Clawing’s music steps into the grounds of a haunted house. Its yard is entangled in vines of despair and past trauma and the hulking house itself is a base of past nightmare. Jangling keys unlock the rusting gates deep within the skull; the rats run wild, crawling over the entire cranium. Entering is a risk, and we do so reluctantly, but it’s a risk worth taking; these things must be confronted. If they aren’t, they will fester.
Clawing exists in the bleak backyard of the mind, dealing with the darkness through the outpouring of music, which is as black and as oily as tar, but nonetheless being a positive outlet for a negative hive, coming face-to-face with heartache-issues and poisons from the past – things that have haunted and troubled the artists for life – and exorcizing them with a merciless fury until the skull of the thing disintegrates within their grip, floating to the ground like butterfly wings of onyx and ash.
Garbled sounds fall into disrepair and stumble through the corridors. The Slaughterhouse music crunches deep, coiling sounds together without mercy, snapping like old, dry bones. Instead of being censored, blood is left as a stain on the record. It’s raw and it’s just how life is. You can’t always sugar-coat that shit. A fierce distortion begins to yawn, exposing its needle-like fangs – back off, keep away, it warns. It wraps you up in the cold sweat of night terrors; a haunted house from childhood, not occupied with spirits but with an abusive father from whom there is no escape, where even the halls and stairs of what should’ve been a comforting place – a place of safety and of love – are ridden with wrongness, the walls doing a Shirley Jackson as they drip with the slimy sap of negativity and turmoil.
Don’t play this at a wedding or when you’re on your way to Disney World. It plays the music that is so often quickly buried…let’s not talk about that…let’s move on…but you can’t, because it’s still there, lying underneath it all, dormant but with eyes wide open. Clawing is real and raw, and that’s what makes it so powerful; it shivers with real episodes, the Earth just a ball of rock spinning through nothing, an isolated sphere in a frightening reality. Matt Finney’s spoken word cuts through to the bone while the deep, subterranean drones snake and slice through the darkened atmosphere. The claws make deep incisions.
This is more horrifying than the house in House of Leaves, worse than an Amityville horror. Shockingly – justifiably – it supports the tagline Based On True Events.