I don't care how much a few songs from this Iron Claw album resembles the mighty Black Sabbath- Iron Claw is a mighty fine rock band. Besides, I'd say this band is based more in the blues (excluding the lengthy jam on Sabbath's debut album, of course). "Claustrophobia"... oh I'm sorry "CLAWstrophobia" contains some mighty heavy guitar riffs for its time. Yes it's true you will hear similarities and comparisons ranging from Cream to Deep Purple to Black Sabbath, but I honestly could care less. The fact I'm the first person to review this album is totally amazing to me. This album doesn't deserve to be forgotten, and it's a darn shame it has.
You mean to tell me there's like, THOUSANDS of stoner rock Black Sabbath wannabe bands out there today, and *those* bands are getting more recognition than this Iron Claw album? That makes absolutely ZERO sense. Excuse me if I don't believe that's very fair. According to the description, Iron Claw used to cover Black Sabbath songs back in the day. That would have been something to see through a live experience. Actually that's pretty amazing considering Black Sabbath was just tagged as another rock band back in the early 70's so you'd think their recognition was limited to only small bar bands.
Another band that used to cover Sabbath material was the Flower Travellin' Band but something tells me those guys couldn't cover Sabbath material as believably as Iron Claw could. Just a gut feeling of mine. Of course today we recognize Sabbath for all their innovations and Iommi's ahead of its time distinctive guitar tone, but back in the day, let's just say, it's really awesome at least SOMEBODY out there was paying close attention to Black Sabbath enough to cover their material. Anyway, while listening to Iron Claw, you will probably pick up many Sabbath similarities. I've spotted a few myself. However that's it- only a few similarities here and there, mostly in the beginning. Otherwise Iron Claw was probably listening to Slade (due to the drastic change in rock style that occurs in the second half more fitting for glam rock), John Kay from Steppenwolf (sometimes the lead singer perhaps unintentionally sounds like John Kay in a few spots), Wishbone Ash when they began to turn commercial in the early to mid 70's, and you know I wouldn't even rule out King Crimson during some of the more atmospheric/creepy moments. Throw in melodic flutes and harmonica and yeah, these guys were in fact the real deal.
One track sounds like the speeding up part of the title track "Black Sabbath" from their debut, another song contains tempo changes amazingly similar to "Hands of Doom", while another similarity I immediately noticed was the guitar jam at the end of "Lord of this World" used for a track on this Iron Claw album. Now these aren't note for note ripoffs or anything, and who knows? Perhaps I'm just paying *too* close attention and I'm completely off with my comparisons. Hey I admit I could be. But seriously, listen to this band thoroughly and the Sabbath comparisons will surely fade as the band ventures their songwriting down other territories.
I'd say another band Iron Claw resembles would be Jethro Tull. The flutes, and even some of the guitar solos remind me of early Jethro Tull. Actually listen to the guitar playing from Minstrel in the Gallery and you might hear some similarities. Of course that album came out way after this one, so maybe Jethro Tull was listening to these guys. Of course many of us are aware of the Black Sabbath/Jethro Tull connections concerning Tony Iommi, but that's irrelevant in this particular case. Unless Iron Claw used to tour with those bands back in the day.
Anyway, ENOUGH comparisons. On its own, the majority of this Iron Claw album is some of the finest early hard rock combined with a touch of blues you will ever hear. The vocals become better with repeated listens, and the entire album just has a ton of replay value. PLEASE! Someone else out there review this album so I'm not the only one.