While both songs push past twenty-two minutes, To Sleep Beyond the Earth doesn’t really resort to crawling Funeral Doom Metal measures. In fact, the solid, bulky sounding modern audio quality works alongside the compositions to help establish various atmospheres that feel both existential and perceptionally altered at more than just a snail’s pace. This goes without saying that there is some Stoner Metal influence that can be felt throughout each part, and even a bit of Progressive Metal as a background influence. Clouds Taste Satanic never really dive head first into either of those styles though, which would have greatly taken away from their general Doom Metal structuring. This creates an album that isn’t so much spiritually crushing, as it is more of an experience that the start of will have you expecting otherwise.
The first chapter of “To Sleep Beyond the Earth (Parts I & II)” tears into you with deep, held guitar notes that set up a burdensome atmosphere right away. There is the sound of what seems like a church bell at a distance (or a roar from something large and perhaps demonic, it’s a bit too muffled to tell that easily) that signal sombre territory as you pass into the traditional despair-ridden slower Doom Metal material with tight hooks amplifying the emotion on display before the ringing return to remind you of your descent into Hell once more. As you reach the ten minute mark, the nightmarish sensation gives way to a haziness that seems to start the second part. It’s a more intimate performance which still has a depressing aura to the music, but some of the timing changes and different shifts in the musical landscape scream that Progressive touch. Such an example is the jump around twelve minutes to more of a warm, rainy night, secluded from the world as you gaze out the door to the darkness outside while taking a couple drags from a cigarette, lost in thought thanks to the effects on the guitar presenting a bit of an inebriated state of being that continues on for the rest of the performance.
“To Sleep Beyond the Earth (Parts III & IV)” keeps the gloominess alive with the depressing hooks, though the bite is a little more diluted compared to the previous track. Thankfully around a minute in the song shifts to assert more of a commanding Rock attitude to the Dio like performance. There are some hooks thrown in to break up the simple groove that ambles along, almost entering into a droning sequence that could use a little more beefing up overall but still gets the job done until the bell (or roaring) and trudging, heavy chords from the first section of “To Sleep Beyond the Earth (Part I & II)” return about ten minutes in. This seems to be where the fourth and final part of this opus begins, on par with how it all started aside some additional guitar effects that make the creeping pace a little more unsettling as it progresses to some chugging Heavy Metal inspired riffs for a brief while. This adds a little light to the end of the bleak tunnel but just past sixteen minutes in rains the most crushing of chords down upon you.
To Sleep Beyond the Earth doesn’t seem like the most engaging of releases when you break it down and examine it in the four parts that make up the two long tracks, but Clouds Taste Satanic definitely get credit for not loading them with padding just to reach these extensive times. If anything each track is composed of two songs that flow seamlessly from one to the next, though not between the two actual songs in the track listing, which is a shame. If you embrace To Sleep Beyond the Earth as one large experience rather than really dissecting it bit by bit, you’ll actually find yourself enjoying it a lot more while still picking up on the subtle outside influences that can be heard throughout the effort. If you enjoy a good Doom Metal effort that doesn’t sound like it was created in the deepest bowels of the filthiest swamp or subterranean lair, yet put together well enough with fluid structuring and tight performances that don’t rely on chunks of music or effects to space things out, Clouds Taste Satanic answer your desires with an intriguing debut album fans of the Doom Metal genre will easily indulge in.