Clandestine Cut Of The Year

1.  Exgenesis - Aphotic Veil 53
2.  Astral Blood - Astral Blood 47
3.  Triste L'Hiver - Faire Un Geste 17
4.  Infinity² - INF2EP1 [EP] 16
5.  High Fighter - The Goat Ritual 15
6.  Extinction Level Event - The Catalyst [EP] 14
7.  Neck Of The Woods - Neck Of The Woods 12
8.  Schematics For Gravity - Absence Of Weight 10
9.  Tellus Effluentia - Physical, Emotional, Temporal 9
10.  Concatenatus - Meditation Through The Inner Vortex 8
Total votes:

Astral Blood - Astral Blood

Epic and thick black metal infused with heavy keyboards. The synthesized orchestra brings an eerie, banshee-like quality instead of "beauty," per se, though it also makes the music larger than life. In my writing I've been trying to get away from clichés such as "onslaught" and others. Fuck it. ONSLAUGHT. On Slaught. Get your slaught on. Epic music absolutely assaults your ears. Even the 2 minute interlude (seriously, it's entitled "Interlude") keeps the intensity skyward even if the tempo is brought down. This trio features multi-instrumentalist Joe Waller of Amiensus, which should intrigue the shit out of you. If this EP is a sign of things to come then I may have a new favorite black metal act.


Concatenatus - Meditation Through The Inner Vortex

The guitar/drums duo that is the Chilean Concatenatus present us their first demo made of two lengthy tracks (and an ambient intro) of hypnotizing black metal with a hint of doom floating in the air. The style together with the versatile and agonizing vocals reminds me quite a lot of Urfaust, which is never a bad thing. The production is clear enough to let the melodies shine through without losing bite. If well mixed black and doom is your thing, then by all means keep an eye on these guys.


Exgenesis - Aphotic Veil

Melodic death / doom is a fairly saturated genre where it can often be difficult for a new band to stand out amongst the crowd, but within minutes of pressing play on this debut EP by this Swedish/Colombian two piece Exgenesis, you'll quickly realise they are a cut above. Fan's of Jari Lindholm's previous work in bands such as Slumber & Enshine will certainly recognise & appreciate the great song writing, intense atmosphere & stunning guitar work on display here, but this is far from a one man show as Alejandro Lotero's brilliant growls compliment the music beautifully. Give this a spin & I guarantee you will not regret it.


Extinction Level Event - The Catalyst [EP]

Bandcamp music player
Who needs guitarists in a metal band when you can have THREE bassists instead? Extinction Level Event have tested this theory on their debut EP The Catalyst with surprisingly successful results. Despite the gimmicky nature of the line-up & the undoubted Meshuggah worship going on here, The Catalyst is a fun listen that while not being without its flaws, shows a great deal of potential.


High Fighter - The Goat Ritual

The Goat Ritual is a strong, dirty sludge/stoner combination of heavy tunes with psychedelic-blues touches, which loosens the main fundamentals for a bit. It contains a lot of diversity, rhythm changes, more and less intensive passages and fair amount of various killer riffs. Complementing the whole structure in this picture are the alternating vocals, from bluesy rock sounding and up to harsh, scream/core parts. This creatively inspired dosage of "sludgy stonerish bluescore" is a strong affirmation for the band's upcoming endeavours.


Infinity² - INF2EP1 [EP]

You might know Russia's Infinity² as one of Metal Storm's own andreosokin creative outputs. INF2EP1 is their debut EP and can appeal to fans of all kinds of melodic metal. The progressive influences are deep-rooted here (particularly from Dream Theater and James LaBrie) but there is also an unusual fresh new breeze coming through the music. While it's difficult to describe feeling, these songs have buckets of it. Whether it is the rich soulful vocals or the distinctive keyboards at the forefront allowing for that, an immensity of intense melodies is achieved. The song "Turn Back Time" is the perfect example of the band's potential being entirely realized and a work of genius. Approach this without limits and the satisfaction is guaranteed.


Neck Of The Woods - Neck Of The Woods

From the Vancouver neck of the woods comes an interesting preposition. Fans of the "core" persuasion take notice because this will be right up your alley. Neck Of The Woods know how to deliver the technical kind of metalcore with groove and variation for good measure. You can expect infectious riffs, refined bass lines as well as creative guitar melodies throughout. Amidst all the notes acrobatics and onslaught, the foundation is metalcore with progressive leanings. It's all there for the taking.


Schematics For Gravity - Absence Of Weight

This Swedish post metal group ain't strangers to this game. Their previous self-titled EP appeared in one of our articles from 2012 and even got a place in our beloved Metalstorm Awards. Needless to say I was eager to compare the EPs and see how much they have grown. Absence Of Weight presents more polished and varied ideas, specially in songwriting and production. The sound isn't as raw as the debut, thus making the ambient sections shine through the aggression. The focus in calmer interludes proves to be a good trade as when the storm hits in form of walls of sound and harsh yet emotional screams, the EP becomes a solid identity instead of just a collection of songs.


Tellus Effluentia - Physical, Emotional, Temporal

It is rare when a band titles their opus in a way that not only connotes the effect of the album on the listener, but also describes exactly what it sounds like. P,E,T is the modern incarnation of the pre-Oceanic-Isis spirit: it plays with textures and genres, mixing post-metal and sludge elements with post-hardcore vocals. If post-metal were a big family, Tellus Effluentia wouldn't look out of place sitting in the family tree next to As We Draw. Please welcome them warmly.


Triste L'Hiver - Faire Un Geste

A rather odd yet strangely compelling mix of dark wave, ambient post black metal & 80's Synthwave. Despite the rather eclectic mix of genres on display here, the simplistic yet catchy song writing means the whole thing just fits together so well. This is definitely something that needs approaching with an open mind but if you do, prepare to be fascinated & confused in equal measure.