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Terrible Claw – Disaster Catalyst

Terrible Claw
Disaster Catalyst
by Thomas Kumke at 28 November 2021, 11:27 PM

TERRIBLE CLAW hailing from Birmingham, UK were formed by Paul Harrington and Stuart Pendergast. They are a Death and Thrash Metal band and after their debut album in 2018, “Disaster Catalyst” is their second full-length album. It was produced, mixed, and mastered by Paul Harrington and Stuart Pendergast.Disaster Catalyst” is an independent release and has a length of more than 51 minutes.

It is always a bit difficult to separate the siblings Death and Thrash Metal as they have a lot in common. TERRIBLE CLAW is a Death/Thrash band, but after digging a bit into their older stuff and reading a few interviews, it looks to me that their base is cantered on Florida inspired Death Metal with a portion of Thrash Metal influence. My impression was reassured after listening to the first few songs of the new album. “Self Sabotage Continuum” starts fast, aggressive, with classical Thrash Metal riffing. The growling vocals on the other hand give the opener a bit of a Death Metal feel and the growls are mostly at the medium end of the guttural range. “Self Sabotage Continuum” could be on any Thrash Metal record, the ingredients are there: the guitar riffing, the drumming, the lead guitar solo, and the mid-tempo break. “At Any Cost” continues with the Thrash Metal vibes and the speed, but the middle part is slightly more Death Metal oriented.

Sleepwalking Into Oblivion” is a cool mid-tempo, head-banging track with catchy riffing to begin with. The verse sections are slightly slower and have overall a darker sound which fits well to the growling vocals. The lead guitar solo during the middle part of the track is comprehensive and contributing. “Sleepwalking Into Oblivion” was released as lyric video and the YouTube link is given below.

Dysfunction and Disillusion” maintains the mid-tempo and the grim sound. The song structure is a bit more complex compared to the previous songs, and the drumming has more Death Metal vibes. The fast paced lead guitar solo at half point is the highlight of the track. “Hive Mind” introduces the first blast-beat attacks, accompanied by a lot of double-bass drumming. The tempo switches frequently between faster parts, mid-tempo parts, and doom-laden down-tempo parts. With “Hive Mind”, the Death Metal sound is at full swing. “Pyrrhic” on the other hand has loads of classical Thrash Metal riffing and reminded me on early EXODUS sound with Floridian Death Metal vocals. A feature of the album is the chilling atmosphere which is provided by the lead guitars. Almost every song has this feature, often during the middle sections of the tracks, but in “Fear Of Reprisal”, the whole song is grim and gloomy.

I like the many changes in sound on the album. “Arrogance Incarnate” is again a mid-tempo Death Metal song with powerful and dark riffing as well as blast-beats. I have to say, the vocals fit better to such a song than to the more Thrash inspired ones. “The Wilful Ignorant” continues with the sound of the preceding track, but misses a bit the intensity. The album closes out with “Insufferable Existence” and TERRIBLE CLAW raise the heat again: fast and sharp Thrash inspired guitar riffs at blistering pace and double-bass drum assaults change with doomy mid-tempo parts. “Insufferable Existence” is one of the highlights on the album.

Disaster Catalyst” is a very good album which mixes North American inspired Death Metal with traditional Thrash Metal. The mixture keeps the album fresh, dynamic, and makes it interesting to listen too. The main assets of TERRIBLE CLAW are the guitarists, their riffing and their solos. The vocals are at times a bit monotone which is notable in particular during the Thrash Metal inspired tracks. The songwriting has improved compared to the debut album and I feel it became more mature. The album is well produced in general, but I struggled at times to identify the double-bass drums. “Disaster Catalyst” will have their share of fans and TERRIBLE CLAW are on a good way to become established in the Death and Thrash Metal scene.

Songwriting:  8
Musicianship:  8
Memorability:  7
Production:  8

4 Star Rating

1. Self Sabotage Continuum
2. At Any Cost
3. Sleepwalking Into Oblivion
4. Dysfunction and Disillusion
5. Hive Mind
6. Pyrrhic
7. Fear Of Reprisal
8. Arrogance Incarnate
9. The Wilful Ignorant
10. Insufferable Existence
Dan Benton – Vocals
Paul Harrington – Guitars
Aleem Raza – Guitars
Stuart Pendergast – Drums
Paul Livett – Bass
Record Label: Independent


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