Album Review: Clayshaper – Vampiric (Self Released)

Vampiric is a new gothic death metal album by Clayshaper. As the name implies, it explores themes and tales regarding the living dead. Of those who follow strangers in the night. Of those afflicted by the curse of the vampire.

Says Clayshaper:

One hundred years ago the iconic vampire film ‘Nosferatu’ was released. This dark and gritty depiction of beings beyond death is as relevant as it’s ever been and certainly a big inspiration for Vampiric. This is very apparent in the music video for the title track on the album.

Vampiric will be released digitally everywhere May 27th, 2022.

A horror-laden, gothic-toned blast of death metal, Vampiric is more than the sum of its parts. It’s an album about vampires, so you know it’s going to be dark but the depths that Clayshaper sink too will still surprise. It’s a heavy album, not just instrumentally either, as the vocals are throaty and gurgle as though the lungs are filled with blood.

It’s all about the tone though and Clayshaper make this one feel dangerously evil. From the Prologue that Clayshaper says is:

An eerie recording of an old Swedish cittra I inherited.It was covered in cobwebs when I found it in my family home. The blackened and cracked instrument is at least from the turn of the 20th century. A fitting introduction.

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To the misshapen but painful claws that dig in deeply with Town Bell, the monumentally cold and chilling qualities of Hex Rite, the repellent and guttural heaviness of Graveyard Ecdysis and the melodic wandering that Sunrise Cult has the mind focus on.

At the halfway point, the makeup of this album is a lot clearer and one of the most intriguing things is the cleaner guitar riffs. Giving this death metal sound a fresher and less ‘heard it all before’ vibe.

It’s that and the burst of energy that keeps the interest high as Clayshaper doubles down on the gothic grandeur with Blood Healer before the rousing death metal heaviness of Barrowborn thrills and chills in equal measures. It’s this combo, the difference between tracks like this, ones which still sound perfectly placed on this album of vampiric tales, that makes this album a resounding success.

The latter portion of the album; Forest Regalia, the title track, Spirit Linked and The Coveted Nectar doesn’t make any extensive shifts to the winning formula Clayshaper has created. Instead, it’s just further dark descents and more capturing of the blood-thirsty imagination. Something that really deserves praise as Clayshaper have moulded the imagery while not being too on the nose with the ‘vampire’ side of things. Depending on your experience, you can get different results and feel different things.

Which is the best thing really. Vampiric makes you feel, even if the blood runs cold in your veins.

Clayshaper – Vampiric Full Track Listing:

1. Prologue
2. Town Bell
3. Hex Rite
4. Graveyard Ecdysis
5. Sunrise Cult
6. Blood Healer
7. Barrowborn
8. Forest Regalia
9. Vampiric
10. Spirit Linked
11. The Coveted Nectar


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  • Carl Fisher

    Owner/Administrator/Editor/Writer/Interviewer/YouTuber - you name it, I do it. I love gaming, horror movies, and all forms of heavy metal and rock. I'm also a Discworld super-fan and love talking all things Terry Pratchett. Do you wanna party? It's party time!

Clayshaper – Vampiric (Self Released)
  • The Final Score - 8/10
User Review
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