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Clandestine Cuts Vol. 13 Issue #8 - Awesome New Demos and EPs

Written by: nikarg, musclassia, Starvynth, AndyMetalFreak
Published: 03.09.2023

Clandestine Cuts Volume 13, Issue #8
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 #7
Clandestine Cuts Vol. 13 #6
Clandestine Cuts Vol. 13 #5

And now to the new music...

Grimsever - Grimsever (USA)
[Blackened Speed Metal]

For the nerds, 'Grimsever' is a unique glass sword found in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim video game. For the metalheads, Grimsever is a newborn, blackened speed metal band with a thrashy aggressiveness and a punky punch; a one-person, rapid and relentless assault, with riffs like silver bullets and leads like leather whips lashing from left and right. The 'Motörhead-and-Venom-walk-into-a-bar' main riff of “By The Strike Of The Whip” gets you hooked. Immediately after, the chorus of “Death In Leather” with the gang shouts and the Halford-esque screams has you completely sold. The other three tracks of this self-titled EP follow suit with abundant sleazy energy and tons of raw fun. It’s no wonder the band has the song titles in all caps over at Bandcamp, because ALL CAPS is the only way to describe this black ‘n’ roll attack. Fans of Bütcher, Bewitcher, Hellripper, and Midnight will surely enjoy these snappy and immediate tunes. Granted, there is a crowded market in this scene and this music is not unpredictable, but do you know many people who don’t enjoy a nice shot of turbocharged-Motörhead?

by nikarg

Aefen Styrra - Harbinger (South Korea)
[Melodic Black Metal | Melodic Death Metal]

Early recordings naturally come with the reality that the artist behind the record is still figuring out exactly what they want to do sonically, and that can mean jumps in style and/or quality even across shorter releases. The first song of Harbinger, the debut EP from South Korean one-man project Aefen Styrra (incidentally, this isn’t the first South Korean artist featured in Clandestine Cuts - there was also Duoxini in one of CC’s strongest editions), is slightly unassuming; “Premonition” is solid enough, but sells Harbinger as a slightly plodding meloblack-folk release. On “Praise The End”, however, Aefen Styrra really kick things up a notch, with some exciting tapped guitar leads, blasting onslaughts and other sounds livening up that meloblack foundation. As it fleshes out further, Harbinger turns into an exciting debut, with a healthy mix of stirring folk/melodeath guitar melodies (there’s a touch of Amorphis to parts of “Wormwood” in particular, and perhaps Agalloch to "The Aeon"), meloblack flurries, and a touch of post-black dynamism. Altogether, while Aefen Styrra still has a bit of refinement to work on before their next release, this is a really promising and enjoyable first offering.

by musclassia

Midnight Mass - Volume One (USA)
[Thrash Metal | Heavy Metal]

Debut EP Volume One comes courtesy of newly formed Californian heavy/thrash metal act Midnight Mass, consisting of Tyler Jensen (guitars/vocals), Kellan Knoll (guitars), Jed Watts (drums) and Jason Davis (bass). This impressively talented foursome bring three top-quality headbanging tracks that offer a perfect blend of both traditional heavy and thrash metal (similar to what Metal Church offer). With its heavy melodic riffs and thrashy shredding leads, accompanied by a strikingly heavy guitar and bass tone, rhythmic pounding D-beats, and energetic vocals that bring a staggering range and style capturing the spirit of old, there should be plenty enough here to satisfy most metalheads who admire both retro heavy metal and thrash metal. Midnight Mass is an act with huge potential; the performance on this short debut EP is remarkable, and it's only the beginning. If you like what you hear, stay tuned for volume two.

by AndyMetalFreak

Vaegon - The Particle Eclipse (Canada)
[Technical Death metal]

Canada has a long history of offering us technical death metal with class; the likes of Gorguts, Archspire, Beyond Creation, and Cryptopsy are just some examples of the high quality tech-death coming from that part of the world. Vaegon follows the tradition by being a new and very promising band of the genre, with a debut EP that is so strikingly good, it could very well be the work of a seasoned band. The Particle Eclipse slaps very hard with heaps of technical dexterity and hard-hitting execution. Skilful progression, brutal groove, and rich melodies are all present on Vaegon’s five tracks that are featured here. This EP is technical all right, but without suffering from ADHD, like a lot of tech-death does, which means that the different parts of the songs stay with you for a while, so that they can be fully enjoyed and appreciated.

