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Clandestine Cuts Vol. 14 Issue #1 - Awesome New Demos and EPs

Written by: nikarg, musclassia, Nejde, Netzach, Starvynth
Published: 05.02.2024

Clandestine Cuts Volume 14, Issue #1
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 #12
Clandestine Cuts Vol. 13 #11
Clandestine Cuts Vol. 13 #10

And now to the new music...

Spectral Sorcery - Dungeons Of Doom (USA)
[Stoner / Doom Metal]

Spectral Sorcery from Pennsylvania is a new stoner doom metal act, following the teachings of early Black Sabbath and Electric Wizard. The three long tracks on Dungeons Of Doom are filled with haunting lead guitar melodies, crushing and fuzzy riffs, and powerful drums that create a soundscape of eerie dungeons and impending doom. The vocals sound like they are invoking dark forces, while the instrumental passages switch from doom to psychedelia and vice versa, creating a caustic ball of acid. The atmosphere is shady and exudes an essence of fantasy, sorcery, and spirituality. The relatively lo-fi sound adds to the overall smoke-filled, gritty feel that the EP has, and the excellent songwriting makes the band totally stand out from the pack.

by nikarg

Chaldea - The Edge Of Perdition (Canada)
[Symphonic Deathcore]

Chaldea hail from Canada, which shouldn't be surprising to anyone, knowing what the Canadians are capable of when it comes to technical music. When listening to The Edge Of Perdition it's impossible not to draw parallels to bands like Shadow Of Intent and fellow Canadians Brand Of Sacrifice. But here Chaldea give us their own take on symphonic, or maybe we should call it synth-phonic, deathcore, because the symphonic layers are clearly electronic, and there's a lot of tweaking and chirping sounds added to the soundscape. The thing that really makes this EP stand out, though, is the female choir on the initial songs that immediately brings Kenji Kawai's soundtrack to the anime classic Ghost In The Shell to mind, but with the brutality and the cyberpunk cranked up to 11. There's also some use of what sounds like a Japanese koto on a couple of songs, just adding to the originality. And I haven't even mentioned the deep guttural growls with the occasional squeals and the sick breakdowns smashing down like a 10-ton sledgehammer on your eardrums. Judging by the 20 minutes offered here, Chaldea clearly are a force to be reckoned with, going forward.

No Bandcamp at the time of publishing, so: Amazon Music | Apple Music | Deezer | Spotify | Tidal | YouTube

by Nejde

Royal Graves - Amen (USA)

Orlando, Florida trio Royal Graves have been uploading material, including singles, demos and live records, since 2017, but are yet to make the jump to a full album. It’s certainly not due to a lack of talent or access to album-worthy production, as latest EP Amen is a strong post-metal release with a solid production that adds weight to the heavy instrumentation and depth to the record’s atmospheres. Predominantly instrumental (with just a few distant roars early in the opening song), Amen is shrouded in a gloominess that comes from the crunching low-end being accompanied by ominous cleaner tones, a sound that works wonders on the likes of “Make Amends” and “Existence Carries The Weight”. Closing song “Never Let It In” is injected with an extra ounce of pathos and melancholia, bringing a solid EP to a very satisfying conclusion.

by musclassia

Doze - God Is Gone (France)
[Blackened Hardcore]

No, you're not listening to “For Whom The Bell Tolls”, although the church bells in the opening song might get you confused. Doze hail from France and play a (for its runtime) surprisingly varied blackened hardcore. God Is Gone is a (very) short (meaning under 10-minutes long) release, of which one minute or so consists of samples, but it mostly consists of groovy, abrasive riffs, frantic drums, and anguished screaming. “Purifying Fire” is a mid-paced hardcore banger, where the ‘blackened’ part stems mostly from the vocals. After about 2 minutes, it moves into tribal drumming and a short tremolo riff, before the vocals switch to a more melodic shooting style to round it all off. The sample at the end of the song could have been skipped, though. “Blade Swallower” then ups the pace with more tremolo and a simple but effective riff, before it goes into a straight-beat assault and then even some subtle, quick atmospherics. On “Genocidal Species”, a crusty d-beat and screeching guitars amp it up further to set up for a thrashy two-chord riff leading into a convincing breakdown. There's only about nine minutes of music here, but Doze manage to make the most of this time with a multitude of ideas all fighting each other for their place in the songs. In fact, there are so many sections that I'm sure some of these ideas could even have been made into separate songs, but the band keeps it short and sweet, and probably all the better for it. This is dirty, loud, and headbangable, and has no pretence of being anything else.

by Netzach

Torsion - Suspended In Darkness (USA)
[Death Metal]

Suspended In Darkness begins with an intro track made of spooky-sounding strings and keys, setting up the mood for the death metal onslaught that follows. Torsion’s sophomore EP has some very dynamic songwriting, with varying tempos, and interesting structures. A prime example is the title track, and especially the song “Psychopath Battalion”, which has a riff to die for at 2’10’’, then it rushes into a blackened frenzy, before it finally dies out in a death doom dirge. But it’s not over yet; the song bleeds into the punky assault of “Crime For Revenge” with gang shouts and all, finishing this release on a belligerent note. Approach with caution, and be warned that the breakdown for the outro of “Innards Of The Oligarch” will very likely snap your neck.

by nikarg

Mal Doror - MMXXIII (Germany)
[Atmospheric Black Metal]

It's probably no coincidence that this new band from Northern Germany chose the name Mal Doror, as Maldoror is the fallen angel who wreaks havoc in the novel Les Chants de Maldoror by the French poet Lautréamont, published around 1870. Lautréamont's only completed work is still considered one of the most radical and blasphemous books in Western literature even 150 years later, vividly depicting all imaginable cruelties a satanic seducer could conceive to punish God for creating mankind. How much of this intriguing literary background has influenced the band's first demo is hard to determine due to the absence of lyrics, but the three tracks of MMXXIII share the same accusatory and rebellious mood against a higher power as the sixty verses of Les Chants de Maldoror. Musically, Mal Doror predominantly operate in the mid-tempo range, skillfully intertwining melodic passages with more forward-driving, aggressive sections, occasionally reminiscent of Mgła, but without attempting to emulate them.

by Starvynth


What's your favourite new release of this issue?

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Comments: 3   Visited by: 34 users
10.02.2024 - 14:46
Bad English
Tage Westerlund
Not my bland of spices, but 2 was ok and my vote goes for nr one, but guy who did not contribute in last article was close enough.
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
14.02.2024 - 01:11

That Doze demo is easily my favorite of this lineup, the first three I liked pretty good but pretty much exactly what I expected from each, whereas Doze kinda surprised me with how much I liked it. The last two weren’t my cup of tea. I think Royal Graves are easily the ones that seem most ready for an album, they sound great here. Spectral Sorcery should do a split with Bladespell and make the soundtrack for D&D game night
14.02.2024 - 07:57
Cynic Metalhead
Paisa Vich Nasha
Great cuts, as usual. Good work.

I need to especially delve into "Mal Doror" - it looks delicious.

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