Since the founding of the UK band Camel of Doom by Kris Clayton almost 15 years ago, the band’s sound has evolved, though its iron backbone has remained doom. The results of that continuing growth and exploration are now reflected in the band’s most recent album, their fourth, which will be released by Solitude Productions on February 8.
Entitled Terrestrial, it’s a massive undertaking, with four songs ranging from almost 12 minutes to more than 14, along with four shorter tracks. Today we bring you one of those leviathan excursions, a song called “Pyroclastic Flow“.
Two of the song’s building blocks manifest themselves right away — distorted, pavement-cracking riffs; and a trippy bit of electronica that flickers in the background and is as intangible and strange as the riffs and drumbeats are physically dismantling. As those riff monsters continue to clobber our heads, Clayton cries the lyrics in a high yell, like a street-corner prophet announcing the end of the world.
These are only some of the song’s ingredients. Clayton’s voice drops into a cavernous death growl when the pace slows to a stagger after the initial pile-driving start. The oppressive mantle of doom comes down heavily, but eventually evaporates, to be replaced by mist — unearthly shimmering tones, which persist even as the clanging riffs and tumbling drums return and the song builds in intensity, with Clayton‘s vocals becoming even more inflamed and unhinged.
But perhaps the heaviest, most cataclysmic part of the song is still yet to come. It arrives in the track’s final minutes, a mix of those huge-pile-drivers and thick, warping chords, once again accompanied by alien electronic tones.
I’m not sure what the right genre classification is for this music — maybe psychedelic doom sludge death ambient metal with vibrations from space? Might be too much of a mouthful. Fortunately, only the weak-minded require labels (or that’s what I’m telling myself). Call it what you will, this is skull-crushing, brain-warping stuff. And there’s a lot more where this came from on Terrestrial.
Terrestrial was recorded at Priory Recording Studios with Greg Chandler (Esoteric). Drums on the album were performed by Thomas Vallely (Lychgate, Omega Centauri), though since then Ben Nield has become the permanent drummer, joining founder Kris Clayton (guitar/keyboards/vocals), and bassist Simon Whittle. The cover art was created by Daniele Lupidi.
Two more songs from Terrestrial have been previously revealed, and I’ve included the streams of those from Bandcamp below our premiere.