This is probably the best rock album that you have never heard. I am fairly new to this band having heard my very first Clutch song, ‘10001110101′, earlier this year on the ‘Hard Rock’ station in my area. I take pride in the fact that some of my friends come to me from time to time to see what I’m listening to. I feel like I’ve let myself and my friends down because I do not know how this album and this band had slipped past me. I was extremely lucky to come across ‘Blast Tyrant’ on the MP3 downloading program that I use ‘occasionally’. I downloaded this album and burned it immediately to a disc. I listened to it in my car on my way to a party that night and it got me going. I loved it so much that I bought their latest record ‘Robot Hive/Exodus’ the next day. After that, I had made a personal quest to hear every Clutch album that was out there. I have listened to the majority of their releases and I have to say that ‘Blast Tyrant’ is definitely my favorite (‘Pure Rock Fury’ takes a close second). ‘Blast Tyrant’ sure could be considered their most polished album to date but song for song it kicks the most ass too. If you have just discovered Clutch then I would start here with this album because it doesn’t get any better. These guys are THE greatest rock and roll band in the country and it is a damn shame that they aren’t in every set of headphones in America.
As good as Orgy’s 1998 debut Candyass was, Vapor Transmission (2000) kicks things up a notch. The Los Angeles-based five-piece goes straight for the jugular this time, abandoning new wave covers and creating a few fresh classics along the way. The result sounds like Depeche Mode after several consecutive viewings of Blade Runner: edgy, moody, and armed to the teeth with enough sonic bombast to jumpstart techno-goth fans everywhere. Vocalist Jay Gordon’s hoarse histrionics are perfect for the band’s surreal paranoia and lust; imagine a romanticism with room for lyrics such as ”Transglobal spectacle with post mortem and fame / Popsicle cannibal, can you hear me?” The production by Skinny Puppy’s Dave ”Rave” Ogilvie is a bright purple fluid that turns Orgy’s blood into a deep murk, dark but dazzling. While Nine Inch Nails and Marilyn Manson may be the most prominent techno-rockers, Orgy’s Transmissions are louder and clearer.–Jason Josephes
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Been a clutch fan since first seein them locally 15 years ago. The live performance was something I’ve never experienced before in my 200 some odd concerts. It honestly was rapture. The cd’s started filling my shelf immediately. Then after Elephant Riders I kinda eased up on the music scene. But then a few months ago I decided to check up on what Clutch had been making. I bought Exodus and Blast Tyrant. HOLY CRAP!
This band is beyond phenomenal. Blast Tyrant may be the best album I’ve ever experienced…ditto Exodus(but thats for another review). Clutch may be the greatest band ever and yet the least recognized as great…and I go back to the early 70’s with my listening.
What can I say about this album. It’s incredible…It’s powerful…It’s cosmic…It’s funky…It’s simply unbelievable pure hard rock from the soul.
Anyone who doesn’t know Clutch but is considering them…stop! Go Buy this NOW! Those who know Clutch…DAMN!!!
It kicks off with a blast of standard classic sounding Clutch with Mercury. Hard…Attacking…In your face.
Then it transforms into a nice driven wah’d out ominous Profits of Doom. Simply an excellent song with so much power mixed in with creeping riffs its scary.
The Mob Goes wild is a nice third. Crunchy Punchy song with an excellent chorus. Some words are goofy(and political, who cares) but thats a clutch standard. Great Chorus…sick.
Cypress Grove is just a classic. Old sound Clutch. Scary crazy lyrics about evil women. The setup just births another perfect chorus that rips you out of your seat and throws you across the room. Holy Diver where you at? One of My favorites on the album.
Then comes Promoter…OH!!!…The words…the way they roll off Neils tongue like a greased jackhammer. The chorus doesn’t catch like the previous songs, but the song overall is great.
Then theres the change of pace with the forlorn desolate The Regulator…reminiscent of Zeppelins No Quarter. Spooky mysterious…with another old style clutch chorus. They just keep coming on this album.
Then Worm Drink…nice funk…maybe my favorite on the album, if its possible to choose a favorite off of a complete album like this. Awwoooooo!!! This is a funky song with a sweeping mosh groove chorus and a ripping tearing burning guitar riff in the middle mixed with passion lyrics and werewolf howls. These guys are insane!
