For three straight years now, Brooklyn based instrumental doomsters Clouds Taste Satanic have been producing an album a year, the quality of which has just continued to improve. 2014 saw ‘To Sleep Beyond The Stars’ with its single epic track in four movements; 2015 saw the quotient of evil grow with ‘Your Doom Has Come’, and now 2016 sees a new ‘Dawn Of The Satanic Age’ fall upon an unsuspecting planet earth.
‘Enthroned’ opens the album with all the majesty of Lucifer sat upon his throne and surveying his dark domain, the riffs channelling all the imperious loneliness of the fallen one without having to rely on the buzz saw guitars and throat mangling screams of the black metal scene; there is more genuine menace and darkness in this one track than the flame throwing and blood spitting theatricality of a whole phalanx of corpse painted metal warriors. A nihilistic pessimism follows with ‘We Live We Die’, the doom laden rhythm facilitating the listener to imagine their own sombre lyrics. I’ve no doubt that a good vocalist could use the music as an excellent backing track, but doubt anybody but the most talented could actually make an improvement.
‘Retribution’ follows with the menace of Michael Myers stalking his prey, the high, extended guitar solo paying honourable tribute to the musical compositions of the great John Carpenter, a comparison I make neither lightly nor without respect to the original master as Clouds Taste Satanic have continued to create music that could grace any good horror movie with a modern setting from the seventies to the present day and into the future. Indeed, the track ‘The Brocken’, named I believe for a spectre from German mythology where it is the “Brockengespenst” could be a whole new franchise, a shadowy nemesis to spirit away the unsuspecting victim into a dark nether realm. Again, as with their prior album, any Cenobite torture scene from a rebooted Hellraiser franchise would benefit from the likes of ‘Just Another Animal’, a phrase that surely the Hell Priest would use to describe their human victims, whilst album closer ‘Demon Among The Stars’ invokes images of the space bound horrors of the terrifying universe of HP Lovecraft with its inexorable depths against which mankind is nothing but a helpless and powerless insignificance.
Whilst the shortest album they have produced so far, ‘Dawn Of The Satanic Age’ does not feel in any way brief or rushed, yet still demanding repeated replays to allow the listener to discover new depths amongst the tracks. What Clouds Taste Satanic have done once again without lyrics is to produce some of the most cinematic music since the heyday of Goblin, evoking images of terror and menace that cries out for a film to match it. One of my thoughts after the first listen through was that for years one of the reasons that cult classic horror The Keep has been stopped from getting a DVD or Blu-ray release is the trouble with obtaining the rights to the sound track of Tangerine Dream; I suggest an enterprising company should bypass that issue by commissioning Clouds Taste Satanic to produce a new score, a task they have proven with three straight albums in a row that they are more than up to the challenge of. Is there anything I don’t like about this album? Well, with 2016 running towards a close, it has made my job of selecting a top 10 of the year even harder now!