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Clouds – Departe (Reissue)

Clouds
Departe (Reissue)
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 03 August 2021, 2:56 PM

CLOUDS is an International band based out of the UK, and Romania. Formed in 2013, they have released six full-length albums, and Personal Records is re-issuing two of them…the first being “Departe,” which was originally released in 2016. The album contains six tracks. “How Can I Be There” leads off the album. Soft, melancholy piano notes open this 12-minute opus, followed by clean, despondent vocals. Three-and-a-half minutes in, the harsh vocals make an appearance, along with a distorted riff. Grueling, desperate sounds follow, like a man who takes a hike through the cold wilderness, days on end, only to drown himself in a lake in the end.

“Migration” is just over eight-minutes in length. It begins with the heavy but lumbering pace of harsh and clean vocals mixed, along with a distorted guitar riff. The harsh vocals are guttural and deep, and the cleans are high and harmonic, but each style has the same impetuous quality to them. About half-way in, it slows to piano notes and just clean vocals. Harsh tones return, then it fades out with more clean tones. “In The Ocean Of My Tears” begins with clean recorder tones, that are almost as frail as a spring day, still clinging to winter’s grip. About four minutes in, the pace quickens a bit, with clean female vocals, while that feeling of hopelessness looms ever on. The recorder notes return towards the end.

“In All This Dark” is the longest on the album, at just under 13-minutes in length. A dark, hardened riff combines with clean, harmonic vocals, and the beauty is quite overwhelming. It plods away slowly, with deep, harsh vocals taking over close the half-way mark. The gloomy disheartenment is almost too much to bear. Let your crosses go, and be free. “Driftwood” opens with murky piano notes, and a hulking pace, that would slowly crush you to pieces. Following a harsh vocal passage, the instrumentation drops around the half-way mark, with clean tones, and guttural vocals that seem to fade away from your consciousness. It gathers steam for one final, fatal strike.

“I Gave My Heart Away” closes the album. It begins with minimal instrumentation, that leads to a steady charge of Death’s horsemen, who have come to march on Earth and end all of the suffering. The sound is steady and oppressively funereal, with lead guitars providing some of the sonority. Strings also join in, as the sound builds to a crescendo, with clean vocals, reaching out, to anyone who might listen…but no one replies. Death does his job. Cleansing the planet of humans and allowing animals and plants to prosper once again, all has come full circle, at least for a while.

Warning…this type of music is not for the faint of heart, nor would I recommend listening to it if you are already depressed. That being said, it is wonderfully sad in a way that only an old soul can comprehend. Let it take you, like a big ocean wave would, drowning you instantly, or carrying you out to sea to realize your fate in the open waters. There is something about the music that makes me instantly think of open water, and the dangers or challenges of navigating something so vast. In the end, it’s a wonderfully put together album with plenty of pit-falls that if are not careful will dig their claws into you, with welcoming arms, and you will never be heard from again.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. How Can I Be There
2. Migration
3. In The Ocean Of My Tears
4. In All This Dark
5. Driftwood
6. I Gave My Heart Away
Lineup:
Daniel Neagoe – Vocals, Drums, Keyboards
Jarno Salomaa – Guitars
Déhà – Bass
Record Label: Personal Records
     


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