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Clandestine Cuts Vol. 11 Issue #1 - Awesome New Demos and EPs

Written by: RaduP, musclassia, nikarg, Bad English
Published: 05.02.2021

Clandestine Cuts Volume 11, Issue #1
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 #12
Clandestine Cuts Vol. 10 #11
Clandestine Cuts Vol. 10 #10

And now to the new music...

Morbid Sphere - Demo I (USA)
[Black / Death Metal]

Morbid Sphere is a black/death metal project from New York featuring members of Vanum, Ruin Lust and Yellow Eyes. The music is harrowing and absorbing, with dissonant riffs and feral drumming blanketed in a dense, claustrophobic, and sinister atmosphere. The vocals in the distance sound as if they originate from a bottomless well of cavernous bleakness. At first listen, this demo gives the impression of complete aural anarchy but, after digging deeper, there is very interesting structure despite the many turnarounds that are there to explore. With each twist another bizarre dimension is revealed, and with each turn another threshold of crushing heaviness is there to cross. If you like your blackened death metal to be immersive and unsettling in equal parts, this first release by Morbid Sphere will please your unconventional ears.

by nikarg

Bummified - Beware The Living (USA)
[Sludge Metal | Doom Metal]

Bummified's New Year's resolution appears to have been to drag humanity further into the mire, as the Texan sludge doom trio's debut effort Beware The Living was released on 01/01/2021 and is every bit as ugly as the year it arrived at the death knell of. A filthy guitar tone pumps out dense, murky sludge doom riffs, whilst the guitarist James Marks and bassist Steven Rico trade grim vocals, with "Leviathan Wakes" featuring a call-and-response exchange between higher-pitched harsh shouts and deeper growled roars. The drums admirably perform the dual role of driving the songs along and adding atmosphere in certain sections; meaty tom sounds beef up the transitions between the swampy riffs. There's nothing particularly novel about the sludge doom style featured on Beware The Living, but that droning, bass-heavy, putrid guitar tone that Bummified deliver never fails to be satisfying.

by musclassia

Fugue Tomb - Shattered Identity (Australia)
[Death Doom Metal]

Though Perth, Australia's Fugue Tomb self-identify as a sludge metal band, and that's certainly a huge part of their sound, the vocals themselves as the tone of the riffs doesn't feel quite in line with what that would entice. Instead the vocals remind me most of the war machine growls you'd hear in Asphyx or Benediction, and though each of those bands have a fondness for introducing doom in their sound (the former more than the latter), Shattered Identity's glacial pace and monumental gravitas is all doom with death metal frosting. Though some of the fuzz and the punch of it do indicate some sludge, there's more parts of it that border on funeral doom as well, giving Shattered Identity just a bit of... well... identity, but that's something that will hopefully be fleshed out more by Fugue Tomb.

by RaduP

Ogasawara - Ogasawara (USA)
[Melodic Black Metal]

If you search the word "Ogasawara" on Google you get photos of beautiful landscapes in Japan. If you do the same search on Bandcamp, you get a one-man melodic black metal band and its self-titled, debut EP. This is the very definition of one-man band since all the instruments, vocals, recording, mixing and mastering are credited to a very talented guy who goes by the name Luke "Java" Sackenheim. The project is based in Cincinnati, Ohio but the music is very close to the Swedish approach on melodic black metal; imagine Dissection, Necrophobic, and Naglfar. Not only that, but there are also some thrashy riffs thrown here and there, making the final product way more likeable. All four songs on offer are remarkable compositions and the execution is praiseworthy to say the least, especially when taking into account that this is the work of only one person.

by nikarg

Haine - Haine (Malta)

