“Ever since a young age, I was fascinated by heavier, harder music.”
By Mike Shanley
Blue Clutch’s personal brand of metal – with dropped tuned power chords and strong female vocals — has drawn comparisons ranging from Tool to Evanescence to Black Sabbath. That’s just fine with guitarist/vocalist Sarah E. Halter because she cut her teeth on music like that. “Ever since a young age, I was fascinated by heavier, harder music. The first time I heard Evanescence’s ‘Bring Me to Life,’ I thought, wow, this is awesome. This is like a really heavy band and this really amazing female singer, a singer other than your average male rock singer. It just really spoke to me. And as I grew older there were just like other signs – you want to make music, you want to play guitar, you want to get on stage.”
Halter and drummer Lia Silverbeams started the band in early 2016 with bassist Rich Kastory. The original lineup included a keyboardist and played a more straightahead rock style, but they eventually settled on the trio lineup and went for a heavier sound. Silent Oblivion, the album that they release this weekend, brings the elements of their sound together.
Halter, who has also performed solo as a singer-songwriter, brings a melodic sense to the music, with a strong voice that doesn’t deviate into metal shrieks. She also avoids excessive lightning-fast guitar leads in favor of meatier solos and heavy power chords. Silverbeams also gets a gravelly vocal spotlight on “Tha Cheet.”
Although Silent Oblivion isn’t quite a concept album, Halter says it has an overarching lyrical theme. “All the songs really bring forth the idea of the title track, which is like everybody has silence in their life,” she says. “In whatever area it is, just try to recognize areas that you need to speak out, that you need to grow. Don’t just be spinning an oblivion of self-doubt.”
The trio has been working on the album for over a year, perfecting the disc’s blend of shorter pieces and longer works. Reflecting on the upcoming release show, Halter says, “It’s almost surreal because this is something that the three of us have been working on for a long time and we’ve been working so hard. It’s honestly something that I feel like I’ve been working towards all my life, personally. It’s a very personal thing to all of us in our own way.”