Cloudkicker - Beacons
Self Release
Instrumental Prog Metal
11 songs (43:46)
Release year: 2010
Reviewed by Jaime
The rate at which Ben Sharp produces releases under his Cloudkicker moniker is pretty damned alarming and puts a large number of other acts to shame. In what seems to be a concept album about a plane crash of some description (there's not a lot of detail besides the songs titles and the music to go on) there's plenty of his trademark expansive sounds and layers that are streamlined to a degree to fit the context of the album. For example, in Push it way up! the long, layered pitch bends doused in reverb can be imagined as a plane in a turbulent flight and the effect is pretty remarkable when you think of it in that way. That audio scene in then followed by the peaceful's just a wide-open field that gives ques that scene that you usually have in films where the person in question has a flashback to a memory of his wife/girlfriend/dog (each to their own) before the climatic pair of It's bad. We're hit, man, we are hit and Amy, I love you round out the whole thing, with the former building up to the sequence it describes and the latter acting out a death scene as the plane goes down. It works extremely well.

That's only the last half though, what about the first? Well Here, wait a minute! Damn it!'s chaotic and rapid fire guitar work creating that sense of tension and "what the fuck is going on?" that the lead charater would be facing. The duo of I admit it now. I was scared and We were all scared slow things down a little and go for the more atmospheric route to help create the mood of the moment.

As a whole Beacons may take a few listens to absorb, it certainly did for me, but as seen by my somewhat extensive desriptions above it succeeds hugely as a concept album where a large number of other fall flat. It tells a story remarkably well without actually having anyone say it. The production is very good as well, and combined with the ingenuity of the music helps Cloudkicker stand out from the seething mass of "djent" bands that all sound so simliar in production and musical ideas. Not only that, it's available for free (or a price if you want to pay) at his bandcamp here so there no real excuse to not try it out.
Killing Songs :
Jaime quoted 90 / 100
Other albums by Cloudkicker that we have reviewed:
Cloudkicker - Let Yourself Be Huge reviewed by Jaime and quoted 75 / 100
Cloudkicker - Portmanteau EP reviewed by Jaime and quoted no quote
Cloudkicker - The Discovery reviewed by Jaime and quoted 87 / 100
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