Album Review: Terrible Claw – Disaster Catalyst

Album Review: Terrible Claw - Disaster Catalyst
Reviewed by Paul Hutchings

There are occasions when a band you are watching really strikes a chord. Watching Birmingham’s Terrible Claw opening a night of extreme heaviness in Cardiff recently was one of those moments. The band are no strangers to the metal world, with founders Paul Harrington (Fukpig, Kroh and ex- Anal Nathrakh) and Stuart Penderghast (Neanderthal, H.O.D.) seasoned campaigners. Joined by bassist Paul Livett, guitarist Aleem Raza and vocalist Dan Benton, the band released their debut Sickening Annihilation in 2018 and now bring forth album number two, ‘Disaster Catalyst’.

Reaching deep into the roots of the old school, it’s unsurprising that Terrible Claw’s sound is retro in many ways. They draw from the early 1990s with their bludgeoning approach uncompromising from start to finish. What sets them apart from other bands in an incredibly saturated marketplace is the searing clean guitar solos that fire out on every song. This brings a welcome element of melody to an otherwise brutal album which also incorporates a welcome bit of groove to the overall sound.

Album Review: Terrible Claw – Disaster Catalyst

Whatever you do, don’t let the word groove put you off, for that is merely an indication of the tempo that Terrible Claw have managed to skilfully weave into their steamrollering approach. Benton’s vocals are devilishly deep and guttural, the rhythm section unsurprisingly tight and the dual guitar work sonically impressive. Changes of pace don’t allow the intensity to slacken at any point; dynamic variations of speed on tracks like ‘The Wilful Ignorant’ with its wonderfully distorted edge feel totally on point. There is plenty of savagery within this package, and it is bookended by explosive aggression in the shape of opener ‘Self Sabotage Continuum’ and the bruising finale ‘Insufferable Existence’.

‘Disaster Catalyst’ is a thunderous release and one that catapults Terrible Claw into the upper echelons of UK Death Metal. If you get a chance to wrap your listening equipment around this album, I’d highly recommend it.

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