Clandestine Cuts Vol. 12 Issue #4 - Awesome New Demos and EPs
|Written by:||nikarg, RaduP, musclassia, Starvynth|
Clandestine Cuts Volume 12, Issue #4
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 #3
Clandestine Cuts Vol. 12 #2
Clandestine Cuts Vol. 12 #1
And now to the new music...
Denali - Denali (UK)
[Melodic Death / Doom Metal]
Denali is a new death doom metal band featuring members of Countless Skies and Everest Queen, and whose music is sure to satisfy fans of the Peaceville Three, early Katatonia, Swallow The Sun, October Tide, and Shape Of Despair. Their influences don’t stop there and you can get a taste of those in this playist. According to guitarist and main songwriter, James McGrenery, the world of Denali is “lush with mournful reflections on loss, desperation and madness”. Indeed, the music of this self-titled EP is sombre and melancholic with very heavy riffs, but also full of heart-wrenching melodies. The songwriting and musicianship are so mature and well-worked that this release could very well have belonged to a long-established band. Denali sound like they are just one step before widespread recognition in the death doom world but they probably don’t know it yet. When they do achieve it, remember that you read about them here first.
Akraia - Tartarus/Persephone (Germany)
[Doom Metal | Stoner Metal]
A spin-off from Kavrila, Akraia are a German two-piece exploring all things doom with their two-song debut, Tartarus/Persephone (the record cover mentions a side B with a song called “Aimomixia”, but I believe that’s only available on physical copies). “Tartarus” allows a gradual reveal of Akraia’s capabilities; crawling doom plods along for a while, before performing a bait-and-switch and going all-in on a dark desert rock groove. Once they wrote a song with that structure once, Akraia were clearly happy with it, because “Persephone” is more of the same; thankfully, it turns out that they were onto something, as the slower, trudging stomps that kick off each song evolve naturally into rowdy headbang material.
Design Flaw - Beasts Of A Future Decay (USA)
[Post-Metal | Post-Hardcore]
Citing influences such as Alcest, Deftones and Failure, it is perhaps unsurprising that Design Flaw linger on the borders between metallic and other heavy alternative territories. With post-rock tremolos, post-hardcore energy, progressive song structures, lush post-metal progressions (particularly on the magnificent "Andromeda") and more placed within a warm, emotionally aware melting pot, Design Flaw deftly scratch many itches at once, and that’s before “Ghost” brings Karnivool-resembling alternative soundscapes into the equation. This is an EP that borrows from many sounds to produce something that feels warmly familiar yet distinct enough to stand out against a wall of competition. Perhaps a controversial pick for Clandestine Cuts, as it does linger on the fringes of metal, but Beasts Of A Future Decay was just too solid to ignore.
Cobra Spell - Anthems Of The Night (Netherlands)
[Hard Rock | Glam]
Cobra Spell is a new glam-loving, hard rock band that was formed by guitarist Sonia Anubis (ex-Crypta, ex-Burning Witches) and also featured vocalist Alexx Panza (Hitten) up until a week ago, when he was replaced by Kristina Vega. Line-up changes in bands are often inevitable and Sonia Anubis must believe a lot in this project of hers, since she left Crypta to focus entirely on it. And why not? There is some pretty good stuff here. The band photos scream ‘80s hair metal so one can easily guess what the music sounds like. Anthems Of The Night is Cobra Spell’s second EP and it is all about drugs, sex, fast driving, and partying. The music is simple but very memorable, with dynamic and uplifting riffs, shredding solos, and vocals that invite you to sing along. The guitar work stands out, since Sonia is a very competent player, and there is also some additional performance by Sebastian Silva of Silver Talon and Unto Others. All in all, this EP is catchy, rife with hooks, and some fitting music to play loud when mentally driving a Lamborghini Jalpa.
Weaving Shadows - Green Void (USA)
[Sludge Metal | Drone Metal]
Weaving Shadows are a bit hard to tag under a single genre, but that would most likely be sludge metal. However, I'd really like to be more specific than that. The fuzz and heavy bass that is a trademark of sludge in its heavy form is also a trademark of stoner metal, and the soft (relatively) guitars solos do add a bit of a jammy touch to Green Void, something to take them not very far from Sleep. Heavy echoey vocals and crushing riffing doesn't stick that far from doom metal, and the elongated long-form songwriting and focus on repetition also rings drone metal. The sound quality doesn't fully enhance the sound, which is to be expected this early in someone's career, but there's a hypnotic heaviness that already rings sweet sweet smoke to follow to the riff-filled land.
Wretchgod - Stygian Blood Ritual (USA)
[Blackened Death Metal]
Breaking news: On the Nebraska-Iowa border, the earth has just opened up, exposing the gateway to hell, and on the edge of the abyss stand five black-clad figures, musically accompanying the creeping but unstoppable end of the world and celebrating every soul sucked into the endless depths with a nasty grin. Wretchgod from Omaha, NE play a blend of cavernous death metal and menacing black metal, but unlike many of their peers they don't get lost in dissonant cacophony. The quintet's first EP Stygian Blood Ritual, consisting of two parts, comes across as extremely bleak, abysmal and threatening in the overall picture, but somehow the sinister fivesome still manages to spice their music with a high recognition value and accessibility. However, the origin of this catchiness cannot be explained by sweet and mellow melodies, for Stygian Blood Ritual sounds as filthy as it gets. It's rather many small details that make for memorable moments in between the weeping and gnashing of teeth of the lost souls: addictive lead guitar parts, haunting tremolo riffing, impressive bass lines, sophisticated but never too technical drumming and just the right mix of deep guttural growls, goosebump-inducing howls and vicious black metal shrieks.
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