Deathcore has found success in the Clandestine Cuts series previously (as evidenced by Nada's appearance in this year's Metal Storm Awards), and so it should here with Haine. This self-titled EP follows a string of singles across the past three years from Maltese act Haine, and they've clearly spent those years honing their craft in preparation for this release, which hits hard whilst still featuring subtle melodic elements that expand the record's atmosphere. The production is impressively clear, allowing the crunch of the jagged mid-tempo riffs to hit hard and the tremolo melodic lines to shimmer. There's flirtations with technicality, but not to excess, and whilst breakdowns do feature, they're saved for opportune moments to hit with maximum impact rather than being dropped in everywhere - for example, the brief drop just after the restrained guitar solo section on opener "Burn It Down" manages to makes its mark despite only lasting for a few seconds. Haine is a really impressive record that manages to satisfy without having to particularly rely on extreme speed, intensity or typical deathcore tropes; you should put any genre prejudices aside and give it a blast.

by musclassia

Dim Crimson - The Prey (The Netherlands)
[Symphonic Metal]

Angelic voices, good-looking gothic dresses, there were days when female-fronted bands such as Theatre Of Tragedy, Flowing Tears & Withered Flowers (yes, under that name), and Luminaria would please the doom-oriented audience. The beginning of Nightwish was promising, but later symphonic metal took a wrong turn by using too many keyboards and adopting a more progressive sound, to the point that many fans gave up. But there are some bands that somehow stand out such as this Dutch one, carrying on that old-school feeling with nice-flowing metal melodies, good vocals, and a softer touch. The vocals and music reminisce Angels Fall First in some way. Dim Crimson have a promising perspective to reopen long lost doors for the symphonic metal genre, by placing more emphasis on the metal sound.

by Bad English


What's your favorite new release this issue?

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Comments: 9   Visited by: 72 users
05.02.2021 - 15:07
Tough picking between Morbid Sphere and Bummified.
Do you think if the heart keeps on shrinking
One day there will be no heart at all?
05.02.2021 - 16:08

Haine all the way for me, really enjoyed it. Bummified was a good find too
06.02.2021 - 13:16
Cynic Metalhead
Paisa Vich Nasha
Posted at the wrong time. Ob-fucking-vious here.

Let the awards wrap up before I hailstorm this.
06.02.2021 - 21:18

Bummified and Fugue Tomb were interesting listens, but Dim Crimson was refreshing enough to make them my vote. It's been a while since I've listened to symphonic metal that didn't overdo the grandiosity. Nice, simple, and to the point.
07.02.2021 - 19:40
Bad English
Tage Westerlund
Fire continent won to me.
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
21.02.2021 - 01:04

I find it hard to choose between Morbid Sphere and Haine.
01.03.2021 - 13:09
X-Ray Rod
No brainer for me. Morbid Sphere.
If there was one good thing in 2020 was the constant flow of great promising acts in each CC-article. I felt kind of meh with all of these except with Morbid Sphere and Haine.
Written by BloodTears on 19.08.2011 at 18:29
Like you could kiss my ass
Written by Milena on 20.06.2012 at 10:49
Rod, let me love you.
01.03.2021 - 13:46

Written by X-Ray Rod on 01.03.2021 at 13:09

No brainer for me. Morbid Sphere.
If there was one good thing in 2020 was the constant flow of great promising acts in each CC-article. I felt kind of meh with all of these except with Morbid Sphere and Haine.

Hopefully you'll enjoy next month's batch more - I've been struggling to decide which album(s) to cover from Nik/Radu's finds because I've felt the options were really strong
02.03.2021 - 22:34
Lost To Apathy
A few thoughts:

Morbid Sphere - Loved the atmosphere here and it definitely rewards repeat listens. Reminded me a bit of the first 777 album by Blut Aus Nord.

Bummified - Absolutely filthy sound. Some really cool parts, nearly there but not quite.

Fugue Tomb - Initially really liked this, felt kind of repetitive by the end.

Ogasawara - Solid black, but didn't really stick with me. Might listen again.

Haine - Deathcore's not really my jam, but this was surprisingly listenable. Production is excellent.

Dim Crimson - I don't tend to listen to much symphonic these days, but I liked that this was pretty understated. Impressed.

Anyway, voted for Morbid Sphere. Looking forward to the next Cuts!
"Pay no heed to anyone and do what seems right to yourself." - Franz Kafka, The Trial
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