Cloudscape - Crimson Skies
Ahhh...I've been reviewing so many re-releases lately that it's nice to review something that was made recently. And what's even more nice is that this band freakin' rocks. Ok, maybe it's not the best thing for a reviewer to say that a band "rocks". Almost as bad as saying they "suck" when they aren't any good. But seriously, Cloudscape is definitely a band that you want to check out if you are into the power/progressive metal scene. Imagine a cross between Lion's Share, Symphony X, United States of Mind, Balance of Power, and Atomic Opera. In fact, the vocals sound like a cross between Frank Hart of Atomic Opera, Tony Ritchie of USM, and the pop singer, Bob Carlisle. Kinda weird if you think about it, but Micael Andersson does a fantastic job mixing just the right amount of aggressive and melodic.
Musically, this band has got it down. Very solid and very impressive without overdoing it. This is heavy, semi-technical, melodic, and catchy. They use just the right amount of keys without getting to the point of cheesy. They incorporate some great guitar solos and leads without being too flashy and over the top. They have some awesome intros to many of the songs that for some reason really stand out when listen to this disc. And they wrap all of this up in some fantastic production and cool artwork.
Truthfully, this album gets better with each listen. Nightmare Records has really done well by picking this Swedish metal band up. Definitely a band that I look forward to hearing more from in the future.
Review By: Matt Morrow
Label: Nightmare Records
Total Songs: 13
Total Time: 66:17
Tracklisting: 1. Shapeshifter, 2. Shadowland, 3. And Then the Rain..., 4. Take the Blame, 5. The Last Breath, 6. Psychic Imbalance, 7. Hope, 8. Breach in My Sanity, 9. Demon Tears, 10. 1000 Souls, 11. Someone Else, 12. Will We Remain, 13. You Belong (Bonus Track - USA Only).
Best Songs: Tracks 1, 4, 5, & 8.
Band Lineup: Micael Andersson - Vocals, Björn Eliasson - Guitars, Patrik Svärd - Guitars, Hans "Haze" Persson - Bass, Roger Landin - Drums.
Band Website: http://www.cloudscape.se or http://www.myspace.com/cloudscapemetal