Lasse Pyykkö is one busy Finn. According to Metal Archives, he’s a vocalist, guitarist, bassist, and/or keyboardist for the following active bands: Phlegethon, Vacant Coffin, Hooded Menace, Swarming, and Ruinebell, in addition to being involved in the past with Acid Witch, Shrouded, and Sarnath (and many other bands). But what hooked our interest for purposes of this post was his one-man project called Claws, which he started in 2008 in an effort to recapture the style of death metal embodied by old-school bands such as Crematory, Nihilist, and Incantation.
The Claws discography consists of one album (Absorbed in the Nethervoid – 2009), one EP (The Funeral Barge – 2009), and a split released late last month with Grave Wax titled Pestilent Formation. I got turned onto Claws by NCS reader Utmu, who sent me a link to a YouTube clip for the song “Macabre Manifestations”, which appears on the Nethervoid album. I knew I was going to like this after about 5 seconds. It’s raw, ugly, buzzed-to-the-max, and smells like the crypt:[audio:https://www.nocleansinging.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/06-Macabre-Manifestations.mp3|titles=Claws – Macabre Manifestations]
That song was all it took to send me searching for more music. I found the Pestilent Formation split and listened to the two Claws tracks on that release. (more after the jump . . .)
Man, this is beautifully grisly music: killer riffs set to maximum distortion, boiling solos, and vocals that echo from deep in a corpse-strewn abyss. Lasse Pyykkö has definitely got a feel for this style of horror-show death metal.
There’s more to like about that Pestilent Formation split, too, namely, Grave Wax. Grave Wax is a collaborative effort between Kam Lee (Death, Massacre, Bone Gnawer), Brian Forman (Unburied) and the Riddick twins, Mark and Mike (Excrescent, Yamatu, Fetid Zombie). The two Grave Wax tracks on the split also channel old-school death metal, though more in the vein of early 90’s American bands such as Obituary, and with a somewhat sharper production than the filthy sound on the Claws tracks. Both songs are wonderful.
If you’re a fan of old-school death metal from either side of the Atlantic, this is a terrific split. You can stream the whole thing here:
You can order the music from all of Lasse Pyykkö’s projects, including the Claws releases and the new split, by visiting this web page:
I also found the Pestilent Formation split for sale as a download at Klicktrack.
Claw’s MySpace page is here.
The Grave Wax facebook page is here.