Tales Of Demonic Possession

rating icon 9 / 10

Track listing:

01. Flames and Demon Drummers
02. Sun Death Ritual
03. Spirits of the Green Desert
04. Conjuring the Dark Rider

For a brief moment back there, CLOUDS TASTE SATANIC were musically earthbound. The NYC quartet's last release, "Cloud Covered", was a collection of covers, including a particularly inspired reading of CHICAGO's "If You Leave Me Now". Lockdown fever will do that, even to such dedicated space cadets.

It turns out that something else has been brewing away since 2019's "Second Sight". On their seventh full-length, CLOUDS TASTE SATANIC stretch their imaginative, psychedelic doom to the blissful limit, over 80 minutes and four meandering pieces, all constructed around riffs of great girth. As has increasingly been the case from this mostly off-the-radar band over the years, it is an absolute master class.

The formula that blazes behind these sprawling epics is simple and familiar enough that most fans of stoner rock and doom will need little encouragement. CLOUDS TASTE SATANIC builds things slowly, from silence to crescendo, before enormous riffs plant their feet in the sonic grime. At their heaviest, there is an air of BONGRIPPER's remorseless might to the instrumental band's hazy wall of noise. But here, the possibilities are not limited to simmering nihilism and blank-eyed riffing. Instead, as songs like "Flames and Demon Drummers" progress, they take in all manner of strange landscapes and hallucinatory vistas, embracing gritty SABBATH stomps, freeform acid rock, blissed-out jams and moments of starry-eyed, prog rock majesty. With echoes of KYUSS at their most liberated, and OM in the depths of the hypno-zone, "Sun Death Ritual" is a sublime journey from fuzzed-out doom to rapturous stoner ramble and back again. "Spirits of the Green Desert" has all the sun-kissed magic of FLOYD at Pompeii, oozing out across 21 minutes like a symphony beamed back from ancient time. Most startling of all, "Conjuring the Dark Rider" is a thrilling outburst of ideas, but one that flows like the ocean, from dark, bruising overture to a final, slow-build towards the mother of all guitar-powered payoffs.

Unquestionably their finest work to date and, should you be interested in such things, the perfect soundtrack to getting righteously baked, "Tales Of Demonic Possession" is this year's stoner benchmark and as good as this strain of heavy music gets.

Author: Dom Lawson
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