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Clandestine Cuts Vol. 14 Issue #6 - Awesome New Demos and EPs

Written by: nikarg, musclassia, Starvynth, Nejde, F3ynman, AndyMetalFreak
Published: July 07, 2024

Clandestine Cuts Volume 14, Issue #6
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 #5
Clandestine Cuts Vol. 14 #4
Clandestine Cuts Vol. 14 #3

And now to the new music...

Slow Goat - Common Enemy (USA)
[Heavy Metal | Stoner Rock]

Slow Goat are a conveniently named 4-piece heavy/doom/stoner band based in Portland, US, and here the band present their 5-track debut EP, which runs for just under a reasonably lengthy half hour. This high-quality EP features a wide range of melodic metal genres, offering the very best in stoner, doom, and heavy metal, while being tinged with 70s hard rock and heavy psych influences. With exceptional all-round performances, including the fabulous vocals (particularly on the 8-minute title track) of Rosie Peterson, groovy, fuzzy stoner-cum-heavy classic doom riffs, classic hard rock solos from Dan Cuffe, the crushing bass of Gage Managhan, and finally powerful drumming from Eric Bloombaum, I honestly believe this to be a band with great potential, one that could go far in the modern stoner/doom scene even among the already saturated and ever-growing crowd.

by AndyMetalFreak

Slashed To Bits - Night Of The Living Axe (USA)
[Crossover Thrash Metal | Grindcore | Chiptune]

If you were young in the '80s you're gonna love this blistering little EP, and if you weren't, you'll probably love it too. Night Of The Living Axe is a love letter to all things '80s -horror, video games and riffs- according to JoJo Simpson, the guy behind the music. He does all the instruments and vocals and apparently also the slashin', in true '80s fashion. After the opening track "The Blade Beckons", which sounds like it's taken directly from a cheap and forgotten horror arcade game, the music goes full blast grindcore speed on the title track. The following tracks are more thrashy in tempo, but they're still maintaining good speed. The chiptune melodies that sound like their speed is cranked up x10, enhance that authentic '80s retro feeling. The horror lyrics are quite hard to distinguish, but that is easily solved by heading to the Bandcamp page where they are available and worth checking out, giving you the last layer to properly indulge in the sleazy '80s horror aesthetics. Ultimately, that cover art says all you need to know. And since the release of this EP, Mr. Simpson has also released an Arcade Mode version that is 100% chiptune, and it's even faster than on the regular EP.

by Nejde

Kōya - Fragments (Denmark)
[Blackened Sludge Metal | Hardcore | Post-Metal]

The intersection of the belligerent styles of sludge, hardcore and black metal is becoming an increasingly popular and fruitful source of inspiration, and so it is for another band in the form of Denmark’s Kōya. Fragments is a hefty debut EP at 28 minutes, and its six tracks are packed with bruising, bleak black-tinged sludge powerhouse riffs, ranging from muscular verses and beatdowns, towards more brooding post-metal atmospheres (the latter particularly on the closing two songs). On top of that are pained hardcore shrieks, which spill over into mania with some harrowing laughs on opening track “End”. There are occasional leans towards more up-tempo venom, but the aggression on Fragments comes at a steady pace, instead crafting an oppressive atmosphere of darkness, with only the gentle post-metal second half of closing song “Embers” offering any real respite or levity.

by musclassia

Moon Reaper - Black Sun Sorcery (UK)
[Blackened Doom Metal | Hardcore]

This band claim to hail from Bristol, but surely no place on Earth could be home to these Lovecraftian sounds of the void? Right? Meet Moon Reaper. Their genre self-described as “blackened hardcore doom”, they showcase a menacing yet extremely catchy concoction of the chilling and unforgiving nature of black metal, the groovy heaviness of hardcore, and the apocalyptic dread of doom. The vocals are impressively rancid, bringing a sludgy death metal quality into the mix with a disgusting combination of squelching growls, putrid squeals, and piercing shrieks. Furthermore, the astrophysical lyrics of quasars and micronovae perfectly match the explosive musicianship on display. The additional Bandcamp tag of “beatdown” does not fully encapsulate the truly immense weight of their breakdowns. Black Sun Sorcery exhibits the heaviest celestial hymns you’ll hear this side of the Milky Way. But beware: once the hammering percussion and ridiculously heavy riffs team up, every headbanging listener is doomed as they find themselves trapped within the gravitational pull of these sonic giants.

