Monday, 14 October 2013

Killing Technology

We're having some problems with our domain name of at the moment, so if you could all point your browsers to for the next few days that would be grand.

In order to stop this just being a repeat of something we've already posted on Facebook, can I direct you all to this?

Sunday, 13 October 2013

The Devils Ride Out - Ninkharsag, Crypt Lurker, Coltsblood & Cult of the Head - 1 November, The Pilgrim in Liverpool

"While the crowd had been busy at the tables, their leaders had donned fantastic costumes. One had a huge cat mask over his head and a furry cloak, the tail of which dangled behind him on the ground; another wore the headdress of a repellent toad; the face of a third, still masked, gleamed bluish for a moment in the candlelight from between the distended jaws of a wolf, and Mocata, whom they could still recognise by his squat obesity, now had webbed wings sprouting from his shoulders which gave him the appearance of a giant bat."

Crypt Lurker - Baneful Magic, Death Worship and Necromancy Rites Archaic

"My hour is almost come, When I to sulphurous and tormenting flames must render up myself."

Whilst the metal world delights in the occult rock false doom of bands like Ghost and Uncle Acid, sombre, atramentous types have been gathering in the dark, harking back to traditional, funereal death/doom and writing tunes to make toes curl.
Crypt Lurker are one such band, drawing together elements from all dark corners of the metal world, the stygian crawl of Burning Witch, the sprawling emptiness of dISEMBOWELMENT and the harsh cold of early Darkthrone but carving their own niche with so much more than spectres of the nineties.
Opening with the mesmerising riff of "Shadowclad, Pale", Crypt Lurker conjure up a thick atmosphere, punctured by a tolling bell and ghastly vocals.This dreadful, cloying feel continues into "Bearer of the Two Torches", resulting in almost twenty minutes of slow, downtuned riffing, before the relatively short "Crossing the Abysmal Depths" with it's wardrum-style introduction, strangely majestic feel and sound of buried strings prepares the way for the epic EP closer “To the Piping of Two Amorphous Idiot Flute-Players” - a ten minute-plus journey into some form of Lovecraftian nightmare.
This is real death/doom, and should be as much of a fist in the face of metal that the Peaceville Three were to an equally unimaginative scene in their day.

Crypt Lurker have been making a name for themselves playing with the likes of Black Magician, Dragged into Sunlight and so forth, and this 12" EP is out in strictly limited numbers from Ulthar Records, to be pressed on CD by Mordgrimm Records later this month.

Limb / Gurt - Split Roast EP

Frightening the neighbours courtesy of Witch Hunter Records is the new combined release from Gurt and Limb - and what a release, really showcasing where sludge is at in the UK right now. Each band has contributed an original track, a cover version, and then covered a track by the other band on the split - resulting in a unique, varied selection.
Gurt kick off the proceedings with new song "Sophisticate" Southern style sludge boogie that barrels along nicely and gets your head nodding and foot tapping (I even broke into some air drumming),  and their cover of Limb's "Gift of the Sun" is transformed into a fuzz-heavy whirlwind of a track,  but the strangely jarring cover of Talking Head's "Psycho Killer" is an unexpected highlight here - it lends itself to the heaviness in a way that I would never imagine, breaking down into a middle-of-the-pit stomp at the end. Most interesting.

Long time Claw favourites Limb debut a new track, "Plague Doctor", a mid paced barnstormer with casual, nodding Sabbath tones giving way to a heads-down middle section that picks up the pace a slightly before shuddering to a halt like a jack-knifing truck. Lesser-known Queen track "Son and Daughter" gets the fuzz treatment here, mutating into a riff-heavy, howling phantom of it's original version. Brian May on spacecakes. The EP closes with Limb covering Gurt's sweary "Soapfeast" and putting their own stamp all over it, then dragging it to it's feet and stamping on it again.

All in all, WHR have put together two of the most interesting sludge bands in the UK at the moment and done something fresh and new - a new highlight in an already impressive catalogue.

Get yourself over here for limited edition handmade CDs, NOW.

Sunday, 22 September 2013

You heard them here first (maybe)....

Bonded by Bundy are going to be brilliant.

Tree of Sores

As you know, we have been great advocates of British psychedelic doom band Tree of Sores since their very early days, so it is with heavy heart indeed that we read the following update.

[Tree of Sores] dead.
Sadly we are splitting up with immediate effect. One member has made some poor decisions and these have reflected on the band in a way which we cannot tolerate. We have considered continuing with a new member but this doesn't feel right. Obviously this is a sad decision for us, and me personally as I care a lot about this band. However it is because I hold the band in such high regard that I feel we have to split up.
We thank everyone that has given us so much support over the last 4 years and also those who have made positive comments about our music. It means a lot that we have affected people in the way we wanted our music to. Most thanks must go to Chris at Witch Hunter Records and Timo at Alerta Antifascista, their support has been brilliant and I love those guys. Please show them your support by buying our records as no doubt there won't be any more coming out. Obviously we will be unable to fulfill our upcoming gig commitments so also our apologies go the promoters we will be letting down.

All the best,


To say that we are gutted here at Claw Towers would be an understatement - I actually put off publishing the review of their first release because I had to be sure that it was actually that good. A shame - get them on and get it loud.

Confine - Setting Fire to the Western Hemisphere

In the vein of powerviolence bands like Infest et al, Confine's Setting Fire to the Western World is a 100 mile an hour attack that just seethes - even when they slow to a glacial crawl on Abstraction, it serves to intensify the feeling of anger apparent throughout the tracks on offer.

Eight songs in seven minutes - if you like your hardcore fast and grinding, then this staccato outing is just what you need.

Think along the lines of Total Fucking Destruction etc and you'll be in the ballpark.

Available now from the ever reliable Witch Hunter Records.

The Coffeen - You Must Be Certain of the Coffeen

I must admit to having written and then re-written the opening paragraph to this review around five times, as this album is a bit of an odd fish.

