Clandestine Cut Of The Year

1.  Chronus - Lost At Sea 25
2.  Anopheli - A Hunger Rarely Sated 22
3.  Valfader - Whispers Of Chaos 20
4.  Kylfingar - Észak Népe 19
5.  Megalodoom - Tectonic Oblivion 17
  Athanatos - Unholy Union 17
7.  Existem - Phoenix 16
8.  Tarpan - Legend 13
9.  Hypergiant - Planetcracker 12
10.  Raum Kingdom - Raum Kingdom 8
Total votes:

Anopheli - A Hunger Rarely Sated

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Featuring members of great bands such as Light Bearer & Monuments Collapse, Anopheli instantly piqued my interest with its strong pedigree and after giving their first EP a spin, it more than lives up to those expectations as they attack your senses with their brand of Cello infused Crust/Sludge/Doom goodness. Rather than just being a gimmick, the cello is used to great affect here as it provides a soulful melody to counter the chaotic aggression going on around it. In that sense it reminds me of Dead To A Dying World, which is never a bad thing.


Athanatos - Unholy Union

Not gonna lie here: My radar always beeps when I see the words "Extreme metal" and "Chile" put together. It might be just simple, irrational love for my country's underground scene, but I truly believe that the extreme metal scene over there pays off what it lacks in originality with tons of commitment and great songwriting. Athanatos is no exception. Sure, many of you have heard this kind of death/black metal with an occult vibe before but this passion is translated into near perfect execution of their instruments, thus achieving impeccable songwriting. The riffs are killer, the leads alarming and the atmosphere immense.


Chronus - Lost At Sea

An eclectic mixture of otherwise classic components. That is a nice summary of what Chronus does. They are a young band from the south of Sweden that plays heavy/thrash metal with plenty of atmospheric and progressive touches, achieving a very epic feeling in the process. With most of their members being barely 20, the result consists of very mature ideas put together. The long songs flow without notice as the band constantly changes from headbanging and catchy riffs to calm and well structured interludes, that fit in nicely with the aggressive sections. Definitely a band that deserves attention for those who like their traditional metal but are not afraid for something extra.


Existem - Phoenix

Out of Kansas City comes some progressive metal of the highest caliber. With a prominent bass, Existem produce very melodic and ambitious metal. While the technical aspect is noteworthy, like Scale The Summit, the underlying melody is simple and direct with substance. The music in Phoenix is diverse; you have raging growls, emotional clean vocals, even a trumpet, groovy transitions, and heavy riffage, in what becomes something quite unique. The band even flirts with different genre latitudes to spice things up even more. Existem know what they are doing and they save the best for the end. "Above Or Below" is a monster of good qualities from the deep entangling progressions to the dynamic guitars; it doesn't get much better than this.


Hypergiant - Planetcracker

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Fans of hard rock, prog, and stoner metal should have no complaints when it comes to Hypergiant's aptly titled debut EP. It's loud, crushing, groovy, space-oriented fun for the whole family all the midnight tokers out there. Alternating between upbeat chugging and lethargic riffs, Planetcracker is designed to appease your inner three-breasted hooker from Mars. Keep a close eye on these Aussies - they're bound to make some noise in the near future.


Kylfingar - Észak Népe

Kylfingar stand as one of the many bands following the path that acts as Ensiferum or Finntroll have shown for years, and they do it quite well. Észak Népe is a classic viking folk metal output, following every cliché of this genre, from the harsh, wild screams mixed with epic, clean choirs to the juxtaposition of modern instruments and folky tunes. The songs flow with ease and reassuring predictability, with few outstanding moments but positively steady in quality. Even if they should feel the urge of finding their own personal sound to distinguish themselves from the thousands of Korpiklaani out there, Kylfingar could actually be something.


Megalodoom - Tectonic Oblivion

In the mood for some instrumental sludge doom experience? These captivating sounds are coming straight from the heart of UK, offering exceptional well executed (mainly) mid-paced sludge doom, with some rare stoner passages here and there. Tectonic Oblivion consists of many original and profoundly sounding riffs, which vary greatly within each track and will drag you into one hell of a journey. These are complemented and escorted by deeply penetrating oppressive bass. In this case, the music speaks for itself, literally. Megalodoom at your service.


Raum Kingdom - Raum Kingdom

This Irish quartet's debut EP takes the listener on an incredibly emotional journey, traveling through the murkiest and most vile parts of the human psyche with an overwhelming sense of desperation. Buoyed by an immense and suffocating atmosphere, these Cult Of Luna sound-alikes bring with them a more aggressive and simultaneously depressive approach to their brand of post-metal, brilliantly summed up in a heartfelt 3-minute spoken word passage halfway through. If you hate your life, Raum Kingdom are here to help make it worse.


Tarpan - Legend

Bandcamp music player
13 minutes of down-tuned sludge and gut-wrenching harsh vocals makes up Tarpan's Legend EP, a short and not-so-sweet foray into the uglier realm of extreme music - essentially the mentally stable friend of Lord Mantis, Indian, et al. These Poles lull you into a false sense of security before absolutely crushing the world around you with heavy groove-oriented riffs and pounding rhythmic drums.


Valfader - Whispers Of Chaos

Apart from a classy cover, the music inside Valfader's EP Whispers Of Chaos itself is classy. And despite what the band's name might suggest, it is not folk metal, as I instantly thought it would be. Every Valfader song is a journey and not because of its length but due to the continuous crescendos and various moods that go from eerie to contemplative. This band is melodically impressive and that is not something you hear everyday because most of the time it isn't done this well. Their doomy stoner rock/metal has an experimental side and the vocals are deep and layered. The last song "Sacred Spiral" is where you see them shine and expand to its fullest capacity. While the more amped up moments are exhilarating, Valfader really know how to slow things down enigmatically which makes Whispers Of Chaos the perfect title for what their music radiates.