL!!


I am utterly thrilled to discover that one of my heroes, Michael Schenker will be playing just down the road from Liverpool, in Warrington, close to my birthday next year. I've never seen the man live, so I'm well excited (also a bit weary, we've all heard the stories) about it!!

Godless Passages

Recently, spurred on by a bit of nostalgia in the form of a Cradle of Filth gig at the Liverpool Royal Court Basement Bar that appeared on YouTube from 1993, I started to trawl through some clips of demos from back in the early nineties that have been uploaded to YouTube, mainly from the old UKBM days. I came across clips from Middlesbrough's Malediction whose "Mould of an Industrial Horizon" was a favourite back then, and on visiting their page at the Metal Archives found that Guitarist Darren O'Hara also formed another band, Cerecloth, who I had never heard before. Anyway, here's the tracks off their demo Godless Passages from '92, a good indicator of the kind of Death Metal coming out of the UK in the early nineties. Can't find any more information about them online though!

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Living Monstrosity

Death’s landmark ‘Spiritual Healing’ record is nothing short of genre-defining. Originally released in 1990, Spiritual Healing marked a new turn in the Death discography, one which ushered in cleaner production, a new level of boundary pushing musicianship and songwriting skills that were previously unimaginable from a metal band. Spiritual Healing sets the standard for riffs, insane time changes and of course mainman Chuck Schuldiner’s masterful guitar solos. Now reissued as a double cd housed in super deluxe packaging featuring brand new liner notes from Death players James Murphy and Terry Butler, Chuck’s sister Beth Schuldiner and Michael Poulsen (Volbeat), disc 1 features a completely new remaster of the original album and disc 2 contains 16 previously unreleased rehearsal, outtakes and studio instrumentals. Limited edition (2000 machine numbered copies) triple cd digipak

Relapse really are pulling out all the plugs stops with their reissues of these classic Death albums!!

Keep Yer Dead Eyes Open

...probably about the tenth post on here we've had on here entitled that.
Anyway, Rick of Iron Witch has started up a label recently, Baitin' The Trap Records which looks to be bringing out some fine doom/sludge in the coming months, including the Lord Misery EP, a rough mix from which can be found by following the above link.

UPDATE! Just discovered that the second release will be a vinyl pressing of Iron Witch's SINGLE MALT EP. Which is great news because that EP is a belter.

Out there, out Now, in the name of Speckmann's beard!

We absolutely love Doomentia Records, and we also have an awful awful lot of time for a certain Mr Paul Speckmann, so we would urge you all to get over to their website and check out the reissue of "On the Seventh Day God Created... Master" (on CD and blue/black vinyl!) which comes in a cracking package containing a 7" EP too (the '91 Demo!) only €18!

And, proving that nostalgia is not the only thing on their minds, they have released the latest MASTER album "The New Elite" (only black vinyl left, collectors) the punky "new" sound of Master continues on this one.

Also over there they have the ABOMINATION demos from '88-'89 on vinyl (RED WAX!) which is has an altogether nastier more street feel than MASTER.

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Beastwars - S/T LP (2011)

Been a while hasn't it? I've had this album for what seems like an age now, and I've been sitting on a review for quite some time; a combination of things (namely the lack of a functioning computer) have kept me from getting it out, so apologies for that.

Hailing from possibly as far as you can get from Claw Towers without starting to come back, Wellington, New Zealand's BEASTWARS have unleashed this leviathan from the midst of the Pacific Ocean, and what an album it is.

"Damn the Sky" starts off with a slightly misleading Broadrick-esque riff and muttered vocals from Matt Hyde which on first listen made me think for some reason of Brendan Perry fronting a guitar band, but that notion is soon blown away when he opens his lungs and bellows, a raging voice that could strip paint.
Bassist James Woods immediately makes his presence felt, fuzzed out scuzziness jostling against powerful drumming from Nathan Hickey to give a real sense of depth and movement.
When they strip the sound down to concentrate on the vocals, like on the track "Mihi",  you really get a sense of the bluesy delivery from Matt that is equal parts tortured sounding and really expressive.

