Clouds – Despărțire

Although Daniel Negoe achieved a good reputation at the beginning of his career with Eye of Solitude, thanks to a series of magnificent albums, among which the epochal Canto III stands out, there is no doubt that he achieved the greatest popularity, perhaps even against all odds, with Clouds, a project born as a sort of extemporary ensemble open to most of the best European doom musicians, but then, with time, turned into a band with all the trappings, now consisting entirely of Romanian musicians. Clouds left us last year with Durere, a work written by Daniel on the emotional wave of his father’s death, a magnificent work for an emotionality exhibited without filters or particular sound smoothing, moreover renouncing to the consolidated collaboration of guests of a certain name. The new full length Despărțire, on the contrary, appears much more meditated and planned and, in this sense, it’s not a coincidence that in two tracks we find at the voice the two most famous musicians Neagoe has ever used during the Clouds’ history: in fact, if in This Heart, A Coffin lends its evocative tones Mick Moss of Antimatter, to donate its tone to the painful In Both Our Worlds The Pain Is Real there is even Aaron Stainthorpe, sort of putative father with his My Dying Bride for anyone who tries with these sounds (not to mention a third guest as the already tested Mihu, protagonist in turn in The Door We Never Opened). On closer inspection, those two splendid songs are not even the best of the tracklist, demonstrating that the status of Clouds is now close to that achieved by these great performers with their respective bands, with the added value that lies in offering an atmospheric death doom funeral that has become over the years more and more personal and recognizable. Personally, however, I think that one of the peculiar elements that has covered the sound of the group in the last two works comes from the entry into the line-up of Andrei Oltean, a musician who blowing expertly in his woods gives a poignant and at the same time ancestral aura to compositions in which the guitar, in the solo phase, stands out only sporadically leaving an important space for the violin. All this makes Despărțire an album with mostly rarefied tones, preparatory to the jumps that in unison support the always superb growl of the leader, leading each song to its emotional peak. After all, just listen to the opening track Deepen This Wound to identify with the role of the solitary figure immortalised on the cover while rowing without an apparent direction, symbolising a departure but above all the detachment (Despărțire, in Romanian) from existence and its failures. Almost an hour of uninterrupted emotion is the result of listening to a work of crystalline beauty from the first to the last note and with an emotional impact that is at times unbearable. The artistic expression of the Clouds is the ideal nourishment for those who prefer an autumn sunset to the dazzling brightness of summer days, giving music a role that goes far beyond the equivocal function of mere entertainment, for its inimitable ability to give meaning even to the worst moments, those in which everything seems to be irretrievably lost.

2021 – GS Productions / Personal Records / Cold Art Industry