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Epitaph : Claws

Whilst the vocals may divide opinion, Epitaph's lasting endurance and classic sound should not.

Once in a while a terrible storm endures, grey dark skies form shadows over graves that have since cracked and broken from years of neglect. Thirty years on, Epitaph are still standing - and you would not believe this is just their second album. Maybe like a fine whiskey they have been fermenting away hidden in some black dusty basement.

This is a band who honour bands such as Sabbath and Candlemass. They have earned their own personality, horrific and warped. 'Claws' also has an illustration for each song captivating the raw essence of each track. This is a creature that needs listening, patience and a deeper understanding. This album has five tracks that fill your ears with a sound that is crushing in parts but their main riffs are built up over this organic Sabbath feel, nothing is too drawn out and on the whole the album flows nicely.

Vocalist Emiliano Cioffi needs a special mention. His melodies, and the way he uses his voice, are clever. Does he scream, sing, growl or just speak. I keep trying to pin it down to someone as a reference but I still can’t understand it. No doubt it works for this band. Songs like ‘Waco The King’ and ‘Wicked Lady’ are filled with that Sabbath vibe. Catchy, and it certainly takes you back to that whole time and place when they ruled the metal scene.

The production is good. Everything is done right and the balance of the instruments sits nicely in the mix. The guitar tone I like quite a lot. You can hear all the notes and the harmonies blend effectively. They mix the pace up quite effectively as well, so you're not left completely spaced out. Nicola Murari on bass keeps the unit tight and he has some memorable moments. This album will split opinions on the singing and I can see a divide amongst many. You will either appreciate it or hate it. I enjoyed the album in its own right. It’s still a feeling that bands still try to capture past glories, maybe I’ll go back and listen, chewing over some bat heads, and see where I find my self mentally and spiritually.

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Reviewer's rating: 7/10


Tracklist :
1. Gossamer Claws
2. Waco the King
3. Sizigia
4. Wicked Lady
5. Declaration of Woe

Duration : Approx. 41 minutes

Visit the Epitaph bandpage.

Reviewed on 2017-10-31 by Riccardo Veronese
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