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Clandestine Cuts Vol. 12 Issue #7 - Awesome New Demos and EPs

Written by: nikarg, X-Ray Rod, RaduP, musclassia, Starvynth
Published: 07.08.2022

Clandestine Cuts Volume 12, Issue #7
The Metal Storm Demo/EP Spotlight

Brand New Independent Metal Lives Here.
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 to submit your music.)

In case you're new at this, go back and enjoy our last few issues:

Clandestine Cuts Vol. 12 #6
Clandestine Cuts Vol. 12 #5
Clandestine Cuts Vol. 12 #4

And now to the new music...

Wings Of Steel - Wings Of Steel (USA)
[Hard Rock | Heavy Metal]

Wings Of Steel are newcomers, but this self-titled debut EP of theirs is a release that belongs to an accomplished band. The variety amongst the songs is quite surprising for the style they play, since you get some ‘80s heavy and U.S. power metal in the first couple of tracks, a bluesy hard rock, arena-filler in “Rhythm Of Desire”, an acoustic beauty in “Khamsin Riders”, and a sensational mid-tempo rocker/power ballad in “Black Out The Street”. The vocals are particularly pleasing; they are soulful, expressive, and have a great range. The guitar work is also exquisite, showing off some great riffs, but it is simply breathtaking when the Malmsteen-like solos kick in. The production and mix are flawless; it is unbelievable that Wings Of Steel was written and recorded in a bomb shelter turned studio. I have nothing to offer in the form of criticism; this stuff is extremely good, and I cannot wait for a full-length.

by nikarg

Obelos - Green Giant (UK)
[Stoner Metal | Doom Metal]

Obelos have a bong containing the yin/yang sign as the letter ‘b’ in their band logo, and their first EP is called Green Giant; if you haven’t guessed it yet, they’re a stoner metal band. Still, this isn’t easy-going stoner; Obelos come from the UK, and follow in the vein of compatriots in Electric Wizard and Conan by playing a doomy form of stoner metal with some earth-shakingly rumbling guitar tones paired with frenzied distorted vocals. At 27 minutes, this EP runs longer than most Clandestine Cuts entries, and that length gives them time to revel in the various riffs they bring out to truly show off that nasty distortion of theirs. “Paranoise” and “Holy Smokes” offer some brief respite, but for the most part, this record hits you with bluesy, plodding, groovy doomy goodness, and I’m right here to savour it.

by musclassia

Swarm - Swarm (Finland)
[Stoner Metal | Hard Rock]

I’m covering two stoner releases this month, but they’re from two very different ends of the spectrum. In contrast to the thick churn of Obelos, Swarm embrace a sense of calm in many moments, and even the heavier parts use a warm fuzzy tone. The gentle male/female harmonized vocals, the cheeky retro-prog keyboard flourishes, the slack Americana acoustic guitars on “Frail” and other elements all slot in nicely next to that gentle fuzzy groove, making Swarm into a song that one can effortlessly vibe with, equals parts rocking out and spacing out.

by musclassia

Apoorv Singh Kathait - The Chronicles Of Shredman Singh (India)

The Chronicles Of Shredman Singh is technically a bit on the narrative and conceptual side; it follows a titular character named Shredman Singh as it feels certain emotions, each contained in a single track, for the first time. And it is narrative due to its concept that is done purely instrumentally, which makes conceptual sense as The Chronicles detail how Shredman Singh finds a way to communicate with other beings through the guitar. Emotion conveyed through shred instrumental prog is nothing new, but an EP, short as it is, dedicated specifically to the concept, works pretty neatly. And even though most of the more metal moments come in the "Rage" track, Singh is still best at expressing joy, with the kind of overly enthusiastic sounds that reflect the brightness of the cover art and the good-natured concept of the EP.

by RaduP

Exhumation - Twilight Of The Funebre Night (Spain)
[Funeral Doom Metal]

If you feel a bit sluggish, hungover, and with a dark cloud on top of you (like yours truly), then this could be the perfect morning soundtrack for your slow day. The organ sets the tone immediately. It’s incredible how much that instrument elevates funeral doom metal. And yes, I understand this means Exhumation are borrowing heavily from Skepticism here. But at least these Spaniards are borrowing from a couple of other bands and combining these sounds into a cohesive whole that truly shines like a candle in a crypt. The muddy, cavernous sound of the riffs finds a match with the monstrous growls. These growls and screams are nicely distorted, echoing, and well-mixed in the background. This match produces an otherworldly and putrid cloak of darkness that engulfs you in a way not so different from Thergothon or Catacombs. But there is much more to this EP than cosmic horrors. Calming lead guitars carry the listener through the different sections of sonic woe. Some are truly heavy, as mentioned before, but Exhumation also adds moments that are surprisingly heartfelt. Gorgeous, ethereal choirs à la Bell Witch pop up every now and then. They add an emotional, and very human, layer that many funeral doom metal bands forget to think about. It is easy to drown in a pool of repetitive unoriginality in a genre like funeral doom. But I see no cause for concern here. With Twilight Of The Funebre Night, Exhumation excelled in carrying the different torches of other masters and then drawing a path where these influences meet.

by X-Ray Rod

Kryatjurr Of Desert Ahd - Unbearable Nightmares Of Heat And Desertification (Australia)
[Black Metal | Ambient]

Is there a more fitting moment than listening to an album with this title and songs like "Sweat" and "Searing Winds Of Endless Fire" in the midst of a heat wave, on the hottest day of the year? However, it was not the meteorological context that drew my attention to the new project Kryatjurr Of Desert Ahd from Lightning Ridge in New South Wales, but the warm recommendation of Markov Soroka. The fact that said mastermind of bands like Drown and Tchornobog mixed and mastered Unbearable Nightmares Of Heat And Desertification is pretty much the only information you can get about the (presumably) three Australians involved; everything else remains concealed by obscurity. Their first of meanwhile two EPs offers a blend of black metal and lo-fi ambient, creating an oppressive atmosphere that really has nothing to do with the positive feelings most people associate with summer, sand, and sunny weather. Occasionally, distant melodies and catchy guitar riffs get lost in the filthy mélange of raw but atmospheric black metal, noise and dense soundscapes, but only to be quickly ground to dust again by the mercilessly hammering blast beats. The album title really says it all: this EP is indeed an almost unbearable nightmare that leaves you with a painfully dry throat, parched, disoriented, and gasping for air after just under 20 minutes. If claustrophobia in an endless, barren desert can exist at all, then Kryatjurr Of Desert Ahd have created the perfect soundtrack for it.

by Starvynth


What's your favourite new release of this issue?

