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Clouds – Dor

by Justin "Witty City" Wittenmeier at 12 April 2021, 6:47 AM

CLOUDS is an international atmospheric doom metal who formed in 2013. Since then, they have been rather prolific having released five full lengths, an EP and an acoustic album. This album, "Dor" is their third album that was released back in 2018. It has now been reissued with a bonus track. Honestly, the bonus track "Closeness" isn't all that great. But the point is, the rest of the album is a must have for atmo doom fans. This was the first album from them that I heard so I'm very excited to review it.

As I mentioned in my review of their 2020 release "Durere", CLOUDS is a band that takes the atmospheric parts and just runs with it. Depending on what parts of what songs, if someone walked in on a certain moment on this album, they might not even think they are a metal band. With a metric ton of lush keys, clean note instrumental passages and powerful but quite clean vocals, it would be easy to assume they have nothing at all to do with doom or metal in general.

However, if you heard the more heavy side of the band then you would think they are some of the darkest, most crushing, abrasive doom in the scene. This is the dichotomy of CLOUDS and it is what makes them and "Dor" such a great, dynamic listen. The first track "Forever And A Day" begins with deep bass tones and clean guitars. It is deceptively simple music but multiple listens reveal songwriting that builds and plans for all these pieces to fit together. Those cleans are smooth and beautiful and the drumming behind them makes both elements shine.

"Last Days Of Sun" begins differently—-the atmosphere is heavy with an electric wall and frighteningly deep death growls. Afterwards, a clean passage with a wonderful vocal performance bridges the gap to the next doom laden moment, this time both the growls and the cleans having a chance to work with the heavy riffs. The keyboards are also noteworthy–nothing flashy or extravagant but also more than enough to pull on the heart strings and accent the song.

The final track, "Alone" is one hell of a way to close an album like this. The first four minutes or so consists of ghostly, beautiful violin that fits right at home. The next passage is one part clean vocals and another part whispered voices. It is haunting yet majestic when this is all heard together. And then the bottom drops out at 6:30, the rain coming in metallic drops of sorrow and longing. "Dor" is a standout album and a show piece for how a genre as heavy and depressing as doom often is can also be moving and beautiful at the same time. A great place to start if you're new to the band.

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

4 Star Rating

1. Forever and a Day
2. The Last Day of Sun
3. When I’m Gone
4. Dor
5. The Forever Sleep
6. Alone
7. Closeness (Bonus Track)
Daniel Neagoe – Vocals
Indee Rehal-Sagoo – Guitars
Xander Cozaciuc - Guitars
Record Label: Personal Records


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