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Clandestine Cuts Vol. 14 Issue #4 - Awesome New Demos and EPs

Written by: nikarg, musclassia, Nejde, Starvynth, Abattoir, AndyMetalFreak
Published: May 05, 2024

Clandestine Cuts Volume 14, Issue #4
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. 14 #3
Clandestine Cuts Vol. 14 #2
Clandestine Cuts Vol. 14 #1

And now to the new music...

Druidess - Hermits & Mandrakes (UK)
[Stoner Metal | Doom Metal]

Hailing from Newcastle upon Tyne, the newly formed stoner/doom act Druidess present their debut EP Hermits & Mandrakes, containing 6 tracks of top-quality traditional doom with elements of '70s heavy-psych and '90s stoner. The band perform as a duo, featuring female Ozzy-esque wailing vocals from Shonagh Brown accompanied by multi-instrumentalist Daniel Downing, who delivers Iommi-worshipping doomy riffs, classic traditional solos, and heavy-psych Geezer Butler-style basslines. Downing is also responsible for the drum programming and trippy '70s keyboard effects. With this excellent debut EP, the Druidess duo prove themselves to be the real deal, and show real promise for standing out within this overpopulated, ever-expanding genre.

by AndyMetalFreak

Deeproot - Deeproot (The Netherlands)
[Deathcore | Djent]

When you think about Dutch metal, your thoughts most likely steer towards symphonic metal, am I right? Well, Deeproot is here to change that. With this short EP, just 15 minutes, these guys show us that the Dutch can make some high quality deathcore, too. To set the mood, the first track starts off with a spoken intro, and, if you like video games, you might even recognize the words because they're taken from the 2015 survival horror game, Until Dawn. During this monologue, a creepy synth melody enters in the background and gradually increases in strength, until the first massive breakdown drops. What follows are four tracks of pure aggressiveness accompanied by haunting synths that create a hellish soundscape together with djenty guitar tones that sound like Vildhjarta's evil and sinister cousin. And then, the breakdowns! "The Blade Itself" has a breakdown that slows down to funeral doom speed, almost feeling like it's slowing down time itself, and "Frenzied" has the most hauntingly beautiful breakdown thanks to that amazing synth in the background. For some reason, deathcore is a somewhat berated genre, but Deeproot shows us that it's unjustified, and it will be interesting to see how they will move forward from this amazing EP.

by Nejde

Dungeon Shaker - Demo I (International)
[Heavy / Doom Metal]

Dungeon Shaker is an international act featuring Oskari Räsänen on drums (and also responsible for mixing and mastering), whom you may know from Iron Griffin. The sound of these guys is very lo-fi, as demos are supposed to be, olde-sounding, traditional heavy/doom, for fans of bands like Witchfinder General, Trouble, Saint Vitus, and Pentagram. This is a band “wielding the doom-laden sounds of yesteryear with potent sonic savagery, raw as you can handle”, and they claim to be “cruel and wicked heavy metal”. This is pretty much a release that has the word “cult” written all over it, from the cover art of the cassette, the production, and the songwriting that feels so cool and unpretentious. There are only three songs on this demo; “Cursed idol” is the most primitive and ‘70s-sounding, “Hexecutioner” is the catchiest and the most fun, and “Those Who Dwell Below” is the most creepy and dungeon-esque, so there is a something for every taste.

by nikarg

Aastarah - Reflections I (France)
[Ambient Black Metal]

Reflections I is the second EP from Aastarah, the solo project of Sylvain Chaugny; however, while both this release and 2022 debut EP Le Messager (with 2 singles released in between) can have black metal used in reference to them, they are quite far apart from one another. Le Messager, while featured some triumphant keyboard/symphonic arrangements, is unmistakably black metal, on Reflections I, Aastarah has moved black metal into a secondary element that complements the dreamy ambience that defines the record. Some of the prominent keyboard tones used here may remind listeners of the likes of Summoning or Belore, and there is a folksiness reminiscent of these acts on closing track “Behind The Mirror”; however, the songs in which black metal enters the equation arguably bear a closer resemblance to Midnight Odyssey than anyone else, particularly when blasts and tremolos combine with euphoric synths on “The Citadel”.

by musclassia

Rotten Cavern - Profound (Spain)
[Death Doom Metal]

The new-coming force from the Iberian Peninsula, Rotten Cavern, is offering a thunderous smack of blackened coated death doom metal through their 5-track demo, titled Profound. A pounding down-tempo music, intertwining occasional double-bass drum parts, including classic twists with its severe death metal passages, and cooperating very well together with thick-sounding and ominous guitars. Omnipresent vocals are giving an additional sinister feel to the overall sound with the prolonged, immensely profound growls and a concomitant echoing effect. With this first demo, the Spaniards Rotten Cavern put together a heavy somber piece of doom, creating a vastly unsettling atmosphere. The song "Black Procession" is the one that attracted me the most through these couple of spins of Profound outing.

by Abattoir

D'Archipelago - Evilsizor (USA)

To be honest, I stumbled upon this album purely because I had expected something different, based on the cover artwork. What I would have anticipated was a straightforward black/death metal hybrid of the old school variety, with primitive, blasphemous lyrics and a vocalist clad in studs, bullet belts, and corpse paint, delivering shrieks and growls from the depths of his soul. While the rough classification as black metal somehow fits, D'Archipelago represents the other end of the spectrum - there's nothing primitive or old school-sounding here. Evilsizor is already the sixth EP from the one-man band from Kansas and offers a blend of atmospheric black metal, post-black metal, and shoegaze, reminiscent at times of Sadness and Violet Cold, but especially of Summer Haze '99. The four songs exude a consistently positive, uplifting mood and, thanks to their almost pop-like melodies, they immediately catch the ear, without sacrificing the requisite level of rawness and heaviness for black metal. Fun fact: behind this project is a professor of music theory who has authored, among other works, the monograph Everything in its Right Place: Analyzing Radiohead and the book Interpreting Music Video - Popular Music in the Post-MTV Era.

by Starvynth


What's your favourite new release of this issue?

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Comments: 4   Visited by: 42 users
05.05.2024 - 18:36
A Real Mönkey
Lofi Doom Metal with a cover art that looks like it came off a dungeon synth album?

"Change the world. My final message. Goodbye."

~Last words of Harambe, seconds before he was shot, according to child he shielded from gunfire
05.05.2024 - 19:14
Druidess def get's my vote the catchiest one so far. Rotten Cavern would be my second choice.
07.05.2024 - 10:06
Deeproot plays to my tastes, but D'Archipelago was the one that stood out to me, had a slightly different edge to the blackgaze compared with a lot in that style
23.05.2024 - 23:38
Archie 666
Written by VileVick-Bryant on 05.05.2024 at 19:14

Druidess def get's my vote the catchiest one so far. Rotten Cavern would be my second choice.

Rotten Cavern gets my vote.

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