Clandestine Cuts Vol. 11 Issue #3 - Awesome New Demos and EPs


Written by: nikarg, RaduP, musclassia, Starvynth
Published: 04.04.2021


Clandestine Cuts Volume 11, Issue #3
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 radu_patroiu@metalstorm.net to submit your music.)

In case you're new at this, go back and enjoy our last few issues:

Clandestine Cuts Vol. 11 #02
Clandestine Cuts Vol. 11 #01
Clandestine Cuts Vol. 10 #12

And now to the new music...






Wisp - The Insomniac (UK)
[Instrumental Doomgaze]


Pandemic lockdown projects have become pretty commonplace due to musicians having a lot more time on their hands, and without the pressure of live performances, a lot of them are less polished. Joseph Hawker's (also of Ethereal Shroud) Wisp is less of a "lockdown project" and more of an "insomnia project" that happened to come at the right time, since I assume there is some overlap between the two. Described as "dreamlike music for those who can't drift away", Wisp's The Insomniac is glacial funeral doom that has that trademark plodding despair filtered through a warm dreamlike shoegaze filter. Due to the nature of the music being very impulsive and sleepless, it is very much unpolished, which can be felt in the distracting drum sounds, but along with the lack of vocals, The Insomniac does feel a lot like staring at your own ceiling wondering how you're going to function tomorrow.

by RaduP






KOLLAPS\E - The Pandemic Sessions (Sweden)
[Post-Metal]


I'm sure there are an almost endless number of bands and projects out there that have used the forced time spent indoors in the past year to record music, but hopefully not all of them will name the resulting projects The Pandemic Sessions. I can forgive it from Swedish post-metal quartet KOLLAPS\E, however, because the pair of tracks featured here scratch my insatiable post-metal itch perfectly. It's on the bleak, crushingly heavy end of the spectrum occupied by the likes of Gloson and Minsk, amongst others, but whilst the sludgy riffs bring all the brooding intensity one would hope, the moments of levity manage to rise up out of the mire without the surrounding music having to abandon that intensity. These two tracks are short, so there's not much room for extensive build-ups, but "Radiant/Static" finds time to evolve beyond its menacing core for a more atmospheric conclusion. "Murrain" channels early Cult Of Luna very effectively via its chord choices, but manages to squeeze in an appropriately moving clean section before crushing its way to its conclusion. Brief but hugely satisfying, The Pandemic Sessions have put KOLLAPS\E firmly on my post-metal radar.

by musclassia






Descensum - Conjure Possessions (USA)
[Symphonic / Technical Death Metal]


The colour scheme and elaborate lines in the artwork of Conjure Possessions are almost inextricably linked with technical death metal by this stage, so I was not surprised to be hit with a frenetic, complex, bludgeoning, choppy assault by Descensum. However, the Californian act seem to be taking cues from the emerging symphonic deathcore scene, as the overwhelming metal cacophony is nicely accentuated with dramatic synths and choirs. These contributions lie more towards the background, not reaching the level of synthesis the likes of Lorna Shore have attempted in recent years; instead, when Descensum wish to give listeners a breather, they treat us to stirring melodic clean guitar sections, with "Sisters Ov The Fire" rounded off with an Opethian acoustic guitar ditty. However, when the tech-death and symphonics are placed side by side, such as early on in "Apparitions In The Mist", the synth blasts make for a nice intensifier of an already explosive sound. The actual tech-death is pretty much what you would expect: ever-changing, blistering, and willing to weave in melodic guitar work every now and then just for a change of pace. Nevertheless, the melodic solos and leads are reliably enjoyable, and Descensum do deliver some admirably memorable tech-death riffs. The maelstrom of sound on Conjure Possessions can become overwhelming, but in its best moments, the EP does a good job of demonstrating the virtues of such a complex and elaborate approach to extreme metal.

by musclassia






Visions From Beyond - Eternally Bound, Whipped By Time (UK)
[Death / Doom Metal]


This is an English band that was suggested to me by the most eloquent English speaker around these parts. Visions From Beyond offer a very atmospheric mix of death and doom metal, inspired by some of the best in the style; Winter and diSEMBOWELMENT. There is a strong cosmic, eerie, and trippy element in the delivery, and the lo-fi production makes the music feel very organic but not as if it was recorded through a Fischer-Price kit. This is the one-man project of Oli Mason, drummer of the UK grindcore band Fetus Christ, and in this debut EP he goes for a completely different sound and speed that will take you by surprise if you have listened to his other band. There is a lot of potential for Visions From Beyond, do check them out, and let's hope that a full-length is on the way.

by nikarg






Melancholia - Static Church (USA)
[Blackened Doom / Sludge Metal]


Static Church will floor you even if you are not a fan of sludge, as long as you are a fan of overwhelming heaviness; the heaviness that stems from vocals drenched in static, monolithic riffs embracing slow groove, and pounding drums that send the walls plummeting down like a deck of cards. Seriously, the drumming is insane here. Listen at 3'53'' of the opening track how the drums prepare for something that seems like the end of the world, which actually does come in the form of an earth-shattering riff. Or how they help build up the intensity of the unbelievable "Eternal Exodus". And, finally, check out how on "Chthonic Hymn" everything - vocals, guitars, bass, and drums - works together to provide the most humongous and explosive outro imaginable.

by nikarg






Svn.Seeker - Means To An End (USA)
[Melodic Death Metal]


Melodeath can be a very tedious affair: riffs you've already heard a thousand times, predictable song structures, monotonous growls and a cheap keyboard lethargically recycling the hookline of a 20-year-old and rightfully forgotten In Flames single B-side. Fortunately, Svn.Seeker from Bristol, Connecticut, were not founded to nourish these clichés, they're much more on a mission to subvert the common stereotypes. Immediately after the eerie instrumental intro has faded away and the track "Pilfered" kicks off, it becomes clear where the journey on Means To An End is heading - Svn.Seeker's first EP offers a blend of sophisticated, almost technical, melodic death metal and furiously fast blackened thrash, enriched with unexpected breaks and acoustic interludes, and refined with a large chunk of catchy melodies and great solos, all spiced up with a pinch of neo-classical arrangements. Fans of early Children Of Bodom should check this out, whereas for fans of Skeletonwitch and/or The Black Dahlia Murder, Means To An End is an absolutely obligatory addition to their collection.

by Starvynth






Poll

What's your favourite new release this issue?