I must - just for a second - talk about the packaging of the album here.  Sitting in my vintage 1960s swivel leather chair in the listening vault at Claw Towers and feeling to the riffs fall out of the speakers, whilst poring over the gatefold sleeve with it's depiction of a Lovecraftian  apocalypse on it adds something to the listening experience that just isn't possible with a CD or a download.
(the wax is lovely white and black marble too)

There's a real early nineties underground rock feel to a lot of the record, I hate to use the "G-word" because it conjures up far too many negative connotations for readers of this blog, but in a kind of fuck-the-mainstream way, not in any way you'd compare it to 90s MTV Rock. You'd be mad.

In places, like on "Call Out the Dead", the music is given room to breathe and a real sense of space and scale can be felt, with Matt bellowing "CALL OUT THE DEAAAD!!" over the top.
However, for me, the standout track is "Red God", where there is a bit of a - dare I say it - groove going on, and you tap your feet, nod your head, maybe break out the ol' air guitar! Good, sludge-tinged heavy metal that sits nicely against the melancholy feel of tracks like "Iron Wolf", and the brooding menace of "Cthulhu" which brings to mind a powerless ship, listing in the dark Pacific as hideous tentacles rush towards it from the deep.

The album closes with the storming "Empire", which contains all the components that make the album such an enjoyable listen in spades, with a cracking solo from riff meister Clayton Anderson.

In a nutshell: I can't decide if they sound like trawlermen or bikers.  This is the sound of a battle between road hogs and sea dogs.

Band Page: beastwars.bandcamp.com
Witch Hunter records still have copies of the vinyl here for my fellow Europeans, if you are in America give Grave Dancer Records a visit here.
If you must insist on buying a CD (You're missing out, believe me) then Europeans visit Ozium and everyone else visit SmokeCds

Buy or Die.

Here's a look at the wraparound art for the album:

And, if you needed any more convincing, a live performance for the track "Red God" on NZ television:

Thursday, 27 September 2012

RIP My Mystikal Master


A true metal one-off. Thee Claw salutes Cliff Burton.

Wednesday, 26 September 2012


Well, it's been a while, eh? Apologies for the lack of major activity lately, house moves, forced primitivism with no real computer access, and just being general accursed human reptiles has meant that we haven't really had much chance to post for quite a while; however now this should all change.

 First up, tickets have been purchased for the following, and if you are reading this page then you should have some time for the lineup, and we'll see you there!!!

Bro(UK) Promotions, High Roller Records and Beatdown Records Proudly Present a night of Legendary NWOBHM!

HOLOCAUST(UK) – FIRST EVER PERFORMANCE IN NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE!. The Scottish Nightcomers land in Newcastle for a very special apperance before their performance at the ever excellent Keep It True Festival. John and the guys are coming to destroy the home of NWOBHM with some outstanding HEAVY METAL MANIA for you ‘bangers!!!!!

BADGE(UK) – Neat Records blues inspired NWOBHM. After releasing a rather outstanding single back in 1981, these guys broke up with very sporadic/rare performances over the years. In 2012 with a brand new album out on the Germany Manics HIGH ROLLER RECORDS these guys are back to make you swing your hips! COME ON!

TYSONDOG(UK) – RETURN OF THE DOG! After an ball breaking performance back in April for BRO(UK), we bring the hammerhead back to bang for you once more! True Legends of the North East!!!!

AVENGER(UK) – Local NWOBHM heros return will a new line up and a full on rock and roll show for you guys! This is going to be nuts, just watchout for that hammer!

SALEM(UK) – Formed in 1979 down in Hull, after releaing a bunch of insane demos they subsquently broke up in 1983. Reforming 2 years back and ready to make you rock into oblivion, Salem are COMING FOR YOU!

BATTLEAXE(UK) – Sunderland Nwobhm legends back at it with a new album under their belts. Making a rather rare live apperance in the North East and getting ready to burn this town to the ground!

DEEP MACHINE(UK) – East End Boys from 1979, releasing only 4 demos back in the 80′s, which as you can hear for yourself are packed with the classic NWOBHM sound. The guys are back and releasing a very ltd EP also a new album soon. The Demon Preachers are ready to rock you back to 1979!

HOLOSADE(UK) – Shildons Nwobhm thrash lengeds back for another rip roaring run through the Hell House for all you ‘bangers. You may even be treated to a couple of DARK HEART numbers  !

AMULET(UK) – The best new British Heavy Metal band around, with an absolute amazing demo tape released in 2011 soon to be released on 7″. Taking the best of all the the great forerunners of the NWOBHM genre and smashing it into 2012, get ready for these guys to explode off the stage in a sea of smoke and spandex!

