Clandestine Cuts Vol. 12 Issue #7 - Awesome New Demos and EPs
|Written by:||nikarg, X-Ray Rod, RaduP, musclassia, Starvynth|
Clandestine Cuts Volume 12, Issue #7
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 #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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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