Cloudscape - Global Drama
Nightmare Records
Progressive Metal
12 songs (67:20)
Release year: 2008
Cloudscape, Nightmare Records
Reviewed by Thomas

Cloudscape captured the progressive metal galaxy with their absolutely excellent self-titled debut. It was catchy and entertaining and with a lot of punch. I somehow missed their second release Crimson Skies and missed their eventual evolution. However, when I first got aware that they had a new album coming out this year, I was determined to get it. It's been quite a while since I last gave their debut a spin, and when Global Drama finally was upon us I was very eager to get blown away.

Well, this isn't bad. Not at all. On the other hand, this is not of the same quality as their first cd. Then again they've expanded their sound a bit, but are still a stellar and melodic progressive metal band. This sounds like a fusion between Communic's somewhat monotone and aggressive style and Pagan's Mind's Whitesnakeish touch. Cloudscape throws in their own developed skill for quality songwriting, sheer melody and provocatice lyrics discussing secular and present-day problems. The vocals are taking a Russel Allen-approach, which does work to a certain extent. They're a little roary, but is usually clean and very melodic. The usually atmospheric keyboards leads into the face-stomping riffs of Mind Diary, which is a damn groovy and enterntaining song. Immediately Communic's Sacrifice comes to mind. They're not particulralry similar or anything, but they're the same style all the way. Mind Diary's riffs are addicitve, and is probably why they keep 'em rolling. Darkest Legacy is a little more upbeat, with Michael's dazzling vocals on the chorus, and atmospheric riffs, and the first and very well-executed guitarsolo on here. The slightly oriental and intense Cloak & Daggers contains a fairly simple chorus that leaves you firmly nodding to the mid-paced beats.

Paid In Blood and The Silence Within takes a more melodic approach, with less harsher vocals and catchy choruses. However, there's still plenty of aggression and attitude here. Cloudscape are creative enough to throw in some bagpipes and various percussion for some variation on some occasions. Along with their sense for great melodies this makes an almost comfortable listen. They're doing great in every aspect, and although this is a pretty direct and and monotone record, doesn't mean it lacks variation and creativity. The way the guys handle their instruments are top notch and always entertaining. The keyboards are given more space to flow and create atmosphere, which fits this music perfectly. On the other hand the lack of a full-time keyboard player is perhaps a draw-back, since he/she perhaps could have contributed in a greater manner.

All in all, this is falls short of their fantastic debut, and other bands of the same style. However, there is not a single bad track on Global Drama which firmly delivers quality track after quality track. The balance between complex rhythms and catchy melodies is good, the soaring vocals carries this with great execution, and the rhythms are full of hooks. A stellar and enjoyable release from these skilled Swedes.

Killing Songs :
Thomas quoted 83 / 100
Other albums by Cloudscape that we have reviewed:
Cloudscape - Crimson Skies reviewed by Marty and quoted 85 / 100
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