19 Feb 2020

Remember Me? | Join | Recover
Click here to sign in via social networking

Claemus - Singles Review: 'Rule of Two' and 'Progenitor'

16 May 2019 // A review by Kris Raven

Hutt Valley's finest, Claemus, have just dropped the first two singles from their forthcoming EP. If the singles and previous works are anything to go by then our ears are in for some of the finest progressive rock/metal this year.

The first single Rule of Two is a 6-minute master class of epic proportions. The song has the heaviness of Gojira with the ambient stroke and cleaner elements of Karnivool's third album Asymmetry, which is one hell of a mix. Beginning with a discordant chug intro, its broody half time feel carries a lot of groove, featured throughout the song. Lead vocalist & Guitarist Taylor Hemson's vocals are introduced in the second accompanied by a pleasant balance of finger picked melodic guitar with harmonious guitar strokes, the guitars interweaving while the rhythm section holds down the foundation. Like many progressive bands, the song is less verse to chorus and repeat structure but more a series of parts that ascend and descend flawlessly with a mix of heavy crunchy riffs and ambient beautiful melodies.

I would highly recommend checking out their video for this song, detailing intricate parts of the guitars, time signature changes and how the china cymbal hits from drummer Kit Jenkins exemplify the rhythmic structure. Guitarist Dan Hayston supports with clean backing vocals while bassist Kerry Mitchell with the harsher tones, it really just adds those exciting extra layers. A longer ambient section follows showcasing bassist Mitchell's bass techniques as well as the addition of synth. My favourite part of the song comes in around the 4 minute, 15 second mark, where lead guitarist Hayston sweeps over the breakdown, while exceptionally technical it's also super catchy and melodic as it rides over the heaviness of the rhythm guitar and sweet bass slaps. A roller coaster of a song, Claemus showcase phenomenal writing and technical proficiency from each member throughout.

The second single Progenitor is perhaps the catchier of the two. Beginning with an open delayed riff with the other guitar flowing across and subtle keys, the emotive vocals then come in with the drums and bass. Like the previous song, Claemus create intricate timing structures with bass and drum rhythmic play between. The song reminds me a little of newer Periphrey, moving between the stunning clean ambient sections and the heavy double kick fest, all guitars and bass completely locked into the rhythm. Once again we are treated to another mid-section piece of glorious lead guitar with the earlier keyboards lingering in the background making the song pop even more. This song also features screamed/harsh vocals which are really clear, a little reminiscent of Aaron Turner of Isis the Band, adding another next level of depth and change.

The final piece of the song after some soaring vocals from Hemson, goes into overdrive, climaxing in layers of chugging guitars and off beat prog heaviness. What I love about the production and writing of these songs is how every member shines throughout, often complimenting other parts but not overplaying.

Production comes in the form of the band, mixing by Zorran Mendonsa (New Way Home, Seas of Conflict) and mastering by Forrester Savall (Karnivool, City of Souls). A fantastic team and mix of production qualities that really amplify the songs complexities. Like I have said in previous reviews, the level of depth, composition, skill and just overall quality coming from the NZ metal and rock scene is insane, be sure to catch Claemus on the Crooked Royals tour and follow them for their new EP, you will be blown away!

Rating: ( 5 / 5 )

About Claemus

The underlying ethos in Claemus has been to fuse the musical influences of three musicians coming from classic rock, Avante garde and death metal backgrounds.

Starting in late 2011 the band aimed to achieve new sonic possibilities in the progressive rock genre by fusing ambient textural sounds, deep rhythmic grooves and catchy hooks. With influences ranging from Karnivool, Mudvayne, God is an Astronaut and Shpongle it is clear that Claemus want to be defined by a musical approach rather than a particular genre. Claemus’ musical approach can be characterised by a philosophy that aims to give each song a unique feeling often resulting in varying dynamics, time signatures and key changes in the one song.

Claemus has been together for five years and are based in the Hutt Valley which is a largely suburban area located outside of Wellington. The experience of growing up in a small town with an uncultured stereotype attached to it has served as serious musical inspiration. Instead of adhering to the stereotype ascribed by outsiders, the band aims to encourage youth to pursue creative outlets and be proud of their roots. Pursuing a creative outlet has enabled Claemus to slowly become an exciting band on the rise within the Wellington scene.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Claemus


Year: 2016
Type: EP

Other Reviews By Kris Raven

Secrets Of The Sun - Single Review: Wretched Tracks
13 Feb 2020 // by Kris Raven
It’s always a good thing to hear of new music coming from the nation's capital, having been the hub of such huge and varying artists. However, in recent years there seems to have been a steady increase in bands and artists calling it a day.
Streakers - Single Review: Saturated
14 Oct 2019 // by Kris Raven
Christchurch 3 Piece Alternative Rock and roll machine Streakers have recently dropped their new single Saturated. The song takes me back to the 90’s, with the sounds of big chunky guitar riffs, pounding Grohl-esque drums and unique vocal stylings.
Lakius - Single Review: Kaos High
25 Sep 2019 // by Kris Raven
Auckland 3-piece metal outfit Lakius have recently dropped their second single Kaos High, which is currently available in all the usual places. Formed from the ashes of long standing Kiwi metal act Broken Season, they have delivered a raw, aggressive and pummeling slab of 90’s influenced heavy music in the form of Kaos High.
Sex Beard - Single Review: Undress for Success
18 Sep 2019 // by Kris Raven
One of Christchurch’s (possibly the only) most notorious sexiest bearded quartets Sex Beard have just released their follow up single to Hauraki Radio’s Anthem Wakachangi Baby entitled Undress for Success. A song that is perfect for busting out your hip swinging moves, drinking a beer, rocking out and singing loud.
The First Child - Single Review: Vore
11 Sep 2019 // by Kris Raven
Auckland 5 piece REI (not to be confused with Rei the NZ Hip-Hop artist) have just released their debut single Vore. Crossing genre lines by blending mathcore and emo is no easy feat but this is an example of original fusion done well and sounding unique.
Seas of Conflict - Single Review: Prometheus/Eventide
28 Aug 2019 // by Kris Raven
For anyone familiar with Seas of Conflict’s live shows, you will know that throughout the last year Prometheus has been the song that has been leaving fans in awe, pummelled by its sheer brutality. It is one of their heaviest songs to date and a crowd favourite with many people eagerly waiting for the song to be recorded.
Outside In - Single Review: Blue Dragon
01 Aug 2019 // by Kris Raven
Auckland 5-piece Outside In have just released their third single Blue Dragon from their upcoming debut album. The progressive rock quintet has been busy this year after taking a lengthy sabbatical, reintroducing NZ audiences to their intellectually crafted brand of alternative prog rock.
Pale Flag - EP Review: Emergence
25 Jul 2019 // by Kris Raven
Auckland’s Pale Flag are about to release their debut EP Emergence, which is aptly named considering their already stacked gigging CV. Having released their brutal first single In This Moment, their growing fan base can expect to hear 6 brand new heavy af bangers.
View All Articles By Kris Raven

NZ Top 10 Singles

    Roddy Ricch
    Dua Lipa
    The Weeknd
    Tones And I
    Justin Bieber
    Justin Bieber feat. Quavo
    Lewis Capaldi
    Eminem feat. Juice WRLD
View the Full NZ Top 40...
muzic.net.nz Logo
100% New Zealand Music
All content on this website is copyright to muzic.net.nz and other respective rights holders. Redistribution of any material presented here without permission is prohibited.
Report a ProblemReport A Problem