Clandestine Cuts Vol. 12 Issue #6 - Awesome New Demos and EPs
|Written by:||nikarg, X-Ray Rod, RaduP, musclassia, Starvynth|
Clandestine Cuts Volume 12, Issue #6
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. 12 #5
Clandestine Cuts Vol. 12 #4
Clandestine Cuts Vol. 12 #3
And now to the new music...
Poisoned Chalice - Poisoned Chalice (USA)
[Epic Heavy Metal]
A king greets his subjects. They managed to condense heavy metal into drink. The king is, of course, skeptical of the entire ordeal, so he questions them:
"Is this overproduced like all the big label albums?"
"This better not have any galloping riffs, thunderous drums, and epic vibes."
"No, milord, just rehashing with minimal effort!"
"I do smell quite a bit of a NWOBHM in it"
"Pardon me saying, but you must be imagining it, milord!"
"Weren't there supposed to be just two of you? Who is this Menno fella?"
"We required some bass juice for the drink, but he is not with us, milord."
"Alright, I'll take your word for it, this better be as milquetoast as you promised."
The king takes a sip and immediately collapses to the ground, grabs his throat and struggles to scream:
"You fools, you poisoned the heavy metal chalice with vigorous performances and punchy production, and you've made it both sleazy and powerful!"
"No more shall ye reign, ye poser!"
Malva Silvestre - Desvíos III (Spain)
[Raw / Atmospheric Black Metal]
Malva Silvestre is another black metal project of Spanish multi-instrumentalist J. His first project, Desrealización, already released a full length in 2020. But according to bandcamp, Malva Silvestre is now J's main black metal project. No doubt thanks to his Desvíos series. Desvíos ("Detours" in Spanish) is a proper name as J states the series recollects songs composed "in the same moment" and focuses on raw, atmospheric tones rather than elaborate tracks. This type of improv works wonders for him as the compositions flow organically and with plenty of, well... detours! First there are some furious riffing, taking on an epic atmospheres like the master-class riffing from Weakling. As "Hacia el Portal" crushes you at first, it suddenly changes and mends your wounds with mysterious, esoteric keyboards that seem to come straight out of a hallucinogenic fever dream. The listener floats in a cloud of strange beauty as "Vistas" cranks up the melancholic keyboards even more. Last song "Mareo Bajo Influjo Lunar" sounds almost sci-fi throughout the whole ordeal with odd breaks of post-punk-style bass 'n' drums here and there in a very Laster fashion. For a raw black metal project, it is extremely impressive how many styles and textures have been nicely mixed here. With 3 demos and an EP, I believe Malva Silvestre is ready to unleash a proper debut.
by X-Ray Rod
Emissary - Emissary (Finland)
[Power Metal | Speed Metal]
Don’t be deterred by the power metal tag; coming from Finland, this EP is the complete opposite of cheesy euroflower metal. It is old school U.S. power metal with a love for thrash and speed, recommended for fans of Helstar and the like. The guitars are absolutely insane (although the mix doesn't do them total justice), both in the punishing riffing department and the extravagant soloing acrobatics; just listen to “Rising Order” and get blown away by it, and by every song after it. There is quite a bit of reverb on the vocals, which are definitely an acquired taste, because they are very theatrical. They jump from epic to doomy to screaming to… whatever you can think of, and they are high in the mix, which means that they can get you annoyed if they are not your thing. The bass is very audible, which adds an extra cult layer to the overall sound, while there are also some spacey, extraterrestrial synths and effects. This self-titled, debut EP from Emissary feels like it belongs both to the past and the future.
Dornen - Leidensweg (Germany)
[Blackened Sludge Metal]
Invoking suffering and the relationship with higher powers on Leidensweg, Dornen match the intensity of their lyrics with a fierce instrumental attack on their debut release. Bringing together black, sludge and post-metal in a grim and bleak package, the Germans unleash venomous blackened frenzies, lock into dirty sludgy grooves and explore dynamic fluctuations across this dense EP, with songs that will appeal to fans of the likes of Regarde Les Hommes Tomber, Au-Dessus, Schammasch and related acts. The two-part closer “Gehorsam” sees Dornen explore a wider range of tones, first with the cleaner melodic guitar motifs on part 1, and then with the eerie dark ambience in the second part. A fiery and captivating debut outing, Leidensweg has made Dornen a name for me to pay real attention to going forward.
Zwaan - Zwaan (Netherlands)
[Experimental Black / Death Metal]
Zwaan are truly a band willing to throw whatever they can crab at the wall and force it to stick there. I must admit that my initial impression was more than ambivalent. Just the masks of the members were enough to make me cringe a little. Then I see the serene artwork with a menacing logo. There are already 3 things that don't fit. Is it truly experimental or just trying too hard to be weird? Well, Zwaan made me eat my words after 5 minutes. There is so much genre-bending going on to satisfy all the cravings of the weird ones among us! Catchy hooks? You got it. The groove on the guitar work transcends the threshold between black and death metal. These infectiously catchy riffs as well as the animalistic approach on the vocals suddenly remind me of Cobalt in how relentless everything is. Jeez, some of these sections get so aggressive and rotten you can almost imagine a grindcore act like old-Benighted doing a split with them. Frost-bitten riffs? No problem. "Human Cattle" is a total riff-fest that channels golden-era Immortal, with lizard vocals and all. Melodic? Just listen to the final track which starts with a vicious rendition of second-wave riffs and blastbeats that all of a sudden burst into a crescendo of melodious shoegaze-like euphoria and tranquil guitars. The fact that a band can blend so many styles isn't impressive on itself. But Zwaan absolutely nails everyone of them in less than 15 minutes and make it sound cohesive. Now THAT'S impressive!
by X-Ray Rod
Being-In-Itself - I (UK)
[Post-Metal | Doom Metal | Blackgaze]
I must admit that it is more often than not the vocalist who determines whether I like new music or not. I've heard too many examples of bad vocals spoiling even the greatest song, that's why I rarely give a band a second chance when the vocalist doesn't immediately appeal to me. I avoid instrumental music for similar reasons; it usually only takes a few minutes before the feeling prevails that something crucial is missing. Well, I is a purely instrumental work, but even after the umpteenth listen I really don't miss anything. Being-In-Itself is a recently formed one-person band from Worcester, UK, and this EP is their first sign of life, but that's pretty much all we know about the project. The minimalism in the choice of the album title is continued in the song titles, as these consist only of ascending numbers, which leaves a lot of room for interpretation. The self-chosen term "post-metal" offers only a vague description of the music and this becomes clear right at the beginning, because if you imagine the first song with either clean vocals or growls, it would undoubtedly pass for doom metal or death/doom. The second track, with its contrast of dreamy keyboard sounds and the initially heavy guitars that are overlaid with tremolo picking towards the end, seems like a transition to the third and final song of the EP, whose mélange of atmospheric post-black metal and blackgaze sounds so uplifting and upbeat, as if Dekadent and Violet Cold spontaneously got together to jam their favorite Alcest riffs.
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