Released: 2009, Razorback Records
Reviewer: Luxi Lahtinen
Lasse Pyykkö must be the Finnish incarnation of the Swedish mastermind Dan Swanö… well, at least if you take all those bands and projects into a serious consideration that he is – and has been involved with in the past and nowadays (Phlegethon, Vacant Coffin, Acid Witch, Hooded Menace, Nerlich, Sarnath, etc.).
Claws is Lasse´s latest side project - this putrefying, 1-one man old school death metal act, pays a sincere tribute basically to some of the early Scandinavian death metal bands – from Nihilist (Swe) to Funebre to Crematory (Swe) to Carnage and so on. Knowing that Lasse has quite actively been involved with the underground metal scene for the past 2 decades (and even more), it does not come as any surprise that he has also been this productive over the years – and getting his own ambitious perversions through all these bands he has so morbidly been fascinated with.
ABSORBED IN THE NETHERWORLD, containing 9 songs altogether – to put it simply, throws listeners back to the dark and dusty catacombs of the ancient gods of death. By the ´ancient gods of death´, I naturally mean the underground past of the whole Scandinavian death metal scene from late eighties to mid nineties when some of the heaviest, filthiest and most guttural sounding troops were crawling out from the shadows, and influencing strongly the underground death metal world and beyond, for many years to come.
In Lasse´s favour it must be said that he is fully aware of his roots, where he comes from – and it is no wonder why he can come up with projects like Claws, all by himself, alone. Lasse plays all the instruments in Claws from the beginning to the end, and also does the spine-chilling death grunts on this album. The concept that he has created around his bastard child named Claws, sounds convincing enough in regard to the 1st invasion of the Scandinavian death metal. It is relatively easy to spot all of these influences of the past Scandinavian death metal bands from this record, and I think that is Lasse´s main purpose to do with Claws in the very first place: To pay tribute to some of these bygone glorious underground death metal legends from the Scandinavian countries - from Sweden and Finland in particular.
I did not go overly crazy or nuts about this record even if it is good for what it is all about. ABSORBED… basically gave me some nice flashbacks about the days of the tape trading scene some 20 years ago, when I first discovered some of these death metal bands from the Swedish and Finnish underground death metal scene back in the day. Listening to the album is really like traveling through the past times with a time capsule. You all liked bands like Nihilist (Swe), Funebre, Convulse, Carnage and the like – all those unbelievably murky and über-heavy Scandinavian death metal bands that made your skin crawl in sheer excitement when you heard them for the very 1st time? If so, Claws might do something good for your skin again then… ;o)