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Comments

Comments: 13   Visited by: 56 users
04.04.2021 - 12:00
Bad English
Tage Westerlund
Doom gaze, post core gaze, jazz gaze ns gaze... But that English guy band was bäst
----
Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
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04.04.2021 - 12:38
musclassia

That Melancholia EP is fantastic; Svn.Seeker is the most 'professional/accomplished' of these, but Melancholia is definitely the most interesting to me
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04.04.2021 - 12:45
nikarg
Mod
Written by musclassia on 04.04.2021 at 12:38

That Melancholia EP is fantastic; Svn.Seeker is the most 'professional/accomplished' of these, but Melancholia is definitely the most interesting to me

I agree. I am not even a fan of sludge, it's among my least favourite genres but the moment I listened to Melancholia I was blown away. This issue rips, I even like Descensum a lot and they bear two of my most hated tags in metal (symphonic and tech death). I have no idea which band I will vote for.
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05.04.2021 - 11:43
Callisto

Well, I've voted Svn Seeker, since it is the project I'd most likely want to listen again.
Melancholia is very interesting but the voice production threw me off and Descensum would be a very digned 3rd position.

All in all a great collection as usual, congrats!
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05.04.2021 - 13:30
Rufus Valentine

Very difficult choice to make as all these are quality efforts.

Melancholia have that rare ability of being crushingly heavy and catchy at the same time. Weirdly brings to mind 1980s Sonic Youth at times. For me, it edges it with second and third prize going to Visions From Beyond and Wisp respectively.
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06.04.2021 - 21:49
LordFezzington
Lost To Apathy
Written by nikarg on 04.04.2021 at 12:45

This issue rips

It certainly does!
Written by nikarg on 04.04.2021 at 12:45

I have no idea which band I will vote for.

Me neither. Definitely can see voting for Visions From Beyond, Melancholia or Svn.Seeker, but the other three releases are really solid too. Even the tech death one, which I usually hate.
----
"Pay no heed to anyone and do what seems right to yourself." - Franz Kafka, The Trial
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09.04.2021 - 22:16
musclassia

Just giving it another listen, I'd be surprised if there's a better release featured in CCs this year than the Melancholia EP, it's brilliant
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09.04.2021 - 22:23
nikarg
Mod
Written by musclassia on 09.04.2021 at 22:16

Just giving it another listen, I'd be surprised if there's a better release featured in CCs this year than the Melancholia EP, it's brilliant

Where has it gone though? I can only see this: "Sorry, this track or album is not available."

edit: It has also been removed from Spotify, Deezer, and YouTube Music. I can only find it on Apple and an unofficial YouTube stream (uploaded with the band's permission).
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09.04.2021 - 22:39
musclassia

Written by nikarg on 09.04.2021 at 22:23

Written by musclassia on 09.04.2021 at 22:16

Just giving it another listen, I'd be surprised if there's a better release featured in CCs this year than the Melancholia EP, it's brilliant

Where has it gone though? I can only see this: "Sorry, this track or album is not available."

edit: It has also been removed from Spotify, Deezer, and YouTube Music. I can only find it on Apple and an unofficial YouTube stream (uploaded with the band's permission).


Yeah I just went to look for it on bandcamp and it disappeared, can only see it on youtube. Thankfully I bought it off bandcamp when I first listened to it
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09.04.2021 - 22:41
nikarg
Mod
Written by musclassia on 09.04.2021 at 22:39

Yeah I just went to look for it on bandcamp and it disappeared, can only see it on youtube. Thankfully I bought it off bandcamp when I first listened to it

I just contacted the band. Hope to get a response and I will post it here.
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10.04.2021 - 01:24
nikarg
Mod
Melancholia replied and said that the EP has been removed from Bandcamp "only temporarily while we work on a cassette release/record deal. One of the stipulations of going through their distribution". I guess a label also liked their stuff as much as we did, which must be good, many bands from our CCs have been on fire lately signing record deals left, right, and centre.

I have replaced the dead link in the write-up with an image of the cover art and will reinstate the Bandcamp link as soon as it becomes available again. As I have already mentioned above, the EP is still streaming on the Apple platform and as an unofficial YouTube video that has been uploaded with the band's permission.
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10.04.2021 - 11:14
musclassia

Written by nikarg on 10.04.2021 at 01:24

Melancholia replied and said that the EP has been removed from Bandcamp "only temporarily while we work on a cassette release/record deal. One of the stipulations of going through their distribution". I guess a label also liked their stuff as much as we did, which must be good, many bands from our CCs have been on fire lately signing record deals left, right, and centre.


I was going to suggest them getting a label deal was a possible reason for it, glad to hear that that's the case
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15.04.2021 - 10:02
Al-thor

Another great selection to choose from, you don't make it easy! My overall choice would be Svn.Seeker but everyone of them has something to offer.
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