“Hate Yourself With Style” by Clawfinger

Artist: Clawfinger
Title: “Hate Yourself With Style”
Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Release Date: 11/18/2005
Genre: Rap/Thrash Metal
Rating: 3.5/5

Rap influenced Metal is usually held strong over the fire these days and rightly so if it follows in the footsteps of rubbish like Limp Bizkit. However when it comes to the guys in Clawfinger it clearly merits a second or third listen before you simply dismiss it as more of a tired aspect of the Metal genre. The band is Swedish and was actually formed in 1988 and while they do possess some Rap overtones in the way that the lyrics flow, there is also a larger presence of Old School Thrash mixed with the conventional Metal poundings of today. Lyrically the band chooses to tackle issues like homophobia and sexism and one can find what they feel about the topics in songs like “The Faggot In You” and “Right To Rape” – its content that is definitely more socially aware than a band that sings about doing it all for the nookie or breaking stuff. The music is pretty heavy throughout and this is where I think they will keep the everyday Metal head pleased and with some of the vocals by Zak Tell sounding slightly like Corey Taylor of Slipknot there is also a chance that their fan base might enjoy some of what is happening here. There is a really heavy overtone of the US branded Nu-Metal in this group and it surprised me that they were actually Swedish. It really sounds nothing like that which has been coming out of the region in as far as Gothenburg or Melodic Power Metal. To be honest I have never really enjoyed the fact that rapping made its way into Heavy Metal music but these guys don’t overuse it with this, their sixth actual release and first for Nuclear Blast Records. Yet when the title track of “HYWS” began I found myself feeling the need to mosh but opted to keep typing the review instead. There were a couple of points where they reminded me of some other groups as I found some Faith No More around the album as well as some Candlebox at one point and while this is probably just my imagination it is not meant as an insult to what the guys were doing here. “The Best And The Worst” reminded me of that latter bands signature tune and it’s never bad when a group reminds you of a song you like.

It really is a recording that will make you want to glance at the lyric sheet when they hit “Right To Rape” as it speaks against the injustice that is often found in such cases. The line of “he clears his name and she gets the blame, if a woman raped a man would the verdict be the same” is quite the heavy line and definitely makes you think. The band does not let organized religion get a break either as they announce that “God Is Dead” during the albums closing number. The keyboard intro makes this a very moody piece on the album. As they say that “god is dead and just a force inside your head” is bound to send some over zealous religious to the streets protesting the bands very existence. Old School Hardcore gets its own with “Breakout” as it utilized that pounding riff and drum pattern along with a really memorable chorus passage. The band is rounded out by Jocke Skog (keyboards), Bard Torstensen (guitars), Andre Skaug (bass) and Henka Johansson (drums). It’s a solid listen and one that surprised me given my hesitation on this area of the genre. If you like the music heavy and the topics socially relevant and causing discussion the give this release by Clawfinger a listen.

Track Listing:
1. The Faggot In You
2. Hate Yourself With Style
3. Dirty Lies
4. The Best & The Worst
5. Breakout (Embrace The Child Inside You)
6. Right To Rape
7. What We’ve Got Is What You’re Getting
8. Sick Of Myself
9. Hypocrite
10. Without A Case
11. God Is Dead

Official Website: www.clawfinger.net

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