Clandestine Cuts Vol. 12 Issue #5 - Awesome New Demos and EPs
|Written by:||nikarg, RaduP, musclassia, Starvynth|
Clandestine Cuts Volume 12, Issue #5
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 #4
Clandestine Cuts Vol. 12 #3
Clandestine Cuts Vol. 12 #2
And now to the new music...
Bergfried - Romantik I (Austria)
[Heavy / Folk Metal]
Erech Leleth is a very talented multi-instrumentalist from Germany, now based in Austria, whose black metal project Narzissus has been featured twice already in our Clandestine Cuts (here and here). Bergfried is another child of his and an entirely different thing musically. It is a heavy / folk mix, recommended for fans of Wytch Hazel, Lordian Guard, and Grendel’s Sÿster. But let me be clear; this band is totally unique-sounding and I am pretty sure I have not heard anything like that before. Romantik I has an epic and medieval atmosphere and a lo-fi sound, and the female vocalist is nothing short of brilliant. Synths are used in abundance and they are super-cheesy and super-tasty. I cannot adequately describe this release; at times it sounds almost carnival-esque (“Hungry Hearts”, “The Battle”), at times it sounds doomy and… romantic (“War-Torn Lovers”), and at times it sounds U.S. country-like (“Oh Lord”). Just listen to it because all the time it sounds awesome and authentic.
Adharcáil - Adharcáil (USA)
[Experimental Death Metal]
For the last time, it's not that Will Smith, and no, I won't make any jokes about the Oscar's incident. What really intrigued me about Adharcáil is that it finds Colin Marston, of Krallice and Behold The Arctopus and a shitload of others, working with Baring Teeth's Andrew Hawkins on guitars and Afterbirth's Will Smith on vocals. The names are decently big, but Adharcáil's sound is as raw and unpolished as one would expect a CC band to be, even if Marston handles the mixing and the mastering. The result sounds surreally lo-fi, along with those avant-garde brutal death metal leanings that everyone involved has, but with a more restrained and atmospheric keyboard-heavy vibe, one that would certainly have some potential for refinement in the full-length phase.
Coma Hole - Coma Hole (USA)
[Stoner Metal | Grunge]
Two things I don't understand about Coma Hole's self-titled: why the cover art is so horribly cropped without any regards for how that bordering square aligns, and why they considered this 35-minutes album an EP considering that bands have released full lengths shorter than this. Other than this, this Coma Hole duo forgoes the need of a guitarist by making the bass fuzzy enough to fill that void. The energy harnessed by the two over the four songs despite the limitations in lineup and production is pretty immense, and I can only hope that Eryka Fir's vocals grow even stronger by the next release, because the pieces seem to be falling into place.
Voidhammer - The Voidhammer (USA)
[Sludge Metal | Doom Metal]
The one-man Texan project Voidhammer is self-described as ‘blackened battle stoner doom’, listing the likes of High On Fire, Celtic Frost and Conan as influences, and those bands can definitely be heard at times when listening to The Voidhammer. It’s not an easy sound to describe, despite band mastermind Lucas Rohr’s best efforts; I don’t hear too much stoner here, but I can pick up on quite a bit of High On Fire, as well as some sludge and death. With an appropriately coarse production to add some dinge to the nasty sludge doom grooves of “Altar Of Storms” and harshness to the stompy aggression of “Shieldwall Breaker”, The Voidhammer does also explore some more contemplative moods, particularly with the clean interlude “The Vision”. Bringing riffs, bite and the kind of ‘familiar yet not immediately categorizable’ sound that one needs in order to stand out from the crowd, Voidhammer are well poised to make waves in the metal underground.
Knight's Oath - II (UK)
[Epic Heavy Metal]
Although I listened to the self-titled debut EP by Knight’s Oath when it came out less than a year ago, I missed the opportunity to include it in the Clandestine Cuts at the time. Better late than never, they say, so I am correcting this mistake now that they have released their second EP, aptly titled II. The band plays a sweet mix of Warlord, Ashbury, and Wytch Hazel, but of course they are not at that level yet. However, this particular kind of epic heavy metal is difficult to go wrong, especially when it has an organic sound such as this. And you gotta love the beautiful guitar work, both when vigorous riffs and melodic leads are played. The vocals admittedly need a bit of work but, overall, Knight’s Oath are on the right track of creating some space for them in the epic metal battleground.
Wrathbearer - Leaving The Mortal Realm (Germany)
[Black Metal | Death Metal]
The first 25 seconds of the EP opener “Pillars Of Solitude” are barely over and already a broad grin spreads, because the vocalist of Wrathbearer lets you forget for a moment that Trevor Strnad is no longer among the living... Parallels to The Black Dahlia Murder's Nocturnal era are also evident on the instrumental level, but this resemblance is more of a coincidental nature, because unlike TBDM, the black metal elements on Leaving The Mortal Realm are more than just an unconscious influence; they represent an equivalent and integral component of the band's black/death metal background. The quintet, founded in Löhne in North Rhine-Westphalia in 2020, compiled three songs for their first EP, and each track impressively demonstrates the band's intention: to create music that is always brachial and usually served at breakneck speed, but remains catchy and memorable. Mission accomplished!
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