Clandestine Cuts Vol. 11 Issue #6 - Awesome New Demos and EPs
|Written by:||RaduP, musclassia, nikarg, Starvynth|
Clandestine Cuts Volume 11, 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 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. 11 #05
Clandestine Cuts Vol. 11 #04
Clandestine Cuts Vol. 11 #03
And now to the new music...
Aduanten - Sullen Cadence (USA)
[Melodic Death | Post-Black Metal]
Although Sullen Cadence is the project's first official record, the personnel featured on Aduanten's debut are not rank novices; in addition to the presence of Obsequiae's drummer Eoghan McCloskey in the band's line-up, there's also guest vocal appearances from Tanner Anderson (also of Obsequiae, and live member of Panopticon) and Damian Herring (Horrendous) to be found here. An impressive roster, and one that the album's contents live up to. There are hints of Obsequiae's medieval-tinged meloblack to be found here, at least on "The Drowning Tide", with plenty of tremolo and melodically inclined riffs. However, there's quite a lot more on display here, with Sullen Cadence having quite an amorphous nature to it. There's hints of post-metal early on in the title track, which is alternated with a rawer 90s melodeath approach, whilst later songs venture into more modern melodeath and post-black directions. There's a lot of distinct but overlapping ideas to be found on Sullen Cadence, but they're all integrated together very naturally, culminating in something that sounds both new and familiar at the same time, and manages to do so whilst delivering a quartet of very respectable songs.
The Watcher - Your Turn To Die (USA)
[Heavy / Doom Metal]
Heavy doom is not a style that requires extra special ability to be played. However, it requires extra special songwriting ability to sound interesting in 2021. Hailing from Boston, The Watcher is a magnificent trio mixing the traditional doom sound with NWOBHM melodies in a way that is catchy, memorable, and retro-sounding but not dated. The hard rocking doom music, composed by guitarist and bassist M. Furst, had been ready since 2017 and was recorded with drummer C. Spraker, whose energetic playing helped the end result appear quite upbeat and uptempo for the style. The demo was left sitting for three years waiting for the right voice that was finally found when P. Reed joined. Your Turn To Die is driven by his expressive vocals riding the metallic waves created by Furst's big riffs but you will also be pleasantly surprised by the lead guitar melodies that are particularly prominent at the outros of all three tracks featured here.
Effluence - Ballistic Bloodspray (USA)
[Brutal Death Metal | Free Improvisation]
You may remember that I mentioned in my review of the latest Encenathrakh album that "It should be a criminal offence to make brutal death metal albums longer than 30 minutes." and that is because that "free jazz of brutal death metal" is absolutely bonkers and one of the most adrenaline-pumping sounds out there, but one that quickly loses its appeal over longer periods of time. So here comes Effluence's Ballistic Bloodspray to mend that, with barely over ten minutes of material but a skill in creating free improv brutality that comes close to the best in the game. It's chaotic, bonkers, nauseating. It sounds like ten massacres at once. Hence why it's over so quickly. You've already been massacred ten times, there's no time to grow used to it. Plus it's a one man band with a couple of guest guitars and guest... clarinet? I know it sounds absolutely counterintuitive and this is the first time I'm saying this in this feature, but... Effluence, please please don't ever release a full length.
Bezkresy - Koniec Wieku (Poland)
Koniec Wieku, which translates to The End Of The Century, was not in fact released at the end of the century, being released into the world in Spring 2021; however, this second EP from Polish post-black band Bezkresy does manage to sound appropriately climactic. The barroom samples and slack saloon vibe opening the album belies the intensity that Bezkresy will deliver, with thunderous percussion, sinister atmospheric riffing and suitably vicious vocals. The album is by no means an assault; "Sylwester" features some catchy grooves and moody guitar leads alongside the expected mid-tempo ominous riffs, whilst there's a touch of older Opeth in moments on "Mrówki" courtesy of the steady, evil riffs underpinned by pounding double bass drumming. Koniec Wieku is potently atmospheric, with Bezkresy making use of both riffs and guitar leads in effective harmony with the emphatic percussion and vocal work, and it even has time for the occasional surprise, such as blues solo midway through "Opium".
Grandeur - Aurea Aetas (Austria)
If I had to pick one underground metal musician who has impressed me the most over the last two years, it would be Erech Leleth. The multi-instrumentalist has recorded about 10 albums, demos and EPs since 2019 under various band names and mostly single-handedly, and every single release - be it as Ancient Mastery, as Order Of Ištar, as Narziss (issue #8), as Narzissus (issue #12) or as Golden Blood - bears his characteristic signature. It's always black metal, yet somehow Erech manages to keep the individual projects from getting too much in each other's way. The distinctive elements of Erech's other projects - piercing vocals and a heavy focus on the guitar work - are omnipresent on his latest work Aurea Aeta as well; more riffs could hardly have been crammed into just four songs. The key ingredients already known from Narcissus and Ancient Mastery, namely the defiant punk attitude and the rough and gritty sound, which nevertheless does not bury any of the numerous catchy melodies in the mix, as well as the majestic and epic harmonies, can also all be found in abundance on Aurea Aetas. To sum up: a valid reason not to be in awe of Grandeur's first EP has yet to be found.
Rainmaking - Rainmaking (USA)
I guess it's only fitting to end the monthly article for the pride month with an album that is tagged on Bandcamp as "mysterious gay hardcore". I am not so absolutely certain about the "mysterious" part, since we know that Rainmaking are, as described, "loud screamo by three pill heads". I can attest to both the "loud" and the "screamo", since this is something that reminds me both of some classic Orchid (USA-MA) or Pageninetynine, but also some newer acts like Youth Novel and Respire. Being a trio, there isn't a lot new on the instrumental front, but I really enjoy the presence that the bass has in the mix. Over the course of slightly less that 15 minutes, Rainmaking can move from pummeling post-hardcore to swirling melodies and chaotic screamo. The production is just the right amount of nauseatingly dense, to complement the contrast between the posty melodies and the hardcore dissonance.
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