Most metal fans know that South America is a hotbed for all kinds of heavy metal. Brazil is no exception. Clenched Fist rises from Sao Paulo with their debut album The Gift of Death, on France's Inferno Records.
Making no apologies for being old school, Clenched Fist plays traditional Eighties melodic heavy metal, with appropriate doses of speed metal. At times they reminded me of an interesting mixture of Manilla Road and Iron Maiden, without the experimentation of the former and the progressive nuances of the latter.
Fundamentally, the get roots and basics of traditional heavy metal. While many track were galloping metal like The Signal, Speed Metal Attack (duh), and Burning the Holy Gate, I favored the steadier pieces which temper the speed with a more epic feel. These included Spirit of the Dead, Old School Avenger, And Codex Gigas. There's a lot solid and fiery guitar work here, one of Clenched Fist's strengths. Conversely, the mix is rather soft, even muted, across the entire album. If by design, then it gives The Gift of Death a true old school feeling.
By conclusion, The Gift of Death is a solid album from a promising band that 'gets' and executes traditional melodic heavy metal quite well. Better production would only make the band even better. Recommended.