Hailing from Italy, The Coffeen mix together Sabbath sensibilities and Misfits-style horror punk to create an almost unique take on stoner/doom - and it works really well.
I must admit that when I heard album opener Zombies for Breakfast, I wasn't too sure - but when Fistfuck Rising stormed in I changed my mind immediately.
Fuzz-laden guitar tones abound, with the bass pushed right up in the mix, this is a release sure to leave you with a grin on your face - there's even a good few Tom G Warrior style UGH!s thrown in for good measure.
As I said before, the music is a mix of horror-punk and doom, which might seem like uneasy bedfellows at first but listening to the album will dispel any worries you might have, as The Coffeen mix their influences and come out on the other side with a sound that is all their own; part rock album, part horror film soundtrack.
I absolutely love the Saint Vitus/Black Flag style closer When the Telephone Doesn't Ring.
Great stuff!

Italian label Moonlight Records have put this out, and they seem to be putting together a varied and impressive roster over there - click away and check 'em out.

Koresh - Chump

Like a punch in the face, Koresh don't fuck about, straight up hateful, bass heavy sludge with a definite tongue in the ol' cheek as embodied on the cover.
With song titles like Straightedge Til Midnight and the inspired You Can Call Me Gaahl, you might be pretty sure what to expect from this London quintet.

No-messing  sludgecore in the vein of Charger or Black Eye Riot, that good old English tradition like drinking white cider on the Waltzers in the rain. You know what you are going to get from Koresh, and I know that you need it. The songs are all short and to the point - no need for drawn out riffing here.
Chump barrels into your life like amphetamine paranoia - when I imagine them playing live I imagine it looking like a fight in a cartoon - a big cloud of dust with the occasional fist, headstock or drumstick coming out.


Electric Taurus - Veneralia

In the press release for Veneralia, Ireland's Electric Taurus claim that they aren't trying to reinvent the wheel, nor would they want to. And they are right - why would anyone want to reinvent the wheel when it rolls like this? Wearing their influences on their sleeves, this is a Sabbath infused, Pentagram like romp through some familiar ground, yet still full of surprises (see Prelude to the Madness)
With a crisp, clean production and an all round feel good factor, this is just the kind of thing to get your foot tapping along with a couple of beers.
Very bluesy in places, with some excellent bass work and drumming that underpins the guitar, this is an excellent release that I'd proudly file next to Orange Goblin or Spiritual Beggars in my collection.

For anyone who is sick of occult rock - and that's got to be a fair few of you! - you could do a lot worse than track down this slab of trad doom, it's nice to see a modern, doom style band that look beyond Sabbath for inspiration.

Great stuff!

Electric Taurus:

Ghold - Galactic Hiss

The second release from new label Baitin' the Trap Records is a three track EP from London's Ghold, entitled Galactic Hiss.
Don't le the fact that there's only three songs on here kid you, it checks in at a mammoth twenty-odd minutes, the duo (I seem to be receiving a lot of work from duos recently. I like it.) laying down some frankly frightening work in the bottom end heavy sludge camp, drenched in feedback and dripping in atmosphere, like an even more stripped-down Tree of Sores or an impromptu Neurosis practice jam, and with some biker space rock sensibilities thrown in for good measure.

Vocals put me in mind of early nineties UK death/doom which gives them that kind of tortured, windswept feel, in fact, the whole opening track This Suffering Must End puts me in mind of that whole early nineties Northern English Doom, but caked in a grime that those acts most certainly didn't have, dragging itself out, and dragging itself inside out, long enough to become trance-like in its droning.
There's some quite unusual arrangement and production; pushing the vocals into an almost supporting role at times behind thick basslines and off-kilter drumming, before the vocals come back to the fore.
Most unsettling.
Any notion that you might have that they are some form of doom shoegazers is blown clear out of the window with the rollicking Elvira - a storming five minutes of total space rock and excellent drumming with almost chanted vocals.  The space communion continues with the closing track Grievous Practitioner - like a cross between Eyehategod and Hawkwind.  Utter biker filth - I love it.

The EP is up for pre order on Baitin' the Trap Records from October the 1st and goes on sale on October 28th.
Ghold are definitely a name that I'll be keeping an eye on, and if all BTTR's releases are going to continue in this vein, then I'll be keeping my other eye on them!
(and I think that cover art is something else!)

Baitin’ The Trap Records -

Ghold -

Saturday, 14 September 2013

Wraiths - 2012 EP

Yeah I slept on it.
But It's here now.
Hailing from North East England, when a band has a logo like that and has song titles like Church Burner, they better be good, and they don't disappoint, although they might not be what you'd immediately expect. Their 2012 EP has been given a 2013 release by Witch Hunter Records
five tracks of metallic hardcore, true crossover, with churning guitars and hectic vocals.

Each song pummels you into submission, just when you think you are getting a handle on it, it will twist off into some other direction leaving you chasing after it.
Wraiths obviously have a lot of disparate influences, all of which come together in a claustrophobic manner on this EP, yet are hard to separate and identify, as the band have forged their own identity.

Hardcore kids will love it, executing spinning roundhouses and flailing into each other, metal heads can headbang to it, you can all slam into each other using it as a soundtrack.
There is a definite negativity permeating the songs and the sound of the band - you can sense the antagonism building at the start of Hell Ride - flattening you into the ground so that when the quiet section comes in you are completely unprepared for it, but anticipating the mosh part that you know will follow.

Album closer Monolith is a seven minute plus Darkcore epic, travelling through different musical themes and tempos, but is a strangely cathartic experience, as is the whole EP, proof that there may yet be strength through negativity.

Grab yourself a tape, a download or a bundle NOW.

