Instrumental Doom Metal masters Clouds Taste Satanic embark on a new project, The Satanic Singles.
If you are unfamiliar with Clouds Taste Satanic, it is past time to get acquainted. The quick take is they compose and perform instrumental doom metal music. We did an overview article on them earlier this year (link below) that was an alacritous stroll through their catalogue. That is a good place to catch up on what they have out there.
Typically, their songs are very long – as in often around the twenty minute mark. The band has decided to try a new direction for a minute and record shorter cover songs. The Satanic Singles is a project planned to be released in four parts, one each month until February when the full length Cloud Covered album comes out (with additional tracks not released in the singles series).
Volume 1 has two tracks. Side A is a cover of Elton John’s “Funeral For A Friend,” and Side B is the theme from 2001: A Space Odyssey, “Also Sprach Zarathustra.” The second side is about what you would expect – it has a big sound in the first place, that theme, and it translates well into the band’s idiom. The Elton John cover, on the other hand, could have gone in any of a number of directions. Running at about half the length of John’s original, CTS focuses on the most compelling instrumental elements, bringing an enduring heaviness to the music but not what you would really call doom. A diversion that is an engaging difference to the Yellow Brick Road centerpiece, I’d say. Recommended.
Grab this first single at Bandcamp. There are vinyl versions, too, but some are already sold out. Check it out fast.
What got me started on this was the reissue of The Glitter of Infinite Hell which dropped a few weeks ago. It had been out of print for a while (in the physical) so the new issue is great for fans. I listened to it again, and started (figuratively) thumbing through the rest of the catalogue. It made me want to do a flash review of their every release. So here we are.
Firstly, Clouds Taste Satanic is an instrumental doom band that came together in Brooklyn in 2013. The members include Steve Scavuzzo (guitar), Sean Bay (bass), Greg Acampora (drums), and Brian Bauhs (guitars). I am a giant fan of instrumental metal music and CTS is one of the best bands doing it. What really stands out about their music is that when you are listening to it you do not spend any time waiting to hear vocals because you aren’t thinking about them and you genuinely don’t miss them at all. These compositions are specifically designed to create emotion, content, and context without voice, and they work to dramatic and powerful effect. I have written just a couple sentences on each release about what my first thoughts were listening to them again today. I think you should listen for yourself and see what they do to you. I do not have a favorite on this list. They all sound great to me.
To Sleep Beyond The Earth (2014). This is one long song in four parts, a total of 44 minutes and 51 seconds. The first part sets up the conflict while the second is reflective. The third part to me seems like the argument where opposing positions are voiced and fought over. In the final part, the conclusion is far from inevitable but you could guess at it successfully and it does bring everything together. The album is heavy, solid doom and it is a loud signal of what was to follow.
Your Doom Has Come (2015). This album has six songs of varying lengths which are not necessarily related to each other. Overall, it is more aggressive than the first album, especially songs like “One Third of the Sun” and “Beast from the Sea” which are like a punch in the face as well as a kick in the head. Louder and angrier in tone, this music is a new space for the band.
Dawn Of The Satanic Age (2016). What I hear in this music is a march to power. A steady campaign toward a goal. As with the previous release, there are six songs on this album, and here they have the shortest average running time of all the material to date. It is almost like they are building blocks, or are part of a sort of chrysalis that will become something else. It is all about going somewhere, becoming something bigger.
The Glitter Of Infinite Hell (2017). There are four songs on this album, “Greed,” “Treachery,” “Violence,” and “Wrath,” each running in the 18 minute range. It begins and ends with a deadly sin, and in the middle we have betrayal and (presumably) bloodshed. I’d say these certainly go together thematically. The music in every song calls out to form a golem that carries out the deed, an avatar that conjures the elemental essence of the concept.
Evil Eye (April 2019). In the first of two releases last year, there are two songs, about twenty minutes each. “Evil Eye” is as creepy and sinister as the title implies, creating an atmosphere of dread and a constant feeling of peril and impending disaster. It is like listening to a dramatic, horror-filled play. “Pagan Worship” is more solemn and casts the mind’s eye toward a broader spectrum of endeavor with an under-bite of sadness. It is also fraught with inevitability, especially in the second half.
Second Sight (October 2019). In the second release of 2019 there are again two songs, this time a little over twenty minutes each. “Second Sight” is a vigorous caprice, endlessly energetic. It has more changes, turns, and shifts than I could count and is filled with endless surprise. “Black Mass” starts not with a fade in but with the drop of a heavy hammer. The guitar, bass, and drums keep that hammer pounding throughout, and the overlay of piercing leads details the message. The music turns ceremonial about 14 minutes in before snapping into the blistering final movement. This is the band’s sixth full-length release and there is no sign of repetition or slowing of creativity.
So there you have it. Six doom albums, all finding different ways to express human and mystical consequences of being. You can listen to Clouds Taste Satanic music anytime – in the background or with deliberative and precise focus. Loud or quiet, day or night. All their music is available on streaming services, and there are some physical copies floating around out there, but there a little hard to find sometimes – the very inspiration for the Glitter reissue. Highly recommended.