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Clandestine Cuts Vol. 14 Issue #5 - Awesome New Demos and EPs

Written by: nikarg, musclassia, Abattoir, Starvynth, AndyMetalFreak
Published: June 02, 2024

Clandestine Cuts Volume 14, Issue #5
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 #4
Clandestine Cuts Vol. 14 #3
Clandestine Cuts Vol. 14 #2

And now to the new music...

Skullbong - Drug Addict (Poland)
[Blackened Sludge Metal]

This blackened sludge debut EP from Poland is made “100% DIY, with no fucks given, and hailing Satan”. From the opening track "Heroin Addict", and after the sample music of an old black and white film finishes, the crushing riffs are just overwhelming. The drums are nothing less than bestial, with the drummer pounding the kit like a drug lord who is owed money. The bass is thick, distorted, filthy, and genuinely heavy. The vocals are a menace to society, amplifying the feeling of being trapped in a drug-induced nightmare. The lead melodies are few and far between; this kind of thing is based on the sheer viciousness of gross and distorted sounds, made by demons who got way too high. You might want to scrub your ears clean after listening to Skullbong’s Drug Addict.

by nikarg

Siren Oath - Morta (Poland)
[Post-Black Metal | Alternative Metal]

Introducing Morta, the six-tracked debut EP from the newly formed Polish post-black/alternative metal solo project Siren Oath, masterminded by Bobek Bobkovski. What these six songs offer is a combination of modern post-black metal with 90s alternative metal; dreamy, hypnotic atmospheric soundscapes shaped by elements of shoegaze are placed alongside heavy chugging, memorably melodic riffs and soaring leads, epic echoing clean choruses belting out thought-provoking lyrics, and equally passionately performed harsh growls. All instruments and vocals are exceptionally performed by this one talented musician, who demonstrates real signs of promise and the potential to go far. Through impeccable songwriting abilities and masterful production, this is a remarkable achievement, especially when taking into consideration that this only a debut EP! No doubt there will be more to come.

by AndyMetalFreak

Tenebrific - Labyrinth Of Anguish (Australia)
[Death Metal | Doom Metal]

‘Tenebrific’, defined as ‘gloomy’ or ‘causing gloom or darkness’, is a new word in my vocabulary, one introduced to me by an Australian doomy death metal band that absolutely bring gloom and darkness on debut recording Labyrinth Of Anguish. Led by Adam Martin (Golgothan Remains, Sarcophagum), and with vocals from Cris Bassan (Decrepid) and drums from Robin Stone, Tenebrific heap misery upon listeners with bleak, doomy sonic vistas (“Harmony Ov Suffering”). However, while they spend a lot of the EP’s runtime crafting grim soundscapes with dark ambience and crawling death doom, there are explosions of old school-leaning death metal in Tenebrific’s arsenal, and 9-minute centrepiece “Tormenting Shadows” finds a nice balance between both flavours. With Esoteric’s Greg Chandler delivering a suitably oppressive mix and master, Labyrinth Of Anguish will drown listeners in gloomy darkness.

by musclassia

Hämnd - Eldhav (Sweden)
[Post-Metal | Sludge Metal]

When being associated and compared to the music of the bands in likes of Isis and Neurosis, even just superficially, you simply cannot hesitate and just take a spin. The word is about the Swedish quartet Hämnd and their scorching post-metal/sludge debut offering, dubbed Eldhav. Of course, who else would come to your mind when mentioning Sweden and post-metal in a sentence… none other than Cult Of Luna. And while I’m not trying to make a direct comparison to the latter, Hämnd’s musical trajectory and strong stance is not that far away. Imposing guitar riffs are leading the way, setting the tone to the overall, perfectly well-produced sound, strongly supported by the pounding, steady drumming and sovereign screams that are penetrating slowly yet successfully. I must say it’s been a while since I’ve heard such an unrivalled music output as a debut EP in post-metal category. I may be exaggerating… or not.

