Though it isn’t the juggernaut that it was 5 years ago, melodic metal as a genre shows no sign of slowing the rapid pace that delivers new bands and material. It seems like everyday there is a new and noteworthy band topping the horizon and labels such as Lion Music, Frontiers and Nightmare Records lead the way in releasing this type of music. The latest band from Nightmare is the Swedish act Cloudscape. They were formed in 2001 and released their self titled debut in 2004 with the help of producers Anders Theo Theander (Pain Of Salvation, Allen/Lande Project, Planet Alliance) and Pontus Lindmark (Allen/Lande Project, Planet Alliance). With that disc creating a buzz the band went back into Roastinghouse Studios to start work on their second release which came to be called CRIMSON SKIES.
This band has been tagged as powermetal but that is a bit of a misnomer. Their sound falls more towards melodic metal mixed with elements of prog metal. Vocalist and main song composer Mike Andersson doesn’t have the most powerful voice in metal but he more than makes up for that with his great sense of melody. The songs flow from the metallic crunch of “Breach in My Sanity” and “Demon Tears” to the more progressively tinged and melodic “Shadowland” and “Someone Else”. Cloudscape has a great sense of melody and song structure but more importantly they easily find the perfect balance between their heavier guitar driven sound and their more melodic side. Many bands search in vain for this kind of balance and never achieve it while it seemingly comes so easy to Cloudscape.
CRIMSON SKIES represents the beginning of a long road for this band. While not creating anything that hasn’t been heard before, Cloudscape nevertheless have an innate sense of how to take what has come before and make it sound refreshing. With this being only their second release the band still has some small areas to work on but they are overshadowed by the potential that Cloudscape displays on CRIMSON SKIES.
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