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Tiamat - Clouds (8,5/10) - Sweden - 1992

Genre: Death Metal
Label: Century Media
Playing time: 43:12
Band homepage: Tiamat

Tracklist:

  1. In A Dream
  2. Clouds
  3. Smell Of Incense
  4. A Caress Of Stars
  5. The Sleeping Beauty
  6. Forever Burning Flame
  7. The Scapegoat
  8. Undressed
Tiamat - Clouds
"Clouds" has been the first turning-point in the career of Swedish TIAMAT. After already incorporating more melodies than comparable Death Metal-bands before, they went one step farther, starkly reducing speed and heaviness for melody and atmosphere, while the keyboards already had been there before and only Johan Edlund's still very rough vocals still reminding of the early works.

The Opener "In A Dream" sounds just like one, slow-paced, with keyboards creating much atmosphere, while the guitars still retain enough heaviness to still label the sound Metal. The following title-track comes over a good bit straighter, with reduced keyboards, but additional Mid-Tempo-Double-Bass, and the vocals in the chorus more shouted than rooted in Death Metal.

"A Caress Of Stars" could almost be labelled as ballad, over a very slow-paced rhythm Edlund more or less whispers his not-so-romantic lines, before the whole instrumentarium sets in and his voice turns rougher as well.

"The Sleeping Beauty" then has turned out to be a TIAMAT-classic, not least by the live-mini-album of the same name, very atmospheric and melodious, yet still with faster/heavier passages, building up an excellent amalgamation of the two extremes, but still atmosphere weighs more on this track. That's just the other way around with "Forever Burning Flame", which is the heaviest and also fastest song on "Clouds", with some almost progressive parts. The end is made up by "Undressed", which is very slow-paced with some plucked acoustic guitar, before culminating in a very intensive chorus.

"Clouds" spelled a first break-through for TIAMAT, which in its evolution was succeeded by classic "Wildhoney", and still is a ground-breaking album.

Alexander Melzer



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