SCARAB(UK) – Birmingham legends return to the stage with a line up featuring 3/4 of the original line up! The bros are delighted to have these guys on board, this is gonna be a truly classic performance!

SPARTAN WARRIOR(UK) – All the way from Penshaw monument the Spartan Warrior bros have been with us since way back in ’12. Hitting hard with a new album and no doubt some classics, another killer set isnt even in question!



Ticket info:
More on the door!
PAYPAL AS A GIFT TO: order@bro-uk.co.uk any problems/questions GET IN TOUCH 

Please note this is a relatively small venue so get in quick!

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Death to False Occult Doom

Sick of false, poppy, slick "occult" doom being pedalled to the masses? So are we. Get along to this.

Friday, 6th July, The Pilgrim Ale House, Pilgrim Street in the most Ancient City of Liverpool (in the shadow of the gothic beast of a cathedral):

Old style doom metal from our corrupt capital.

imagine hiding behind a drape in Professor Scarman's study at the priory whilst he contacts Sutekh...

claustrophobic suffocating riffs from the mudflats at the mouth of the Mersey.

80 shillings in (that's £4 on the door, modern primitives) and I think they have Cain's on tap too. Can't go wrong.

Friday, 1 June 2012

Worshipping at the Altar of Dale Crover

Saw MELVINS play at show in Manchester UK last night.
Totally transfixed by Dale Crover throughout the show... that man just doesn't stop!!

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

jesu s/t picture disc

For those of you (unlike me - ha!) who weren't lucky enough to pick up a copy of jesu's double picture disc version of their self titled debut full length, you may be surprised when you finally hear it.
It was purposely made to sound cleaner; and JKB has some remastered the original version to the one now available on their bandcamp page (http://jesu.bandcamp.com) now, and also as a digital download for $7.
The most stunning difference is on the track "We All Faulter" which, on it's state on this new remix is an almost ghost-like dub version of what you are probably used to.
The whole thing is stripped down and bare; making an already rather introspective recording seem even more inwardly focused than before.

Monday, 21 May 2012

Tree of Sores - A Cry of Despair

England is a country where in the space of fifteen minutes you can travel from the green, verdant countryside much beloved of poets and artists into the depths of tortured inner cities where children live in poverty and there is seemingly no escape for anyone save a life of thankless toil and Friday nights down at the club.

England is also home to Tree of Sores.

Their second album, A Cry of Despair landed on my doormat a few weeks ago courtesy of Witch Hunter Records, and it would be no exaggeration to say that I have listened to it almost daily since.
I wanted to know it inside out, to listen to every part if it before I wrote about it, because I had been literally gushing about their debut album when I reviewed it on here and I was desperately hoping that it wasn't a one off.
Almost half an hour long, the one track on it travels from sparse sound-shapes, travelling up tracing the outline of huge sonic monoliths against a black sky. This is true Psycho-delia. I know that you know that I think that TOS are one of the best bands to come out if the UK in the past ten years, and their sophomore album just reinforces that opinion.
Almost hypnotic drumming and repetition through the middle section of the album, the whole thing being equal parts crushing and pummelling but also has that uplifting, hopeful feeling that JKB generally imbues his musical projects with.
I honestly can't say enough good things about this record.
It's available as a pay-what-you-like download with no minimum donation, and quite frankly I think you'd be a fucking idiot NOT to get a copy.

FOR: fans of Amebix, Kylesa, Godflesh. People with decent stereos.
NOT FOR: people who aren't prepared to sit still for half an hour.


Iron Witch - Post Vegas Blues 7"

Local sludgemonsters Iron Witch are back with a new 7" on Thirty Days of Night records, entitled Post-Vegas Blues.

Starting off with a wall of feedback,
Gunshot Residue is a lolloping riff that kicks in before slowing down and locking into into a groove that only serves to soften you up for a punky thrash towards the middle of the track, fading out as it does with the ghost of the feedback that opened the track.
Rising from the mudflats at the mouth of the Mersey, Exceed the Dose crawls along full of bile, before the thrash kicks back in and it's a dirty storming head shaker, feet apart, shoulders hunched, drums going ten to the dozen in the background.
Side B's track, Post Vegas Blues, is a track that I assume is about the dreariness of returning to your shitty job after a week in party central.
That's certainly what it sounds like.

