Clouds – Durere

Sometimes, in order to be penetrated without resistance by music, especially when you have high expectations, you need picks that are able to open the heart and, in this case, I think that the darkness and the loneliness before going to sleep had easy game in allowing me to get in total harmony with this album. Durere is the fourth full length of Clouds, a project that Daniel Neagoe in recent years has cultivated in parallel to the main one, Eye Of Solitude, and then ended up overtaking it both in terms of priority and audience feedback. In fact, this album is something different from the splendid works that preceded it (Doliu, Departe and Dor), not only because, for the first time, there are no prominent names from the European doom scene as guests, but above all because it stems from a mournful event that has touched the composer himself. If Clouds was born as a sort of supergroup capable of putting into music the pain and sorrow caused by the death of loved ones in the broadest sense, on this occasion the Romanian musician has decided not to delegate to others the task of interpreting all the vocal parts, precisely because of the intimate nature of the lyrics and the emotional transport that follows. Compared to its predecessors, Durere is a more linear and sometimes even imperfect album: if in the past the different vocals inevitably provided a greater variety to the structure of the songs while creating results that were decidedly enjoyable for the average of the genre, here the alternation between the singing in clean and the use of growl follows a consolidated pattern that goes in parallel with the instrumental accompaniment, in the same way regularly divided between the rarefaction of the atmospheres and explosions of enormous emotional impact. Putting it down like this, it would seem that Durere is not a completely successful work, but it’s exactly the opposite: here Neagoe composes the most introspective and heartfelt work of his career, without being afraid to lay bare his emotions and his disorientation in the face of his father’s disappearance, something that is equivalent to the collapse of a bridge, the crumbling of a supporting beam on which his existence has always been based, and this leaves more a sense of disorientation than of emptiness. So, even if the whole thing may deceptively appear predictable, Durere advances, rising slowly like a tide and at the same time alternating a soft yearning with lacerating passages in which at times the combination of voice, guitar and atypical instruments such as violin and flute raise the emotional content to unbearable levels. In Durere we find an hour of music impregnated in every moment of a painful feeling: there is not a single superfluous moment, everything is aimed at achieving a pathos that finds unparalleled peaks in Empty Hearts and in A Father’s Death, without this going to the detriment of the other five gems on the album. Durere is the album that Daniel himself said he hadn’t planned, believing that like Eye Of Solitude, Clouds‘ natural artistic path had come to an end. Circumstances led him to change this address, but even just for this clue you can understand that here we are not talking about a normal Clouds album, but something that springs from the innermost folds and suffering of the soul of a musician, going beyond any commercial intent or any artistic programming: all this makes Durere a work with an evocative potential almost unparalleled.

2020 – The Vinyl Division 2021 – Cold Art Industry