Clandestine Cuts Vol. 12 Issue #1 - Awesome New Demos and EPs
|Written by:||nikarg, RaduP, musclassia, Starvynth|
Clandestine Cuts Volume 12, Issue #1
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 #12
Clandestine Cuts Vol. 11 #11
Clandestine Cuts Vol. 11 #10
And now to the new music...
Sentencer - Inception (Brazil)
Sentencer come from Brazil and their debut EP is old-school heavy metal with emphasis on the guitars. Melodic and classic-sounding heavy metal riffs as well as over-the-top solos are the dish of the day, and there is even an audible bass here and there to pay homage to Steve Harris. In fact, Iron Maiden is very much the band of reference on Inception. The vocals often sound like a cleaner version of Exodus’s Steve “Zetro” Souza, which can be an acquired taste. The production is pretty much vintage and not flashy at all, and it accentuates the retro approach of the compositions.
Phreneticis - Maze Of Time (Portugal)
[Progressive Death Metal | Technical Death Metal]
Quite often, there are some rough edges to records featured in Clandestine Cuts articles; it is dedicated to unsigned bands at the very beginning of their careers, after all. Still, not every beginner band is confined to lo-fi bedroom recordings; Portugal’s Phreneticis announce themselves to the world with a very professional sound, one that provides both weight and clarity to their techy prog-death sound in equal measure. These convoluted compositions offer up everything from frenetic, complex attacks to meaty grooves, and features its fair share of impressive melodic solos. On top of all that, there’s room for emotionally stirring clean bridges (“Halved Corpse”, probably the pick of the bunch on Maze Of Time), weird jazzy detours (“Haunted Temple”) and slow, emphatic climaxes (“Kingdom Of Isolation”). With Phreneticis first founded in 2015, Maze Of Time seems to have been a fair few years in the making, but it very much has been time well spent based on the final product.
UIV - Frigus (USA)
[Progressive Death Metal | Blackened Death Metal]
Five years after their excellent demo, 2017's Solis, UIV expand both the sound and the runtime on their Frigus EP. With five tracks and clocking in at 22 minutes, Frigus might feel like a more condensed version of the blackened disso-death sound that has gained so much traction lately. With a sound similar to Ulcerate, Chaos Echœs, and Imperial Triumphant, it might be tough to really carve a niche unless you're far more technical, brutal, or atmospheric than your contemporaries, but UIV manage to balance all of these approaches without forcing the sound too much in one direction. Gritty vocals, incredible drum work, doom injections, moments of straight-forward riffing intertwined with angular dissonance, and a sense for the simmering atmospheres. The lineup of UIV is completely anonymous, but judging by the maturity in songwriting here, I wouldn't be surprised to find some veterans hidden here.
Prehistoria - Cursed Lands (USA)
Prehistoria is a U.S. power metal band, featuring current and former members of Zephaniah, Well Of Night, and Unity. U.S. power metal means that there is virtually no flowery stuff here, like what you find on the European variety of the style. On Cursed Lands you will enjoy engaging melodies that enhance the effect of powerful - and often thrashy - riffs, a killer rhythm section to back everything up, and versatile vocals soaring over the instruments. This EP definitely packs a punch, with both the heavy and the melodic sections standing out and giving the album an aggressive but also accessible character. Moreover, there are numerous prog elements making the compositions more complex than what the norm is for the style, and showcasing the members’ technically proficient musicianship. So, if you like your power metal bulldozer-heavy, not simplistic, and very melodic, but without the cheese, do not miss this. It is way too good and way too professional. Oh, and its stunning cover art is the work of Adam Burke.
Tryśt - Tryśt (Germany)
[Atmospheric Black Metal]
"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" is written in the introduction of every Clandestine Cuts article, but for Tryśt any kind of support comes too late. They have already disbanded at the end of last year, so this posthumously released EP will remain the band's only legacy, and with that knowledge in mind the trio's atmospheric black metal sounds even more hopeless and final than it would anyway. The two guitars compete to see which of them can hum the most saddening melody, and the accusing, raspy vocals do their part to leave a depressing and gloomy doomsday mood. After 24 minutes, the last track "Abschied" (German for "farewell") painfully reveals that everything is really over now: the curtain falls to mute the last reverberations, and a deep desire to hear the swansong once again is all that remains.
Spreading Miasma - Spreading Miasma (Germany)
[Technical Death Metal]
Spreading Miasma have been doing their thing in the German tech-death underground since 2009 (at that time with a completely different line-up), but it took them 10 years after their first work Illumination to release their second output. A lot has happened in the scene in the meantime, and pure technical death metal without resorting to other genres or gimmicks like brass instruments has become almost a rarity these days. However, with their self-titled EP, the German quartet proves that you don't have to pander to every trend. Spreading Miasma offers 22 minutes of no-frills, straightforward tech-death that bursts out of the speakers with lots of punch, precision and contrast, but never sounds like primitive, one-dimensional banging. The four gentlemen from the city of Giessen show with their five tracks very impressively that they truly master their instruments, but fortunately they don't have any hand free for unnecessary wankery.
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