Satanic Dystopia - Double Denim Shotgun Massacre

There's so much talk of "real" and "true" in heavy metal these days, in particular within Black Metal.
Nowhere else in the world of music is the integrity of musicians called into question so often, and it's always more so within Black Metal.
I can always remember the feelings of distrust towards posers in the eighties; we always knew that the likes of Winger were lame, but never did we question whether, for instance, Overkill were posers because they had a neon green logo, or whether Nuclear Assault were taking the piss with "The Mister Softee Theme". They were Thrash bands, our bands, and that was all that mattered.
Even when Death Metal was the underground's cause célèbre (the first time around), nobody questioned the jazz-inspired Disharmonic Orchestra, or the sci-fi sound effects of Nocturnus; it was just Death Metal, our Death Metal, and we lapped it up.
Once the Black Metal frost started to travel across the North Sea in the very early nineties, in what was undoubtedly sloganeering, the motives of these earlier bands were called into question by the mysterious voices from Scandinavia - bands appearing onstage in jogging pants? Posers.  Entombed? Shit. Glen Benton? A phony.
I can still remember reading an interview with Fenriz of Darkthrone in Bleak Horizons 'zine where he said they disowned their debut album and that their next LP, A Blaze in the Northern Sky, should be considered their "true" début.  Black Metal it was, at the expense of all else, Hail Satan.
By the time the Arnopp article went out in 93, Black Metal was almost done.  The bands had settled into arguing and (literal) backstabbing, and existing bands either co-opted the look, if not the music, and countless impersonators were forming bands all over the world.
For me this was always the problem with post-93 Black Metal; bands were trying to be Black Metal, with little or no understanding of the pedigree that had gone before.
No understanding of Persecution Mania.
No understanding of Master's Hammer.  No idea about Flag of Hate. No isolation, just a sensational article and an instant scene, and instant finger pointing and accusations of what is true, and what is "kvlt", from people who didn't get it.
That's what I always looked for in later Black Metal, not who was "true", not who was "real", but who got it.  What bands got Black Metal, bands who gave me that feeling of hearing stuff for the first time all over again.  Which brings me to today, to the here and now, and to Satanic Dystopia's Double Denim Shotgun Massacre.
They undoubtedly get it.  From the moment you are greeted with creeping feedback and Christopher Lee explaining the nature of evil, you are entering into a world that is within modern metal, but not part of it.
Satanic Dystopia have a sound that whilst lo-fi, eschews what people think is black metal, the washed out, trebley sound of Norway, for an altogether more fuzzy, low-end heavy sound more reminiscent of the South American death-thrash bands that came before.
Vocals sound as though they were recorded in a basement or cellar, and are an altogether more violent, guttural sound than the high pitched screams that the genre relies on so much, think more like Grave Desecrator's Butcherazor. Absolute teutonic riffery and the a love of all that is dark - halfway through Blood Spit and Concrete, they break into a synchronised head banging section with a sample of dialogue that just sets the scene completely - "Go out of the room. Take the children out of the room".
There is a rich vein of Thrash metal running through all the songs, if they are in danger of becoming to epic or stale they are instantly reined in and a tempo change takes place, or a riff re-appears from earlier, even though all the tracks are mercilessly short, none of them actually feel as if they are less than three minutes long.
If you want a heavy metal album that makes you want to bang your head and streetfight, rather than put on a cloak and live in a cave, this is the one for you.

I can remember the first time I heard Hell Awaits all the way through and I just sat there in silence afterwards, knowing I had taken a step further than I'd ever been before.
Satanic Dystopia make me feel just like that again.

Saturday, 7 September 2013

Electricjezus - Грязь поколений

The pain... the pain of being dead!

Electricjezus are brilliant, and utterly bonkers.
I think that in Britain, we have an affinity for things that are slightly eccentric and off the wall, as such when I first received an email from Electricjezus guitarbass(you will understand shortly)/ vocalist Ruslan, my interest was definitely aroused:
The group consist of 2 people, but a set of instruments remains classical – guitar, drums, bass. It became possible by installing single bass pickup in the neck of guitar. Also we use a very thick strings for best bass sound and use two 22” rides or piece of metal for hi hat.
So what do we have? A record, recorded completely live, using whatever instruments were at hand.
This is the type of thing that we used to go nuts for in the early days of Thee Claw, yet this kind of thing has been overtaken in our every day listening for some reason.
But not for any longer, as I am floored by this recording and it's unique charm.
Inbetween the songs are samples from horror movies, eerie, hideous bursts of laughter in the spaces between pummelling riffs and rolling drums.
Lyrics are recorded entirely in Russian, giving an otherworldly feel to the screamed and growled vocals.  The album's name translates as Mud of Generations, and you have a good, solid hybrid of the likes of Melvins, Today is the Day and Fudge Tunnel with old Soviet synthesizers and creepy old pianos in the mix too.  Oleg's drumming blazes ahead, and you get a real idea of the guys playing together in a cold rehearsal space, using whatever they can lay their hands on to create a maelstrom of riffery.
Absolutely brilliant.

Make your way over to


Meddy (drums) and Loïck (guitar & vocals) are Biche; a sludge duo from Riems in France, and this self released album has them plying their wares across six tracks.
I can just imagine them recording this facing each other as they play through each song, stretching out the riffs and splashing the cymbals everywhere.
Opener Agrafe-moi les couilles sur une table à repasser gives way to the more frantic 75 seconds of SUSU! and across these two tracks you get a taster of what Biche are about.
For a duo, they certainly get the ol' foot tapping, ears straining to understand Loïck's gravelly vocals over the fuzzed up guitar.  A very focussed recording that sounds surprisingly warm yet sparse.
6 Millions starts slowly – but  Loïck is on fine form vocally, tortuous rasping screams giving a proper sludge edge to proceedings.
Closing with the gritty, foreboding Un bon dimanche, this release is a very enjoyable introduction to the French duo, I'll be keeping an eye on them! 

Artaius - The Fifth Season

This is the début album from Italy's Artaius, containing a number of different moods and even musical styles, a great way to start off our return to reviewing with such an eclectic record.
On Italy's Moonlight Records, The Fifth Season is probably best described as a progressive-folk-metal album, although those three terms tacked together don't do it any justice.
The folk overtones come from some of the more unconventional (in metal, at least) tones of the flute and violin, which give an almost mediaeval feel to passages in the music.
Sara Cucci's vocals float over the wistful, folksy melodies provided as a backdrop by the rest of the band, who will step sideways freely to more metallic sounds frequently.
There would always be the possibility of such a juxtaposition sounding forced, but not here.
There is an almost Genesis/early Marillion-esque feel to the keyboards at least in some places (see the festival sing-along of Over the Edge, for instance), and there are even elements of Jazz present in places, and sombre piano sections.
The flute doesn't sound out of place here, often trading off passages against the keyboard, and it got me thinking of appearances of woodwind in metal – surely there's not too many?
I'm prepared to be wrong though. La Vergine E Il Lupo is the stand-out track for me, showcasing everything about the band in just under five minutes.
All in all, a very European romp through some sounds probably not visited too often by Thee Claw – but a refreshing change!

