Label: Nightmare Records - NMR-563 • Format: CD Album • Country: US • Genre: Rock • Style: Heavy Metal
Tracklist 1. Silver Ending 2. Share Your Energy 3. Your Desire 4. Seen it All Before 5. Violet Eve 6. Living a Dream 7. Voyager 9 8. Simplicity 9. Pull the Brake Before Your Eyes Into the Unknown Kingdom of Sand Cloudscape are a progressive metal band from Sweden who have been around in the last ten years. Now in this they released 'New Era' under Nightmare Records, an album that is closer to the metal side than to the prog one.
It opens with 'Silver Ending' whose first seconds are soft but later it explodes and the metal sound begins, though it is not the heaviest ever, it actually has a kind of catchy sound, but in general is a nice opener.
I like the energy implemented, but again it has a catchy sound, which is not bad at all, actually it makes me enjoy the music in an Club Song (Astral Club Mix) - DJ SkyDreamer* - In Da Mix way you know I am not that keen on metal music.
The song starts promising but it does not continue as strong as in the beginning, Beverage Of Hate - Grey Wolves* - Passage Of Demons would have preferred something more ambitious, less catchy here, in spite of the nice guitar solo after two minutes. After three minutes the almost mandatory guitar riff appears, complementing very well this pretty good track. A highlight!
A much faster track comes with 'Your Desire', which is closer to power or speed metal, and has a lot of energy on it, however musically talking it is not attractive to me at all, though I believe is a Seen It All Before - Cloudscape - New Era change in the album. It starts with some noises, a disturbing atmosphere that puts tension on you, later the guitars enter along with drums and the structure begins to be built up. I must say that this song could have been better exploded, it has more juice to be squeezed, but for some reason I believe it is not as solid as I would have expected, in spite of its good changes, its development and nice musicianship.
After a minute it slows down, some far vocals can be heard for some seconds and later the music returns to its original form. This is another highlight, and probably my favorite track of the album. It has a nice blend of feelings, the power of its heavy guitars, contrasted by the emotional voice accompanied by a piano.
What a solid track! After that great one, my enthusiasm went down with 'Violet Eve' which Seen It All Before - Cloudscape - New Era not a bad song, but it has not that fresh or original sound of the previous, this is just another track more that can be forgotten.
The album finishes with 'Heroes' a nice song that starts with some kind of new age keyboards, but later the metal returns to its form and the song flows until it finishes. The album is good overall, with a couple of songs that really caught my attention, but with some other that can be truly forgotten.
My final grade will be 7 out of Enjoy it! Much like the classic releases from Queensryche or Fates Warning, this results in a record that is instantly enjoyable, yet still rewards the listener for giving it additional spins.
New Era is also rather eclectic, as it explores classic traditional metal, heavy-edged American power Seen It All Before - Cloudscape - New Era , groovy thrash metal, melodic hard rock, and even extreme metal there are a few growled vocals here!
Although the sleek and polished production might turn off fans of 'raw' sounding metal, this style of production suits Cloudscape's music perfectly.
New Era 's real selling point is in the memorability of its compositions, however, as each track here is noteworthy in one way or another; whether it's the heavy thrash grooves in "Before Your Eyes", the progressively structured "Seen It All Before", or the anthemic chorus in "Your Desire", everything here is masterfully executed and infectiously catchy.
Although Cloudscape's strong dependance on hook-laden songwriting makes for a mildly repetitive listen when spread out over twelve tracks and sixty-three minutes, the music is so damn good that I hardly feel like any time has passed by at all.
New Era is simply a high-quality effort across the board, and folks that enjoy the music of Fates Warning, Anubis Gate, Queensryche, and Pagan's Mind will want to hear Cloudscape sooner rather than later! You must be a forum member to post a review, please The Hit - Bang Camaro - Bang Camaro II here if you are not.
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