May 13, 2024

For those unfamiliar, Bat is the speed-punk side project of Ryan Waste and Nick Poulos from Municipal Waste. Their debut full length Wings Of Chains came out in 2026, followed by the Axestasy EP three years later. Under The Crooked Claw, which will hurt your ears next Friday, is the band’s first album for Nuclear Blast and the first with their new drummer Chris Charge.

The comparisons with Municipal Waste are inevitable, but we have to say straight away that Bat is a different beast. The music is much more influenced by punk and Motörhead, with a street attitude and a dirty sound and production. The solos a shorter and sharper and the overall feeling is of the soundtrack to bottles smashed, sweaty battle vests and lips bruised from an off-the-rails pogo. One more distinctive difference is the dominating presence of Ryan’s bass, which is much louder than in MW. The twelve songs after the short intro are brimming with brutal energy and it would be hard to point out particular tracks because they all form an entity of pure headbanging frenzy. Almost every song features a short but sweet guitar solo, which adds musicality and melody to the speed metal blitzkrieg marriage of early Venom and the most metallized recordings of The Exploited and Discharge.

Vampyre Lore, Just Buried, Marauders Of Doom, Final Strike…. these are all fantastic speed metal hymns, very old school, but performed with great conviction and knowledge of what the fans would love most. It is obvious that Bat are diehard fans of early speed metal themselves and they live and breathe this type of music. This is an album by the fans, for the fans and even if it hardly offers something new or original, it still is really enjoyable. The songs are similar in structure and some of the riffs can sound a bit repetitive, but clocking it at just over 35 minutes, Under The Crooked Claw is the perfect daily dose of metal radicalism in our day-to-day routine.

8,5/10


Bat in Facebook

Under The Crooked Claw is out on May 17th via Nuclear Blast and you can order it from HERE