Cerca nel blog

martedì 4 febbraio 2020

Clouds - Durere

#FOR FANS OF: Death Doom
Clouds shouldn’t need any introduction, as they’ve been one of the more productive Doom Metal bands, regularly unleashing albums every two years ever since their founding in 2013. I was thrilled to hear about their work on new material, and it has been a great ride to partake on.

A strumming guitar melody greets me in a folk like way. A fragile voice speaks of not being able to guide you, leaving you lost in the darkness. As the vocals kick in, it’s in a raw fashion. I almost feel like Daniel is standing right before me. This track is a perfect opening example for how great the diversity of this album is. A violin plays a slow, lamenting melody over the growly speech. There’s even a section of heavy guitar, which in a strange way doesn’t seem out of place at all

Following the same recipe, “Empty Hearts” starts out as a folk melody with only guitar and voice. The vocals seem fragile, sinister and naked. After a few minutes though, it takes a turn for a doomy side. the viollin takes more room, and we are once again drenched in the pitch black void that is... The heavy guitar drapes the piece in a melancholic veil, without sacrificing any of the brutality of the vocals.

A piano is starting off “Images And Memories”, slowly dragging its notes in a spray of misty echoes. The soft vocals whisper over a soft synth sound, along with a violin weeping. The vibrato in (vocalists) voice makes the song gain another level of emotions. A punching guitar riff is introduced after a few minutes, and the vocals are replaced by a brutal series of low pitched growls. It’s amazing how well the song progresses so harmonically, it’s almost like a living organism just breathing freely. Once again a short guitar solo finds its place, without ever seeming out of style.

“Above The Sea” has another piano intro. This one is a bit more uplifting than the other one. Slow paced, it consists of a voice, subtle piano notes and that violin. As the riffs start, the screams return in force. Vast, dragged out howls accompanies the lenthy guitar notes. There’s room for a short intermezzo here, serving as a gentle resting spot about half way through the album. The rest is filled with a barrage of distorted guitar, menacing growls, and that haunting piano melody to remind you of where you are: In the domain of Clouds.

A gentle guitar strums”A Sailor Waves Goodbye” into life. (Vocalists) soothing and calm voice tells a tale of suffering and pain. As the song progresses, a Death Metal like riff is giving it more energy, and really makes it stand out from the rest. After that, it becomes something more. A saturated mix of violin, brutal growls and prolonged riffs.

After an ominious and brief guitar intro, a fog horn like violin is playing. “A Fathers Death” lays, in a similar fashion as the previous track, subtle vocals over a piano backdrop. The quick fadeout of distorted guitar and violin surprises me, and leave me in awe as the mood is altered to represent a brittle and fragile aspect of this band. A true master in diversity. The heavier side of this track doesn’t hold anything back either. (Vocalist) drags his growls out to drape the slow riffs in another layer of depressive mood. there’s another section of spoken word accompaniedf by a piano, and all these little instances lets the listener breathe for a few moments during the span of the album. I welcome these small moments of calm before the storms, and feel they communicate another layer of emotions through the music.

“The End of Hope” starts out a bit brighter than the others, but at a bit slower pace. The clean singing is emotive, sincere and well mixed with the guitar and drums. As the growly vocals begins, a flute plays in the background, a welcome change of perspective. An electric guitar solo also finds its place, but somehow they manage to weave it in without compromising the nature of this album; a true and honest tribute to feelings of despair and loneliness.

There’s a lot of genial moments in the album. I was surprised about the mix of heavy guitar, growls and violin at first, but then I came to remember how great this rare occurrence has worked in the past. The clean parts are equally great in the way they let me get close and personal with a person who can utter such brutal and blood curdling screams of agony. The overall result of 'Durere' seems well thought out, diverse, polished and epic. Epic in the way an unusual element like heavy guitar works with this genre of music, epic in the sorrow envisioned in the lyrics. I’ve always enjoyed the few acts of doom metal which incorporates violin into their soundscape, and now I’ve found another album to thoroughly enjoy over the years. Thank you, Clouds. (Ole Grung)