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Cloudscape - New Era CD (album) cover

NEW ERA

Cloudscape

 

Progressive Metal

3.39 | 11 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

J-Man
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Sweden's Cloudscape has been around for a little over a decade now, but it wasn't until 2012's New Era that I actually discovered their music - and if their backcatalog is anywhere up to par with this album, I've sure been missing out! New Era is the band's fourth full-length, and although it is often labeled as a progressive metal release, I'd be more willing to call it a sophisticated melodic metal observation. That is to say that Cloudscape's first intention is to create catchy riffs and powerful choruses, but their compositions contain a level of eclecticism and complexity that should appeal to fans of more progressive music.

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 metal, groovy thrash metal, melodic hard rock, and even extreme metal (there are a few growled vocals here!), all through a modern and mildly progressive edge. 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!

J-Man | 4/5 |

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