What do Nirvana, Chicago, Elton John and Richard Strauss have in common? Nothing at all, you’d think and that’s right. But to a certain extent they do … The title of the now seventh studio album of Clouds Taste Satanic actually gives it away.
The instrumental quartet from Brooklyn, New York has been playing heavy instrumental doom since 2013. Recently, a very limited (20 pieces) to limited (200 pieces) edition of four singles has been released. Each of these with its own title (The Book of Stan, The Book of Lucifer, The Book of Belial, The Book of Leviathan). Each single contains two covers. Songs that are important to the band members, or that inspired them. Most covers are, as you would expect from Clouds Taste Satanic, heavier and “doomier” than the original. All these singles, including two new tracks, have now been released on the album Cloud Covered.
The first song Elton John’s Funeral for a Friend. Written in 1973 with in his mind the music he would like to hear at his own funeral. Whether this also applies to the band members is unknown, but it says enough about the choice of songs. Similarly, the translation of Also Sprach Zarathustra. A musical poem by Richard Strauss based on Nietzsche’s book. This book, his Magnus Opus, deals with the theme of the death of God and the origin of Der Ubermensch. A slightly obvious choice is of course Black Sabbath. Behind the Wall of Sleep, according to many one of the band’s most underrated songs. The song comes from Sabbath’s debut album, which celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2020. The cover is quite similar to the original, just a bit more straightforward.
“Fortunately,” an ohrwurm is not missing either. In a slightly modified title, the band manages to play Chicago’s If You Leave Me Now in such a way that it stayed in my head forever. And that’s quite a torment I must say. Taken the fact that I have no feeling with their music. Originally it was intended that Blew by Nirvana should have sounded a tone higher, but coincidentally it was recorded lower and it stayed that way. The cover of the Doom Pop song is the closest of all covers to the original.
The two songs that have not been released on single before are Not Fragile / Free Wheelin ‘by Bachman Turner Overdrive and In the Flesh? / One of These Days by Pink Floyd. Why these are only on the album and not released as a single is not clear to me. It smells a bit like a marketing tric to get the single owners to buy the record as well.
To summarize, Clouds Taste Satanic has released a cover album with a very varied range of covers. Each with its own story and its own atmospheric doom layer. For me it is just a bit too much to listen to it from beginning to end. This has to do with the different numbers and versions. For those who know the band, long, heavy songs are their trademark. It is comparing apples to pears, I know, but unconsciously I do it anyway. I’ll stick to the four EPs and skip the record for now.