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Clandestine Cuts Vol. 13 Issue #5 - Awesome New Demos and EPs

Written by: nikarg, Netzach, musclassia, RaduP, Starvynth, Abattoir
Published: 04.06.2023

Clandestine Cuts Volume 13, Issue #5
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 to this, go back and enjoy our last few issues:

Clandestine Cuts Vol. 13 #4
Clandestine Cuts Vol. 13 #3
Clandestine Cuts Vol. 13 #2

And now to the new music...

Unohdus - Niin Turhaan Tähdet Valaisivat Meitä (Finland)
[Atmospheric Black Metal]

Unohdus (Oblivion) is a one-man atmospheric black metal band from Finland, which on this short but sweet demo manages to cram in a bunch of interestingly varied elements. “Niin Turhaan Tähdet Valaisivat Meitä” (And So The Stars, In Vain, Illuminated Us) opens with a melodic, hypnotic dirge that wouldn’t be out of place on Silencer’s Death, Pierce Me, although the vocals on here aren’t nearly as theatrical, rather a raw, icy scream that fits the mood very well. There is also some, if I hear correctly, major key trickery which turns the music more into a cinematic style, and not just icy doom and gloom. The song goes on to transform into something like an atmospheric black take on Godspeed You! Black Emperor, with a heavy post-rock vibe to the twanging guitars, and a mid-song break that, just as the music seems to be on its way to intensify, dies down completely for a lonesome violin to enter. The violin was the only instrument not arranged and recorded by the eponymous Unohdus himself, and it elevates the music into cinematic, post-rock, perhaps somewhat Agalloch-like territories. The screams re-enter to finish the song as it begun, repeating “Tuhka peittää laaksot kuin muisto” (Ashes cover the valleys like a memory). “Pohjatuuli” (The Northern Wind) starts out as a more upbeat number, with the same sort of twangy post-rock guitars being played in a mid-pace tremolo above blast beats. It’s an intriguing blend of styles, perhaps not entirely original, but well-executed and showcasing a great sense of variety and thoughtful chord progressions that carry the song from minor to major keys and back to create a sense of majestic drama that leaves one hoping for more.

by Netzach

Gorgon’s Slave - The Groundfloor Sessions (Greece)
[Doom Metal]

Gorgon’s Slave take their name after a Pentagram song. They have Phil ‘Deceiver’ Howlett -from the recently disbanded Lucifer's Fall- sing the song “Live Or Die”. Can you guess what kind of music The Groundfloor Sessions demo features? Unsurprisingly, this is undiluted, traditional doom metal of the Saint Vitus/Reverend Bizarre kind. The most upbeat, menacing, and catchy song is the one with ‘Deceiver’ on vocals, with his Tom Warrior-y ughs and all; the other two main tracks (the untitled one is just an instrumental outro) are doomier, with slower parts, and they are both longer, but without overstaying their welcome. If anything, “Bride Meets Evil” would actually benefit from some extended runtime, since it finishes with a great solo that fades out and leaves the listener asking for more. The atmosphere is thick and dark, the vocals are a bit theatrical, the drum machine is pretty damn good, the bass is nasty, and the guitar is unfuzzy and has an unfriendly tone. This demo is a very promising first encounter with the band, with songs that need a few tweaks here and there to be more ‘complete’, but this is a solid doom banger nonetheless.
by nikarg

Iron Buddha - Raze//Repose (USA)
[Sludge Metal]

There’s EPs that appear in Clandestine Cuts that sound like the bands behind them are ready to make the jump to a full-length debut; at 30 minutes in length, Raze//Repose is very close to actually being the full-length debut of Florida three-piece Iron Buddha. One of the longest records to be featured in these articles, Raze//Repose wastes none of that runtime; Iron Buddha apparently used to be more of a Melvins-esque stoner metal band (although these past efforts appear to have been scrubbed from the internet, or at the very least from streaming services), but this new release is far gnarlier. Rooted in grim sludge with added doom and post-metal elements, Raze//Repose is packed with malevolent, crushing riffs of both the slower and groovier, and also faster and more hardcore-based varieties. Outside of pure venom, however, there are efforts taken to expand the record’s atmosphere, which range from subtle layers in the crushing closing stages of “Sansin//Echo Summit” and harsh noisier feedback during “Yama//Sunder”, right through to more melodic (relatively speaking) moments in the likes of “Asura//Raze” and “Samsara//Repose”. Raze//Repose is a powerful statement of intent from a new and exciting name in sludge metal.

by musclassia

BENT - Violent Trope (Romania)

Are you short on time but want a quick shot of violence? Well here's 6 minutes of powerviolence where none of the songs go over 2 minutes in runtime, but can go as low as a couple of seconds. BENT (apparently standing for "Barren Era No Tomorrow") is a trio from Romania with connections to Lunember, and it's safe to say that it's a pretty radical departure from that. Violent Trope is noisy punky grind that plays around with dissonance to create something that sounds like a mix of Assück, Full Of Hell, and Sectioned. I can't deny that the production is the one thing that's keeping me from really enjoying it, from the drum sounds to how overcompressed everything sounds, but the track they revealed from their upcoming album seems to have mended some of that.

by RaduP

Strapats - Ödets Varv (Sweden)
[Heavy Metal | Death Metal | Black Metal]

