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'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: 

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 -

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. 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.