Metal!: Clamfight, “I Versus the Glacier” and More…
On the 25th day of the 12th month of 2012, the Six-Tongued Hellgoat was summoned to rise from the ashes and bring darkness to this place called POPdose. Join him in his quest.
Ritual Thrust into the Profane Maw of Churning Filth
Stay out of the way, five of the Hellgoat’s tongues are thrashing about with his fiery saliva spraying unsuspecting onlookers right now. It seems like something this heavy really throws the Goat off his game.
Clamfight (which is of course, a great fucking name) is a four piece band out of New Jersey that’s been together since 2002. They have a clear sense of humor not only by the name of the band but in how they describe their music, “music for fat dudes and the buxotic women who love them.” Add Hellgoats to the mix now too.
Their debut album wasn’t released until 2010 but it got some good buzz. I Versus the Glacier marks their second record and it’s a killer for sure. They play a mixture of heavy sludge and doom with some thrash tossed in for good measure. The entire record is pretty damn infectious, not only pounding you over the head with heaviness but adding in a ton of groove and ferocious riffage.
There’s really not a bad track on I Versus the Glacier. At a little over 48 minutes across nine tunes, every moment feels fresh and exciting. The Hellgoat was still headbanging at the 42 minute mark, which means he might need to rest in the hay very soon. Just one listen to the crazy instrumental “The Green Gods of Yag” should help anyone understand what this record is about. The Hellgoat listened to this in his Firebird and needed to get new speakers after the opening track, “The Eagle.” Then they blew out again during “Age of Reptiles.” Overall, this is a fantastic heavy, heavy sludgefest that’s worth every penny you’ll spend on it.
Most Hellacious Moment: A slow building intro leads into amazing heaviness on “Age of Reptiles.”
Somnolent Regurgitation of the Scrolls of Proselytism
(The Hellgoat wishes to convert you to the ways of the metal. But he prefers to let the press release and bio do most of the talking on these nefarious black circles.)
Album: Viisikko, IIII
Release: January 18, 2013
Press: Viisikko, whose name translates as The Famous Five, is not a group of child detectives but a mysterious group of people from Oulu, northern Finland, who among other things create quite a terrifying racket that taps into the same unending source of inspiration bands like Black Flag, Melvins, Radiopuhelimet and Dead Kennedys have drawn from.
An amalgam of classic rhythm-based hardcore and slight sludge metal influences, Viisikko’s IIII is the first time the band’s music is available to a wider audience. Having played together since 2007, the band released the album as a self-financed tape in 2011. The tape caught the attention of Svart Records, and this cult album is now being reissued on vinyl, wrapped in gatefold covers and limited to 400. The band keeps a decidedly low profile and refuses to give any lineup info or appear in photographs.
Hellgoat’s take, 7/10: The Hellgoat was running around furiously while listening to this “racket” and scaring all the chickens. The press notes are right on with this crazy album.
Album: Eight Bells, The Captain’s Daughter
Label: Seventh Rule
Release: February 19, 2013
Genre: Psychedelic Post-rock
Press: Based in Portland, Oregon [Melynda] Jackson’s Eight Bells (the band) continues in the tradition of heavy guitar exploration, adding a blackened dissonance to the mix and minimalist vocals. Jackson is accompanied by classically trained six-string bassist Haley Westeiner, who also provides harmonic counterpoint to Jackson’s newly discovered vocal talents. SubArachnoid Space drummer Chris Van Huffel resumes the throne he occupied for ten years, bringing his thunderous, nuanced double kick playing with him. With this power trio, Jackson has found a group that brings focus and support to her unapologetically expressionistic experimental metal music.
Hellgoat’s take, 6.5/10: Definitely experimental and mostly instrumental. “Fate and Technology” showcases Jackson’s vocals though which go from soft and demure to screaming banshee.
Album: Gloria Morti, Lateral Constraint
Label: Metal Blade / Cyclone Empire
Release: February 5, 2013
Genre: Melodic Blackened Death Metal
Press: Guitarist Juho Räihä elaborates: “On Lateral Constraint, I made a conscious decision to write without over analyzing or burying the point with anything unnecessary. The lyrics are about mankind’s inability to step aside and think outside the box. Almost all of our problems seem to be a side-product of clinging to old beliefs and institutions. Mankind needs to evolve laterally if we want to survive and elevate ourselves to the next level. We are not civilized as long as we have wars and poverty. Musically, Lateral Constraint was probably the easiest Gloria Morti album to write. We just went to the natural direction of the band and had a really relaxed and emancipated recording experience. All in all I honestly think that Lateral Constraint is by far the best Gloria Morti album to date, and it will be hard to top in the future.”
Hellgoat’s take, 7.5/10: Sufficiently brutal while still having good melody. Based on the statement above, it seems like this is the only Gloria Morti record you need!