Available through Moonlight Records (Italy)

Beastwars – Blood Becomes Fire

Let the Soul Awaken!

New Zealand's Beastwars return with the follow up to their critically acclaimed (not least of all by us) self-titled release, and what a follow up it is.
With Dale Cotton sitting in the chair again, the band ensconced themselves in the studio and have bettered themselves yet again with this collection of tracks.
Straight from the off, Dune conjures up images of a stricken shuttle burning it's way through the atmosphere of a desert planet, it's horrified crew staring out of view-holes as they cling on for dear life. Matt's vocals boom out from within the band, Nathan pounding the kit in time with James rumbling through the basslines, as Clayton riffs over the top sounding like a room full of guitarists.
I've seen many bands and many in-vogue styles of metal come and go, but it's been a while since a band has come along that I can just sit back, close my eyes and create movies in my mind's eye as I listen to their records.  Beastwars do just that to me, a tradition carrying on from the last album into this one.  That's not to mean that it's business as usual – obviously, expect the fuzz laden sounds that we are used to, but the record just sounds more mature and rounded than the self-titled release did.
On Caul of Time, Matt's vocals take on a tortured, wailing feel in places as the band chug away behind him, before coming to the fore to work the riff into your mind.
The album closes with The Sleeper – an epic, slightly trippy track that gradually distorts and mutates into a writhing beast of flailing bass strings and lead guitar breaks. 

Beyond Description – An Elegy for Depletion

With a seemingly eternal career, Japan's Beyond Description step up to offer up some pretty powerful thrash metal, in the great eighties sense, none of this modern nonsense here.
As you may be aware, I'm not a big fan of modern-sounding thrash metal, which is why the likes of Beyond Description and the UK's Hybris appeal so much to me.
Breakneck drumming here and fast picking are the order of the day here, Hideyuki's vocal delivery is very clear, more Tom Araya than Mille Petrozza.
As with most of my favourite thrash, the music is given plenty of room to breathe, it's a very guitar-oriented album although Hiroshi's drumming is a joy to listen to and holds the songs together tightly. As with all classic thrashers, the mosh parts contain lead breaks – I absolutely love it!
Arbitrage is probably the stand-out track on the album for me, early Sepultura style riffing giving way to a No-Remorse style mosh part before plunging head first back into the speed riffs, although Provocation (in which Yusuke's bass is given more space to make itself heard) is also a top-rate track, and just listen to the drumming on Purpose!
Great stuff, out now on Punishment 18 Records.

Thursday, 25 July 2013

A389 Recordings Digital Mixtape MMXIII

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INTEGRITY: New Track Available Via Free Annual A389 Recordings Label Mixtape

Following recent A389 Recordings announcements on some of the label’s biggest priority titles to date -- including brand new LPs from INTEGRITYFULL OF HELL and NOISEM -- today the label sets its ninth annual label mixtape/digital compilation loose upon the masses. The owners of Baltimore-based A389 have been offering similar free mixtapes every year since its’ foundation in 2004, utilizing it to unleash music from their most high-profile acts, as well as to shed some light on releases lying in the dark corners of their intense roster.

With a punishing forty tracks culled from an array of artists, the A389 Recordings Digital Mixtape MMXIII includes several brand new and exclusive new tracks, including the world’s first exposure to the highly anticipated upcoming LP from the almighty INTEGRITYSuicide Black Snake, here releasing the monstrous track “Beasts As Gods.” An arsenal of others including EYEHATEGODIRON REAGANNOISEMHOMEWRECKERFULL OF HELLWEEKEND NACHOSSHIN TO SHINRINGWORMSEVEN SISTERS OF SLEEPLEFT FOR DEAD and more overthrow the nearly two hour-long beating, the entire collection mastered at Audiosiege by Brad Boatright (From Ashes Rise) and bearing original artwork by Joshy Brettell (Ilsa, Exosus). This newest installment boasts the best yet in this ongoing series, showcasing A389 as an extremely hard-working extreme D.I.Y. label which continues to expand its horde and further infiltrate the planet with prime hardcore and metal releases.

With notable and seminal releases from heavyweights including XIBALBARINGWORMTHE LOVE BELOWINTEGRITYPULLING TEETHROT IN HELLPALE CREATIONGEHENNA and more on their roster, some of A389’s most recent contributions include LIKE RATS’ self-titled 7", SEVEN SISTERS OF SLEEP’s Opium Morals LP, IRON REAGAN’s Worse Than Dead, the YOUNG AND IN THE WAY/WITHDRAWAL split 7" ILSA’s The Maggots Are Hungry LP among a sea of others.

Review copies of the new albums from INTEGRITYFULL OF HELL and NOISEM will be made available in the coming days. Much more on these and a rash of other upcoming A389 releases and tours is pending so stay tuned.

A389 Recordings Digital Mixtape MMXIII Track Listing:
1. EYEHATEGOD "New Orleans Is The New Vietnam"
2. IRON REAGAN "Drop The Gun"
3. HOMEWRECKER "Chained Hanging Victim"
4. NO ONE SURVIVES "Fuckin' Pigs"
5. INTEGRITY "Beasts As Gods"
6. ILSA "Foreign Lander"
7. FULL OF HELL "Coven Of The Larynx"
8. NOISEM "Severed"
9. WEEKEND NACHOS "Watch You Suffer"
10. EMPIRE OF RATS "Untitled"
11. PICK YOUR SIDE "Bleeding Out"
12. GOD'S AMERICA "Fill The Cracks"
13. LIKE RATS "Red Dawn"
14. MOLOKEN "Casus"
15. THE GUILT OF... "Election Of The Severed Hand"
17. YOUNG AND IN THE WAY "Psychopathy"
18. SICK FIX "Beyond The Map"
20. SHIN TO SHIN "Shin To Shin"
21. VILIPEND "Fool's Gold"
22. LEFT FOR DEAD "Kept In Line"
23. GEHENNA "Baptized In Fallout"
24. BLIND TO FAITH "Blood Like Water"
25. RINGWORM "Necropolis" (1991 Demo)
26. CYNARAE "Harbinger"
28. THE LOVE BELOW "Let Them Eat Shit"
29. EDDIE BROCK "Boys Of Summer"
31. UNHOLY MAJESTY "Night Of Lead"
32. CLASSHOLE "Full Of Hate"
33. OLD LINES "Temple"
34. CALM THE FIRE "Chce Mi Siê Wyæ"
35. ENFORCERS 'The End Is Near'
36. PHARAOH "Spared"
37. JUNIOR BRUCE "The Burden"
38. WITHDRAWAL "Guardian Angel"
39. NOTHING "The Rites Of Love And Death"
40. PLEASANT LIVING "Friday Night”

