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
10. The Presence Of Spirits
12. Losing Faith
Micael Andersson (lv)
Björn Eliasson (g)
Patrik Svärd (g)
Hans Persson (b)
Roger Landin (d)
January 18, 2005
Most of you will still remember how Georg Siegl?s Metal Heaven did well last year with the release of Finnish power metal outfit Altaria?s second album ?Divinity?. The small quality-before-quantity sub label of AOR Heaven has now awoken to go for another strike. This time with the self-titled debut of Swedish melodic metal band Cloudscape.
An early mark of the band, known as Doctor Weird, had made a name for themselves in the south of Sweden, playing support gigs in the late nineties and appearing at the Sweden Rock Festival in 2000. Cloudscape in its current formation was only formed in 2001 though, when vocalist Micael Andersson, guitarists Björn Eliasson and Patrik Svärd, bass player Hans Persson and drummer Roger Landin got together to write songs and rehearse. The five-piece started shopping for a deal at the end of 2002, supported by Anders ?Theo? Theander?s RoastingHouse Productions, one of the most important production and management companies of the Scandinavian metal scene. The watchful eye of Metal Heaven boss Georg Siegl fell on the talented bunch and in the Spring and early Summer of 2004, Cloudscape laid down this remarkable debut album.
The enclosed biography mentions all sorts of obvious influences, of which only Symphony X seems righteous to me, albeit Cloudscape are not a neo-classical metal act pur sang. There?s too much of an eighties hard rock feel to their song material to pigeon-hole the band into that direction. Nevertheless, I?d first and foremost recommend them to fans of fellow Scandinavian outfits as Time Requiem (and its first incarnation Majestic) and Virtuocity. Those will especially love tracks as the haunting ?Witching Hour?, ?Out Of The Shadows? and the Symphony X like ?Dawn Of Fury?. The aforementioned eighties influence in cuts as ?Under Fire?, ?Everyday Is Up To You? and ?The Presence Of Spirits? is so obvious however that also fans of melodic hard rock ? think (old) Europe ? and melodic metal at its most straightforward ? think Masterplan ? will drool over this. A lot of credit for this versatility goes out to vocalist Micael Andersson, another hot Scandinavian export following in the footsteps of Jorn Lande (Masterplan, Jorn, ex-Ark), Nils Patrik Johansson (Astral Doors, Wuthering Heights) and Apollo Papathanasiou (Time Requiem, ex-Majestic, ex-Faith Taboo). He claims to be influenced by Toto?s Bobby Kimball, Whitesnake?s David Coverdale, Symphony X?s Russell Allen and Lande. Who am I to dispute this?
Before I cut out, I still want to put this disc?s powerful production in the spotlight. Some might judge me for finding this aspect too important, but an album like this stands or falls with a good sound. Anders Theander (Pain Of Salvation, Last Tribe a.o.) and Pontus Lindmark have done a tremendous job in getting the most out of the already impressive song material.
Need I say that I?ve fallen in love with this fantastic album? My pretended partiality to Scandinavian acts has once again been confirmed. 2005 will have to be really good to keep this out of my end-of-the-year favourites list. RR HQ to Nuclear Blast HQ, are you reading this? Over?
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Fantastic album,crunchy riffs,excellent vocals from Micael Andersson,highlights:under fire,aqua275,the presence of spirits.
Awesome CD I just downloaded it, yes I'm late but I have been listening to so much Prog lately I cant keep up! Very much Like Evergrey, but something different also, Good production, melodies, catchy, good for driving in my car to work! I think that this cd is better than Crimsom Skies!
Holy shit...I was late getting this CD but I must say it blew me away. What a great debut album...it's got a huge production...good singer...nice guitarwork...I'll be buying the new CD as soon as it's released this time.
This is one hell of an album and it totaly blew me away when I first listened to it . It's one of the best Symphony X influenced melodic progressive metal albums and all the elements you expect of these type of recordings are here . Stunning , awesome , brilliant , a must have .
What a great debut album. So what if it is derivative, etc. It is almost instantly likeable hard melodic metal with a great singer, and great musicians. Definately a cut-above average. What other reasons do you need to buy this? Do it now.
This is good but still pretty derivative. Worth picking up, but I think you'll reach for other, better albums to play more often that you do this one.
Yes I agree this is very good! I have a little hard for the finnish(?) accent on the clearer parts, but that´s just me being picky:) I can´t give it top rating because those go to Lanfear and Archetype, and I don´t wanna spray the 6 stars around as some here do!:)
This will hold me over til the new Symphony X!
The Cloudscape album came this morning and to say i'm impressed would be an understatement , fantastically melodic , very catchy songs and some wonderful musicianship setting the standard early , well worth the money .
Fantastic album with superb sound. Those who don't like this album don't like music. What else to say? Well there's a release party in their hometown, Helsingborg on the 29th January, where they will perform live.
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