Clandestine Cuts Vol. 10 Issue #7 - Awesome New Demos and EPs
|Written by:||RaduP, Starvynth, musclassia, nikarg|
Clandestine Cuts Volume 10, Issue #7
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 firstname.lastname@example.org to submit your music.)
In case you're new at this, go back and enjoy our last few issues:
Clandestine Cuts Vol. 10 #6
Clandestine Cuts Vol. 10 #5
Clandestine Cuts Vol. 10 #4
And now to the new music...
Death Force - Delirio
[Death / Thrash Metal]
Goddamn look at that cover art. I don't think Fracesco Rivera will ever become among metal's biggest darlings in terms of artworks, but he seems to be Chile's at least. And look at this guy's portfolio. That said, out of all the artworks he did, this one might be my favorite, for the equally Chilean band Death Force. And the music pretty much lives up to it, with the production being decent enough to work for a full length as well, and their death / thrash sound is pretty raw and ravaging, with just a bit of black metal to make things more rotten and evil. It's mostly in the fast-pace territory, the thrash riffs work pretty great with the more black / death like vocals, and the playing is only kinda sloppy during some solos. But keeping true to South American extremity, a bit of sloppiness makes it more authentic. Though I later realized that only one edition of Delirio was released this year, with the original album being released in 2018 (hence why you won't be able to vote for it), I was already won over by both the artwork and the raw aggression.
Midnight Dice - Hypnotized
Midnight Dice emerged after the disbandment of Satan's Hallow, which came shortly after their fantastic debut. Four of the five members of that band are present here, including Jose Salazar, bassist of the very promising Black Sites. Hypnotized is Midnight Dice's first proper EP after the self-titled demo that came out in 2019 and was also covered here. There is not much more to say about this utterly enjoyable and fun heavy metal band that I didn't mention last year. What we are dealing with is three very talented musicians and Mandy Martillo's Doro-reminiscing superb voice, all performing in sync and providing some very energetic metal, often touching on Judas Priest circa Screaming For Vengeance and Defenders Of The Faith. The sound is improved compared to the one on the demo, although I feel that Mandy is a bit too loud in the mix, especially when she hits the high notes. The songwriting is even stronger this time around, full of crazy hooks, memorable riffs, and tasty leads. The title track is a total banger and boasts some sweet dueling guitars but, really, all songs on this are upper class, traditional heavy metal.
Abigeatum - Abigeatum
[Doom / Death Metal]
Abigeatum is a side-project of Joy from Dragnet and In Vitro and some other bands, in which she played guitars, bass, vocals or a combination of those. "Abigeatum" is also the act of stealing cattle. Just thought you should know that. Recorded in the quarantine as a one-woman doom death project, with the exception on the vocals on one song, Abigeatum is a pretty good piece of slow-paced death metal, where the vocals are pretty hardcore tinged, the drums are programmed, and though obviously so, they still sound dynamic enough not to detract too much, as much as I wish she would eventually find a drummer for any follow-ups. The guitar and bass playing are the best parts of this EP, and even though the sound is quite minimalistic, it's groovy and heavy and alternates its pace and sound just enough over those 26 minutes. And once again I gotta showcase the person behind the artwork.
Cult Of Madness - Insanity
Melodic death metal usually occurs in two distinct forms. On the one side, we have bands like Kalmah, Aephanemer and Amorphis equipping different types of melodic (power/symphonic/folk) metal with growls, and on the other side, there's a group of death metal enthusiasts throwing harmonies and melodic guitar riffs into the substantially more extreme mix. Cult Of Madness from St. Petersburg, Russia, belong to the latter species and their mix is a base frame of early Gothenburg style melodeath and a good dose of core-ish elements, so it's due to replace the aforementioned name-dropping by significantly more appropriate references: At The Gates are an obligatory influence and - talking about well-known representatives of the particular style - The Black Dahlia Murder are set to be the closest comparison. But also lesser known acts like Thirdmoon and Fragments Of Unbecoming come to mind listening to these young Russians' first EP; Insanity features the same balance of almost technical but never too complex song structures paired with just the right level of catchiness and straightforward heavyness as their Austrian and German counterparts have to offer. Advocates for a particularly bassy sound may criticise the lack thereof, but a top-notch production and two talented guitarists stand ready to compensate for this scarcely audible small flaw and to render any possible complaint invalid. A very strong debut!
Sachtu - Grind Series
Sachtu's Grind Series is the kind of release where I was sure that writing the write-up would take longer than the actual album, with barely enough tracks for each finger on the hand and with none of them being longer than two minutes, well, it's grindcore, baby. What is surprising for this Spanish outfit is that while I do recognize some of the bands the other members were in, for example this isn't that far off from what Tort are doing, just faster, but I never expected two members of the melodeath outfit Eternal Storm to be into grindcore. Well, it's short, it's fast, the vocals are putrid, the recording is live in the studio, there is a Death Toll 80k cover in there, and like a grindcore seal of approval, the band also released a split with Agathocles. And as expected, it was already over by the time I wrote this.
Catapult The Sun - Human Empire Falls
[Stoner Metal | Doom Metal]
Human Empire Falls is a menacing first statement from Greek noise merchants Catapult The Sun. Grounded in doomy stoner metal, the group offer up two lengthy cuts of their particular brand of instrumental fuzz. "Fog's Horn" sets the scene with some thick stoner doom riffs and Electric Wizard-esque guitar leads; however, as the song progresses, the structure teeters and collapses into more abstract, drone territory, with freeform guitar distortion humming away for a while before finally organizing itself back into a proper thick doom groove. The merits of this noise interlude could be debated; whilst some may find it adds some contrast to the track, I find it distracts from the otherwise fierce assault of nasty low-end stoner doom murkiness, which the band excel in delivering. The pummeling Catapult The Sun deliver as they push the closing riff of this song for all it's worth is in that Sleep/Windhand-on-steroids territory that the likes of Bongripper sometimes operate in. "A Lith And A Bent Soul" moves within the same sonic territory as "Fog's Horn", although it pushes the intensity at times with some gnarly double bass drum rolls, whilst the mid-song break is more of a jam and slightly more structured than the interlude in "Fog's Horn", and thus a tad more engaging. Ultimately, these mid-song breaks could do with a smidge of development, but the surrounding stoner doom is already highly accomplished for such a new act, and the band are capable of leaning into other styles of metal, with "A Lith And A Bent Soul" venturing into extreme metal territory during patches of its closing few minutes. Slightly rough around the edges, Human Empire Falls is otherwise a strong demonstration of what Catapult The Sun are already capable, and hints at the heights they could reach as they continue to develop.
Lamp Of Murmuur - The Burning Spears Of Crimson Agony
Forgive me for pushing this band so far down your collective throats but as far as no-nonsense black metal goes, Lamp Of Murmuur is the underground act to follow right now. We covered them already in this issue of last year's Clandestine Cuts but they are here again in 2020 to awe us with how melodic rawness can be and how USBM can actually smoke its European counterparts with one obscure band releasing just demos. The Burning Spears Of Crimson Agony is mainly one song divided in two and both parts of "A Burning Spear To The Heart Of Dawn" reek of black metal kvltness. I know that anyone can record with equipment that sounds as if it costs less than $2, but to be able to come up with so many catchy riffs, such hellish groove and this malevolent atmosphere is not common. And these uniquely eldritch vocals; welcome to pure fucking Armageddon.
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