Thursday, 28 March 2013

They Used Dark Forces.

Cathedral have released their latest (and last, apparently) video, Tower of Silence. It's a fitting epitaph for a group that carried the flame of traditional doom for a long time through some very dark ages. Part music video, part Hammer/Ossorio gothic horror, the lads here at Thee Claw will be very sad to see Cathedral go. But don't just take our word for it. Have a look, and worship the riff.

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Beastwars stream new track

You're obviously well aware of how highly we rate Beastwars here, and whilst I'm dragging my heels reviewing their latest belter of an album Blood Becomes Fire, here's a little bit of news for you: Beastwars are proud to offer the free download of "Caul of Time" from their critically acclaimed new album Blood Becomes Fire. Due for release April 19, Blood Becomes Fire is gathering rave reviews and is already being heralded as one of the best metal records of 2013. "Caul of Time" is available now for free download from could listen to it here.

The Jeffrey Uppercut - Live Hard

When an EP starts off with a sample of Begbie from Trainspotting just after he's launched a pint glass off a balcony onto some lass's head, not only are getting a taster of what is about to come, you are shitting yourself before a note has even been played. So it is with Live Hard from The Jeffrey Uppercut.

 Like the ultimate crossover album that the Exploited always wanted to make but were too busy being a cartoon parody of themselves, Live Hard rattles your speakers with some street level, hardfaced raw punk rock.
 The ferocity of the songs is staggering, straight on from the speech from King Begbie, From Order to Disorder smashes right into you before slowing down to almost a crawl with double kicks and screeched vocals, before a squeal of feedback and a one two three four into Streetlights, which is streaming at the end of this review.
The title track is a one hundred second long beating with a boss shout-along at the end, and is followed up with Get the Fuck Out of My Way - together, surely three minutes of the toughest sounds that will be committed to disc this year.
Samples of bar room brawls and just honest to goodness scrapping permeate the chugging riffs and barked vocals, I bet their live gigs are an absolute riot!
The sheer anger at the end of Naive has to be heard to be believed, too. Rounding off with Cunt, a song that slowly builds into a hunchbacked, sneering monster; the lyrics only consist of three words, and the song only needs three words to make it's point.

 Live Hard was produced by Tom Dring (Dragged Into Sunlight, Corrupt Moral Altar, Iron Witch) and it gives this punkiness a sludgy, metallic edge. If you imagine all the violent punk that you can think of (all the Boston hardcore like SS Decontrol, Negative FX, Blood for Blood, also stuff like WBTD etc for starters) and give it a rougher English working class edge, then you have The Jeffrey Uppercut. The EP should be out in the next few weeks, until then get a load of these tracks:

Get over to their sites and check 'em out, they are also set to play the PDSA all dayer in Kirkdale, Liverpool soon (which is a great price for a good cause):

Is this the best flyer EVER?

This is coming up in June at Bannerman's in Edinburgh. A flyer like this demands your attendance!

FULL OF HELL Discharges Track From Impending A389 LP Via Noisey/Vice

With a bestial eruption of noise-drenched/death-fueled hardcore which has set the underground ablaze in the past several years, crushing quartet FULL OF HELL will unload their newest sonic assault, Rudiments Of Mutilation, late this Spring via A389 Recordings.

 Responsible for releasing an epidemic of demos, singles, splits and a previous LP constantly since their inception only four years ago, FULL OF HELL create a barrage of whiplashing metallic hate, psycho-drone feedback holes, and wall noise-drenched pedal attacks a noxious brew of Converge, Cursed and Pageninetynine gone the ways of Bastard Noise, early Napalm Death and Discordance Axis. The young crew performs their live shows with incredible conviction, catapulting their energetic hatesurge into the audience and inspiring all-out melees amongst the humans. Rudiments Of Mutilation captures more of these aspects than any previous recordings, penetrating with the most corrosive blasting attacks and noise infiltration from FULL OF HELL yet, recorded with Kevin Bernsten at Developing Nations and mastered by James Plotkin (Khanate, Old, Phantomsmasher).

 Today Noisey, Vice Magazine’s music channel, drops the brutalizing third track from Rudiments Of Mutilation, the putrid “Coven of the Larynx” -- BLAST IT HERE.

 An A389 priority, FULL OF HELL will dispense Rudiments Of Mutilation on LP, CD and digital delivery June 11th alongside the massive debut from thrashers Noisem and the newest album from the iniquitous Integrity. Following very recent tours with Gaza, Code Orange Kids, Homewrecker shows through this year’s SXSW and more, FULL OF HELL already has a massive tour schedule planned for the coming weeks and more lining up through the Summer, including tours with labelmates Integrity, Gehenna, Seven Sisters of Sleep and others, performances at this year’s Maryland Deathfest and Chaos In Tejas, and a pending European tour, for starters.

