Cloudscape - s/t 4.5/5

Reviewed: 2-3-06


1. As the light leads the way
2. Under fire
3. Aqua 275
4. Witching hour
5. In these walls
6. Out of the shadows
7. Everyday is up to you
8. Dawn of fury
9. Slave
10. The presence of spirits
11. Scream
12. Losing faith

I'm a little late grabbing this one, but thankfully this fantastic CD eventually made it here. Yes, this a very special CD that has more than favored my current listening and will surely be a favorite of mine for many years to come. Cloudscape has really created an amazing sound with this 's/t' debut that's very difficult not to thoroughly enjoy, regardless of where your particular metal tastes lie. In fact, a few of the songs are structured (and sound) very similar to some of Conception's songs (a greatly missed band). But their music could be described more accurately as being somewhere between the melodic metal style of Voice and Last Tribe and the progressive/heavy metal style of bands like Anubis Gate, Avian, and possibly Pagan's Mind. But there is one difference between Cloudscape and these bands; Cloudscape is better!

One of the things I really like about this CD is how heavy and crunchy it is, while still staying melodic. There are symphonic and keyboard parts, but both of these elements are used in an atmospheric (background) manner, leaving the guitars to be powerfully upfront. Quite a guitar attack too, as Bjorn Eliasson and Patrik Svard provide one catchy riff after another and leave nothing less than a feeling of amazement. Combined with the clear and high quality vocals from Micael Andersson, fantastic songs are in high numbers and only a few (track 8 "Dawn of fury" and track 9 "Slave") are less than superb. Favorites would be the extremely catchy track 2 "Under fire", track 4 "Witching hour" and track 10 "The presence of spirits", which are all more than worthy of the "repeat" button being hit over and over. The standout track for me is definitely track 5 "In these walls" though, as the guitar solo that fades away as the song ends gives me chills every time.

It's very hard for me not to highly recommend this debut CD to everyone who reads this review, as I think anyone who likes metal in general (regardless of what their favorite styles are) is going to love this. And even though they have a progressive side somewhat similar to the earlier mentioned bands, it's a side that is very small and catchy/crunchy melodic metal is what is mostly heard here. What's even better, is the band's set to release their 2nd CD 'Crimson skies' in 2006 and you can expect to see a (hopefully early) review at Metal CD Ratings for sure. As for this 's/t' CD at this moment in time... an ultimate recommendation!!




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