A word of warning – this is not a pleasant listen. Continue at your peril.
Having barely recovered from Spectral Estate that was released on an unsuspecting world earlier on in the year, we now have a further 26 minutes of material from Clawing to contend with.
Continuing on from the band’s harrowing debut album, these four tracks delve deep into unsettling and unnerving waters. Creating textured soundscapes that draw from such a deep well of negativity and malignant inspiration must surely take its toll, but from the listener’s point of view it has all been worth it, as Clawing are adept at their chosen form of expression.
The music is loosely structured, but structured nonetheless. I like it when bands of this ilk construct their sounds using a changing canvas, so that you can see and even feel them update and develop over time. This is one of the reasons that I like what Clawing do, as the music they create feels like a living entity or a landscape that can be explored. Mixing metaphors, but then Clawing’s output is not simply one single thing either.
Here’s an indicator of how good Clawing are – I hate spoken word parts in music, absolutely despise them. Here though, the spoken word is not overdone, and works to enhance the music rather than ruin it. None were more surprised than me.
These four tracks feel like a journey into nothingness, yet a nothingness that’s also tangibly foul and malignant.
As I seem compelled to always state when I review anything noise/experimental/drone based like this – it’s not normally my thing, but Clawing are definitely worth it. If you want something to stick on that is both atmospheric and horrible, (and who doesn’t), then Clawing are your band.
I haven’t heard Offerbeest before, but the fact that the man behind the band is also the man behind Gnaw Their Tongues is more than enough to pique my interest.
Operating in choppier, rougher waters to Clawing’s side, Offerbeest’s 15-minute nightmarescape has its own feel and texture, and it’s not something that you want to get too close to.
Offerbeest’s noise component makes for a harsh, abrasive listen. The music has a deep malevolence to it that sounds as if it has been created by something inhuman.
Whereas on Clawing’s side the tracks seem to seep from one to the next, carrying the listener along, on Offerbeest’s side each track is more separated and isolated from its peers. This variety allows the artist behind the project to indulge all manner of harsh musical explorations, of which Openminded is probably my favourite as it sounds as if your mind is being sucked into a vortex as daemons shout and scream at you.
If 41 minutes of aural terror and hideous ambience appeals to you, then check this split out.