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Cloudkicker Portmanteau album cover
3.35 | 22 ratings | 3 reviews | 19% 5 stars

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Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, released in 2009

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Fourteen Nights (4:49)
2. Modulator/Demodulator (4:14)
3. Of Smoke And Fog (4:50)
4. God Be With Ye (6:22)

Total Time: 20:14

Line-up / Musicians

- Ben Sharp / guitars, bass, drum sequencing

Releases information

CD Self-Released (2009)

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CLOUDKICKER Portmanteau ratings distribution

(22 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(19%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(43%)
Good, but non-essential (19%)
Collectors/fans only (19%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

CLOUDKICKER Portmanteau reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by The Sleepwalker
2 stars Portmanteau is the second EP release by Ben Shrap under the name Cloudkicker. The EP features four songs and is 20 minutes in length. The EP can be legally downloaded for free along with the rest of Cloudkickers discography. Cloudkicker's music features a heavy and thick guitar sound most of the time, backed up with a drum machine.

Apart from the often very heavy guitar driven metal, there are softer, atmospheric moments on the EP too. These moments are an excellent addition, as they give the EP a much more atmospheric feel. The heavy parts of the album often are very technical, featuring several guitar tracks creating a thick wall of sound. Sometimes this wall gets a bit too thick in my opinion, and makes me unable to fully enjoy the music. Another reason for this is the sound of the drum machine, which sounds very unbalanced at times. Definitely the cymbals sound incredibly overwhelming most of the time. This all doesn't mean I can't enjoy the EP. No, Ben Sharp is a very talented musician and he really shows what he is capable of here. Unfortunately I feel that the EP could be a much more enjoyable effort with a better and more balanced production.

I rate this EP two stars. It's still a somewhat enjoyable EP at times and one must keep in mind as well that it's released as a free download. Because of that, people should bear in mind that you can't really go wrong downloading it.

Review by Conor Fynes
4 stars 'Portmanteau' - Cloudkicker (8/10)

While the feature length offering probably takes the cake in terms of being Cloudkicker's brightest and most fulfilling effort, 'Portmanteau' was definitely the one that knocked me off of my feet the fastest. While the brevity of this EP and the others make it feel like it's not worth being treated as an independent work, 'Portmanteau' actually ends up functioning as an epic piece of sorts, much like Meshuggah's 'I' EP. While the recording is broken up into four different songs, they end up complimenting each other as sections of the bigger 'Portmanteau' suite. Each track flows seamlessly into one other, and this ends up being one of the Extended Play's biggest achievements.

Starting out with an almost shamanistic percussive approach, it soon bursts out into the typical polyrhythmic fury those with Cloudkicker experience have come to expect already. The difference here is that throughout, while the overall cohesion and writing is some of the best this project has ever released, the dense wall of sound can make some of the already-heavy sections sound a bit noisy. In the more melodic-metal sections though, the massive layerings of sound can lend a bit of a Devin Townsend feel to the music, which only adds.

The highlight here is definitely the second track; 'Modulator/Demodulator' which also tends to be the most diverse track. There is the typical rhythmic experimenting, but it starts out with one of the most beautiful post rock intros I have listened to in a while. The density of the record might prove to be a bit of a downer for some; especially those who thought that Cloudkicker was too chaotic to begin with! This is evidence though, of Ben Sharp's willingness to expand his boundaries and try out new things with his talent. To my ears, this was a successful experiment, and a very good (if flawed) testmament to his skill.

Latest members reviews

4 stars I remember the first time I listened to Cloudkicker's "Portmanteau," I was shocked, and pleasantly so. After expecting another re-hash of the sound found on "The Discovery" and "The Map is Not the Territory" (which, I admit, I would have been 100% okay with), I discovered that Cloudkicker has evo ... (read more)

Report this review (#272837) | Posted by msphelps | Thursday, March 18, 2010 | Review Permanlink

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