Clandestine Cuts Vol. 13 Issue #4 - Awesome New Demos and EPs
|Written by:||nikarg, musclassia, RaduP, Starvynth, Nejde, AndyMetalFreak|
Clandestine Cuts Volume 13, Issue #4
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 to this, go back and enjoy our last few issues:
Clandestine Cuts Vol. 13 #3
Clandestine Cuts Vol. 13 #2
Clandestine Cuts Vol. 13 #1
And now to the new music...
Gideon's Horn - Triumphant Command (UK/USA)
"Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones." Black metal and Judeo-Christian culture haven't been the best of friends. On one side, the obvious Nazi problem that black metal has, while on the other side Christianity was a huge part of the culture that metal evolved as the counter-culture too. So having a black metal band sing in Yiddish and introducing elements of Klezmer into the music, complete with chants and horns, while also embracing the more gruesome nature of the Old Testament that Christianity tends to gloss over, that's not only a statement in itself, but a herald of a pretty unique and avant-garde approach to black metal that might become even more refined with further Gideon's Horn releases.
Spirit Temple - Part 2 (Australia)
[Funeral Doom Metal | Ambient]
If there's a first part, then there must be a second part at some point. The ominous Australian one-man project Spirit Temple took 18 months for the follow-up to their first EP - that's an eternity if you've been waiting impatiently for something, but for funeral doom enthusiasts, who are known to tackle certain things rather slowly, it's a clear sign of pathological eagerness to work. The seconds part of Spirit Temple's bleak symbiosis of plodding doom and orchestral ambient could once again serve as the perfect soundtrack for a particular dungeons & dragons ARPG, but offers a bit more than its predecessor, especially in terms of variety. Incorporating endlessly droning guitar riffs but occasionally touching blastbeat territory, the pace is more dynamic than before, and the vocals are also more multifaceted and somewhat more present than on Part 1. However, the focus is still set on the dense and eerie atmosphere, which is mainly carried by synthesizer soundscapes. True to the maxim "less is more", usually only a short piano melody or a discreet drum accompaniment is needed to briefly break through the ambient soundscapes and to provide the many small highlights of this EP: pleasant shivers and goose bumps.
Canyoneer - Kittfall (USA)
[Progressive Metal | Post-Rock]
Last year Canyoneer debuted their first EP Only To Scale, a release that simply wowed us with quality musicianship shining through six stunningly well-crafted tracks, which varied in style. This left us listeners with a solid impression, one that created anticipation to hear more from the band in the near future. Now, just a year later, Canyoneer make a return with the instrumental, seven-track EP, titled Kittfall. What we have here on Kittfall is an outstanding display of musicianship skills, on which there is excellent drumming, amazing technical guitar work, and phenomenal bass work. Each track contains an excellently crafted progressive structure, mixed with an array of wonderful personal elements. Although the EP is instrumental, there is spoken word present on the track “It's All Our Fault Line, And It Goes On Forever”, which is also the longest one at over six-minutes long. We surely do hope to hear more from this rising star in the metal world.
Calamitous Skies - Demo 2023 (USA)
[Technical Death Metal | Progressive Death Metal]
Don't let this neat little 3-song demo fool you into thinking that you're listening to some high quality Canadian tech death. This is high quality tech death straight out of sunny California and L.A. to be more precise. Not much is known about the person behind the project other than the name Luna Darling, who describes the music as "technical death metal about nerd shit". Knowing that, my best guess is that opening track "Tiamat" refers to one of the 14 different references to Tiamat in video games and role playing games on Wikipedia, and, judging by the lyrics, not the old Mesopotamian goddess of the sea. Funnily enough, the song mostly reminds me of non-Canadians Behold The Arctopus with its intriguing rhythm changes. Second track "Kraken" is the best one here and starts off with a melodic intro before we get some pretty cool lyrics about the Kraken ruling the sea, which lasts for about a minute. Then it goes full instrumental with more intriguing guitar melodies for the remainder of the song. Last but not least, we get a cover of Nobuo Uematsu's "Birth Of A God" from one of the greatest video games ever made: Final Fantasy VII. This particular song plays during the first part of the final boss battle against Sephiroth and fans of the game will instantly recognise it, even though it's a bit more technical than it needs to be. The drum programming is on the simpler side, but it's Luna Darling's guitar playing that shines here, and, for being a demo, the production is way above average.
Savage Oath - Savage Oath (USA)
[Epic Heavy / Power Metal]
Savage Oath are going to be fairly big fairly soon. In fact, I am not sure they really belong to the Clandestine Cuts article series, since they feature guitarist Leeland Campana of Visigoth fame, vocalist Brendan Radigan of Sumerlands, guitarist Carlos Llanas (ex-Eternal Champion), and bassist Phil Ross (ex-Manilla Road). Relatively speaking, this is a supergroup. And Savage Oath is a tasty specimen of epic, galloping, thunderous, melodic, but also gritty heavy/power metal. This EP is playing in a superior league; you just need to check out the opening track and you’ll be hooked. “Warlock's Trance” starts with the bass and the drums playing off of each other, shortly after a killer riff joins the fun, and then the soaring vocals come on top. How can someone not keep listening until the end? A full-length is supposed to be coming later this year, and you cannot claim that you have not been warned.
Sunscourge - Wraith (USA)
Quite a lot of recent deathcore bands, including the likes of Lorna Shore, Shadow Of Intent and Humanity's Last Breath, have been referred to as ‘blackened deathcore’ at one point or another. There are perhaps faint hints of black metal in these bands’ music, but I’ve always found this description of them to be somewhat tenuous; if I imagine what blackened deathcore should sound like, Wraith feels far closer to my own interpretation. This is the second EP from Sunscourge, and like last year’s Scarlet, it sees project mastermind (multi-instrumentalist and songwriter) Sean Feeney joined by 3 different vocalists on each of its 3 songs, the most renowned of which being Worm Shepherd’s Devin Duarte on opening song “Deathblight Chalice”. Duarte’s initial semi-shrieked vocal style is apt for partnering the clearly blackened guitar tones employed by Feeney on “Deathblight Chalice” and Wraith as a whole; it’s not just these initial tones that tether Sunscourge with black metal, as there are also intermittent blasting and tremolo passages, but at the same time, the music is grounded in deathcore, with breakdowns, sickening pig growls, and ballistic double bass drum rolls. Perhaps the most intriguing of the three songs is closer “Mourn, O’ Child In Decay”, a slower (relatively speaking) song that to begin with feels like an atmospheric black song with jackhammer bass drums and deathcore growls on top. Overall, I appreciate the visions of Sunscourge slightly more than the actual songs Feeney’s produced thus far, but this is a very promising release.
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