Eric Clayton

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Not to be confused with Eric Clapton.
Eric Clayton
Born December 1, 1967 (1967-12) (age 48)
Origin California, United States
Genres Symphonic metal
Gothic metal
Christian metal
Occupation(s) Singer-songwriter, producer
Instruments Vocals
Years active 1989 onward,
Labels Currently unsigned
Frontline Records (1990–1994)
MCM Music, Massacre Records (1994–2006)
Associated acts Saviour Machine, Eva O, Ayreon, Divinefire, Narnia, Veni Domine, Seventh Circle

Eric Clayton (born December 1, 1967) is an American singer-songwriter and musician, best known for his work in the influential gothic symphonic metal group Saviour Machine which he formed with his brother Jeff Clayton in 1989. Eric Clayton is notable for his deep baritone operatic vocals, and he has done guest vocals on Ayreon's album The Human Equation, Divinefire's album Glory Thy Name, Narnia's album The Great Fall, Wedding Party's album Anthems, and Eva O's album Damnation (Ride the Madness) as well as Seventh Circle's album "The Struggle." Clayton also produced the two aforementioned albums as well as many Saviour Machine albums. In September 2015 he performed in The Human Equation Theater Experience by Ayreon in the Netherlands, reprising his role as "Reason" from the 2004 Ayreon-album.[1] Clayton is known for his theatrical live performances and dark, peculiar appearances and masks.[2][3]

Saviour Machine[edit]

Main article: Saviour Machine

Eric Clayton's most ambitious work has been Saviour Machine, which released two studio albums Saviour Machine I (1993) and Saviour Machine II (1994) before starting the Legend trilogy that strictly focuses on the end times, Book of Revelation and prophecies about the biblical apocalypse. The band has also released a compilation album titled Synopsis (2003), the live albums Live in Deutschland 1995 and Live in Deutschland 2002. Both were also filmed and released on VHS and DVD format. The band was originally signed to Christian metal label Frontline Records but gothic metal in all its visual appearance was misunderstood in US Christian scenes, and eventually Saviour Machine began work with MCM Music and Massacre Records, labels based in Germany where the band was more popular than in US. In 1997 Saviour Machine performed at Wacken Open Air, the biggest exclusively metal music festival in the world.

Eric Clayton has on and off been working on the last album in the Legend series, Legend Part III:II, which should have been the last Saviour Machine album. The album was supposed to be released on July 7, 2007, but was postponed due to Clayton's esophageal condition called Barrett's Esophagus which was diagnosed in 2004 but eventually got worse.[2]

Clayton has compiled The Collective Journals (1997–2009) released in 2010 available at the band website. Soon after performing a handful of unplugged Saviour Machine-shows in The Netherlands and Germany in 2013, Eric Clayton officially broke up the band, abandoned the unfinished Legend-project, and retired from the music business. He is still committed to playing at Ayreon's Theater Equation shows in Holland in September 2015.

Vocal style and live performance[edit]

Clayton's vocals can simply be described as operatic. His voice ranges from high tenor to low baritone to occasionally the deep basso, and is typically filled with dark emotions. On Legend trilogy as well as on some guest performances he utilized cinematic, narrative speaking vocals.

On Saviour Machine's concerts, Clayton performs several theatrical and symbolic gestures. He typically paints his face in a way that it resembles an iconic theatre mask, and wears a peculiar forehead jewel as well as black clothes. Some of his live performances include wearing an American flag during the songs "Legion" and "American Babylon", dipping the Israeli and Palestinian flag into blood, wearing devices that resemble demon wings, and other gestures with separate masks, candles, chains, statues etc.

Clayton's lyrics are deeply spiritual, and on the first two album's include themes ranging from salvation to melodramatic, horror oriented dark romanticism on songs such as "Legion". As the first album was banned from Christian bookstores due to a certain line in that song, Clayton has somewhat humorously criticized the Christian music scene for its hypocritical manners on songs such as "Ascension of Heroes."[4]


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b Brunner, David (October 21, 2007). "Eric Clayton im Interview". Sound 7. Germany. Retrieved August 11, 2006. 
  3. ^ Saviour Machine Interview mit Eric Clayton - Interview - - Das Metal Online Musik Magazin im Internet
  4. ^ Eric Clayton's Liner notes on Saviour Machine - Synopsis booklet, 2003, mas cd0298, Massacre Records. retrieved on October 21, 2007

External links[edit]