Clouds Taste Satanic – To Sleep Beyond The Earth

Take the minimalistic, defiantly monotonous widescreen dynamics of Dopesmoker era Sleep out of its vast desert backdrop and into the claustrophobic urban confines of contemporary Brooklyn. No, this isn’t the setup to a cruel Invisible Oranges joke. Glacially-paced NYC instrumental doom quartet Clouds Taste Satanic (nothing like a Flaming Lips reference to bolster yr tr00 cred amirite?) have kept it slow and deceptively simple on their full length Kinda Like Music debut, To Sleep Beyond The Earth, a lumbering, peyote-infused stoner dirge that demands full headphone-facilitated attention from the listener, even as it ultimately fails to fully shirk its all-too apparent structural limitations.

Arranged as one song divided into four parts over two vinyl sides (HAVE WE MENTIONED DOPESMOKER YET?) and recorded at Let ‘Em In studios in Brooklyn, To Sleep Beyond The Earth takes the listener on a grinding, hypnotic journey that marries collegiate post-rock tropes with majestic, riff-saturated bombast over the course of its mute but instrumentally evocative 45 minutes. While Clouds Taste Satanic manage for the most part to balance subtle shifting dynamics with stubbornly repetitive riffage, TSBTE does lag at certain points. Flat, at times muffled, production also dulls the sonic peaks and valleys, keeping the crunchy guitars and crisp drums decidedly earthbound despite clearly lofty ambitions (keep in mind, of course, that Clouds Taste Satanic have only been an entity since 2013, which means they still have exponential room for sophomore improvement).

In the end, Clouds Taste Satanic have crafted a flawed but not unworthy vinyl coming out party. Indeed, despite the aforementioned nagging issues with production and song craft, TSBTE is still well worth your attention. Just temper expectations accordingly before turning on, tuning in, and dropping out for the doom-saturated duration.

Matthew Elliot

Matthew Elliot is a political and music writer, editor, and social media hooligan from London, ON. A lifelong, obsessive metal fanatic, he tries not to take the third person too seriously. Tries. Send promo blasts to: bastardlogic@gmail.com.