by F3ynman

Aesit - Valediction (Canada)
[Atmospheric Doom Metal]

Aesit (an acronym derived from ‘An Emotion Suspended In Time’) is an atmospheric doom metal band with a slight gothic touch, from the distant Vancouver Island in Canada. According to the Bandcamp page, the project’s name is a metaphor describing a ghost and how an emotion can live on forever. The music is ethereal, mesmerizing, and gloomy, with both male and female vocals, ambient passages, and sorrowful lyrics. The experience of listening to it feels like both a spiritual ascension and descension, a melancholic journey into your innermost fantasies. The guitars are hitting the notes hard, the vocals convey all the emotional weight they can possibly carry, and the cello brings forth some pretty haunting melodies. Darkher’s Jayn Maiven has mixed this EP brilliantly, it all sounds very open and lush, and if you like bands like Trees Of Eternity, Clouds, and, of course, Darkher, you’re in for a treat.

by nikarg

Skogsgravar - В Свете Мёртвой Луны (Russia)
[Atmospheric Black Metal]

Skogsgravar is a new project from the Russian town of Pavlovo that can be warmly recommended to any fan of bands like Leiþa, Gherzen, and Mgła. Anyone who suspects a Scandinavian origin from the band name is not mistaken: "Skogsgravar" is Swedish for "forest graves“, and the choice of name is certainly no coincidence, as one is also often reminded of the pioneers of melodic black metal from the 90s. With just over 30 minutes of playtime generously spread across only four tracks, В Свете Мёртвой Луны ("In The Light Of The Dead Moon") offers a pleasing amount of music. This time isn't wasted on letting the 6 to 9-minute-long songs meander endlessly, but rather allows them to fully develop and include many small highlights and a lot of variety. The fact that boredom never sets in is an indication of the songwriting skills of the band's founder, Alexander Agantaev, who, apart from a single guitar solo, played the entire EP on his own. To put it bluntly, I have not yet heard a debut EP from a one-man black metal project in 2024 that is more professionally produced and more enjoyable than В Свете Мёртвой Луны.

by Starvynth


What's your favourite new release of this issue?

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Comments: 4   Visited by: 29 users
09.07.2024 - 02:04
Nocturnal Bro
As if I wasn't already convinced that Moon Reaper are an incredibly promising band, I just stumbled upon their awesome music video

09.07.2024 - 11:22
As almost always, Starvynth doesn't really give us other CC contributors a chance with his findings. Skogsgravar is awesome and my (easy) pick. Overall very good bands this month but I have to say that my own pick kinda stands out from the rest in originality at least
09.07.2024 - 15:28
Slow Goat - the heavy metal elements do distinguish it a bit from the overdone stoner rock sound; not my favourite from this month, but decent

Slashed To Bits - as Nejde said, probably the most unusual approach here; unfortunately I don't really enjoy the sound of chiptune in general, but I appreciate them trying something different on that release

Koya - a cool discovery from Nik that I enjoyed writing up

Moon Reaper - a really strong album, Bristol have a habit of making great metal bands on the bleak and heavy side (see also Torpor, Row Of Ashes, Sonance), and I look forward to hopefully encountering these guys in the near future if they pop up on an interesting tour to London

Aesit - quite nice gothicky doom - the sound's a smidge thin for me, but it makes for pleasant listening

Skogsgravar - doesn't reinvent the wheel, but is solid enough black metal, and as Starvynth notes, the production for a debut EP from a one-man project is very decent

For me it's neck and neck between Koya and Moon Reaper, will probably need another listen to each to decide my pick for this month
19.07.2024 - 18:12
Thought this was a very strong edition of CC, got lots of new stuff from it, cheers foiks

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