The Dutch group Faal, consisting of William Nijhof (vocals), Alex Koorengevel (guitars), Pascal Vervest (guitars), Yara Jumelet (synths), Geert van Mook (bass), and Sarban Grimminck (drums), return with The Clouds Are Burning. It is the second album for this doom metal band after the 2008 release of Abhorrent-Salvation. This impressive album deals “with subjects such as the human psyche, the state of being tortured, the road to madness and inner conflicts” - as if the title was not enough a hint of the path this album is going to take the listener down.
With its eerie and atmospheric opening, “My Body Glows Red” is a brilliantly somber and moody song from the very first sounds of the guitar. The guttural vocals only add to the ambience, as they are more indicative of despair than anger. The instrumental parts are like wandering around lost in a desolate world. There is no hope in this journey, no triumph at the end, but only vastness and death. “The Incistance Wish” starts off with more power and energy than the previous song. The growls give it a visceral edge to it, but it does not take long for that somber feeling to creep back in as the song progresses forward. About halfway through the song, the tempo picks up and the themes previously mentioned really come into play. As the song ends there is an air of ultimate sadness and loss.
“Tempest” comes out roaring and has a more “melodic” sound to it. The vocals add a more threatening dimension to the song. It does become more atmospheric as the song goes on. The presence of the music is like the soundtrack of a coming pestilence. And there is no cure, no escape. “The Clouds Are Burning” is like wandering through a village after it has been raped, pillaged, and burned. This song is the epitome of the album.
Faal’s The Clouds Are Burning is the type of album that gets inside your head and affects your mood. It is the soundtrack for a post-apocalyptic world. It definitely matches the essence of a saying, courtesy of the Dark Lord, “There is no life in the void, only death.” That is the feeling one gets when listening to this album. For fans of the black/doom metal genre, this is not one to pass over.
Key Tracks: My Body Glows Red, Tempest, The Clouds Are Burning
Brian McKinnon – MuzikReviews.com Staff
April 14, 2012
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