Finally, the weekend is upon us. What better way to kick it off than with the latest installment of "Funeral Doom Friday". For those who are new to this column; each week features a new or classic album from the realm of extreme doom. Much of funeral/death doom's might comes from an oppressive emotional weight and the use of death or black metal motifs (played at a trudging pace, of course.) Pioneers like Mournful Congregation, Evoken, and Esoteric have mastered this blend of dirge and destruction. For 25 years, they have methodically built compositions that stretch for dozens of minutes all while keeping fans enthralled. Time has elapsed since the days of Thergothon and much like the world around us, the genre has evolved. Today's modern bands contort the very construct of the genre, breeding darkly refreshing new work. Their work thankfully gives this column plenty of material to share.
The international effort of Clouds is becoming a bit of a mainstay for Funeral Doom Friday. Featuring members of Pantheist, Shape of Despair, and many more, the band crafts wonderfully evocative and atmospheric doom. Each year has brought new music to some capacity from this group. After last year's EP, Destin, and a full-length in 2016 named Departe; 2018 officially follows suit. The group released a new track on Valentine's Day entitled "Do You See Me."
Daniel Neagoe (drums/vocals) founded Clouds in honor of someone very close to him who passed away. Valentine's Day is the somber anniversary of that day and on its fifth anniversary, they unveiled this touching new song. "In truth, I never wrote the Clouds music for a specific widened purpose," Neagoe stated. "It helped me cope with the pain of loss. It was a way to soothe the feeling of missing someone so much, knowing there's no way I'll see them again, or at least not in this world."
"Do You See Me" is undoubtedly poignant. There is a heavy emphasis on clean vocals across its nine minutes—they sound as if they are fighting through anguish and tears. This notion combined with Clouds' ever-present and always stirring mixture of guitars and keyboards had me on the verge of tears myself. Though it's only a single, it does bolster this band's already great discography and further solidifies their wonderful formula for doom metal.
Stream and purchase the track from Clouds' Bandcamp page now.