 FULL OF HELL Confirmed Live Actions:

4/25/2013 Mosh Basement - Newburgh, NY w/ Raindance

4/26/2013 No Problemo - New Bedford, MA  w/ Raindance

4/27/2013 Steven’s - Hoboken, NJ w/ Raindance

4/28/2013 Gallery U - Bethlehem, NY

5/22/2013 The Zebra Club - Long Island, NY w/ Gehenna, Homewrecker

5/24/2013 Maryland DeathFest 2013 - Baltimore, MD

5/27/2013 Kingdom - Richmond, VA w/ Integrity, Gehenna

5/28/2013 Motorco Music Hall - Durham, NC w/ Integrity, Gehenna, Young And In The Way

5/29/2013 The End - Nashville, TN w/ Integrity, Gehenna

5/30/2013 Siberia - New Orleans, LA w/ Integrity, Gehenna

5/31/2013 Hotel Vegas - Austin, TX @ Chaos In Tejas w/ Gehenna

Celebrate the CruciFiction

Good Friday in Liverpool sees a gathering of Black and Doom Metal bands at the Lomax, four bands for £5.

Driving in the nails will be Chisham's PRIMITIVE GRAVEN IMAGE, Liverpool's very own NINKHARSAG (who are streaming their full album here) and CRYPT LURKER, and from the other end of the frozen M62, Mancunia's WODE (whose demo we reviewed here and you can check out here.)

I should be there for at least some of this so be sure to get hold of me and gimme copies of your demos!
I drink bitter, by the way.

Monday, 11 March 2013

Seagraves - WRONG

Further to our earlier post with a review of the new Seagraves CD Weight of the World, Jez Walshaw kindly got in touch to remind us you can all check out the official video for the track WRONG online.
And where can you see this visual feast? well, look no further than after these words!

Iron Hearse - Get in the Hearse

I'm going to come straight out now and tell you how happy this CD has made me.
Much like the XII Boar and Mage CDs that have dropped onto the mat at Claw Towers this past few weeks, this has just made me think of being on summer road-trips to far off cities for gigs; it's fuzzed-out biker style world-weariness immediately becoming the soundtrack to as yet only imagined motorway races, a crate of beer between your legs as you ride shotgun.

But anyway, enough of my imagination, what's it actually like?

The lads from Wiltshire (actually not far from Malmesbury where I lived for a bit as a young lad)
 have a sound that owes as much to the darkened back rooms of pubs during the days of the NWOBHM as it does to the sunny climes of LA and Saint Vitus, and on this, their second full album, they have fashioned the skills from years of gigging into seven new tracks and a re-working of their live anthem Ain't No New Thing.

It's equal parts thundering rockers and fuzzed-out toe-tappers, in parts Sabbath-esque passages sit alongside parts that remind me of Angel Witch and so on, putting a uniquely English slant on what some would consider a more transatlantic sound.

Throughout the record there are some great lead guitar parts that put me in mind of Dave Chandler, courtesy of Grant Powell, who also handles vocals with a gruff, biker-style delivery which also stretches to almost Sean Harris territory at times.
Being a three peice, the sound is rounded out by Liam and Kev on bass and drums respectively, and this is a very low-end heavy sounding band.

A brilliant soundtrack for what looks to be a great summer for fuzzy British metal!

For Fans of: Saint Vitus, Sabbath, Angel Witch, Diamond Head, Orange Goblin

Stream it here, download for £2.50, and if you want to pay a fiver you can get a rather smart "vinyl CD" version which is an LP style sleeve with probably the coolest looking CD I've seen for ages:

Other links to check out:


Seagraves - Weight of the World

Leeds veterans Seagraves return with a five track release Weight of the World, and it's good, dark hardcore punk rock.

Opening track Hollow Lies is a mid-paced track that sort of lulls you into a false sense of security before Seagraves smash you in the mouth with the second track Dreams are for Fools, with it's stop-start riffing and staccato double-bass attack, also jamming out some filthy grooves too.

Obvious, lazy comparisons are bound to be drawn, and there's a definite sound of your scene heavyweights like Converge et al, who the band have toured with, but I'd say the band remind me more of a homegrown World Burns to Death, especially on tracks like the title track here, which barrels along like an out-take from The Sucking of Missile Cock by the aforementioned WB2D.

Blood Runs Black is full of surprising twists and turns, a lot more melodic than I was expecting, and the final song, Wrong, is more furious breakneck kängpunk violence, which leaves you dazed, and (with the whole thing over after about 15 minutes), rather perversely, wanting another kick in the face at the end.

A cracking, powerful release reccomend for fans of Converge, World Burns to Death, His Hero is Gone, Botch ETC. 

Saturday, 9 March 2013

You know we're excited about this.

In 2011, sludge metallers Beastwars transformed New Zealand's heavy music scene with their internationally acclaimed, multi-award-nominated debut. On 19 April 2013, the Wellington-based four-piece return with their highly anticipated new album, Blood Becomes Fire.

Abiding by Beastwars' own steadfast maxim, 'Obey the Riff', Blood Becomes Fire features 10 songs that serve witness to the end of days, told through the eyes of a dying traveler from another time.

"It's a reflection on mortality, death and disease. Sooner or later they come for all of us," says vocalist Matt Hyde.

"It’s a heavy album, both sonically and lyrically," says drummer Nathan Hickey, "but what solidifies it are the triumphant 'fuck yeah' riffs. To us, this music is like getting psyched up to go into battle. You could be at war with yourself, or someone else."

Following a successful collaboration on Beastwars' debut, Blood Becomes Fire was co-produced, recorded and mixed by Dale Cotton (HDU, Die! Die! Die!), mastered in California by John Golden (Neurosis, Swans, High on Fire), and features the art of Weta Workshop's award-winning Nick Keller—whose mind-melting gatefold oil paintings depict a twisted world inspired by the aural artillery within.

Beastwars formed in 2007, and their self-titled debut was released in 2011. It went in at #15 on the national charts, was shortlisted for the Taite Music Prize and nominated twice at 2011's New Zealand Music Awards, was a successful vinyl release, and topped Bandcamp's most downloaded lists.

Beastwars' reputation as a commanding live act has been secured with sold-out shows on multiple nationwide tours, and the band was hand-picked to support acts such as High On Fire, the Melvins, Kyuss Lives!, Kylesa, Black Cobra and Fu Manchu on their New Zealand tour dates.

Streaming audio sample and limited edition pre-order merch bundles of Blood Becomes Fire are available now at These include 100 gold and red split colour LPs with gatefold art, which come with custom Beastwars guitar picks.

