Clandestine Cuts Vol. 10 Issue #8 - Awesome New Demos and EPs
|Written by:||RaduP, musclassia, Starvynth|
Clandestine Cuts Volume 10, Issue #8
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 #7
Clandestine Cuts Vol. 10 #6
Clandestine Cuts Vol. 10 #5
And now to the new music...
Sulfure - Neuotisme (CAN-QC)
[Black | Death Metal]
Hailing from the ever-black-metal-spawning region of Quebec, Canada, Sulfure have a bit of an unfair advantage in the sense that members of it are or have been also members of Monarque, Délétère, Saccage, Atroce and a bunch of others, so to say that these are experienced musicians is quite an understatement. And yet, it still sounds so incredibly raw here, most likely due to it having been recorded live. And it combines the two things that that part of Canada is really great at in terms of metal, being mostly black metal, but with enough death metal riffs and growls of the crustier variety to make it more bludgeoning. Though mostly operating in the faster paces, the middle track starts showing some variety both by upping the melodies and by slowing the pace, and it all ends on a industrial ambient track. Still a bit too raw for its own good, the musicianship showcased here gives me more than enough reasons to look forward to them moving to the full-length phase.
Astralist - 2020 (Demo) (IRL)
2020 (Demo) is a demo from Irish doom band Astralist (and they make it clear that this is a demo by helpfully writing as such on the cover), and a very fine first demonstration of their abilities. After a brief atmospheric scene-setter, Astralist launch into 3 10-minute epics, happy to go big on their first outing and pulling it off adeptly. "The Outlier" opens with black metal tremolo and double bass rolls, before slowing things right down into a glacial doomy crawl. From there, the band move very seamlessly through their various tempo changes; the transition from this trudge into a more ominous mid-tempo riff is very satisfyingly pulled off thanks to effective layering of atmospheric guitar leads. The layering of different guitar tracks is one of the strengths of Astralist on this demo, sustaining interest during some of the trudgier sections of the record so that the listener is still engaged when the band eventually reaches a powerful climax, with "The Outlier" playing itself out much as it began. The vocals here are predominantly vicious howls, but Astralist dabble with clean vocals, such as on "Entheogen", attempting an atmospheric, ethereal tone; there's some room for improvement, but they work to the benefit of the track. The strongest track here is "Zuhal, Rise", which opens with jangly guitar and World percussion to give it a psychedelic vibe, before launching into some emphatic riffing. Overall, this is a well-paced, powerful and intelligently layered debut that suggests that Astralist could become a real force in extreme doom in years to come.
Rituals - Invicta (AUS)
[Melodic Death Metal]
Melodic death metal isn't really something that has been evolving that much nor has suffered that big of a decline in popularity either. Rituals don't really innovate either, but their Amon Amarth-like sound will be sure to satisfy people looking to some slightly more raw versions of this sound without too much of a metalcore or power metal influence. Distilled to its very essence, and with some added influence in the form of black metal on one of the tracks, Invicta is two tracks worth of some strong and trustworthy melodeath from down under. Well-produced but not quite over-polished yet, this is perfect for nostalgics of some of the genre's biggest names from back when their production budgets weren't as stellar. As short as it is, it has some bite, and mostly potential, given that Rituals will either perfect their sound, or pursue those slight black metal leanings of theirs.
Narziss - Akt 1: Wille (AUT)
So you thought the world's most liveable city was just about Mozart, Sacher cake, Empress Sisi and schnitzel? Then Summoning, Abigor and Harakiri For The Sky would like to have a word with you. But Vienna's vivid black metal community is not only known for its spearheads, there has in fact always been a seething underground scene in the capital of Austria and one-man black metal band Narziss is one of its latest - and most promising - spawns. The project's first EP follows a rather simple but highly effective formula: rooted in second wave worshipping, Akt 1: Wille combines a traditional old-school approach with a level of catchiness that is simply impressive. So is it meloblack? No, not at all. Despite of all its memorable melodies and the high density of concise riffs, the EP entails a very raw and intentionally unpolished sound and the German lyrics help to reinforce the impression of a punkish DIY-attitude. The four tracks of Akt 1: Wille leave no room for fillers, instead each song is a stand-alone proof of the band's sole member's songwriting skills and his musical prowess, generating a strong desire for
Bloodsabbath - Sabbatic Demon Corpse (SWE)
Saying that this is Swedish black metal isn't saying much, but the cover art and the name should at least indicate that this is some filthy stuff. The kind of stuff that just samples someone saying "Satan" before going on a noisy riff barge. And calling it a riff barge is a bit dishonest, because those are what could maybe be riffs if they weren't so noisy. Basically you don't hear the riff, you hear the amplifier noise that was probably once a riff. Or a solo. And I'm not really sure there even are lyrics, instead just howls recorded from that other room in what likely has a lot of echo. The drums are pretty clean though, so I'll give them that. Neither of the three have much to do with one another, except that the drums and guitars are kinda in tempo. It's absolute filth in the best unpolished way possible. And that's not even taking into account the last track, which is a demo from as far back as 2006, nor this guy's other In Abyssum project.
Winter's End - Into The Sea (USA-MA)
Over 4 years after the release of their first EP, and with a revamped line-up, Boston's Winter's End return with Into The Sea, 30 minutes of impressive symphonic metal. Winter's End have clearly obtained some level of reputation despite their inactivity, as Jacob Hansen (producer/master of records by Amaranthe, Volbeat and Kamelot, amongst others) mastered Into The Sea, and the record sounds very clear and well-produced for a young band, with a strong guitar tone and anthemic synths/choirs. Also given a fair chance to shine is soprano Jessica Frost, one of two members to have remained from their previous record. Frost takes an operatic approach on Into The Sea, ably supported by the inclusion of various choirs during the record's more emphatic moments (particularly on the Kamelot-esque "A Rose In The Ice"), but the metal side isn't left completely in the shadow of the vocals. The rest of the band finds itself competing at times to be heard through the keyboards and orchestration (like in many a symphonic metal band), but the riffs generally make their presence known, whether they are power metal-oriented or more mid-tempo and chunky, and guitarist Nevin Mychal throws an enjoyable solo into the fray from time to time. Into The Sea has a far more professional-sounding production than most records that feature in Clandestine Cuts, but it really is necessary to allow all the complexities on display here to shine, and it's nice to hear a band at such a nascent stage of their journey being able to deliver something so polished and emphatic.
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