It’s always a lot of fun to review some brand new metal, mainly for the fact that it means that good new metal is being released but also you get the opportunity to come at things from a different angle. This one’s particularly exciting as it signifies the return of one of my favourite metal bands and one that I think has always deserved much more recognition that they’ve ever received. They were actually the first live band I ever saw and it’s still to this day always cool to meet a fellow fan and get to chatting about live shows and albums. I’m talking about Maryland alternative, four-piece, Clutch.
I first caught them live back in 2005 as they supported CKY in Nottingham. They had the crowd in the palm of their hands and warmed the night up perfectly creating a platform for circle pits and crowd surfing within minutes of being on stage. In fact I even remember being hoisted up in the first few minutes of even being there by my friends Tom & Pix and this was before anybody even came on stage. That didn’t go down particularly well with the other people around us and I was promptly brought back down again. The point being that in 2005 I was mesmerised by their stage presence and raw sound and ten years later after returning on October 1st with new album Psychic Warfare they’re sounding just as good as ever and don’t appear to have left behind any of what they had, all that time ago. First single release from the new LP is X-Ray Visions and it’s a brilliant introduction to the new material.
It can’t be easy after being together for twenty four years and releasing your eleventh studio album to come back with something as refreshing and as original as X-Ray Visions. But it’s gritty, it’s heavy but it’s still so catchy too, having this inane accessibility that Clutch have always managed to provide, assumedly making it possible for non-metal fans to get involved and accept previous songs like Mob Goes Wild and Big News. It’s fun, it’s fast and it’s hard core. But the best bit is, it’s only the beginning as there’s the rest of the album to enjoy. The first single has been a winner so far and done its job it getting me interested enough to want to check out the rest of the record. In fact I have to say, I’ve already checked out another track from the album, ‘Noble Savage’ and it’s even more of the same. X-Ray Visions has kicked it all off beautifully but ‘Psychic warfare’ may have a lot more to offer. I can’t wait to find out.
Words by Stuart Green (@mojo20_music)