Clandestine Cuts Vol. 10 Issue #2 - Awesome New Demos and EPs

Written by: Nefarious, nikarg, Abattoir, RaduP
Published: 28.03.2020

Clandestine Cuts Volume 10, Issue #2
The Metal Storm Demo/EP Spotlight

Brand New Independent Metal Lives Here.
Welcome to the Clandestine Cuts!

Is independent, unsigned, and underground metal what you seek? Weary traveller of the metal world, rest here a while. Clandestine Cuts are the best demos and EPs from these bands, the heart and soul of metal music. These musicians are slaves to their passions, and their blood keeps the metal machine alive and turning. Support them with a simple listen, and discover the future.

Metal Storm users: you can vote in the poll below to choose your favourite demo/EP of the issue. The winners each year are nominated in our annual Metal Storm Awards so exercise your rights: this is the one category chosen completely by YOU the readers. Make sure your favourite independent metal is recognized each year!

(Think your band has what it takes to be featured in the Cuts? Email to submit your music.)

In case you're new at this, go back and enjoy our last few issues:

Clandestine Cuts Vol. 10 #1
Clandestine Cuts Vol. 9 #12
Clandestine Cuts Vol. 9 #11

And now to the new music...

In Victory - Ecstasy Of The Enlightened
[Power Metal]
Listen at Bandcamp

In Victory is an international power metal band and Ecstasy Of The Enlightened is their second EP. Guitarist and songwriter Víctor 'V M-M' joins forces with vocalist Mattias Lindberg (Royal Jester, ex-ReinXeed) and Topias Kupiainen (Arion) on drums for this release, which consists of three very uplifting and energetic tracks of European power metal with keyboards and all, but with fewer of these last ones than on their debut EP, Uplifting Metal, and more emphasis on the guitars. Clocking in at just over ten minutes, it is short, direct, self-empowering and a great motivator for when you need something to inspire you to reach your goals and overcome any obstacle. Not for the lactose-intolerant, but highly recommended for fans of Sabaton, DragonForce, Gamma Ray and the like.

by nikarg

ESP Mayhem - Bloodsportswear
Listen at Bandcamp

Typical grindcore characteristics with untypical approach and execution. ESP Mayhem's EP release Bloodsportswear doesn't belong to the usual daily dose of grindcore music you give a listen to (if you do). How come? It's a fucking "guitarless" blasting and beating all the way. And the replacement? Not one or two, but triple-synthesizer abrasive attack. Pimp my synthesizer to the fullest. In certain passages you cannot distinguish the sound, that the band provides with all the synths present, from the normal guitar riffing. From this aspect this is definitely an intriguing piece of work, while Bloodsportswear in whole picture doesn't achieve some high-standard, original level within the genre itself. As the band suitably calls it - "futureshock synthgrind".

by Abattoir

Isles Of Mars - Isles Of Mars
[Heavy Rock]
Listen at Bandcamp

Isles Of Mars is a trio from Mannheim, Germany and they describe themselves as being influenced by ancient heroes like Atomic Rooster, Camel and Black Sabbath. Now, it's one thing to emulate this music five whole decades after it first surfaced and think you're doing something extraordinary and it's another to wear your influences on your sleeves with pride and modesty, and craft heavy rock anthems that actually feel as though they came out in the early '70s. This is a proggy, psychedelic, groovy, vintage-sounding, yet superb self-titled debut EP that simply blows all the Kadavars of this world out of water.

by nikarg

Naartz - Sombre
[Black Metal]
Listen at Bandcamp

A Quebecois duo of drums/everything-else to delve deep into darkness and despair, Naartz's debut EP, Sombre, features four tracks and each of them a different guest vocalist. Other than Leo's, the "everything-else" part of the band, the guest vocals include the other member from Leo's other band, Funeste, and someone who also did vocals for Time Lurker. This approach does give each of the tracks some individuality, but they all have the somber despair in common, with some genuinely great performances both in the drumming and guitar departments, to give some extraordinary heaviness to the slower moments and to make the faster ones bludgeoning, but it is the tortured vocals that really sell the feeling. All of this is helped by the ghastly production of Spectral Wound's Patrick McDowall, which really makes this record sound like it comes from the underworld.

by RaduP

Ikarus - Odyssey Of Penance
[Prog Sludge]
Listen at Bandcamp

Prog Sludge is indeed a path walked by too few, and a sound that would benefit from production a tad more professional than what Ikarus have on Odyssey Of Penance. It seems that they like to keep the blend of the two more tipped towards the prog side, with the sludge part often closer to post-metal rather than the dirty sludge that could've been the alternative. The progressive side often employs clean vocals, that are great by themselves, but they kinda tip the balance a bit too much. This is somewhat of a nitpick by me expecting more equal representation of the two sides of their sound, but there are very few moments in here that I could call just "sludge", with plenty I could call "prog". Thankfully, the band is competent at making their version of the blend sound engaging, and considering the probable lack of experience by their members, it's likely we'll hear a more polished form of it with a hopeful follow-up.

by RaduP

Maul - Monarchy Of Mold
[Death Metal]
Listen at Bandcamp

I have known the city of Fargo, North Dakota mostly as a place to hire a few thugs to kidnap your wife so you can ransom your father-in-law, but apparently it's also the home of some sick death metal courtesy of Maul. Already with a few demos and splits under their belt, Monarchy Of Mold comes as a further cementing of their talents to create filthy riffs as they take the leap from demos to EPs. One can only hope they'll make the leap to full-lengths too soon. Right now, Monarchy Of Mold does indeed create a pretty striking image, both with its evocative title and the heaviness of the fairly old-school sound, infused with just a bit of bree-core. The production is also already full-length worthy, so the next step seems quite imminent. We have yet to see if they will manage to keep their sound interesting for more than Monarchy Of Mold's 17 minutes.

by RaduP


What's your favorite new release this issue?

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Comments: 6   Visited by: 62 users
28.03.2020 - 15:08
At the very least, we have variety.
28.03.2020 - 15:18
Written by nikarg on 28.03.2020 at 15:08

At the very least, we have variety.

Thanks for taking one for the team and doing power metal
Father: How can a picture of a field be sad without a sad person looking sad in the field?
Young Woman: That's an interesting problem. Yeah, I struggle with that.
28.03.2020 - 15:23
Cynic Metalhead
Atrocious Virgin
Very interesting choices. Will start digging tonite.

Let's see who wins my panties.
28.03.2020 - 15:33
Bad English
Tage Westerlund
I vote for Virgin genre, but musicaly TSV 1860
Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
28.03.2020 - 18:29
doesn't use salt
This one was hard cause they seem all really similar in quality and are yet such different experiences.
You are the hammer, I am the nail
building a house in the fire on the hill
29.03.2020 - 00:12
I'm kinda torn - Ikarus is the one that's most geared towards my interests, and I guess possibly it was the one I liked the most, but I agree with Radu about its downsides, and found it dragging a bit. In Victory and Maul very much followed a set genre style but did it well. ESP Mayhem was an interesting cybergrind effort. I'm not really interested in revivalist hard rock, but it was a tough one between the rest - might actually go for In Victory

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