Clandestine Cuts Vol. 12 Issue #10 - Awesome New Demos and EPs
|Written by:||nikarg, musclassia, X-Ray Rod, Starvynth, F3ynman2000|
Clandestine Cuts Volume 12, Issue #10
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 #9
Clandestine Cuts Vol. 12 #8
Clandestine Cuts Vol. 12 #7
And now to the new music...
Urstaat - Urstaat (Greece)
[Instrumental Post-Metal | Sludge Metal]
The term ‘Urstaat’ is a political concept by Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari. The band Urstaat is a new, instrumental post-metal / sludge four-piece from Greece that relies on heavy and slow-burning riffs, atmospheric and melodic passages, and an overarching atmosphere of gloom and hopelessness. They also have a strong political stance, which is why their (arguably best) song “Uncanny Valley (Bukimi No Tani)” is featured in the Metal Solid@rity compilation, among songs of many well-known and other not so well-known Greek metal bands. Musically, the influence of bands like Pelican and Amenra is fairly obvious, but Urstaat are clearly onto something good and authentic with their self-titled EP, mainly due to the interesting ideas and structures of their long, sprawling songs. Ursaat let their doomy riffs play out without a hurry, and make music that is as much immersive as it is crushing.
Intranced - Intranced (USA)
[Hard Rock | Heavy Metal]
Intranced is a new, LA-based band, hitting that sweet spot between infectious hard rock and flashy metal. The band is a trio fronted by Holy Grail vocalist James-Paul Luna, with Fortress’s Fili Bibiano on guitars/bass/synths, and also featuring drummer Ben Richardson of Poisoned Chalice, whose EP we covered earlier this year. Intranced’s self-titled debut release contains -in between a short intro and outro- four songs of very infectious and punchy music, with guitar work made for air-playing, choruses to sing along to, and uplifting percussion. The music is energetic, airy and enthusiastic; it kicks down the door and enters your home to raise your spirits whenever you’re down in the dumps. Sure, this stuff used to be popular in prehistoric times, but this type of licks, melodies, and vocals will always have a crowd, especially when it’s so well made. And it gets extra points for the awesome cover art by the great Michael Whelan.
Canyoneer - You, Only To Scale (USA)
[Progressive Metal | Post-Rock]
Feast your eyes, ladies and gents! Or, rather, prepare your ears - for a wave of aural excellence approaches! Canyoneer's debut EP contains three mostly instrumental songs, in which they get to show off all their musical mastery. The title track "You, Only To Scale", after an initial infusion of catchy guitar-driven energy, drifts off to a quieter moment, characterized by occasional cymbals and toms. The tension slowly builds up again to an eventual barrage of menacing riffs, which naturally transitions via a droning, foreboding atmosphere to the second song, "The Heat Has Gravity". We hear a sweet melody creating a psychedelic ambience. Then the tranquil dreamscape shifts in the last seconds of the song, unleashing a storm of technical guitar solos and powerful drum beats. Their final piece, "Kakarot Lives!", offers some pure, headbang-inducing heaviness, kicking off with a howling scream and thundering, palm-muted riffs. In conclusion, You, Only To Scale is the perfect resume. In less than ten minutes, Canyoneer demonstrate their capacity for catchy guitar-work, their skills with complex, light-speed solos, and an ability to craft peaceful prog ambience. I can't wait to hear more!
Zorya - Escapism (Slovenia)
For the second month in a row, I find myself writing about a Slovenian one-man band. The project in this instance, Zorya, is the work of Jan Oblak; although Atletico Madrid’s fortunes this season might warrant some escapism, I suspect that Escapism was not created by the Atletico goalkeeper, but rather someone sharing his name. Escapism falls under the blackgaze/post-black umbrella, with “Autumn” depicted with an apt degree of melancholy, as sadly melodic guitar passages are punctuated by extensively distorted harsh vocals. Aside from the vocals, the drums stand out on this record, as they are pushed very front and centre in the mix, particularly as they build atmosphere early in “Zorya - Pain II”, a song that backs and forths in terms of dynamics and vocal intensity. The connections of Zorya to black metal are somewhat tenuous, as there is very little in the way of up-tempo aggression here, but the infusion of some of the more atmospheric aspects of blackgaze with a general sense of morose dreaminess pays dividends for Oblak on Escapism.
Vilespawn - Rotting Apparitions (Chile)
The putrid intro quickly sets the tone for this powerful slab of old-school death metal. I can't seem to find any information regarding the members of Vilespawn except that they hail from Chile and that they are only a duo. One could argue that this only amplifies the old-school nature of this beast. The less you know, the more intriguing it is. And while the sound itself is as far away from fresh as you can get, this duo manages to achieve great things with it. The cavernous production is a near perfect match for the caveman growls, the morbid tone of the riffs and the mental solos. Even the bass is very audible and manages to catch your attention, especially on the last track. The way the riffs and guitar leads change will twist your stomach in the same way bands like Demilich did back in the day. However, there is a small element of surprise to be found. Even though it’s something that has been done plenty of times, I was still greatly pleased by the use of synths during the interludes. The main track, “Beyond The Realms Of Existence” even closes on an ambient-heavy note as the melodies from the guitar and synths become highly cosmic towards the end. It is clear that Vilespawn has more than one dimension of sounds. With Rotting Apparitions being their very first demo, I can’t wait to hear more!
by X-Ray Rod
Ancient Enemy - The Plague Ship (USA)
Don't let the label "thrash metal" mislead you! I stumbled across Ancient Enemy while searching for new doom metal demos and I must admit that for a moment I felt a bit fooled by the band, because the combination of the tags "doom" and "thrash" didn't make any sense to me at first sight. Fortunately, however, I was curious enough to listen to their work, and I didn't regret it for a second. The Plague Ship is the band's first EP and features five lyrically connected songs that depict the outbreak of the Black Death on a doomed sailing ship. Dirty midtempo thrash metal indeed provides the musical backbone, but the riffs are heavier and the basic mood is darker than one would expect from conventional thrash metal, so the tag "doom" makes perfect sense. The fact that the Californian quartet masters many varieties of heavy music becomes clear at the latest by the third track, which starts at slow pace but quickly builds up into a stomping banger with fast blasts and tremolo picking, only to turn into a groovy melange of heavy metal and hard rock towards the end. Also the vocalist seems to feel comfortable in many genres; he could easily front a death/black metal band with his throaty, hoarse voice, and he also doesn't shy away from epic clean vocals, lending the last track a surprising but very welcome traditional heavy metal note.
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