By Lane Oliver
Are they referring to giant fighting mollusks or giant fighting female genitalia? Or is Clamfight just one big inside joke? I do not know for sure but what I do know is that their most recent effort, I Versus the Glacier, will please most fans of the stoner metal genre. So let’s retrieve the anchor and set sail with those two busty Viking women on the cover to a land of massive grooves and silly band names.
Clamfight’s music is stoner metal at its finest. The opening song, “The Eagle”, pretty much launches you into a realm of steady paced, mindfully placed sludgy southern metal inspired riffs that are dripping with bong water and the blood of those too weak to stand against these mighty slabs of metallic sound. Each of the album’s nine tracks carries the sludge metal torch over into the next track with confidence and pride. “Sandriders”, the next track, takes what “The Eagle” started and upgrades it into a massive sludge metal masterpiece. The song scales sky high peaks with huge, down tuned tremolo picked verses and masterful solos. The track eventually breaks down into a head crushing, chugging riff that feels as if a Viking axe is being swung upon you over and over and over. While most of the songs verge upon the stoner, sludge and doom categories, some songs tinker with hard rock and southern metal. Songs like title track and “Stealing the Ghost Horse” feature these extremely catchy, Black Sabbath-esque grooves that hearken back to the earlier days of metal like the music of the aforementioned Sabbath, Deep Purple and the like.
I Versus the Glacier does feature some pretty good jams but the album as a whole falls short of being stellar. As the album progressed I felt that each track relied on a central riff that was utilized way too often and ended up making the songs feel uncomfortably repetitive. I felt that after the fourth track, the songs began to blend with one another and nothing jumped out or surprised me. Clamfight’s stoner metal anthems began to wither and the album’s forty-eight minute length felt like an eternity to me.
But this is my opinion of course. I believe a lot of you will enjoy I Versus the Glacier’s towering sludge filled songs. I did enjoy a few tracks here and there but the entire album just wasn’t for me. If you have forty-eight minutes to spare and like staring at half naked cartoon women, then give I Versus the Glacier a shot.
Label: Maple Forum
Release Date: January 22nd, 2013
Favorite Tracks: “Sandriders”, “Shadow Line” and “Mountain”
For fans of: Corrosion of Conformity, Sleep, Electric Wizard and Kyuss.