Iron Witch do what they do so well that every time I listen to them, it takes me back to the first time I saw them live, the height of summer in a packed Star and Garter on Manchester, absolutely roasting hot, drenched in sweat and full of cider;
Except that didn't actually happen.
I've not had the chance to see them live yet, but I feel as if I have, THAT'S HOW GOOD THEY ARE.

Get yourself over to
and order yourself some riffs.
It's ok, thank me later.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Bark at the Full Moon

Well, well well droogies (as Krusher may have once said). It's that time of year again, time for us to clue you up on a little shindig that's taking place in the fair Yorkshire city of Leeds on October 13th that you should all get off your fat arses and get along to, the Full Moon Dog festival. Taking place under the arches in the Cockpit club at Swinegate (excellently positioned by the train station), this year's edition of the festival in honour of Jay-Jay Winter of Asomvel, a friend to headbangers everywhere who died tragically on October 18th 2010, features such heavy metal luminaries as Orange Goblin, a treat with a set from Solstice, Asomvel themselves, Dark Forest, Stuka Squadron, Eliminator, Stilletto Farm and Mercanary, with a headliner still to be announced! You're looking at a good nine and a half hours of metal and socialising, without any of the false bullshit normally associated with scenes, just people getting together to celebrate the life of a guy who loved Heavy Metal as much as we do. What's more, the entire show will be filmed for DVD which you can pre-order here for the price of a round of beer (£15 fucking bargain). SO a recap; day full of metal in memory or Jay-Jay, top company, filmed for DVD, well cheap (£15 in advance), right by the station. All being well, see you at the front! Facebook Event Page Website Buy Tickets Preorder DVD

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Awesome lineup, awesome flyer.

We can't wait to get our claws on this!

"Bård "Faust" Eithun (EMPEROR, BLOOD TSUNAMI, MONGO NINJA) and Tore Bratseth (a.k.a. Stud Bronson of THE BATALLION, OLD FUNERAL) have joined forces in a new project called STUDFAUST. They entered the studio in late November 2011 and the result was two dirty, firesparking tracks in the spirit of the old school of metal/punk. Music like this is rarely made nowadays with such authenticity and passion, and these veterans in the metal scene now show their musical muscles with a "piss-off" attitude.

Due on March 16 via Soulseller Records , this seven-inch single will most likely become a cult collector's item, with only 500 copies to be pressed."

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Wode - 2011 Demo

There's something happening in Manchester, something dark.
Joining the ranks of blistering Black Metal from a city that seems to be turning into England's answer to Bergen (cold, wet, dark) are a new name, WODE, who present a three track demo of grim BM.
Much like fellow citizens Pine Barrens, Wode as as far removed from the bloated pomp of late 00s theatrical black metal as is possible.
Opening track Trails of Smoke is all blastbeats and tremolo picking, bringing to mind Arckanum with an underlying veneer of urban filth.
The blistering pace continues through Earthwrath, the second track, which is, quite frankly a big, black, whirling maelstrom of a track that rattles along, Beherit-style with enough South American type recklessness that it feels it might fall apart at any time, before all coming together and shuddering to a halt just a little over three minutes later.
Final track, Last Days, starts with a doomy dreary intro before the chaos rears up again, beneath this track's frostiness you can pick up a punky feel to the riffing, not in an obvious way like Darkthrone do or Venom have done on occasion, but more in the sneery, cynical attitude you suspect is behind it.
In essence then, a fine fist in the face of all the pomposity that crept into black metal towards the end of the last decade, and along with Pine Barrens and Wynterfylleth, another powerful band coming from sprawl of Mancunia.
Ones to keep an eye out for on 2012.

The demo is available to buy/download from the band, but hurry, only 100 cassettes have been created!!
The band are at tumblr, for now here is a stream of the first track;

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Blood Cult Reborn

Long time Claw Faves Grimpen Mire have a new track available for streaming, Blood Cult Reborn.
It really is the shit.

Eyes and ears open for a new release soon!

Monday, 9 January 2012

UK People!

Thee Claw's top-tip-two thousand-twelve, Purson, are in session in BBC Radio tonight (Jan 9th)


Saturday, 7 January 2012

Cheers gang!

Still waiting to hear back from Iron Maiden!!