This weeks Band Crush Wednesday is for the one man post black metal project, Clouds Collide. Sole member Christopher Pandolfo, hailing from Pennsylvania, creates beautiful, shoegaze inspired black metal dealing with grief and loss. Drawing comparisons to bands like Deafheaven and Alcest, while fitting, doesn’t do Clouds Collide justice. Neither of those bands can even come close to the gorgeousness of what Christopher accomplishes by himself.
Clouds Collide released the winter inspired Until The Wind Stops Blowing… in January of 2013, an album of harsh black metal vocals and cold, yet majestic sounding, music that was inspired and dedicated to the memories of Christopher’s mother Rose. It’s an emotional and dark album that is offset with a true sense of melody and stunning musicianship.
After a short EP of ambient songs, entitled NYC, Clouds Collide released an EP that was original meant to be released as a split with Sleeping Peonies. Elestial is 4 songs that work as a perfect stop gap between Until The Wind Stops Blowing… and newest album, released in early June, All Things Shining. Adding a bigger focus on clean vocals intermingled with the harsh black metal screams, Elestial features one of my all time favorite songs ever written, the ten plus minute opus, ‘Patience.’ It’s everything I want when I listen to atmospheric black metal.
With the release of All Things Shining, Clouds Collide have moved from the cold winter sounds to a more ethereal summer/fall sounds. There’s a strong sense of hope and acceptance. “All Things Shining deals with the ups and downs of overcoming loss and once again is hugely influenced by nostalgic connections with the seasons and memories that may come along with them”, Pandolfo says on the Bandcamp page for All Things Shining. An immaculate production that focuses on the vocals and keyboards instead of burying them behind walls of tremolo picking and blast beats, Clouds Collide created one of the best, bravest, and inspired black metal albums of the last decade.
You can also listen to Christopher on the latest episode of Full Metal Hipster!