Clouds – Dor

I have already spoken several times of the cathartic effect that the darkest and most melancholic forms of doom can have on the most sensitive spirits, especially when they find themselves having to put together the pieces of a fragile existence. Music is the ideal glue to try, if not to solve, certainly to partially reassemble what the course of life is trying to shatter and, in this sense, coinciding with the release of each album that involves Daniel Neagoe, both with Eye Of Solitude and with his most recent project Clouds, it’s a bit like having the opportunity to hear the words of a friend who, instead of unnecessarily sweeten the reality, decides to show all the pain of the way dropping liberating and purifying tears. Daniel, compared to many other greats in the industry, has a compositional prolificacy that distinguishes him in a decisive way: for example, in the last six years, the time it takes to listen to a new Evoken work after Atra Mors, the Romanian musician with his two main bands has published a total of seven full lengths and a considerable number of ep and singles, all material of immeasurable artistic thickness. Compared to Eye Of Solitude, with Clouds Neagoe explores the more melancholic and atmospheric side of doom, consistently with what had been the intent expressed at the time of the debut with Doliu, namely to pay homage to the memory of those who are no longer among us. All this brings the sound of a wonderful album like Dor to be almost antithetical in approach to the masterpiece of Eye of Solitude that was Canto III: while in that case the sense of tragedy and human failure, in the vain search for a meaning to existence, was something tangible, almost physical, and exhibited in an admirably dramatic way, here the pain is less intense and more suffused, made bearable in its being diluted along songs full of beautiful melodies and interpreted masterfully by Daniel himself and the guests who, as usual, enrich every work by Clouds. The fifty minutes of music contained in Dor are the state of the art of the genre at this time, as I can hardly imagine other bands today, if not only Saturnus, able to solicit with the same continuity the emotional chords of the fans, who will not be able to be subjugated by the beauty of these six songs with a poignant pace and able to induce emotion from the first note of Forever And A Day to the last of Alone. The Last Day Of Sun is a cry of pain in which despair (No one to hear my endless story / No one to set me free) alternates with disillusionment, a test of supreme lyricism that Daniel gives us, along with the clarity of When I’m Gone, in which we find the welcome participation of the talented Gogo Melone, and the abandonment of The Forever Sleep, masterfully interpreted by Pim Blankenstain (Can I close my eyes / This must be the night I die / Never to wake up again / The forever sleep and no more pain). The finale of the title track is literally lacerating in its tragic beauty, while in Alone we can appreciate the splendid work of the young violinist Irina Movileanu, whose touch brings the song very close to the most evocative episodes of the ever-present My Dying Bride. Today’s Clouds re-propose the line-up with a strong Romanian component already seen live this year, which includes, in addition to the aforementioned Irina, the rhythmic base of Descend Into Despair (Alex Costin and Luca Breaz) to accompany the well-established presence of their other bandmate Xander Coza on guitar, and Indee Rehal-Sagoo, who hasn’t worked in the studio with Neagoe since Canto III; I don’t know if all this has contributed to make Clouds (apart from the always welcome participation of the various guests) something closer than in the past to the idea of a canonical band, the fact is that Dor turns out to be, in my opinion, the highest point of a discography already including gems such as Doliu, Departe and the same Destin, but regardless of this, the important thing is to know that the friend of which we spoke at the beginning is always there, ready to make us more bearable the reverses and misfortunes of existence by exhibiting without filters its inevitable transience.

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