Album Review: Black Claw – “The unabating terror” (Cosmic Horror Doom Metal)

Written by: Valkyrjiaa

Release Date: February 17th, 2022

Cosmic Horror Doom Metal from Bristol, U.K.

Label: Independent

One-man instrumentalist Black Claw unleashes his 3-track album of horror and mayhem under the title The unabating terror. Described as being slow, creepy music with a creepy unearthly vibe, this album is short though anything but sweet. With tracks running beyond the 10-minute mark with ease, there is a growing tension that comes from each track that furthers the atmosphere of dread and darkness with every passing moment.

“A Malice Unfolds” drops in at just over 14 minutes in length, bringing terror and relentless shadow with it. Every bit of drop or shift in instrument you expect is quickly altered, distorted by creepy bass, and carried by hanging riffs. The aura is simply creepy; with a scratching feeling of being watched sinking in quite quickly, making you look over your shoulder no matter how much light fills the room. Looming shadows rake with fearsome claws, brought about by the higher strings of this track, building unease, and a vibe that simply makes your stomach turn.

The second track at just over 12-minutes is “The Crawling Chaos” that features Cult of Occult’s vocalist Jean-Claude Van Doom. The sickening tension follows from the previous track into this one, with heavy guitar strings strumming against backing sounds of screams and fear. Thick distortion breaks through the lingering fog, sinking down across the void to bring about a sense of dread and confusion. As the track continues, it feels as if we’re being dragged through the mud by some unseen horror. Van Doom’s vocal accompaniment adds a viciousness to this already frightful track, with ghoulish screams and a raspy voice that calls from beyond. While the build-up of speed isn’t evident, there is a hollow noise that rises up and penetrates your ears like a siren’s wail, begging you to run for cover and shelter yourself from harm but, through the heavy mud clinging to your boots, and the dense fog, you see no safety in sight.

The final track off this album is “Constant Endless Void” that begins with an almost airy, space-like sound that fills the scene with starlight and wonder. However, the fear of space and its unknown send shivers up your spine as the blackness of the universe grows over your sight, causing a lump to form in your throat. You take a deep breath, gulping down the fear but, it only grows with the sounds of this horrifying track. Warped riffs once more echo into the air, tightly clutching around your throat and forcing you to view the endless void before you. There are rigid drumbeats, and frightful howls that energize the atmosphere with mystery and fright throughout this track. All while your face forms a grimace with discomfort. Though the noise takes a brief pause at the halfway point, the silence only heightens the anxiety. At just over 17 minutes, this track is filled with endless horrors that slink from one shadow to the next, hiding behind the twinkle of stars and the illuminated moon before sinking its teeth into your soul.

The Bottom Line

It’s not what I expected for a doom metal album, as I’m used to the slower, dragging atmosphere that seems common with the genre. This takes a different look, offering atmospheric noise and sound to its composition to further its representation of Cosmic Horror. Whether Eldritch or beyond, something about this album lingers on the mind, making sure that you take a second look at the darkened corner of your room and truly wonder what lurks in the endless void of space.