Doliu is the debut album from Clouds, an Atmospheric Doom band with an all-star, international lineup. One of the main reasons I wanted to hear this was because Daniel Neagoe of Eye of Solitude is in this band. He wrote the music and most of the lyrics for this album, and based on his previous works, I was excited to hear what Doliu sounded like because the man knows how to write quality Doom Metal. Added to the mix are the other members of the band (Jarno Salomaa, Déhà, Kostas Panagiotou, Pim Blankenstein, and Jón Aldará), all of whom have been playing dark and atmospheric Doom Metal for a considerable amount of time. Though Eye of Solitude is also Atmospheric Doom in nature, Clouds isn’t the same, and it’s easy to see why the two are separate projects. Where Eye of Solitude is punishingly brutal and heavy, Clouds has more of an an ephemeral/ethereal quality. It gives up a fair amount of intensity, but it more than makes up for that by capturing the feeling and underlying sadness that makes awesome Atmospheric Doom. It’s two parts Katatonia, one part My Dying Bride and all parts melancholic and depressing. From the opening seconds of “You Went So Silent” to the closing moments of “Even If I Fall,” you get some of the most despondent tonal arrangements I’ve heard in a while. When you consider that the music on this record is dedicated to “departed ones, loved ones who now, are no longer amongst us,” it makes sense that none of it is even remotely upbeat. It’s happy music only if you’re idea of “happy” involves watching someone you care about slowly die of cancer. It puts my mind and my thoughts in that nice, sweet spot between deep blue funk and suicidal depression that feels as though I’m looking at the sky as I sink to the bottom of a lake. When you’re talking about this kind of Doom Metal, that’s always a good thing. If you’re looking for some dark and melancholic music in the vein of old Katatonia, this is an LP to check out.
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