Jujux – Vocals
Ben – Lead guitars
Cherubin – Rhythm guitars
Fred – Bass
Azra Hel – Drums
2. All My Prayers
3. Seventh Seal
4. Love Song
5. My Friends
Seventh Seal is, as far as I can tell, Clouds of Dementia’s first release, and it’s a damn good little EP I’d heartily recommend to any fans of classic doom metal.
That said, my first taste of this wasn’t so good. The opening track starts with a strong core riff that instantly calls genre classics to mind, but the lack of variety makes it quickly turn dull. It’s one of those disappointing doom songs that has a good element, but relies too heavily on that one aspect. The riff is nice, but you don’t need five and a half minutes for a nice riff.
The second song, “All My Prayers” begins, and I’m concerned that this is only going to continue. Then, about halfway through, the band decides to show you what they can really do. Any doubts are smashed aside as the tempo cranks up; the song takes off and hauls you along for the ride with a yelp of “Now this is more fucking like it!” This sets the tone for the rest of the album: not dull, tepid repetition, but songs with just the right amount of variety to keep the audience engaged.
This is traditional doom metal through and through, worshipping at the altar of Candlemass, Count Raven and Pentagram. The vocals often have that high register similar to Bobby Liebling. “Love Song” has a great deliberate discordance in the riffs and the lyrics, a distinctly darker “love song” indeed. It opens in classic Sabbath fashion, dirge-like and broken, then at just the right moment kicks it up a gear without giving up any of the dark atmosphere. Riffs that rock even when they plod meld with an aura of doom and gloom, all with an energy so fundamentally metallic.
The title track opens with delicious bass work before rising into a rolling, almost folk-y rhythm, peppered with double-bass drum work, all of it lending to the feel of an epic journey like Mael Mordha or Bathory’s later works. It does that wonderful thing of taking a single core riff and rhythm and creating such an engrossing atmosphere with them.
For a band’s first release, this is really good. The first song is unfortunately weak and can be a misleading introduction to the whole EP, but get past that and the rest is much better. Seventh Seal is an EP worth a look for any doom fan, and Clouds of Dementia are a band I’m eagerly awaiting a full-length from.