by Abattoir

Crá - Crá (USA)
[Black Metal]

Damn, I would love to know if I'm right in guessing that Crá means "crow" in some ancient or rare language, but since the supposedly all-knowing interweb apparently struggles with short three-letter words, I have to accept that only the band themselves likely know the origin of their moniker. However, they seem to know much more than that, such as how to play really good, timeless black metal. Timeless, because their music transports the original charm of 90s black metal into the present without pandering to either of the two extremes - nostalgic-coated amateurism or unnecessary modern frills. The quintet from Tulas, Oklahoma makes it very easy to immerse oneself in the snowy landscape of the cover artwork, as the melancholic violin sounds and acoustic guitars of the intro "Sickle and Mistletoe" seamlessly transition into the slowly building "Rift Of Imperium", and before you know it, you find yourself in the heart of the self-titled EP: the rather frosty riff storm of "Gaze Upon The Barren". In the 15-minute journey from neofolk through atmospheric black metal to traditional black metal with a slight post-metal twist, Crá showcases many facets of their skills, yet everything blends together well and feels cohesive, well thought out, and flawlessly executed.

by Starvynth

Phantom Droid - Purgatorium (UK)
[Blackened Sludge Metal | Stoner/Doom Metal]

Genius and madness, closely intertwined, often even simultaneously, seem to be the standout trademarks of Phantom Droid from Bristol, and Purgatorium is the foursome's second EP, intended to prove that one doesn't necessarily exclude the other. The basic idea of ​​having a genuine black metal shouter behind the mic of a stoner doom band might seem a bit strange at first, but the vocalist, who also occasionally appears dressed in a frilly corset and/or in full corpse paint, is actually beyond any doubt and hits every note, no matter how offbeat. To stick with the theme of madness: the title of the last song should be taken literally, and "Free Bugs" should be seen as a pure bonus, as it contributes little to the musical quality of the EP, unless one considers the buzzing of crickets, bugs, and beetles as the next evolutionary step in contemporary entertainment music. But now, on to the genius, which sneaks in with the very first notes of the formidable intro. The combination of somber cello, slow-motion drumming, and incantatory chanting is simply inspiring and nothing short of brilliant. The fact that the immediately following, very catchy and rocky stoner anthem has little in common with the subsequent psychedelic sludge track and its blast beats is part of the overall concept, because Purgatorium is a wild ride that thrives on surprises and unpredictable twists.

by Starvynth


What's your favourite new release of this issue?

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Comments: 4   Visited by: 45 users
02.06.2024 - 14:41
Bad English
Tage Westerlund
If Korbirs are ravens why Kra can not be crow? Or misspelled cow .
This time it's first cuts where 2 polish bands are featured and I think Starvynth wrote 2 articles. It was close between London fella, but I vote, drink kölsh whit black bird from fantasy book.
I stand whit Ukraine and Israel. They have right to defend own citizens.

Stormtroopers of Death - "Speak English or Die"

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
02.06.2024 - 15:32
Cynic Metalhead
Paisa Vich Nasha
I'm crushed between Siren Oath, Tenebrific, Hämnd. I haven't finished listening Tenebrific, so will keep my vote on hold.

Great effort, boys.

Edit: I finally sandwiched between Siren and Tenebrific. My vote goes for Tenebrific for prolific mixture of death doom curating brilliant atmosphere.

Will keep eyes on others picks for forthcoming full length releases as well.
03.06.2024 - 13:38
One of the strongest (or most attuned to my tastes) Clandestine Cuts that I can remember; not that into Cra but I dig the other nominations to varying degrees. Ultimately a 3-way showdown between Hämnd, Skullbong and Tenebrific for me (although Siren Oath's Bobek Bobkovski wins the title of my favourite name)
06.06.2024 - 18:34
Hey! I just wanted to thank you for your interest in my project - siren oath :3

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