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The Claymore
Damnation Reigns
January 2011
Released: 2010, Black Bards
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: JP

DAMNATION REIGNS is the third offering from Germany’s The Claymore. A few members were once in a heavier act called Agamendon, but these metal soldiers have crossed the border into True/ Power Metal territory.

This is my first opportunity to hear The Claymore and I’m very impressed. DAMNATION REIGNS is professional package with tons of great art, lyrics, photos and good layout. Top-notch production brings the songs out very well. The band have made some friends along the way because Victor Smolski (Rage) drops by for a solo and Tim Owens (Yngwie Malmsteen) lends his pipes to a cut as well.

The Claymore deliver unto us just over 50 minutes of pure Metal. Most of the songs are in the mid-tempo to fast range, but not resorting to a straight double-kick all the way through. The vocals of Andy Grundmann are clear and powerful with a good range. He has a classic powerful metal voice with a good delivery. There are tons of guitars, solos and crunchy riffs all over the place. The tunes are well written, not overly complex but good to head-bang to. There are a few little studio effects to add some spice, but nothing too adventurous. They even have a bit of a ballad, but more in the way Rage might do a ballad, still pretty heavy overall. The band writes classic Metal that you might have heard in the 80’s coming from bands like Vicious Rumours or perhaps something newer, like the last three Metal Church albums.

The band tops off the album with a bonus track, namely a cover of the W.A.S.P. cut, ‘Chainsaw Charlie’. They play it a little more straight-ahead than Blackie’s somewhat frantic original, but it is an excellent interpretation, nonetheless.

DAMNATION REIGNS is meat and potatoes metal, straight ahead and to the point, letting the songs speak for themselves backed with good performances all round. A solid and commendable offering that will appeal to fans of quality Metal.
Track Listing

1. Ashes of the Wicked
2. Oceans
3. Behind Enemy Lines
4. Damnation Reigns
5. Frozen Voices
6. Return to Zero
7. Silent Scorn
8. Children of the Nile
9. Oblivion
10. (e)scapegoat
11. As Twilight Falls
12. Chainsaw Charlie (bonus track)


Andreas Grundmann - Vocals
Sebastian Busacker - Guitar
Kai Schwittek - Guitar
Christian Köhle - Bass
Hardy Kölzer - Drums

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