Army of Bono next…politico-biblical mania shot at you like a cannon with nice harmonies and then a seperate ending that completes the song nicely.
Spleen Merchant is a kicking shouter that continues the onslaught of riffs, not letting you even think about pausing…you’re stuck in this wall of sound with no way out.
Swollen Goat follows…purposefully awkward but good with a decent chorus…maybe the weakest on the album IMO, but thats only because everything else is so damn good. It’s actually a good song, but an 8 on an album of 9’s and 10’s
Weather Maker…a little transitional ditty thats just odd, not really a song…but somehow it fits. Nothing special…filler.
Then the groovy swinging Subtle Hustle…it’s smooth as mothers butter. It really is.
Then it kicks down to a nice acoustic Ghost with Pink Floydish keyboard overtones…that aquires a heavy melodic bass beat along the way, before dropping down into maybe the best chorus on this album…passionate and foreboding. It gives me chills. Love this.
La Curandera next…a bit Ozzy sounding at first…but then a very cool riff based center that makes the song.
Finishes off perfectly with the voiceless repetative but sublimely groovy Wysiwyg…kinda takes me back to the 70’s.
Absolutely incredible album….incredible!
You positively must have this album…or miss out on a musical experience like nothing else in decades…maybe ever.
IMO Clutch’s best work, followed closely by Exodus…just phenomenal. Get both.
I bow in reverence to these true geniuses of musicianship.
A few years ago, my guitar teacher at the time recommended several bands he thought I should be listening to. One of them was Clutch. With that I went out and purchased a few albums…I was hooked almost instantly.Clutch has been around for over a decade and has amassed a large collection of releases. Most fans, including myself, will agree that their best work was their self-titled release (1995). I feel that subsequent releases were lacking something. “The Elephant Riders” was a solid record but seemed to lack a certain energy. “Jam Room” seemed too short and bland for me. “Pure Rock Fury” was a fairly good record, but nothing outstanding. “Blast Tyrant”, while it isn’t as good as or better than the self-titled in my opinion, is several large steps in the right direction and may rank as my second favorite release from them.The tracks on this album are much faster and heavier than the last several albums. While there aren’t too many “standout” tracks, the album functions incredibly well as a whole. The production is fantastic. (Although some people complain about overproduction…if you want to hear stripped-down versions of the songs go see them live) Neil Fallon’s harsh vocal style is a bit more refined and sounds excellent on the record. Tim Sult’s guitar riffs seem more simplified than on earlier releases but still remain huge chunks of sonic delight. The rhythm section of Dan Maines on bass and Jean-Paul Gaster on drums bring everything together into one extraordinary package. Even the bizarre artwork is a sight to behold. The CD package unfolds into a landscape, and the lyric booklet contains illustrations of the characters featured in the songs.”Mercury” opens the album with over a minute of heavy instrumental-ness before the vocals kick in. An excellent choice for an opener. “Profits of Doom” is a little more groovy while still remaining very catchy.”The Mob Goes Wild” is the current single. It’s a catchy song but not one of my favorites. There’s a few political jabs here and there but nothing to get riled up about.”Cypress Grove” is a heavy song with a cowbell added to the percussion. How can you not love a song with cowbell?”Promoter” is a hard-hitting, headbanging slab of rock. Probably the heaviest song on the album. They’ve been playing this song for two years, and I was horridly sick of it until I heard the album version. The keyboards (especially evident in the intro) add atmosphere to the track.”The Regulator” features acoustic guitars and a slowed-down drum beat. A nice little breather from the heavy songs preceeding it. The only problem is that Neil’s singing voice isn’t spectacular and doesn’t compliment the track as well as it probably should.”Worm Drink” is a funky little number that doesn’t grab my attention as much as it probably should. This introduces one of the many characters that make up the theme of the album, a demon who’s fed up with evil and war. This track is a bit bizarre due to Neil’s howling throughout.”Army of Bono” is my favorite track on the album. I’ve loved this song since its early days when it was known as “Walpole Man”. The drums are hard hitting, the guitar riffs are incredibly catchy and Neil’s vocals paint a vivid picture of a military-ruled society controlled by a “smoking Irish fly”. (Or at least that’s what I get out of it) Props to Neil for successfully using the word “stigmata” in a song.”Spleen Merchant” is an eccentric song with heavy riffs and lyrics about cadavers and cannibalism.”The Swollen Goat” is the name of the ship commanded by the antagonist, the Blast Tyrant. It’s a song about pirates doing pirate things… pillaging, looting and destroying things. Definitely in the vein of the earlier classics, “Big News I” and “Big News II”.”Weather Maker” is a waste of 47 seconds in my opinion.”Subtle Hustle” is a catchy track that sounds like something a gospel choir might sing if it was on drugs. Or something.”Eulogy for a Ghost” is another acoustic, depressing track on the subject of death. Not a great track in my opinion.”La Curandera” has evolved over the past two years into an epic song based on the Salem Witch Trials. La Curandera is prosecuted as a witch and is sent to be executed. The song completely changes halfway through, which still bothers me. Nonetheless, both halves are incredible.”WYSIWYG” is an interesting guitar-keyboard jam that reminds me of Pink Floyd for one reason or another. Not the best way to end the album but it’s a decent track.So while I don’t consider this to be Clutch’s greatest release, it’s still an incredible album that I’d recommend to anyone who’s a fan of hard rock. If you can only own one Clutch record, I’d suggest the self-titled release. If you can only on two, I say get this one too.Post-script: The CD is labelled as ‘enhanced’ but doesn’t contain the enhanced features it was originally intended to due to time constraints.
Anyone who says that this is not representative of Clutch is missing the point.First, I think the slow bluesy songs are a refreshing addition to their sound and they are most definitely Clutch songs. Even their hard songs have always been blues based, if you can’t hear that then you just don’t know music. All they did was slow the tempo down and used acoustic guitars for a couple of songs.Second, anyone saying that this is not as good as Clutch’s past albums is also missing the point. This is by far the best album they have done since their second, self-titled album in terms of every song being high-quality (there’s not a bad song on the CD) and the fact that they are trying new things like the use of Hammond organ and the blues songs. A band should try new things and expand their sound yes? Or should they just crank out the same album again and again?Add to this that they have not sold out by softening their sound, they still jam as hard as ever and have basically gone MORE underground by signing with an indie label and doing a bizarre concept album. This is the best rock band playing right now and the only true heavy metal we have today. Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, all born again in Clutch. This CD deserves to become a classic that people will still be jamming out to in smoke filled living rooms for in 20 years.Finally, what’s with the guy who said something about “anti-christian lyrics?” Where do you get that? It’s a FICTIONAL story about FICTIONAL characters. What’s anti-christian about it?
Clutch has never failed to disappoint me when I’m in the mood for some head-banging, testosterone-laden riff-rock, and this latest album is no exception. Simply put, nobody combines heaviness, musicianship, and originality like these guys, positioning them as an ideal antidote to the endless waves of emasculated whining emanating from the radio. Like every other Clutch release, Blast Tyrant is an insanely infectious, fiercely original groove monster of an album that never fails to betray the sound of a bunch of guys who love what they do. For all their technical perfection and rip-roaring heaviness, that’s really what makes Clutch such a great band: they never sound like they were sentenced to play music, or like they write songs to exorcise personal demons or any other such nonsense. They just churn out album after album of their own brand of uncompromising sonic stomp, and for that we should be thankful.
While it’s not quite as ambitious or wide-ranging as its predecessor, Pure Rock Fury, this album still manages to surpass its predecessor thanks to its supremely focused songwriting and tight ensemble playing. Tim Sult’s guitar playing has become even funkier than before, Jean-Paul Gaster’s drumming jazzier, and Dan Maines’s basslines even more thunderous. Towering over everything are the massive, gravelly vocals of the one and only Neil Fallon, whose frightening yowl is surely among the most distinctive voices in all of heavy music. With Neil in front, Blast Tyrant always hits hard, even during the acoustic-tinged tracks Regulator and Ghost and the quirky closing jam Wysiwyg. Unfortunately, Clutch don’t seem to get mentioned all that often when the discussion turns to the world’s best heavy bands, but they should be, dammit. Blast Tyrant is easily among the best albums of the year. Period.