Following the release of Blood Becomes Fire, Beastwars will tour Australia and New Zealand supporting John Garcia's post-Kyuss band, Unida, before headlining their own shows in May. 


1. Dune
2. Imperium
3. Tower of Skulls
4. Realms
5. Rivermen
6. Caul of Time
7. Ruins
8. Blood Becomes Fire
9. Shadow King
10. The Sleeper

Clayton Anderson – Guitar
Nathan Hickey – Drums
Matt Hyde – Vocals
James Woods – Bass


Most intense shopping trip ever

"...yes, but before you buy, you must answer this short quiz..."

Yes, we have our copy of The Underground Resistance, and yes, it's knocked even us sideways.
What else did we expect!

A389 Sign Necropsy

"A389 is stoked to announce the addition of Baltimore's NECROPSY to the label's roster.  The band's debut LP/CD 'Agony Defined' 
is a nine-track thrash/death metal assault loaded with precision shredding and the manic raw energy that made those early Morbid
Angel, Slayer and Cannibal Corpse so great.  And the kicker is...the oldest member of the band is 20 years old!  

Read an exclusive interview Josh Sisk did with the band for DECIBEL MAGAZINE and listen to the track 'Voices In The Morgue' below


03/09 Baltimore, MD @ The Sidebar w/ ILSA, Windhand, VYGR, Passengers
03/17 Baltimore, MD @ The Nerve Center w/ No Qualms, Knife Hits, Cold Inside, Endless Bummer
03/22 Silver Spring, MD @ The Pyramid Atlantic
4/12-13 Washington DC @ Damaged City Fest w/ Negative Approach, DropDead, ILSA, Sick Fix + Tons More
5/23 Baltimore, MD @ Maryland Death Fest w/ Bolt Thrower, Evoken, Abigail and more

NECROPSY 'Agony Defined' 12"/CD/Digital
Coming May 2013 on A389 Recordings

Disributors/Stores please contact:
For interviews or any other inquiries please contact:

FULL OF HELL Announce new album!!

Following their successful outing with Gaza/Code Orange Kids and on the verge of slash and burn campaigns of destruction towards SXSW, MDF and Chaos in Tejas, FULL OF HELL have announced a spring release for their anticipated new full length! Rudiments Of Mutilation (A389 Recordings), as revealed by Invisible Oranges, will follow-up a slew of split 7" releases (The Guilt Of..., Calm the Fire and Code Orange Kids) and the band's critically acclaimed 2011 debut Roots Of Earth Are Consuming My Home. Kevin Bernsten (Developing Nations) has returned to record the effort, while mastering was handled by James Plotkin.
Full of Hell is preparing to hit the road with Cleveland's own Homewrecker, following-up their successful outing at SXSW last year that saw them annihilate the crowd at the BrooklynVegan/Power of The Riff Deathmatch (alongside High on Fire, Trash Talk & more). The spring will bring another set of dates, when the young band will team with like-minded veterans Integrity and Gehenna for shows that will include appearances at the legendary Maryland Deathfest and Chaos in Tejas.
Combining the feedbacking nihilism of Bastard Noise, the needle-tracked sludge of Eyehategod and blasting that would sit comfortably beside Utopia Banished-era Napalm Death, Full of Hell is exploring new realms within grindcore, negative hardcore and just plain antisocial behavior. 'Rudiments of Mutilation' promises to be one of 2013' most dissonant and tinnitus inducing offerings to date.
Numb Your Mind.
FFO: The Endless Blockade, Cursed, Iron Lung, Pg.99, Magrudergrind, Swans, Napalm Death, Eyehategod, Bastard Noise


FOH/Homewrecker Tour Dates:
3/9 - Lansing, OH - Hellbent Fest III
3/10 - Indianapolis, IN - Hoosier Dome
3/11 - Chicago, IL - Alderaan
3/12 - St. Louis, MO - Fubar
3/13 - Springfield, IL - Lemon Drop
3/14 - Broken Arrow, OK - House Show
3/15 - Austin, TX- SXSW
EVENING SHOW: Annex 1808 w/Loma Prieta, Mutilation Rites, Power Trip + many more
LATE SHOW: Pearl Street Co Op w/Loma Prieta and Lemuria
3/16 - Austin,TX - SXSW
EVENING SHOW: The North Door w/ Pallbearer
LATE SHOW: The Clit Pit w/Loma Prieta, Illustrations
3/18 - Denton, TX - Macaroni Island
3/19 - Little Rock, AR - Soundstage
3/20 - Decatur, AL - Excalibur Vinyl and Vintage
3/21 - Atlanta, GA - WonderRoot
3/22 - Columbia, SC - 929 King Street
3/23 - Washington, DC - La Casa
Gehenna/Full Of Hell Tour Dates:
5/22-Long Island,NY
5/24-Maryland Deathfest*
5/25-Maryland Deathfest*
5/26-Maryland Deathfest*
5/30-New Orleans,LA*
5/31-Chaos in Tejas*
6/1-San Antonio,TX
6/2-Chaos In Tejas
6/3-El Paso,TX
6/5-San Diego,CA
6/8-Santa Ana,CA
6/9-San Francisco,CA
*w/ Integrity

Seagraves pre-order

Listen -

Buy -

Video for 'Wrong' courtesy of Monster Riffage can be found here 

Distinguished veterans of the Leeds scene, Seagraves are 4 men on a mission to combine the vitality & unchecked rage of 90s noisecore with nihilistic D-Beat crust. Having spent the best part of the last decade in various projects touring the Europe with Converge, Norma Jean, Cancer Bats & other massive names, it was time to regroup in a dingy practice room & hammer out some heavy jams.

Formed in early 2012, Seagraves draw influence from the turn of the century hardcore & crust movements. Easy comparisons to Botch & The Hope Conspiracy can be drawn but the sound is underpinned by the dirtier punky tones of His Hero Is Gone, Cursed etc.

