Clandestine Cuts Vol. 11 Issue #8 - Awesome New Demos and EPs
|Written by:||nikarg, musclassia, Starvynth|
Clandestine Cuts Volume 11, 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. 11 #07
Clandestine Cuts Vol. 11 #06
Clandestine Cuts Vol. 11 #05
And now to the new music...
Tabernacle - Terror In Thrace (United Arab Emirates)
[Epic Heavy Metal]
An epic heavy metal band from Dubai? This is definitely unexpected and uncommon. Tabernacle is a trio with a sound firmly following the teachings of Manilla Road and Cirith Ungol, with primitive riffs and leads that feel they have resurfaced after decades of being trapped in a time capsule. The vocals are an acquired taste but epic heavy metal has proven time and time again that there is space in the genre for unconventional vocalists - the two bands I already mentioned are proof of that. In terms of technical prowess, there is some room for improvement for the band but one cannot deny that the songwriting conveys what epic heavy metal is all about. There's nothing fancy about the production either but you can clearly hear the thumping drum beats, the great bass lines, while the guitars are favoured by the mix and they deserve it. I know it doesn't say much but Tabernacle are now officially my favourite band from the United Arab Emirates. I am pretty sure they will become yours too after you listen to Terror In Thrace.
Telomēre - Where Are We Still (Canada)
[Mathcore | Progressive Metal]
In our Metal Storm Awards, we group 'djent' and 'math metal' into a single category. Clearly there is some overlap in the rhythmicality of both styles, but they're not necessarily entwined; The Dillinger Escape Plan didn't use djent sounds in their chaos, and Periphery didn't have the frenetic abrasion of bands such as Dillinger. On Where Are We Still, the debut EP from Telomēre, both mathcore and djent can be found together; Telomēre range from a post-hardcore/math rock sound in their cleaner moments to a fiercer djent-y crunch when they want to turn up the intensity. The result is that, if you enjoy any sounds along the math rock-mathcore-djent-modern prog metal spectrum, there's a good chance that you'll get a lot out of When Are We Still. Between the pleasant ear for melody, heft of the heavier instrumentation, solid clean vocals (which remind me of Corelia, amongst others) and unpredictable song structures, there's a lot to dig into and enjoy on When Are We Still.
Guhts - Blood Feather (USA)
[Post-Metal | Sludge Metal]
Featuring members of Witchkiss, Bask and Black Mountain Hunger, Guhts are not novices, and that comes through in the quality of their debut EP, Blood Feather. Of those three bands, Guhts are probably closest to the stoner doom of Witchkiss, but the doomy sound is sludgier and closer to post-metal. In terms of sonic references, I found myself thinking of the likes of Obscure Sphinx and SubRosa, as well as some of Julie Christmas's discography, partly because of the eerie, rough vocal approach of Amber Burns, but also some of the instrumental bleakness on the likes of "Eyes Open" overlaps with those aforementioned groups. There's atmospheric drumming and bleak guitar work to be found on Blood Feather, but synths and keyboards also play a sizeable role, particularly on "The Mirror", which is the clear highlight of Blood Feather. Featuring somewhat Gothic keyboards, eerie strings, and melancholic vocal and guitar work, "The Mirror" is a bit of an 'odd one out' on this EP, but it's also an absolutely fantastic song, powerful and emotionally resonant. There's some roughness to Blood Feather, particularly with some of Burns' vocal melodies, but Guhts have got something very interesting going on, and I'm excited to see how they progress from here.
Pulsus Furor - Into The Custody Of Hell (Germany)
[Melodic Black / Death Metal]
Usually, we only present releases of relatively newly founded bands in our Clandestine Cuts article series, but Pulsus Furor is a notable exception to the rule. The projet's first sign of life dates back to the early 2010s and the present demo was originally announced for 2012, but it had to be postponed due to a longer creative break. So enough time to let everything mature like a good wine? Absolutely! Into The Custody Of Hell is a tribute to the 90s and to the first and very successful attempts at merging melodic death metal with black metal. The grandmasters of the genre, namely Dissection and Necrophobic, come to mind first, but also the second tier of the movement in terms of popularity, represented by bands such as Decameron and Unanimated, have left their clearly audible mark on Into The Custody Of Hell. Sound-technically, there is nothing to complain about; the band's founder Frater Clades orients towards the tried and tested approach of his (Swedish) idols. But the real strength of Pulsus Furor lies in the catchy songwriting, each of the four tracks immediately sticks in your mind and the memorable riffs inevitably force the listener to switch off the brain and use the head for a much more appropriate function: headbanging as if there were no tomorrow. Your air guitar should also definitely be nearby, the carefully used guitar solos simply cry out for an appreciation of the guitar work in your living room.
Glass Mimic - Stitches (USA)
[Post-Metal | Doom Metal]
Once upon a time, or to be a little bit more precise between 2008 and 2017, there has been a melodic death/doom metal outfit from Brooklyn, New York, going by the name of Fin'amor. They released a single in 2013 and their most respectable achievement - their sole full-length album Forbidding Mourning (2015) - was, sadly enough, already their swansong. So far, so good, but where's the connection between a dissolved and almost completely forgotten project and the new band Glass Mimic? The common ground is that all three members of Glass Mimic used to be a part of Fin'amor and it's therefore fair to say that we are dealing with seasoned musicians. To come right to the point: their first EP reinforces this claim. Stitches is not necessarily a direct continuation of the material on Forbidding Mourning, but the result of a logical evolution of the musicians involved and the interpretation of their musical preferences in a more modern setting. Doom has remained as the core of the music, but the harsh tones of death/doom have been wiped away in favor of wamer, mellower and more reflective sounds, which are briefly interrupted by bloodcurdling growls in only one of the three songs. Instead of a heavy load of death metal growls, clear vocals now prevail, which fit very well with the musical arrangements rooted in post-metal and gothic metal. But not only the vocals show the stylistic change, "urban doom" or "post doom" instead of "death doom" is what the musicians call it now, and the presented symbiosis of urban loneliness and interpersonal tragedies can indeed be described very aptly with these few words.
Coffin Breath - The Tenebrous Mist (Unknown Country)
[Death / Doom Metal]
Opting for anonymity and obscurity, Coffin Breath have released a spectacular demo of top-tier death doom metal, which is surely going to be picked up by people sooner or later because it is just so good. For now, we don't know who they are or where they come from. At the end of the title track, there is a sample of the famous speech given by Aris Velouchiotis in Lamia, after the Greek city was liberated from Nazi occupation on October 19th, 1944 but that doesn't necessarily say much about the project's origin. Musically, The Tenebrous Mist pairs cavernous growls that emerge from some bottomless abyss with harrowing, spine-chilling screams, while slow, skull-splitting drum beats and gut-punching double kicks bludgeon their way into your consciousness. This 20-minute demo brings together a huge guitar tone and massive, brutal bass hammers with engrossing, yet misery-laden guitar harmonies. The entire second half of "Marching Into Lethargy" kept me in a state of constant awe right until the song ended. At 'Name your price' on Bandcamp, this is a steal.
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