Clandestine Cuts Vol. 10 Issue #6 - Awesome New Demos and EPs
|RaduP, Starvynth, musclassia, nikarg
Clandestine Cuts Volume 10, Issue #6
The Metal Storm Demo/EP Spotlight
Brand New Independent Metal Lives Here.
Welcome to the Clandestine Cuts!
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 email@example.com to submit your music.)
In case you're new at this, go back and enjoy our last few issues:
Clandestine Cuts Vol. 10 #5
Clandestine Cuts Vol. 10 #4
Clandestine Cuts Vol. 10 #3
And now to the new music...
Bipolar Architecture - The Tragic Protagonist
Bipolar Architecture are a Turkish / German post-metal band with members that used to be in the death metal act Heretic Soul. Their debut EP is based on the concept of The Tragic Protagonist and his philosophical perspective on humanity and the world, as well as the understanding of his inner conflicts and emotions. The music is beautifully composed and executed, both engrossing and meditative, and the songs have a melancholic undertone while showcasing a fairly progressive structure and djent-y guitars. The musicianship is virtuosic and the production embraces clarity; all three tracks are simultaneously haunting and heart-rending, with motifs that hook while also expressing deep emotional honesty. This EP is perfect and has had infinite plays by yours truly, I cannot recommend it enough.
Ish Kerioth - Under Unclean Wings
Supposedly consisting of Lugubrum and Kosmokrator members, Ish Kerioth sound like a more traditional and more lo-fi black metal version of both of those bands, while still retaining some idiosyncrasies and the adventurous spirit used to create the atmospheric mid-paced sound. Under Unclean Wings follows up the One Of The Twelve demo from last year with four tracks of angelic (the terrifying old Testament ones, not the cute Raphael ones) black metal that manages to be both atmospheric while being mostly riff-based, with some strong raspy vocals on top. The rawer but still very decipherable production adds a lot to the lo-fi experience, but Flemish trio Ish Kerioth could easily transition into the full-length album phase of their career, since they're already ace songwriting-wise, which isn't unexpected considering the previous experience of the band members, and the already recognizable sound of the band.
Murmur - Murmur
[Melodic Death | Prog Death]
Murmur, the self-titled debut EP from Spaniards Murmur (seemingly listed as Murmur Xatafi in certain places), is one of those releases that manages to draw from a range of sources to produce something that sounds distinctive whilst still feeling familiar. Probably the safest tag to give them would be melodeath, but they don't bear a striking resemblance to any of the big names in the genre. The mid-tempo chug of "Children Of The Night", as well as the vibrant guitar leads during the 'chorus', reveal some inspiration from power/heavy metal sources, but the tremolo later on in the track bleeds some black metal into the song's sound. This song is a tad too stop/start in its approach but features quite a rousing climax. "Women In Religion" is a short-but-sweet cut more oriented towards metalcore, which manages to do quite a lot with its limited runtime through interesting rhythmic approaches and guitar work. The crowning achievement of Murmur, however, is closing track "The Masquerade", which opens with a fairly classic mid-tempo melodeath riff before eventually segueing into a delectable acoustic guitar bridge and subsequently a varied second half featuring blast beats, sinister guitar leads and atmospheric stretches. Murmur exhibit an impressive range across the 15 minutes of Murmur, and it will be interesting to see how they build upon this promising first effort on future releases.
Bong Prophet - Attack And Dethrone God
[Drone | Post-Metal]
A band called Bong Prophet is not entirely the band name I would expect to see releasing an album called Attack And Dethrone God, but here we are regardless. It seems that Bong Prophet are less interested in psychedelic jams and more interested in lofi drones and desolate soundscapes, which do indeed fit the album title in a way. However Bong Prophet have released more material in the one-man band's two years of existence than a lot of bands in multiple decades, with this being their 16th release overall, with the rest of them ranging from 20 to 70 minutes, but all of them quietly and independently crafted and released by some Florida man. Browsing through the Bandcamp page, some releases feature more musicians, some dive into sludge/doom/ambient/black as well. Attack And Dethrone God, with its 55 minutes of runtime, switches its tracks between more drone-metal and more post-rock focused, but regardless of the sound they approach, the end result is a desolate soundscape that does feel like God has indeed been dethroned.
Battle Born - Battle Born
Battle Born, from Southampton, UK (and the fact that I spent 4 years studying in Southampton definitely didn't influence picking their release for this month's article), unleash 5 songs of power metal on their self-titled debut release. Between the anthemic vocal melodies, shredding lead guitar solos, bass drum-heavy percussion, keyboard flourishes and triumphant vibe, Battle Born set out their stall clearly on the self-titled opening track. Beyond that point, more power metal staples pop up in the remaining tracks, including the bard-like opening to "Bring The Metal Back" and subsequent emphatic synths, as well as the classically fantasy lyrics of the ballad "For Our Home". On the flip side, the slower "Man Of War" has a bit more of an 80s stadium band vibe with its hooky main riff and slick guitar leads. Realistically, your enjoyment of this record is going to depend entirely on your enjoyment of by-the-book power/heavy metal, and the lyrics do border on parody (particularly on "Bring The Metal Back"), but fans of the likes of Sabaton and Manowar should find this to be a fun release, particularly the rousing closer "Sovngarde Awaits".
The Sullen - Rituals Of Death
[Melodic Death/Doom | Post-Black]
It's a dark and rainy winter night of the year 1995, somewhere in a parallel universe where Greece is the vibrant heart of the metal world. The new crème de la crème of the European metal scene - Anathema's Darren White and the Cavanagh brothers, Taneli Jarva (Sentenced, bass), Anders "Blackheim" Nyström (guitars) and Rick Miah (My Dying Bride, drums) - have gathered in order to record their new supergroup's debut, an album intended to be highly inspired by Katatonia as well as paying homage to The Peaceville Three. The first three tracks are already finished when suddenly the telephone rings, it's their manager:
"Guys, I have bad news for all of us. I've just heard the first single from Paradise Lost's upcoming album and it sounds different, very different to say the least, but the press goes head over heels with enthusiasm. Consequently, our label's executive board has gotten cold feet now, they believe that we're bogged down in a most unfortunate case of bad timing and that we're heading for financial disaster. In brief, they want us to seal and bury the mastertape somewhere in the backyard and wait until melodic death/doom combined with real songwriting talent and a top-notch production, a perfect balance of bleak atmosphere and ice-cold black metal riffage has become fashionable again."
25 years and quite a few glitches in the space-time continuum later, the passionate Rotting Christ and Primordial fan and one-man black metal multi-instrumentalist Petros "Elathan" Petalas is mowing his lawn in Trikala, Greece, when his eyes suddenly catch a brief flash of light from below. Elathan spots a shiny metal case lettered "Rituals Of Death advance tape - do not open before 2020" and smiles contentedly, for he's well aware that this could be the beginning of a long and glorious musical journey and success story...
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