Debut EP Weight of the World was recorded by Kris Barker at Panacea Studios (Needs Fire, Shoot the Bastard) & is to be put out by Witch Hunter Records ion February 24th 2013. A heavy gigging schedule is planned to follow this release & a promo video for 'Wrong' filmed by Monster Riffage launches too

Limited to 150 copies, this CD comes in a hand-crafted gatefold manilla card sleeve, with a lyric insert, and printed by Giant Iron Face

Niall Wright - Guitar/Vocals
Jonathan "Beefy" Kirk - Guitar/Vocals
James Wilson - Bass
Ben Palmer - Drums

Recorded by Kris Barker at Panacea Recordings, July 2012 

Art, Design and Layout by Padraig O'Bogaigh 

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

XII Boar - Split Tongue, Cloven Hoof.

Every now and again, things slip under the radar; Obviously besides running this website we have hectic lives and so it came to pass that I was offered this for review before Xmas, missed it, and then found it, listened, and then got sidetracked before getting the review online.
Apologies from the bottom of my blackened heart.

XII Boar (that's pronounced 12 Bore, shotgun fans), come bursting out of the military town of Aldershot in England with a quite frankly storming four track EP here.

In a time when a lot of underground English Metal sees bands becoming ever more enshrouded in weed smoke, or writing ever more arcane and occult lyrics, it is a refreshing change to see bands like XII Boar (and countrymen Mage and Asomvel, for example) who hold no qualms about writing a tune or two for you to have a few beers with your mates and stamp your feet to, songs that you'll enjoy just as much blasting out of your stereo as you drive down the motorway in summer heading the festival of your choice.

There's a perfect balance struck between the old-sound and feel of uniquely British groups like early Almighty and the transatlantic swamp-groove of the mid nineties, all wrapped up in a Motörhead shirt and bullet belt, with a slight Southern-states feel, although they come across a lot more homegrown than any of that.
At times, they are reminiscent of Uprising-era Entombed, or even mid-career Cathedral, it's just a shame that there's only four tracks on offer here as I think a full length release must surely be imminent.

So, what do we have?
The first track, Smokin' Bones, rolls out of the speakers all studs and headbanging, like the aforementioned Asomvel do so well, Tommy Hardrock's vocals and guitar giving it the whole feeling of twenty regal and a few cans on payday before you head to the pool hall to meet the lads; sliding effortlessly into a mid paced singalong that reminds me of proper british rock/metal like early Wolfsbane, especially during the solo (check out David's drumming in the background during the solo).
When the three of them (rounded out by bassist Adam Bad-Dog) jam it out at the end, it's a total fist in the air moment, and we are only four minutes into the EP!
Hellspeed Viper (boss title) starts off frantically, and also has the whole mid-nineties groove thiing going on - I know I've only just said this about the previous track, but these lads must play together every night because they fit together like a jigsaw.
They slow down about five minutes into the track where you can hear Bad-Dog's bass a bit clearer, it's only when they slow down that I guess you'd really class them as being "stoner" in any sense of the world; I'm going to cringe if I ever see anyone describe them as such.
Moving into Slamhound,  another greasy mechanic of a track, it's lead breaks, rolling drums and headbangable basslines right through, overlaid with catchy sing-along stile lyrics.  I can't wait to see this band live.
The closing track, Triclops is the band's tour de force, Adam and Tommy taking a line each at the mic whilst the music chugs away behind them, this is their most doomy song on the EP, encompassing many moods and ands with another great solo and the band bashing it out to the finish.

I can't believe I let this slip under the radar, as I am under no illusion that it would have been in my best of 2012.  I love this, good time classic rock style British metal.

It seems to me that British Rock/Metal is about to be back at the position I've been waiting for siince the early-mid nineties, and groups like XII Boar, Mage, Orange Goblin, Asomvel, Arkham Witch, Age of Taurus, Ravens Creed and Black Magician are going to be up at the forefront of it, and it's a very exciting time.

You can find the band at:
XII Boar .com
and also at:


Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Dashwood - S/T (2013)

You know how every so often, you come across a band that properly blow you away, and you're kicking yourself for not discovering them sooner? Imagine that happening, and really enjoying their stuff, and then just as you are about to do a belated review of their most recent release, you're given the chance to review their next one.
That's exactly what's happened to me with UK HC crew Dashwood.

What you have here on their new self-titled EP is five tracks of in-your-face hardcore.
No macho bullshit, crossover or anything like that, just good old style hardcore, with a feel of misanthropy running throughout.

When they slow down for the mosh parts, it's tight, get you moving stuff, with a great rhythm section locking together (if you need any further clues as to how well they execute this, the EP contains a flawless cover of SSD's Police Beat), but when they play fast...fucking hell, they career along at a breakneck speed with just as much ease, presenting plenty of bite to put them up amongst their peers in the UK hardcore scene which (for those of you visiting our site solely on metal content) is thriving and deserves your attention.

All in all, a tough, tight, solid EP that I can see myself coming back to again and again.

Coming soon, but for now you can check out their bandcamp page for said SSD cover and you can snag a digital download of their My Disobedience which pulled me in, and their debut EP Hurt/Heal for free there too.


Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Opium Lord - The Calendrical Cycle - Prologue:The Healer

Smashing the death decks this week, is the ornately titled The Calendrical Cycle - Prologue:The Healer EP from Opium Lord.

With an undoubted underground pedigree, this debut from the Black Country four peice who are turning heads already is an absolute belter; a mix of sounds and influences that makes them pretty hard to pigeonhole.
I keep getting bandnames on the tip of my tongue as I type this listening to the EP, "kind of like...." and then that little touchstone is gone and they are making me think of someone else, all the while forging their own sound.

Out via Thirty Days of Night in February, The EP contains two tracks, Heroin Swirl and  Street Labs, the former starting off slowly, with harsh vocals over the black morass of sound churning beneath, with a creeping, creepy middle section, that gives way to a bass heavy march with cymbals crashing all around, and a squeal of feedback as a palate cleanser before seguing into the second track, Street Labs, whirling headfirst at you with some nice post-metal touches and fierce dynamics to it.
Of course, it's as slow and heavy as you might expect, slightly psychedelic in some places, akin to the last Ilsa release.
It's up now for pre-order at £2.99 which is a steal.
Get on it.