Clandestine Cuts Vol. 12 Issue #2 - Awesome New Demos and EPs
|Written by:||nikarg, musclassia, Starvynth|
Clandestine Cuts Volume 12, Issue #2
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. 12 #1
Clandestine Cuts Vol. 11 #12
Clandestine Cuts Vol. 11 #11
And now to the new music...
Sunriseless - Dualism (Brazil)
[Melodic Death Metal | Deathcore]
Sunriseless is a one-man project by Brazilian musician and producer, Michel Oliveira. He is part of a few other bands in the djent / progressive / alternative metal spectrum but Sunriseless is totally his own child since he has done everything himself on this debut EP. The music of Sunriseless is a fairly technical hybrid of melodic death metal and deathcore. There are different vocal approaches, from deep death metal growls and blackened shrieks to melodic clean ones. The production is very clear and polished, and the result sounds very professional. Song #2 ("Tela") is probably the catchiest of the bunch but all the tracks have hefty doses of groove, hooks, breakdowns, and melodies to grab your attention and keep it undivided throughout Dualism's runtime.
Desolate Grave - Det Sista Steget (Sweden)
[Symphonic Doom Metal]
Det Sista Steget (which popular search engine translation tools tell me means ‘The Last Step’) is the debut release from Desolate Grave, a project led by David Mauritzon (Sign Of Cain, amongst other bands) that has, after over a decade on the backburner, finally been brought to life. With a history in death and doom metal bands, it’s unsurprising that Mauritzon’s one-man project is also on the heavy side; however, there’s a symphonic grandeur to the hefty, plodding doom heard on Det Sista Steget. The vibrant synth arrangements on “Nezariy” add a majestic and fantastical contrast to its grim death/doom base, while the stirring violin sounds and melodic cleans (from guest Sandra Mattsonn) add a folky charm to the climax of closing song “Lariysa”.
Urzah - II (UK)
Self-described as ‘earthy noise from Bristol’, Urzah are at their basest description a sludge metal band, but such a simple tag would overlook the Gojira-isms, the clean post-metal expansions, and the proggy song structures and use of complex rhythms, all of which are found already within the first song “Where Is Your Sun?/Bloodrite”. There is perhaps room to grow still in finding the most natural way to fuse these ideas together into a flowing song, but the ideas themselves are great; what’s more, there’s also a nice degree of variety on the record. While that opening song is relatively brooding (albeit with an energetic midsection and a crushing outro), “Greedbather” is an uptempo punky cut, while album highlight “Shards” borrows elements from epic stoner bands such as The Sword with its slick guitar leads, emphatic solo and huge-sounding climax.
Old Spirit - Old Spirit (USA)
[Psychedelic Heavy Rock]
Old Spirit is the project of Jason Hartman of Vanishing Kids and Jex Thoth fame. On this self-titled debut, he is responsible for all instruments, vocals, programming, engineering, producing, and mixing. Sounds like a lot of work, especially if you take into account what a mindfuck this release is. Standing on a foundation of psychedelic heavy rock, the music takes various different forms alluding to styles that do not easily mix; you will find ‘70s/’80s classic heavy metal here, proto-black, stoner, grunge, a bit of electronic… you name it. Sounds of Mercyful Fate, Celtic Frost, Melvins, and The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown are melded in an alchemical experiment, making Old Spirit impossible to fit into a specific genre. Instruments and sounds are found together in places no one would normally expect to find them. On paper, all this should not work, but it mysteriously does. It is quite wacky, but also very enjoyable.
Eisengrind - As Above – So Below (Germany)
[Melodic Black / Death Metal]
Blackened melodic death metal may not be the most innovative music genre, but every now and then new bands emerge from the underground to deliver an excellent job right from the start, and Eisengrind from Karlsruhe is one of these bands. The German foursome has packed six songs on As Above – So Below, and already the first track, the band anthem "Eisengrind", surprises with a modern, powerful sound and an unexpectedly professional production. This professionalism runs like a red line through the entire EP, which offers a refreshing mixture of memorable choruses, catchy hook lines and pointed songwriting with groove, melody and punch. The biggest surprise, however, is that Eisengrind is a new band consisting of almost completely unknown musicians, as their first EP conveys the exact opposite of inexperience.
Pušča - Éphémère (Ukraine)
[Post-Black Metal | Blackened Hardcore]
Valir, Seira, Yusuf and Xosé are young musicians from Lviv who came together in 2018 to create music that is very evocative, but pretty difficult to classify. Somewhere between post-metal, atmospheric black metal and post-hardcore there was a gap in the musical landscape, and Pušča fill that gap with an energetic mixture that occasionally reminds of L'Homme Absurde, but the four Ukrainians take it up a notch in terms of intensity, and that's especially due to the vocal abilities of their female vocalist. Seira, who sings and growls in French, takes us on an emotional roller coaster ride of deep despair and seething rage, providing a whole series of goosebump moments for each of the five songs featured on the band's first EP. On a side note, if you happen to have seen the Icelandic movie Metalhead, the last track may sound familiar: "Svarthamar" was originally composed by Pétur Þór Benediktsson and is part of the soundtrack.
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