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Cloudkicker - Beacons CD (album) cover




Experimental/Post Metal

3.52 | 53 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars It is a delicious B(e)acon, you must eat it!

Cloudkicker's second album, Beacons, was my way in its fantastic music. the band is nothing but a one man project, driven by the Ohio-based musician Ben Sharp. Playing every instrument on every Cloudkicker release, as well as writing every music himself, Ben's solo project made co9me to surface some ofthe most interesting and new pieces of heavy metal music I have seen recently.

Released a bit earlier in this same year and led by Ben's guitar-based music, that mix intricate and technical parts with ambient and groovie themes, Beacons constatly finds itself having multiple guitar layers with different leanings. There are, throughout the whole album, at least two guitars in every song: one responsible to, at least, set the basic groove or pace of the specific song and another responsible for playing the solo parts, nothing new concerning the traditional rock or heavy metal rhythmic and solo guitars.

However, quite constantly it is possible to see up to four or five (!) guitars in a single song, responsible for the second solo guitar, or the second rhythmic guitar (or even both) or a guitar with lots of feedback, for the distinct ambient setting characteristic of post-metal. In every of the mentioned instances, the technical proficiency of Sharper's guitar playing abilities are always being shown.

In fact, the guitars are the only instrument that shine here. Every other instrument that do make an appearance in the album is only there to be some kind of base for the guitar work. Hell, even the other guitars appear to make way for more guitars!

Composition-wise there is not much to complain. The album has very good songs from start to finish, but its progress is bumpy somehow. When there is a change of pace in Beacons, the song simply end and another one starts, no welcoming cards, no goodbyes said. Still about the compositions, i find the style of music played here to be very interesting. It could be described as some kind of mix between Blotted Science and Messhuga, but fully instrumental, much less heavy and a little bit less technical, with post-metal and ambient touches everywhere.

Grade and Final Thoughts

Having Beacons as my way in Cloudkicker's music was, for me, very good. the album, in spite of not being the best thing since the invention of music, is a very solid and acomplished release. The instrumental work is done very well and, unlike some other instrumental metal albums, it does not get tiresome over time.

If you like guitar-driven progressive metal, this would a great place to stop by and give a try. And did I mentioned that it is available for free? Great music for free directly from the artist's website. It does not get much better from that.

CCVP | 4/5 |


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