At the latest since Tribulation's excellent sophomore The Formulas Of Death, blending traditional heavy metal with elements of black and death metal is no longer a groundbreaking musical innovation, but Strapats (Swedish for "hardship") from Stockholm have definitely found their own niche within the genre roughly outlined as "blackened heavy metal". That this starting point is not a dead end, but allows excursions into other musical realms, and that the two-part vocals are anything but an inflationary used gimmick, becomes apparent on the second track. Those who would have expected another heavy metal banger with alternating harsh and clean vocals or even more guitar solos after the rockish opener, will find themselves in a purely instrumental jam session with hypnotizing drumming, which becomes almost psychedelic towards the end and would have enriched many a proto-doom album of the late '70s. Comparisons with Slægt, Cloak, and Nite are a little flawed, but fans of the aforementioned bands should absolutely check out this first demo and follow where the future journey of Strapats is heading – it could take the two Swedes nearly anywhere.

by Starvynth

Edelweiss - Noce Hivernale (France)

French one-man project Edelweiss's debut EP, Noce Hivernale, is one of those efforts that offers much more than just a one-genre-oriented music. Through this package of songs, you will be able to hear an intertwining and complementing of post-metal, which is dominant, with (atmospheric) black metal, post-rock, and even some ambient and drone to calm down the atmosphere. The lack of diversity shouldn’t be an issue with this one. Since this is an instrumental-only offering, the absence of vocals obviously gives an additional emphasis on the sound of the instruments. Heavy guitars and, especially, extremely low-tuned (sludgy) bass are those that catch much attention, particularly through the first two tracks as well as on the last one, which are predominantly slow-paced and pounding, with occasional short-lived fast passages. The third track is the one with severe black metal input, while the fourth one could be portrayed as some sort of ambient intermezzo. Noce Hivernale was created with the intention of unpredictable exploring, touching different spheres of post-metal, and a fair portion of affiliated sub-genres.

by Abattoir


What's your favourite new release of this issue?

Login or register to vote. Results are hidden


Comments: 7   Visited by: 59 users
04.06.2023 - 15:47
Production wise Iron Buddha are in a league of their own compared to the competition but I ultimately decided to go for Edelweiss. I've steered away from instrumental metal in the last couple of years with a few exceptions (Russian Circles and Long Distance Calling) and Edelweiss may not have made me do a u-turn but at turn nonetheless. Looking forward to hearing more from this French guy.
Bow to the King Hercules!
04.06.2023 - 20:18
Bad English
Tage Westerlund
Guy who cover epic metal part get highest points here
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
05.06.2023 - 18:20

Very pleasant atmoblack. The melodies and chord progressions are decent, but I find the production to be near perfect for this style. Both tracks have a nice distant soundscape, befitting a band named “Unohdus” or “Oblivion.” The vocals are excellent and well-mixed. The overall feeling that this EP creates is that of listening to an old (perhaps magical?) audio chronicle from aeons ago. I suspect this feeling might be what the band’s mastermind was going for and they nailed it.

Gorgon’s Slave

Apostel George’s vocals instantly captured my attention. As Nik says, they’re theatrical. I love the slightly faster-than-usual vibrato. Plenty of good riffs here too. The ending of “Bride Meets Evil” is excellent and is my favorite part of this release. If anyone doesn’t have the time to listen to the entire demo, I’d highly suggest at least checking out “Bride Meets Evil.” It’s pure quality.

Iron Buddha

I rarely listen to sludge. “Raze//Repoze” suggests to me I may need to change that sooner rather than later. “Heavy awesomeness” is how I’d describe it if I could only spare two words to do so. Not being a fan of the genre, I can still tell that they know exactly what they’re doing and they’re fantastic at it. The music here feels very thought-out and inspired at the same time. Their vocalist is insanely capable too. I can’t even imagine myself performing high shrieks like these with such force without already feeling my throat hurt. The palm-muted pinch harmonic chugs at the opening of Yama//Sunder are incredibly cool. A very impressive release overall.


This one was funny and fun. I really liked it. The tempo change at the end of “Muscle Memory” was a welcome surprise. “Home Is Where The Pain Is” had me head-banging and “Ruinweaver” had excellent riffs and guitar harmonies. Better production may have persuaded me to vote for this one.


The clean vocal melodies in “Ödets Varv” were bizarre and thus very interesting. “Silver Passage” is indeed hypnotizing. The lead guitar reminded me of Mike Oldfield’s classic guitar tone a bit. Perhaps my ears are deceiving me regarding that, not sure. The guitar melody is very simple in “Silver Passage” and it works well. Anything more complex would’ve likely ruined the flow of the track. In conclusion: I rather liked this one too.


Loved the captivating soundscapes and melancholy melodies. The darker and more dissonant parts, like the second half of “Comedia” were equally enjoyable. The combination of muddy guitars and synths on the third track made this my favorite release of this month’s Clandestine Cuts. Additionally, the cover art perfectly captures the mood of the album. I can’t really say enough good things about this EP.

Edelweiss is my winner of the month. Iron Buddha is a close second place. I don’t regret having heard any of these releases, though. They were all good in different ways. Thanks, as always, for bringing these to my attention! Thank you for the article @everyone!
My one-man project's Bandcamp with free downloads:
08.06.2023 - 04:34

Bent and Iron Buddha ones were awesome
08.06.2023 - 11:20

I'd say they're all good (although powerviolence isn't my thing, and I hate the snare sound for Gorgon's Slave), but I think Iron Buddha are a tier above, with Edelweiss second
11.06.2023 - 22:44
X-Ray Rod
Iron Buddha for me. Excellent sound overall. These guys are ready to go full length territory indeed. Honorable mentions go to Strapats and Edelweiss as well. Both acts (specially the former) have lots of potential!
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.
11.07.2023 - 17:50
Nocturnal Bro
Iron Buddha get my vote

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