CLENCHED FIST - THE GIFT OF DEATH (Infernö Records)
(Review by Stefan)
Formed in Sao Paulo Brasil back in 2000, Clenched Fist debuted with a demo called “Into The Fire” (2003) - fans had to wait on a first full-length album for five years which is quite a long time. “Tribute To The Brave Ones” appeared in 2008 on Marquee Records but I can’t tell a damn thing about this piece… until listening to their new album “The Gift Of Death”, I never heard of Clenched Fist before so doing some research on the band’s background history was the only way out for something more to learn. Therefore I checked out their reverbnation page… the info I could read there was rather scanty. In fact, not an issue to me, all that mainly matters is the question in terms of what the new album has to offer.
Consisting out of four lads and a female background vocalist, Chenched Fist deliver True/Epic Metal featuring vocals akin to the sound of Manilla Road and Candlemass mainly. Also in the field of music, you are not so far removed from both Epic / Doom Metal giants, the album breathes nothing but pure, old school Metal! To the bone armed with good old fashioned Heavy Metal influences, fans of NWOBHM will get their share as well due to interfaces with bands like Holocaust and Witchfinder General. For sure is the fact that an album such as “The Gift Of Death” is not at all suitable for fans of nowadays, mainstream steel – this effort is made by a bunch of 80s Metal maniacs wearing shirts of Acid, Slaughter (Canada), Saxon, Venom and of course, Manilla Road! Because of that, I’m sure Clenched Fist created its new album to those 100 % attracted to Classic Metal.
Dealing with an 80s Metal inspired band, I don’t expect spectacular innovations based on riffs and rhythms. Clenched Fist does what It have to do, keeping it all quite simple but hard as hell and straight to the bone. Vagner Fist’s vocals are (as two drops of water) similar, to Messiah Marcolin (ex Candlemass) and Manilla Road’s Mark Shelton. This equation makes Clenched Fist not very original but it reflects the inner beauty of the band’s passion for the almighty forces of old school Classic Epic Metal in general!
The registers be opened with an intro immediately followed by ‘Codex Gigas’ and its pure Epic feel due to Manilla Road alike vocals and Classic Metal guitar lines. ‘Spirit Of The Death’ offers something special to me, vocally wise I hear a blend of early Candlemass/Manilla Road and also, the frontman of Parasite (Swedish 80s Metal) comes pretty close. Re-listening to Parasite’s unforgettable EP that’d been released back in 1984, similarities with Clenched Fist come to cross my mind in a pleasant manner. This track also features outstanding high pitched vocals which he may use much more – he’s able to succeed! ‘Burning The Holy Gates’ has delivers Epic Metal on speed but turns out not so good. Not a failure but the vocals seem quite poor to me but that is immediately forgotten when next song ‘Asgard’ starts. Fast composition with great melodic structures, high pitched vocal passages and a nice mixture of speed and power played at the good side of alternation. My favourite songs is without a doubt ‘Speed Metal Attack’, not full speed ahead but be sure, it’s just a regular fast taker and again - I hear some outstanding high screams – as said before, he should use these ‘pitchings’ more in the future! To end in style, Clenched Fist has one last track in promotion called ‘Old School Avengers’, vocals in the vein of Messiah Marcolin (Candlemass), good track with an old school Epic/Doom Metal character.
Approaching the age of 50, my attraction to 80s Metal is still on – getting older by the tunes of Classic Metal is all part of the game to me. Supporting good old, timeless and precious Hard Rock/Metal music – well, it just keeps me going on no matter what it takes. About Clenched Fist: highly appreciating band just unleashing its new album “The Gift Of Death’ in a very good way. Their mission to get Brazilian Heavy Metal back on the map is completed!! Fans of Candlemass, Manilla Road, Doomsword, Wotan, Parasite and very early Manowar, place your order at: http://www.inferno-records.net/ . Check out the band’s homepage at: www.myspace.com/clenchedfistband
My Points: 86 / 100