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PREMIERE: Clouds Collide's Blissful New Album Is a Perfect Blend of Black Metal and Shoegaze

Listen to 'All Things Shining' from rising black metal/shoegaze stars Clouds Collide.
June 1, 2015, 5:21pm

Photo courtesy of Clouds Collide Believe it or not, it isn't all that difficult for a band to keep its social media chill and make friends online (assuming that the person designated as the band's mouthpiece isn't a complete dick). Yeah, it's not a good idea to slack on updating your pages or replying to messages, but, if you push too hard or slide into the wrong person's DMs, you're going to get ignored or outright blocked. The trick is to be smart, pay attention to your desired audience, and be conscientious. Clouds Collide creator Christopher Pandolfo did it right, and that's no small part of why his band has been steadily accruing well-deserved buzz. He cultivated friendly acquaintanceship with writers and editors by sending polite emails to people he thought would actually enjoy his music——instead of BCCing the entire staff of this or that publication——and kept in touch via actually acting like a human being on Twitter instead of spamming writers with links. He put the work in, and now it's paying off in spades.

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Of course, none of that would have mattered if his product wasn't up to snuff; being nice won't get you noticed, but being nice while making great music sure as hell will. Multi-instrumentalist Pandolfo has been quietly self-releasing Clouds Collide albums on Bandcamp since 2013's wintry Until the Wind Stops Blowing… and has returned with a new album that Noisey is honored to debut below. His releases follow the rhythms of the seasons, and All Things Shining signals the return of spring. His previous full-length was focused on grief, and as Pandolfo says, this one "deals a lot with the ups and downs of overcoming loss. These songs began writing themselves in my head between five and seven years ago."

"In 2012 when Clouds Collide was officially founded, I decided to put this record on hold and focus on a colder, darker album that was dealing with my current nostalgic connections with memories and the moods of winter. I had always planned to revisit the material for All Things Shining and release it as a proper follow up," he elaborated. "A summer and fall album also combining the moods and memories those seasons bring will eventually see a release."

All Things Shining may draw Deafheaven comparisons for its shoegazy framework, but this album is really the spiritual successor to Alcest circa their 2007 peak. The warmth and joyous buoyancy found on this recording mirror the ethereal high spirits that characterized Souvenirs d'un autre monde, but Clouds Collide ditches Alcest's more precious affectations in favor of punching up the black metal influence. Both albums prepare you for springtime, but Clouds Collide makes sure to remind you that not every day will be a sunny one.

Listen to the album in its entirety below, and be sure to pick it up on June 2 via Clouds Collide's Bandcamp page.

Kim Kelly is wondering where spring went and when this infernal heat is going to let up; she's also on Twitter: @grimkim