Reviewed: April 1, 2022
Released: March 24, 2022, Bandcamp
Reviewer: The Elitist Metalhead
Serbia’s CLAYMOREAN has taken the metal world by storm. Their fifth full length, Eulogy for the Gods, made my top five for 2021 and was highly rated by not only me but others in the metal realm. Their influences are the epic metal of the 80s to include such titans as MANILLA ROAD and Ross The Boss era MANOWAR. I used to believe that their only secret weapon was their amazing frontwoman, Dejana Garčević, but you will find out by listening to their free live album, Alive in Vultureburg, that they have another trick up their sleeve.
The band had released some video and photos captured during their most recent live performance from the CLAYMOREAN and OATHBRINGER show at Dom omladine Kragujevac July 31st 2021. However, what was really happening was the band preparing that show for a live album. Now this is where their other secret weapon comes in. From the opening riffs of the opening song, “Hunter of the Damned,” you notice that the production is spot on….like sounding like their records spot on. This is the work of mixer and engineer extraordinaire, Boris Šurlan. Not only is he the secret behind the incredible production of their albums, he made this quite possibly the best sounding live recording I’ve heard yet. The opening notes of “Battle in the Sky” where the riff and the bass roll together you can hear those bass notes exactly as on the album. Very impressive.
Of course we can not talk about CLAYMOREAN without bringing up those vocals. She can hit some serious notes and this album is not shy of those examples. That chorus for “Battle in the Sky” where she just wails “BATTLE….IN THE SKYYYY” is perfect! Guitarist and founder Vladimir (Vlad Invictus) Garčević did say that Dejana had injured her vocal chords before this show and was not on her A game. I’d say she was on her A game but maybe a slight A minus. What I mean by that is there are some songs where she slightly seems to be struggling, especially on “Mystical Realm.” But in her defense, the vocal melodies on that song are tough for someone whose in top form let alone someone who had injured vocal chords. This album not only showcases the killer tunes from their latest album but also includes some of their past catalog that, for some reason, has not quite completely resonated with me with “We Fight Like Lions” and “The Triumph” being my favorites so far. One of the biggest highlights of this album has to be the two covers, “Blood of my Enemies (MANOWAR cover) and “Flaming Metal Systems” (MANILLA ROAD cover) with the MANOWAR cover being my favorite. I’m not sure why their cover of VIRGIN STEELE’s “The Burning of Rome (Cry for Pompeii)” was not included in this set list because it would have fit perfectly in that group of covers at the end.
The great thing about this album and one reason why I have the utmost respect for this band is that it was released to the world for free on Bandcamp. Vlad said that this is not only his gift to the fans and supporters for their overwhelming support for their latest album but also a gift to himself for his birthday, which was the same day as this release. Happy Birthday Vlad…and thank you for sharing your metal vision with the world! And folks….it’s free, there’s no excuse!