Clandestine is an american progressive metal band from Los Angeles. They formed in 2006, released a self-titled ‘Clandestine’ EP (2007) and their first full length album ‘The Invalid’ (2011). The band consisted of June Park (vocals & programming), Dan Durakovich (guitars & programming), Mark Valencia (bass) and Sammy J. Watson (drums). Their marketing PR states “Clandestine is a truly unique band, combining progressive rock with female fronted metal, a touch of electronic music that enhances the futuristic timbre, and some smooth huge pop melodies. ‘The Invalid’ is a must for fans of bands as diverse as Evanescence, Dream Theater, Fair To Midland, Rush, Lacuna Coil, Tool and Between The Buried & Me”.
‘Fearless’ incorporates an intro that reminds of a sci-fi movie soundtrack, before moving into progressive hard rock territory with simplistic lyrics. It’s not until ‘Disappear In You’ that they break into full flow with June’s soaring vocals, crunchy riffs and orchestral keyboard sweeps. “All my life I’ve never wanted someone just like you / Falling into fear / And I can’t trust myself with you”.
June makes good use of her soft, sensual tone during the gentler passages of ‘Silent Sin’. Although it is hard to get a grip of what exactly is going on, it builds to a crescendo “No one behind / There you stand / Slowing down / Silent sin / From within / In your skin I breathe”. Next is one of their heaviest songs, ‘Philistine’ as the pace and percussion ramps up. It also features vocal overlays and effects, as well as harsh, throaty screams. Then they fall back on another keyboard led ballad, which does feel slightly forced. ‘Fracture’ thrusts its way back to hard rock underpinned by a magnificent section of bass riffs and technical drumming.
‘Dead To The World’ allows time for the band to express themselves, with time changes and interplay between the differing combinations of guitar, keys and inventive rhythm section. You might be mislead into thinking that ‘Phantom Pain’ is going to be yet another gentle ballad, until it gradually starts to build into a darker place. “This pain in the phantom limb / These chains on the phantom heart / Too faint, the smell of spirit / Too far, the sound of your voice”.
There is a tremulous, skittering air to ‘The Invalid’ with its tick-tock pacing and staccato riffing. June unleashes more harsh screaming to express the anguish contained in the lyrics as it reflects upon wasted chances. “Let me out of this / Prison’s my body / Tears my soul apart / I’m screaming inside out”. Finally, ‘Comatose’ is another hard rock masterpiece that allows the rolling bassline to have fuller range.
02. Disappear In You
03. Silent Sin
07. Dead to the World
08. Phantom Pain
09. The Invalid
Label: Nightmare Records, 2011
Reviewed by Peter John Willoughby