Cloudkicker - The Discovery
Self Release
Instrumental Prog Metal
10 songs (39:48)
Release year: 2008
Reviewed by Jaime
Once upon a time, in a forest far, far away whenever the words "one man band" were whispered in hushed tones a person's mind would be flushed with images of one man's epic quest to produce the tr00est, most kvlt music EVAR! To do this they would take to their woods, don their armour, disguise themself as a noble woodland creature such as a badger and converse with nature to seek inspiration as to how to go about their mighty task. With knowledge in hand they would return to their fortress, sit in front of a tape machine and... well make something that sounded like arse half the time. One man black metal bands did become the but of a number of jokes over the years but today, thanks to the internet and cheap recording solutions the genre of choice for the solitary musical gentleman swings toward instrumental prog rather than black metal (though Rob Darken says hi!).

One of these gents is Mr. Ben Sharp who produces his works under the title of Cloudkicker. Making the most of modern technology, he records everything himself on a laptop then distributes it for free over the internet, with no intention of making an sort of money from his work. An admirable stance to take where the value of music has sadly been reduced to almost nothing commercially. Of course, giving it away for free is one thing, but what if it's not even worth listening to in the first place. As mentioned, the in vogue genre for these type of bands isn't to everyone's tastes, and more often than not they'll lean towards wither pure guitar wankery or Meshuggah worship. Cloudkicker manages to avoid swing into either camp, with polyrhythms similiar to but different enough to Meshuggah being utilized alongside some fantastic, but tasteful, guitar playing. The multi-layered guitar parts sounds fantastic and create an ambience that surround each track. The first track proper "Genesis Device" and the title track are two obvious examples of this technique that somehow makes the track seem more spaceous as opposed to cluttered.

Not everything in the album is huge layers and full on sound, with "Everything's Mirrors", "segue:" and "Covington" being used to space things out to some varying degrees of success. At times they can seem to drag on a little too long even if they're not unpleasent to listen to. Another slight problem for some would be the fake drums. For the most part they sound fine but there are some points where they can seem a bit lifeless and too mechanical, but on the grand scale of things it can be overlooked as the mixing of the album is well done for a home project studio. The work rate of Mr. Sharp is fairly impressive as well, with two EPs being released just this year. All 4 of Cloudkicker's releases can be found at this site.

All in all this is a very engaging listen. It challenges, but not to an obscene degree and may take a few listens to fully absorb, but chances are you'll want to give it a number of spins anyway.
Killing Songs :
Dysphoria, Everything's Mirrors, Viceroy, The Discovery, Triumverate!, States
Jaime quoted 87 / 100
Other albums by Cloudkicker that we have reviewed:
Cloudkicker - Let Yourself Be Huge reviewed by Jaime and quoted 75 / 100
Cloudkicker - Beacons reviewed by Jaime and quoted 90 / 100
Cloudkicker - Portmanteau EP reviewed by Jaime and quoted no quote
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