Clandestine Cuts Vol. 13 Issue #11 - Awesome New Demos and EPs
|nikarg, musclassia, Starvynth, Abattoir
Clandestine Cuts Volume 13, Issue #11
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 firstname.lastname@example.org to submit your music.)
In case you're new to this, go back and enjoy our last few issues:
Clandestine Cuts Vol. 13 #10
Clandestine Cuts Vol. 13 #9
Clandestine Cuts Vol. 13 #8
And now to the new music...
Chullachaqui - Oblivion (UK)
[Progressive Black Metal]
Chullachaqui is a new progressive black metal one-man project, masterminded by Matt Cooper of Vulgaris fame, with session drums provided by George Mitchell and additional guitars by Jess O'Toole, both also of Vulgaris. The band’s first release is just one song, "Oblivion", that stretches over 14 minutes in length, and throughout this duration it sonically and lyrically depicts the story of a person leaving their human husk and descending to hell to become the heir of Lucifer. The atmosphere is dark and cinematic, and it is imperative to read the lyrics while listening, in order to better understand the multiple musical layers, the infernal vocals, the choral arrangements, the ritualistic drum patterns, and the overall build-up. The bass tone is gritty and playing notes of impending doom, while the lead guitar parts are almost schizophrenic and tastefully dissonant, especially in the spectacular outro. The song sounds quite original, to the point that it is difficult to compare it with other bands’ material. An attempt to describe it would be that Austin Lunn of Panopticon decided to plunge into the depths of hell, but he met Enslaved and Akhlys there, and they all started jamming together. Like the mythical creature that the band takes its name after, Chullachaqui crafted a shapeshifting song that takes you by the hand, and lures you into an abyss from which you will never get out.
Sun King Ba - Goliath Worm (USA)
[Sludge Metal | Stoner Metal]
For an album about a goliath worm, the sound better be suitably huge, and thankfully Chicago’s Sun King Ba serve up some feisty-sounding stoner/sludge on Goliath Worm, their second EP. Fully instrumental (save some deeply buried howls lingering in the mix of “Larvicide”), this Steve Albini-produced record has a guitar tone that brings stonerish fuzz, but also some sludgy gnarl, and is punctuated by cleaner prog passages. Sun King Ba have plenty of heavy doomy riffs in their arsenal, but also deliver some more elaborate meandering instrumentals in the vein of Mastodon; the closing stages of “Grub Acolyte” in particular deliver that signature mix of heaviness, complexity, and eerie melody that 2000s Mastodon delivered so well.
Drowned God - Ritual 1 (Australia)
Ritual 1 is the debut demo by a duo from Australia, called Drowned God. This is some decaying, twisted, end of the world-foretelling drone, and it is really bloody uncomfortable. I’m not gonna lie; both the density and its tension are borderline unbearable, and may prove to be difficult to handle for many people. The description at Bandcamp talks about “a solemn mourning of the world that was, an expulsion of disgust at the world now forming”. The apt cover is a photo of an old mine in Australia that was destroyed by a fire back in the early 20th century. The band picture represents the content well; the vortex replacing the faces of the members is the one that sucks you in, while playing this demo, and the wall behind them is the blackened, smoke-filled wall of sound these two people have created. Ritual 1 is chewing on a pulsating cartilage of sound, it is drinking from a drought of melody and rhythm, and it is, overall, an offering to the gods of horrifying noise. Recommended for consumption by lovers of grinding feedback and obnoxious frequencies.
Dissenchant - The Embers Of Autumn (USA)
[Melodic Death Metal | Heavy Metal]
It’s not unheard of for melodeath bands to dabble with more classic/arena sounds; for example, Soilwork have been pivoting in that direction on their last few records. In the case of New York’s Dissenchant, project mastermind Matthew Backlas walks the line between melodeath and ‘retro metal with growls’. The growled vocal style is very reminiscent of Amorphis’s Tomi Joutsen, and there are some melodic guitar leads not too far away from Amorphis, but instrumentally, the title track of The Embers Of Autumn has a very arena swagger to its riffs, the intensity only really escalating in the last couple of minutes. “October Skies” offers a change in approach with a livelier tempo, more aggressive drumming and more modern-sounding melodies, but the song still has a classic edge to it. Dissenchant pulls off the balancing act between retro riffage and tantalising melodeath melodicism nicely on this two-song EP, and it will be interesting to see how their sound evolves going forward from this debut recording.
Writhe - In Filth (UK)
[Blackened Death Metal | Deathcore]
Okay, I don't have the slightest idea who these guys are or what other projects they've played in so far, but when I stumbled across the bleak and disturbing AI videos for their first singles a while ago, I knew it would be worth waiting for the first EP from these four whacky Englishmen. And here it is: In Filth. Or, how the band puts it, "a journey through a Lovecraftian inspired tale of sentience and sacrifice". There's no question that H.P. Lovecraft would have enjoyed the band's visual aesthetic, but his works would certainly have been even more brute and blunt if he had been inspired by Writhe's music. Because In Filth feels like liquid concrete mingled with razorblades and rusty nails being forcefully pumped into your stomach as the demons of the deep sea chain you to the bottom of the Mariana Trench and dissect your genitals. Hard to digest at times, but a real treat for fans of Ovid's Withering, Lorna Shore and Shadow Of Intent.
Lunar Creation - Lunar Creation (UK)
[Atmospheric Black Metal]
The British-based duo Lunar Creation will lure you into the ambience of a dark abyss that provides a pretty much standard atmospheric black metal sound with its cosmic touch. Ghoulish sensations of these four tracks are the consequence of heavily distorting guitar riffs, intense and unyielding screaming, and drums as one of the pillars that bring lots of alterations in this predominantly mid-tempo oriented music with a couple of swift transitions. Drums though, production-wise, could be a bit thicker in the overall sound output, but that’s already more of a personal preference. This self-titled EP is some sort of appetizer, while the wait for the next music offering won’t last long; Lunar Creation are already in the midst of their debut full-length creation, from which further development and progress is expected.
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