by nikarg

Ordo Anguis - Life Goddess | Death Goddess (USA)
[Progressive Sludge Metal]

Ordo Anguis, or the Order of the Serpents, dedicate themselves to the serpent deities of humanity’s various mythologies, and their debut EP Life Goddess | Death Goddess is specifically inspired by Nu Wa from Chinese folk religion. This doesn’t mean that the EP’s music is inspired by Chinese folk, however; this is prog sludge, following in the wake of several other albums in the style. Life Goddess | Death Goddess replicates not only the genre but the quality of these releases; while the harsher vocals might split opinion between listeners, the engaging mix of sludge power, prog complexity and songwriting ingenuity is the winning one. Like so many bands in this metal niche, Mastodon’s influence can be detected in some of the riffs and elaborate lead guitar work (such as the exhilarating dual guitar dancing in the climax of “In Ritual Finàl”, but this EP is too varied and ambitious to owe too much of itself to any one band or artist. From the fire and weight of “Ao - Wisdom And Sacrifice” to the percussive tour de force that is “Summoning”, Ordo Anguis make a hugely impressive first statement with this release.

by musclassia

Discarnation - Demo (Belgium)
[Death / Doom Metal]

It's probably just an old prejudice that the people of Belgium are universally thought of as humble, but it still somehow fits the picture when Discarnation label their first effort as a demo, despite the fact that it feels much more like a mature and full-fledged studio album. In any case, the duo from Ghent splashed out by recording 33 minutes of their own material for this 'demo', and there's absolutely nothing to complain about in terms of songwriting or recording quality. Each of the six tracks sounds exactly how skull-crushing old-school doom/death is supposed to sound: raw and filthy, but still allowing all instruments to be distinguished. The danger of a genre-typical monotony is skilfully circumvented by quite a few changes in pace and by occasional moments in which all instruments but the guitar fall silent to highlight a concise riff. To sum up, this is a very solid debut and you can pick it up on Bandcamp for 'name your price'. If that's not a steal, then what is?

by Starvynth


What's your favourite new release of this issue?

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Comments: 7   Visited by: 40 users
04.09.2023 - 13:10

Tricky one this month; Nik's two are both pretty good for their respective styles, but the two I've covered are possibly my favourite CC entries this year - at any rate, they're the first 2 CC releases that I've purchased in 2023. I'm perhaps slightly inclined towards Aefen Styrra, but will need to give that an Ordo Anguis a spin or two more each to decide for sure.
05.09.2023 - 14:03
Thrash Talker
Oooh very nice! Can't wait to dig in.
- Headbanging with mostly clogged arteries to that stuff -
Guib's List Of Essential Albums
- Also Thrash Paradise
Thrash Here
05.09.2023 - 17:46
A Nice Guy
Some pretty solid one's here, all are good in their own way, but I couldn't possibly not pick Grimsever in the end. Blackened thrash is one of my favorite sub-genre's anyway, but this band sounds exceptional, I'll definitely be keeping an eye on them in the future. On top of that, they're named after a legendary sword off Skyrim, and I happen to be a massive Elder Scrolls freak!

08.09.2023 - 18:05

Had to make an account just to throw my two cents in. Grimsever all the way. For one, the name fuckin rules, but in an already super flooded subgenre with blackened speed/thrash/black ‘n’ roll, they manage to really stand out. Songwriting is top notch, and the production/performance has so much wallop behind it.
09.09.2023 - 09:00
I agree with the comments above. Grimsever was by far the most enjoyable release here.
Bow to the King Hercules!
09.09.2023 - 20:41

Written by AndyMetalFreak on 05.09.2023 at 17:46

I happen to be a massive Elder Scrolls freak!

Same! I saw that name and knew I had to check it. I had to go with Ordo Anguis though, I love their style
16.09.2023 - 13:55
Bad English
Tage Westerlund
I be called a nerd well I prefer Ulfbert it's better sword, real one and chosen few did gad it.
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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