Released: 2012, Inferno Records
This month will be reviewing a number of releases on the small, but very cool French label, Inferno Records. There have a decent roster of about 20 bands from around the world that they release on vinyl, Cassette and CD. This month I will be reviewing releases by Axecutor (Brazil) Clenched Fist (Brazil), Death Rides a Horse (Denmark), Elvenstorm (France), Lady Beast (USA), Prime Evil (USA), Rampart (Bulgaria), Razorwyre (New Zealand). Please feel free to enjoy all the reviews in this feature.
Clenched Fist have been around over 10 years now but have only just released their second album, THE GIFT OF DEATH and judging by the true metal sounds contained within, the ‘gift’ of death must be for all the posers put there!
This quartet has had some changes since their debut five years ago including a new drummer and new guitarist and a chance in record labels as well. The band has weathered the storm and released this 10 track, 36-minute album for the metal masses. The lyrics are kind of a mix of more serious historical and medieval themed songs such as ‘Burning The Holy Gates’, ‘Asgard’ and ‘Medieval Land’ and faster more irreverent songs like ‘Speed Metal Attack’ and ‘Old School Avenger’. The vocals of Vagner fist are quite remarkable as he has considerable range hitting some really high notes but much of the time staying in a mid-tonal range with a strong vibrato, sounding very much Marco Messiah in places.
Clenched Fist is very much in the modern (but not modern) spikes ‘n’ bullet belts image as the band presents a strong but Metal image. I like the production with a big, booming, echo-like production with lots of sound effects and quirky vocals. THE GIFT OF DEATH sounds very European like you might have heard on Roadrunner Records way back in the mid-80’s when the label was cool. The songs are catchy in a mid-pace (with the occasional fast one) with good solid riffs, and some decent solos.
Like many of the bands on the Inferno Records label, Clenched Fist really embody the spirit of the early unrefined days of Metal and play a sound that is contemporarily popular as young kids like Atlantean Kodex and Argus go back and discover their father’s old Manilla Road and Candlemass albums. If you enjoy that sound give yourself, THE GIFT OF DEATH!