The Retro Spot: Tiamat - Clouds (1992) - Century Media / Lex Mishukhin

It took me a while to decide what's next for the retro spot, as you […]
By Steinmetal
October 11, 2013

It took me a while to decide what's next for the retro spot, as you have probably noticed; I tried not to go for the obvious "classics", but rather for the albums that meant something to me.And so for this edition I chose an album by a band that I don't really like. Yep, I know that's an oxymoron, an album that means something to me by a band I don't like? How does that work? Well, it's simple, this album was done before they changed into a style I didn't enjoy, I first heard this album over 15 years ago, and there was something about it I hadn't heard in anything else, the depth of the music and lyrics were unusual.

TIAMAT's "Clouds" is a strange beast, it's a Gothic / Doom Metal album with a satanic feel, but it sounds nothing like its counterparts of the day, it was different, it oozed deep emotions.Sure, an album full of pain and sorrow is nothing new when it comes to doom metal, but many bands fail to add the actual emotion into the recording, TIAMAT however filled their 1992 masterpiece with emotion, the sadness of the album had a point. It wasn't the usual bitchy "my girl left me" kind of emotion, it was something totally different, it was deeper, and for a 15 year old metal head, it was relatable.

Take for example "The Scapegoat", a song which speaks of being different from your surroundings, of being lied to and ridiculed, but instead of hiding, shouting it out, sure, the subject matter was devil worshiping, but for anyone ever going through ridicule and suspicion from the ones around them, anyone who had felt the sting of lies and betrayal, that song was relatable, most of us have gone through that, many metal heads felt that sting, so have I, many times.

TIAMAT created an album of different quality than had been done before, the songs were pretty simple, nothing progressive or overly complex, on the other hand, they made an album with a strange aura around it. Listening to "Clouds" puts you in a different place, a different state of mind, it moves you. The vocals are neither growled nor cleanly sung; Johan Edlund's vocal style on this album was unusual in and of itself. "The Sleeping Beauty" speaks of unrequited love and the contemplation of suicide, things that many of us felt growing up, and eveninto our adulthood.The album ends with the slow and truly incredible "Undressed" the song itself ends with sounds of death and the descent into the abyss, a haunting melody follows the descent making you feel like you've just arrived at a fog covered barren field, a field you'll spend the rest of eternity on.

This album is special in the landscape of Doom Metal, get it, turn off the lights, light a candle, and submerge yourself in one of the finest, deepest and most emotional examples of Doom / Gothic Metal ever released.

Track List:
1. In a Dream
2. Clouds
3. Smell of Incense
4. A Caress of Stars
5. The Sleeping Beauty
6. Forever Burning Flames
7. The Scapegoat
8. Undressed

"Clouds" Lineup:
Johan Edlund ' Vocals / Guitar
Thomas Petersson - Guitars
Johnny Hagel - Bass
Kenneth Roos - Keyboards
Niklas Ekstrand - Drums

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