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Clandestine Cuts Vol. 13 Issue #6 - Awesome New Demos and EPs

Written by: nikarg, musclassia, Starvynth, X-Ray Rod, AndyMetalFreak
Published: 09.07.2023

Clandestine Cuts Volume 13, Issue #6
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 #5
Clandestine Cuts Vol. 13 #4
Clandestine Cuts Vol. 13 #3

And now to the new music...

Leather Whip - Autopista Veloz (USA)
[Speed Metal]

Are you in the need for some speed? By that, I mean headbanging to some high-octane, ferocious, speed metal, whilst fantasizing about tearing through the city streets in a high performance sports car? That's the kind of speed I'm talking about when it comes to US speed metal band Leather Whip, from the Floridian city of Miami, and their fast and furious five-track EP, Autopista Veloz (Fast Highway). The style is very simple, but effective; it's typical traditional speed metal, with rapid twin-guitar riffing and a furiously fast rhythmic section, featuring lightning-speed drumming and bass. The vocals are provided by Miguel Annitto on leads, and Narciso Nexans as back-up, but each vocalist brings their equal share of attitude and energy to the party. It seems the songwriting has a lot to do with the street racing scene, going by the arcade-like cover art (which looks like an ideal match for the classic racing computer game Need For Speed itself), but also the lyrical content (which is in Spanish). The theme of Autopista Veloz could suit you well if nail-biting, edge-of-your-seat motor racing is your thing (providing you have some understanding of the Spanish lingo), but it's good fun for fans of traditional speed also, regardless of the theme.

by AndyMetalFreak

Worship The Sacrifice - Laid At The Altar (A Demonstration) (UK)
[Death Metal | Alternative Metal]

We cover EPs and demos in Clandestine Cuts; Laid At The Altar (A Demonstration) is arguably both. Intended as a proper EP release, issues during the recording process resulted in London’s Worship The Sacrifice receiving roughly mixed versions of the songs on Laid At The Altar long after they’d been recorded, at which point several of these songs had already been re-recorded and released. Determined not to let the fruits of their labours go to waste, the group have now released these demo versions unto the world. Musically, Worship The Sacrifice play a style of death metal that draws upon various other metal styles, particularly those under the alternative metal umbrella; opening duo “Voices” and “The Last Straw” have more than a hint of nu metal in their DNA. In a very different vein, the album’s most aggressive track, “Bloodletting”, contrasts buzzsaw riffs with bludgeoning grooves in the chorus that draw from the heavier end of the NWOAHM spectrum. However, there’s also glances back to earlier decades in metal’s history; the prolonged solo in the second half of this song has a classic metal feel to it, and is also paired with a blackened instrumental backdrop, while black metal hints also pop up elsewhere on the EP. Laid At The Altar’s standout song is the centrepiece “The Sacrifice”, which has instantly hooky tapped guitar leads in the chorus and ends with a satisfying melodic solo; listen here if you want to check out the official version of this song.

by musclassia

Mammon XV - Woes And Winter's Breath (USA)
[Atmospheric Black Metal]

This logo, this album title, and this beautiful cover art couldn’t be anything but black metal, don’t you think? Mammon XV’s debut EP is black metal of the atmospheric kind, with some post-black metal explorations, a death metal twist, and it is quite impressive how good it sounds and how pretty much every detail has been looked into, given the genre and the fact that there is no label behind the release. The instruments and the vocals take different forms, exuding pain and melancholy, but also anger and rage. The band switches fluidly from aggressive and storming passages to more introspective and ambient ones, and vice-versa. This characteristic works wonderfully, especially on the last two songs, which are better developed and have a long-lasting effect. Mammon XV have also just released the deluxe version of Woes And Winter's Breath, which includes the four mixed and mastered instrumental tracks, the four original raw instrumental demo tracks, and a dungeon synth version of the title track.

by nikarg

Tristis - Das Schweigen Vieler (Germany)
[Post-Black Metal]

