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Cloudscape - New Era CD (album) cover

NEW ERA

Cloudscape

 

Progressive Metal

3.46 | 14 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

memowakeman
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Review originally posted at www.therocktologist.com

Cloudscape are a progressive metal band from Sweden who have been around in the last ten years. Now in this 2012 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.

'Share Your Energy' is a shorter track but here we can actually listen to keyboards. 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 easier way (you know I am not that keen on metal music). 'Kingdom of Sand' has an Arabic, mid-eastern flavor shared by the vocals and a sitar (which may be made by keys, I am not sure). The song starts promising but it does not continue as strong as in the beginning, I would have preferred something more ambitious, less catchy here, in spite of the nice guitar solo after two minutes.

'Pull the Brake' has an attractive instrumental beginning, after 40 seconds the voice enters and the sound changes a little bit, and then a more emotional tune can be appreciated. After three minutes the almost mandatory guitar riff appears, complementing very well this pretty good track. 'Seen it all before' is one of those songs that can be cut in halves, here I must say the first one is weak, like just another track with nothing special on it, but wait, after three minutes it changes and becomes much better, with several changes in time and mood, creating different atmospheres and emotions, showing they can create challenging compositions. 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 good change in the album. 'Voyager 9' is the longest composition reaching almost nine minutes. 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.

'Simplicity'huh' starts weak but becomes a bit better while the minutes pass, here I like the implement of keyboards, they bring good nuances over the strings. 'Before Your Eyes' has again that mid-eastern flavor in the beginning due to the vocals, they are nicely complemented y keyboards, drums and strings. 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 is 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. 'Into the Unknown' has nice backing vocals and a catchy tune once again, the music is not challenging but cool for a radio hit, cool for 80s metal fans. 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 10.

Enjoy it!

memowakeman | 3/5 |

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