Clouds Taste Satanic - Your Doom Has Come (2015)

Think back to your childhood. The first time you saw a lemon, you had no idea what it would taste like. Your mom or dad cut a slice off, and let you stick that mouth altering piece of fruit into your oral cavity so that you can find out for yourself. You winced, shrieked, maybe vomited. But now you knew. I've never wonder what flavors might register on my tongue if the tip were to come in contact with a cloud, scientific reasoning aside. Nor have I given thought to what taste sensations Satan himself might represent. But I digress. Much like that lemon, so little comes in the name and pseudo-packaging. Clouds Taste Satanic, another modern doom export from Brooklyn's growing metal scene, have something far more interesting to offer than puckered lips and a sore jaw. Their name isn't representative of the music they play, for better or worse, but a declarative statement that we'll accept to be true. The title of their sophomore album, however, is one that should be taken seriously. With nary a vocal to speak of, they've brought the instrumental hammer, and Your Doom Has Come.

As you listen through an album, there are usually the obvious hits and misses that can be picked apart and returned to, supporting whatever point of view at which you've ultimately arrived. Your Doom Has Come has a major strength that permeates the entire album, and it stands as a credit to the strength of process that goes into building an album. It's foundation, the overlying theme of each track, is rock solid. That is to say that the central riff, drum beat, bass line, et al have been fleshed out in a way that makes expanding on it that much easier. The album opener, Ten Kings, is a masterful example of this point. You'll hear a repeated riff that makes up much of the melody. But like the trunk of a tree, it stands firm so that branches can grow from any direction. What results is some of the signature guitar work that makes the album to easy to listen to, front to back. And by eliminating the vocal component, it discards much of the standard verse-bridge-chorus song structure that hinders a growing number of modern doom bands.

All that being said, it's more than just a "ground up" approach that makes this work; the blueprint doesn't always dictate the finished product. Much of that credit comes back to the bevy of easy to digest and even easier to repeat stoner riffs. There are moments scattered throughout the album that bring to mind the work of Tony Iommi, though not in the Sabbath-era sense. On his turn of the millennium solo album, the man who influences a million guitarists found that safe space between riffs that inspired woe and hooks that could bring down the house (see 'Just Say No To Love,' 'Goodbye Lament'). Clouds Taste Satanic embody much of that sensibility in their music, and possess a willingness to embrace both sides of that coin. It's all so fluid; for lack of a better phrase, the music feels right when pieced together. It's the reason why tracks like Beasts From The Sea and Dark Army can exist on the same album without throwing the Earth into some bizarre axis-shifting spin. I would even argue that the change of track sequence might result in a catastrophic failure in the world economy. Maybe that is an overstatement, but moving Sudden...Fallen to any other slot on the album would be a disservice to any and all who listen.

Let's tackle this album from two separate paths. First, the fact of the matter is, it's instrumental. And while I wouldn't suggest that a vocalist would ruin the record, the absence of one is an asset. They haven't sacrificed track length or tried to overcompensate in any way, as some bands tend to do. Leaving the vocal slider on the mixing board all the way down doesn't mean you need to play extra solos, install odd time signatures or add in a second drummer. More isn't always better. Secondly, this is the kind of stoner infused doom that lends itself well to long compositions, coming and going, bending and swaying, and yet somehow always coming to a neat finish at the end. That isn't magic, or even an accident; that speaks to the confidence Clouds Taste Satanic have in what they're doing. You can hear that within the confines of each and every song, like a jazz piece. You know where it started and where it'll end, but the middle could go any which way. It's unpredictable predictability. And Your Doom Has Come is the inevitable.


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