Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Iron Witch / The Atrocity Exhibit split

Well, you know it's got to be special to reanimate Thee Claw. fresh off the presses, a joint (no pun intended) release from British underground heavyweights Iron Witch and The Atrocity Exhibit, released in conjunction with Dead Chemist Records and Witch Hunter Records.
Two slabs of prime British sludge.  So what do we have?

Unfortunately, I managed to miss Iron Witch on their recent jaunt around these isles with the godfathers of heavy, Crowbar, and it's a real shame because they have matured so much since the I reviewed their 2011 ep Single Malt, and considering they are local lads I am still yet to witness them live.
Their work rate is phenomenal and they have honed their craft whilst touring with some of the real heavy hitters out there, doing it properly by getting in the van and getting a sweat on in some real shitholes.
Their track on this split is a tortured riff beast, the unquestionable sheer emotion of the lyrics spat out by Chris over some tremendous, glacial riffing from Sam and Dan.  As ever, Will's powerful stick work locks in tightly with the almost third guitar sounding bass of Rick, propelling the whole thing forward at a Grief-like pace.  Iron Witch are the hardest working band in the country, who are carving out their own style and sound, and it's great to see their name falling into every day parlance amongst sludge fans.
The Atrocity Exhibit come from a more grind-oriented angle, attacking their side with a seething brutality that builds from a wall of feedback with the sound of a heart stopping sampled over the top, into an evil sounding riff, as if the two bands have got together first to have a heaviest riff competition.
The Northampton three-piece really strip their sound back on this, a really primitive sounding track that confines the listener thanks in no small part to the massive production on this track from Ian Boult.  When it starts to pick up pace, with some pounding drums from Danny Curtis, it's a pummeling that leads into a section with some punishing, stop-start dynamics. Ending with a bang after some sustained feedback, this is my first exposure to The Atrocity Exhibit and has got me wanting more.

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Friday, 3 January 2014

Best of 2013

2013 has been a bit of a mixed bag, outside of Thee Claw.
There's been a number of issues that have affected me in my personal life, meaning that after a pretty strong start to the year, things kind of petered out a little bit towards the middle and latter parts of the year, being unemployed for about six months meant that any plans we had to get to festivals (including Brofest - still gutted about that) were put on ice, but at least I managed to make it along to see Sabbath with Ozzy, who did not disappoint!
There are other things that quite frankly don't need to be brought up on here, if you know me, you'll understand why Thee Claw, which is a labour of love for me, had to take a back seat for a while.

Anyway! There were numerous release that I have enjoyed immensely this year, the best of which are in a big, long, unordered list below.

To everyone I dealt with via this website over the past 12 months, keep it up, you're the best.
 Here's to a boss 2014 - hope to see some of you out and about over the course of it!

Bölzer - Aura
Satanic Dystopia - Double Denim Shotgun Massacre 
The Jeffrey UppercutLive Hard
BeastwarsBlood Becomes Fire
Opium LordThe Calendrical Cycle - Prologue:The Healer 
 Master - The Witchhunt
Crypt Lurker - Baneful Magic, Death Worship and Necromancy Rites Archaic 
Pestilence - Obsideo 
Dashwood (EP)
Darkthrone - Underground Resistance 
Wraiths - S/T EP
Ghold - Galactic Hiss 
Uzala - Tales of Blood and Fire
Artillery - Legions
Black Magician - The Pursuivant 
Motörhead - Aftershock 
Altar of Plagues - Teethed Glory and Injury 
Cathedral - The Last Spire 
Seagraves - Weight of the World 
Iron Hearse Get in the Hearse 
Suicidal Tendencies - 13 
Gurt/Limb - Split 
Black Sabbath - 13 
Suffocation - Pinnacle of Bedlam 
Electric Taurus - Veneralia 
Trouble - The Distortion Field 
 Portal - Vexovoid 
 Complete Failure - The Art Gospel of Aggravated Assault 
Koresh Chump 
Manilla Road - Mysterium 
Sodom - Epitome of Torture 
Biche EP 
Deicide - In the Minds of Evil