CLOUDSCAPE – Cloudscape

CLOUDSCAPE - Cloudscape


Metal Heaven
Release date: December 16, 2004

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

On their debut album, this Swedish fivesome offers their take on Melodic, Symphonic Hard rock. Listening to Cloudscape brings back memories of the early 80s and the release of Purple’s Perfect Strangers… so it’s no surprise to see that John Lord is mentioned in almost every member’s favorite musician list (the lists can be viewed on Cloudscape’s Web site). The other influence that is evident is Symphony X. Just take a listen to “Aqua 275” to see how they mix their influences. The start of “Witching Hour” brings back the Purple influences again. On “Witching Hour” the band, however, manages to use their influences to create a sound of their own. This is mostly due to the strong vocal delivery of singer Michael Andersson.

This self-titled CD starts promisingly enough with an intro filled with a feel of urgency, which also demonstrates how long the singer can hold a note. There is no doubt that this is Melodic Hard rock. Nowadays, the 80s influenced Metal bands seem to be growing on trees, and even though Cloudscape does do their job well, this release still lacks memorable songs. It’s filled with screeching guitars, precise drumming, and has plenty of symphonic keyboards to create dramatic moods, but the end result is still flat. The disturbing part of this release is that the song sequencing seems to be a bit off, and it gives the whole CD a feel of frequent “new beginnings,” as if listening to someone telling the same story over and over again, and starting each new repeat with “Forget that, this is how it really happened…” After a while you lose a track of what you’re hearing, if the song has changed, and/or how many songs have gone by.

Vocalist Michael Andersson seems to favor either Melodic, yet somewhat unemotional, vocals, or a Jon Oliva-type dark, menacing delivery, which leaves out a variety of emotions. The puzzling effect of this can be heard on “The Presence of Spirits,” where the misery in the lyrics is neither portrayed in the vocals nor displayed in the instrumental delivery. This same strange contradiction can be found in “Losing Faith” too, where the singer tells us that “..your changing moods are making me so angry,” yet there is no anger to be heard or felt anywhere in the song. Cloudscape could pay more attention to the emotions they intend to display and how those emotions should be displayed.

Sneakily, the band has opted to put one of their strongest and most versatile songs, “As the Light Leads the Way,” as the opener, and the song manages to lift up the listener’s hopes on each spin, even though the rest of the album does not quite manage to keep up with this promising start.

Overall, this is partly a promising debut and it shows that even though Cloudscape doesn’t quite yet master every emotion, they still hold a lot of potential as shown in “Under Fire,” “Aqua 275,” and “In These Walls.”


  • Metal-Katie

    Katie was a reviewer and interviewer here at Metal Express Radio. She claims to have been born a Metalhead. At least she's been one as far as she can remember. She loves Metal music and she's ever so happy to see generation after another founding its charm. She's always interested in hearing new Metal bands and reading about them and their antics. She lives and breathes Metal, or at least her alter ego does.

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