Clandestine Cuts Vol. 11 Issue #11 - Awesome New Demos and EPs
|Written by:||nikarg, RaduP, musclassia, Starvynth|
Clandestine Cuts Volume 11, Issue #11
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 email@example.com to submit your music.)
In case you're new at this, go back and enjoy our last few issues:
Clandestine Cuts Vol. 11 #10
Clandestine Cuts Vol. 11 #09
Clandestine Cuts Vol. 11 #08
And now to the new music...
Mace ‘N’ Chain - Upon The Anvil Formed (Sweden)
[Epic Heavy Metal]
Mace ‘N’ Chain is a one-man project by David Nilsson, vocalist of the death metal band Feral, and this debut demo was written and recorded during the 2020-21 pandemic lockdowns when David could not perform with his band. His clean vocals are an acquired taste, reminiscing Eternal Champion’s Jason Tarpey. The music shows the influence of extreme metal on the demo, since it bears a very distinct rawness for an epic heavy metal release that is meant to recreate the sound and vision of bands like Virgin Steele, Manowar, and Savatage. There is even a very interesting cover of Kreator’s "Pleasure To Kill", which is treated as if it was a track off Hail To England. The demo features guest solos from Jacob Björnfot (Kvaen), Matte Marklund (Vintersorg), and Markus Lindahl (Feral), so that it has a general feeling of a bunch of extreme metal dudes playing the music that got them into metal in the first place. A debut album is expected to arrive in 2022 and, judging from Upon The Anvil Formed, it should already be one of the most anticipated releases for the traditional heavy metal genre.
Hekseblad - The Fall Of Cintra (USA)
[Raw Black Metal]
Metal inspired by Lovecraft or Tolkien is already old news, even if you can clearly tell why those resonated so much with metalheads. But it seems that those two have too big of a monopoly on the inspiration. I did end up finding some Harry Potter and some A Song Of Ice And Fire inspired metal too, but now there's finally some The Witcher inspired metal too. Granted, The Fall Of Cintra is a pretty standard raw black metal offering, with some nice acoustic ambient in one of the tracks, and it is well done for what it is, but I'd be lying if I said I cared about the music more than I care about the gimmick. Finding lyrics about the massacre at Blaviken, vampires, the White Wolf, Nilfgaard crossing the Yaruga, is pretty sweet. And the duo clearly did put effort into not letting the gimmick carry the entire thing. So some riffs and melodies do stand out. But if there's one thing on my mind, it's that the wind is howling.
Transgressive - Seize The Means Of Reproduction (USA)
Alicia Cordisco (formerly known as Tony Cordisco) is a very busy and talented musician. She recently left the very good power metal band Judicator, of which she was a founding member, but she revived her power/thrash band Project: Roenwolfe by releasing a full-length album, and she has now also launched a thrash metal project called Transgressive. Seize The Means Of Reproduction is Transgressive’s debut EP featuring two songs that will be part of the upcoming self-titled debut album, which is expected in 2022. Cordisco is a trans woman whose music is aggressive (hence the band’s name, I reckon) and confrontational, and so are her lyrics that speak about feminism, social justice, and gender issues. She almost does everything herself here, with help on lead guitar duties by her former Judicator bandmate, Joshua Payne, while Brett Windnagle of Lascaille's Shroud fame handled the drum programming, mixing, and mastering. Alicia earns no income from this EP, since all the money from the sales through the end of 2021 will be donated to the National Network of Abortion Funds. This is not your average ‘woke’ band. If you like your thrash metal to have belligerent riffs, and an audible and badass bass, check this one out.
Spirit Temple - Part 1 (Australia)
[Funeral Doom Metal | Ambient]
A thick veil of mystery surrounds the project Spirit Temple, because apart from the fact that it is a one-man band formed in Sydney and that the same nameless musician is also behind the post black metal band Rusted Earth, very little background information is available. The focus of the project's first EP is clearly set on atmosphere and instrumentation while ultra-deep and sustained growls so typical of funeral doom are used rather sparingly. Nevertheless, there is no room for boredom in the 31 minutes of playing time, because also the stylistic device of constant repetition of riffs and motifs, which is often dominant in doom metal, is deliberately avoided. Instead, each of the three tracks is structured like a journey into a surreal and disturbing fantasy world. The orchestral elements embody the unknown that lurks around every new corner, and bleak ambient soundscapes suggest that 1,000 eyes are watching your every step as you stray further and further from the safe path and lose yourself in a dense primeval forest of a world completely alien to you.
Perennial Return - Cosmic Purgatory (Finland)
[Melodic Death Metal]
An EP must be good to get in here without a Bandcamp link; as inconvenient as this absence is, Cosmic Purgatory is available on YouTube, as well as on several other streaming platforms. Hailing from Finland, Perennial Return follow in the longstanding tradition of potent melancholic melodeath, albeit with a proggy slant similar to In Mourning as well. There’s other elements in there too; “Void II” is slightly gothic-tinged at times, and approaching blackgaze in other moments. Across their first 25 minutes of released music, Perennial Return deliver an abundance of memorable melodic riffing, with a powerful atmosphere supported by a very professional-sounding production job. Cosmic Purgatory is a very strong debut that suggests that Perennial Return may well be competing with some of their more established compatriots in the future.
Dominicide - The Architecture Of Aggression (UK)
[Thrash Metal | Technical Death Metal]
The Architecture Of Aggression is not the first release from Glaswegian thrashers Dominicide, but it appears that the group has been revamped since 2017’s self-titled debut EP, with Bandcamp mentioning that the band were ‘reinvented and recast in 2020’, with only one current member specified as being in the original line-up (vocalist/guitarist Craig Law). This seemingly new-look line-up know how to hit hard though; across four songs, Dominicide infuse their aggressive thrash base with various other elements, from the tech-death that permeates the likes of “The Orchestraitors” and “Reincarnate” to the Lamb Of God influences in “Theocracy”. There’s even subtle experiments with symphonics on “The Orchestraitors”, which could be expanded further on future efforts as they work fairly well. The Architecture Of Aggression is relentless, vicious and hooky, and has enough range in influences to hint at a promising future for Dominicide in their current iteration.
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A Nice Guy
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