Clandestine Cut Of The Year

1.  Deception - Break The Silence [EP] 44
  Pin-Up Went Down - B-Sides [EP] 44
3.  Brutai - Brutai [EP] 32
4.  Enceladus - Time In A Dream [Single] 29
5.  Devil's Rage - Rise Of Insanity [EP] 27
6.  Aphelium - Demo 19
7.  Bölzer - Aura (write-in vote) 11
Total votes:

Aphelium - Demo

The three tracks on Aphelium's Demo - one short intro and two speedy symphonic power songs, one sung in Spanish and the other one in English - show much promise, since there's tangible passion for the genre oozing from Aphelium's every pore. Every band member has ample space to show what they can do - yes, including the bassist, quite a power metal rarity - and the music is guitar-driven but keyboard-flourished, just the way I like my power metal. The guitarist and the vocalist deserve a special mention, one for his epic Thomas Youngblood-esque leads and the other for delivering his lines convincingly, without resorting to falsetto overuse, which has become such a cliche in the genre. That, and he has a mean Dickinson-style scream. Nice job, Venezuela.


Brutai - Brutai [EP]

With their self-titled debut EP, British Brutai manages to show remarkable quality and be convincing. Their music feels refreshing. If you don't believe me, just listen to the standout track "Sleepers" which has an epic solo and is both exciting and challenging; a true testament to their melodic progressive side. However, that is just one side of them. The technical aspect and metalcore intertwine just as nicely. The atmosphere of the songs comes across as dark and bursts out sudden strokes of heaviness. What makes this EP good is that it is very diverse in terms of musical avenues, vocals/growls while never loosing focus and coherence.


Deception - Break The Silence [EP]

Swedes Deception are introducing themselves with their first official EP Break The Silence, a combination of a death thrash sound. It's a rather "lighter" thrashy sound in the forefront and a more modern approach, yet energetic and speedy enough to raise up the heat. Throughout the EP there can be detected some decent various riffing with some melodic lines and a couple of short solos along the way. With the execution reaching near perfection, surprisingly or not Break The Silence provides a very well made production. Possessing a promising quality and a solid performance, Deception presents quite enjoyable stuff for a debut and of course a strong foundation for future endeavors.


Devil's Rage - Rise Of Insanity [EP]

I didn't know what to expect since the "melodic death metal" moniker has been somewhat overused in recent years. But to my surprise, those dudes out of Switzerland got it right and delivered a flawless EP on their first attempt at stardom. The two guitarists do an excellent job in balancing the clean as well as down-tuned stringing, while the drumming, thankfully not your faster-is-better style, adds the volume to this release. The songs are melodic and very catchy. While I do hear some Amon Amarth influence I believe Devil's Rage put their own style on the tunes and I can't wait to see how far the band will go. Definitely worth checking out if you are a fan of the genre.


Enceladus - Time In A Dream [Single]

Quick! Grab your axe, get on your dragon and fly towards the sky~~

This whole demo screams "good old power metal fun." Insane, soaring leads that would make Herman Li jealous. Groovy, complex drums and intricate vocal melodies make this demo just a fun listen. The expert combination of musical skill, and soulful execution of the songs, allows the listener to stay interested and focused. The cheese factor here is definitely high, but who doesn't love a little cheese? I know I love it. It goes great with every meal.

Anywho, any power metal fan will eat this up. Even the "hardly listen to," "It's not heavy enough" metal fans will love this.


Pin-Up Went Down - B-Sides [EP]

Bandcamp music player
With two full lengths to their name Pin-Up Went Down's latest EP is further evidence of their indifference to your sanity and most likely their own. Some weird and eccentric avantgarde music domineered by a widely varied feminine voice with diverse instrumentation ranging from touches of jazz to surf rock to match. All the madness is structured with an understanding for hooks and is designed to engage the listener from begining to end. This is avantgarde metal that doesn't initially alienate the listener but demands your attention by throwing not only craziness into the songwriting but catchiness as well.