Cloudscape – Voice of Reason
Dead End Exit (2016)
Reviewer – Aaron Chatfield
It’s been 4 years since this Swedish Progressive Power Metal band released their previous album, New Era, the longest gap in the bands career. With Patrik Svard (Guitar) and Micheal Andersson (vocals) still at the helm, they make their Dead End Exit debut with Voice of Reason.
The album opens up with ‘A New Design’, with some chunky guitar and a fairly aggressive pace. Riding on some war like drums, we hit the chorus hard… and it’s a good one. Excellent vocals and with that ‘sing-a-long’ melody which can put a prog power band ahead of the pack. The tempo doesn’t let up for ‘Futurist Psycho’ and there is some excellent playing taking place. This is key in the genre and is what is expected by the fans.
‘Don’t Close Your Eyes’, cranks up the melody an notch, without sacrificing the weight of the guitar. This gives Andersson a chance to stretch his vocal muscles and he does not disappoint, easily covering the full range. The song isn’t as instant as it’s predecessors, but I expect it will have more longevity because of it.
‘All For Metal’ carries on the journey and is a more straight forward power metal track and wouldn’t be out of place on a Gamma Ray album. It’s a good track, but I prefer Cloudscape when they are airing on the prog side a little more.
Cloudscape don’t do album title tracks… or rather didn’t, as ‘Voice of Reason’ is the starts off the second half of this opus. Coming in at almost 12 minutes, this is firmly sat in the progressive camp. A mid-tempo opus, with lots of space for each musician to impress. Majestic, Epic, lots of superlatives could apply to this track, but the bottom line is that it is this type of track that prog metal fans relish.
The album closes with ‘Thunders of Extreme’ and ‘Needle In The Eye’ deliver the prog metal goods and we arrive at album closer ‘In Silence We Scream’, which is a mid tempo number that has a few hints of Queensrÿche in the mix. Vocal lines mingle in the chorus, creating some real depth to the piece. For me, this is one of the stand out tracks of the album, making the 10min track length simply fly by
Overall Voice of Reason does not disappoint. If you like Cloudscape already, then you will be pleased with this latest release. If you are a fan of the genre, but not given the band a chance, then this is a good album to test them out. They have put in their dues, honed their craft and delivered a fine release