Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Cloudscape - Voice of Reason (2016)

Cloudscape has always been a band that I have respected, a band that knows how to mix progressive elements with raw power. That is why I have waited for this album to drop down on us, because it was some time since they released their latest album, the interesting, but highly inconsistent "New Era".

"Voice of Reason" is the band's 5th album, and initially, it is a good one. The production is clean, the arrangement is spot on, and the band performs with the right amount of intensity that one would expect. I certainly feels like the same old Cloudscape that we all know and love, but somehow, it still feels different.

While I do like the album, I am bothered that there is not much originality to it. "Voice of Reason" is one part Helloween and two parts Symphony X, two great influences, but it definitely feels like Cloudscape just ripped it off straight from their music catalogs. Okay, maybe I am a bit harsh there, but it is hard to ignore that songs like "All For Metal" and "Futuristic Psycho" are not directly influenced by the previously mentioned bands.

One thing I do appreciate with "Voice of Reason" is that the quality is much more consistent this time. The difference between best and worst track is not big at all, which of course makes the overall experience much more pleasant. While I do think the highlights are far from perfect, there is still much enjoyment to be found. The opener "A New Design" makes a loud entrance and dazzles with a butt load of confidence, "Don't Close Your Eyes" uses classic power metal tactics to  capture our attention, and the two giants, the 11 minute title track and 9 minute "In Silence We Scream", are showing the band's progressive strengths (that ending riff of "In Silence We Scream" is freaking awesome, why isn't it highlighted more in the song?).

"Voice of Reason" is a strong record that had the potential of being even better, but some plagiarism and lack of originality hinders it from being a future classic. Nevertheless, Cloudscape have still made a record that shows why this band have reached the position that they have in the metal world. While "Voice of Reason" may not be their finest work up to date, it still sounds pretty reasonable.

Songs worthy of recognition: In Silence We Scream, A New Design, Don't Close Your Eyes

Rating: 7/10 Futuristic Psychos

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