Login or register to vote. Results are hidden


Comments: 10   Visited by: 76 users
07.08.2022 - 21:38
Bad English
Tage Westerlund
Radu found out maybe most exta ordinary band due location, but I vote for true steel this time
Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
08.08.2022 - 20:23

It's so rare for me to find a hard rock/heavy group to vibe with, so Wings Of Steel was a pleasant surprise. They got my vote, but it almost went to Kryatjurr Of Desert Ahd for building such an interesting and, as Starvynth said, claustrophobic soundscape. Obelos and Swarm were also enjoyable, only less surprising listens for me than the first two. Great selection!
08.08.2022 - 21:56

Krytjurr Of Desert Ahd is certainly the most distinctive of these releases, interesting find Starman
09.08.2022 - 00:00

The Apoorv Singh Kathait EP is indeed super joyful!

And I really like Obelos, but Kryatjurr Of Desert Ahd is my favourite and my vote. It’s so challenging and raw - a really unique listening experience. I’ve re-listened several times.

Very cool picks in this Issue!
12.08.2022 - 18:44
Easy pick this month. Heavy metal it is.
Bow to the King Hercules!
16.08.2022 - 20:14
Nocturnal Bro
Wow! Wings of Steel is incredible! Sounds like Rob Halford in his prime!
21.08.2022 - 22:38
Gods, how I wish could check out Clandestine Cuts every time one comes out and have enough free time to listen to all new metal. Some thoughts on this issue’s offerings:

Wings Of Steel. As Nik said, they sound like an accomplished band; every single element is perfect. The vocalist can hit remarkably high notes and the guitarist can evidently shred like they have 10 fingers on each hand, but it is all in benefit of the music, no gratuitous showing-off. This EP is so good for all the reasons Nik expressed that if it was released by a long-established band following months of hype, I imagine it would still satisfy even the most demanding of fans.

Obelos. I’m not into stoner metal, but I liked this one. I lack knowledge of this genre, so I can’t go into much more detail. It is an “I feel it or I don’t” type of process for me whenever I give stoner metal a listen. My favorite moment has to be the tempo-changes in the middle of “Back Woods.” I got a decent chuckle from some of the song titles, so that’s a bonus. I also wish I could get an enormous print of the cover art to place on my wall.

Swarm. The fast melodic solo in “Nevermore” was a pleasing surprise. The ending of “There Again”, when the bass and drums withdraw, is ethereally beautiful, as is the intro and verse in “We Should Know.” I certainly felt this album too. It is time to buy a bong.

Apoorv Singh Kathait. I thoroughly enjoyed the shredding and the overall soundscape of The Chronicles Of Shredman Singh. It is metal I’d listen to (and will) in the morning to summon an elated frame of mind for the rest of the day.

Exhumation. The vocals are truly well-placed in the mix. They are my favorite element because of this. I know from firsthand experience how difficult it is to get vocals to sound right, when they are drenched in reverb and delay while the other instruments have little reverb or delay. Exhumation nailed that, certainly for their genre. The chord-progression at the beginning of Funereal Emanation is one of my favorites in all music and they used it well. A great listen overall.

Kryatjurr Of Desert Ahd. Virtually all atmospheric black metal bands would throw a minor third into the title track, but the continuous major third is much more effective for a desert-themed song. This is the most unique and emotionally effective of all the EPs here, however…

My vote goes to Swarm. Their self-titled has actually persuaded me to at least attempt to get into stoner metal. That said, I enjoyed every single one of these.

Thank You all for the article!
My one-man project's Bandcamp with free downloads:
22.08.2022 - 08:43

Written by Metren on 21.08.2022 at 22:38

My vote goes to Swarm. Their self-titled has actually persuaded me to at least attempt to get into stoner metal. That said, I enjoyed every single one of these.

I also liked Swarm a lot, and I am not a stoner fan either. As far as voting goes, I am torn between Wings Of Steel and Kryatjurr Of Desert Ahd.
04.09.2022 - 11:03
X-Ray Rod
Kryatjurr Of Desert Ahd shows a lot of promise and I want to see what they can do next for sure. Production was just a little bit too muddy for me.
I went for Exhumation in the end. It's just too well catered for my tastes.
Written by BloodTears on 19.08.2011 at 18:29
Like you could kiss my ass
Written by Milena on 20.06.2012 at 10:49
Rod, let me love you.
01.12.2022 - 16:47
i c deaf people
Written by X-Ray Rod on 04.09.2022 at 11:03

Kryatjurr Of Desert Ahd shows a lot of promise and I want to see what they can do next for sure.

Your wish can be granted quickly: listen here while you're reading this.

By the way, I'm very pleased how often the name Kryatjurr Of Desert Ahd has been explicitly mentioned in this thread. Maybe they won't get the most votes at the end of the year, after all their approach is probably a bit too disturbing for the average listener, but at least no one can claim that their music is nothing special.
signatures = SPAM

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