Sometimes it’s just the little tweaks and details that make a product fully distinct. Tristis is a German band that formed last year and released their first EP, Das Schweigen Vieler (roughly “The silence of many”), just a while ago. We can find atmospheric black metal, doom metal and screamo under the release’s description. And while black and doom metal certainly feel like the core elements at first listen, it is the screamo tag that I find most intriguing. The way the riffs and tempo changes flow, as well as the deeply emotional outrage that pours from this band, speaks post-hardcore and screamo to me. Jana’s vocals easily manage to be both rabid and touching in all their desperate glory. Just listen to those howls and wails in “Beginning Of The End” and tell me you aren’t floored by the impending heartbreak that she invokes. The way the punishing, meaty, yet emotional riffs twist and change speaks volumes of the band’s capacity to evoke different emotions that range from the euphoric and explosive to the slow and melancholic. “Oblivion Worship” is a perfect example of this duality of moods. I must also applaud the production that is perfectly sharp for this type of music, with the bass being particularly crushing. With just one EP under their belt, Tristis have already carved a sound that few bands out there have managed to tap in. Hit 'play' and be one of the first listeners to discover it!

by X-Ray Rod

Avgrunder - The Fallen One (Germany)
[Doom Metal | Heavy Metal | Occult Rock]

The most obvious feature first: Yes, Avgrunder (Swedish for "abysses") are quite reminiscent of Ghost at times, and perhaps even the band name is meant as an indirect homage to the Swedish superstars. The embedding of dark, blasphemous lyrics in the rock music of the late 60s, old-fashioned sound effects, the use of organs and bittersweet, catchy refrains - all these are attributes that are also known from Ghost. However, Avgrunder go a few steps further in the direction of the traditional styles of heavy metal than Tobias Forge and his nameless ghouls, because the motto on The Fallen One is clearly "more doom, less pop". Three songs are included on the first EP of the German newcomers and each track is between three and four minutes long - that's just the right length to get straight to the point without unnecessary frills and to quickly catch the listener's ear. Future releases will have to show whether the Bandcamp tags 'black metal' and 'death metal' are meant seriously or just reflect the musical background of the musicians involved, but even without obvious borrowings from extreme metal, The Fallen One already has that certain something that appeals to metalheads who are usually absolutely not enthusiastic about clean vocals and hard rock in general.

by Starvynth

Kushthulhu - The Swamp (UK)
[Stoner Metal | Doom Metal]

There’s plenty of bands out there, including some of my favourites, that somehow find space for 3 guitarists in their roster. Then you have groups such as Tuskar and Om coming along to show that, in terms of being heavy, it’s not the number of instruments that matter, but rather the ways in which you use them. More evidence in support of this observation comes in the form of London’s Kushthulhu, a 2-man stoner/sludge doom group taking name inspiration from the Lovecraftian entity. The Swamp is their first record, and it is as grim and putrid as the name would imply. Kushthulhu are a doomy group on the border of stoner and sludge metal; I would perhaps argue that they are more a stoner metal group, mainly because there’s a bluesiness to parts of the title track and other songs that is reminiscent of bands such as Spaceslug. However, the vocals from the drummer are primal, and the riffs have a meanness and swagger to them in line with gnarly groups such as Kurokuma and Bile Caster. Music such as this tends to veer towards protracted songwriting, but Kushthulhu exhibit some flexibility here, with 2 out of 4 songs here clocking in at less than 3 minutes in length; this duo doesn't need 10 minutes of sonic pounding to make their impression upon listeners.

by musclassia


What's your favourite new release of this issue?

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Comments: 3   Visited by: 52 users
09.07.2023 - 20:51
Some solid releases this month but Avgrunder especially are in a league of their own. They sound like what Ghost probably would have if they hadn't steered into pop territory. Love the sound of Mammon XV too, but I have a question nik. Is the BC player supposed to be the deluxe instrumental version which you also are linking to in the text, or is it a mix up since you mention the vocals too?
Bow to the King Hercules!
10.07.2023 - 08:34

Written by Nejde on 09.07.2023 at 20:51

Some solid releases this month but Avgrunder especially are in a league of their own. They sound like what Ghost probably would have if they hadn't steered into pop territory. Love the sound of Mammon XV too, but I have a question nik. Is the BC player supposed to be the deluxe instrumental version which you also are linking to in the text, or is it a mix up since you mention the vocals too?

I f'd it up, thanks for pointing that out; I edited the player, and it is now what I intended it to be. Avgrunder is my favourite of the bunch, too.
18.07.2023 - 17:10
Bad English
Tage Westerlund
My vote goes for Miami Vice metal version whit Don Johnson aka Sonny Crockett on lead and Ricardo Tubbs on backing
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

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