Ben Sharp continues with his solo, hovering hundreds of meters above the ground, weaving wordless stories about the world from a bird's perspective. The only thing we know about the whole creative process, is that it's set in the American airspace. Cloudkicker's third full-length album is just that: American airspace post-rock ambient-djent metal. That requires some explanation, I guess...
In the previous album Ben Sharp created a simple yet mesmerizing collection of post-rock songs. Even though his latest release may be considered as a return to the roots, it's still a logical step forward from its predecessor. FADE is basically an outcome of putting LET YOURSELF BE HUGE and BEACONS together. The atmosphere is dreamy yet tense, reminding me of the feeling you get while looking at the world through an airplane window. While on BEACONS the ambiance was determined by the album's dark concept, here it's rather reminiscent of loose impressions from a flight or trip across the States. The feeling of freedom you get while on the road, melancholy and anxiety triggered by the city's night panorama, loneliness in a nameless crowd - all that can be found in FADE.
Even though the music can bother me sometimes with its American pop-punk undertones, post-rock climaxes crafted by Ben Sharp are emotional to say the least. Ambient parts impart even more of ethereal feel to the album which makes it a soothing listen despite its undeniable heaviness. Most of all though, Cloudkicker finally found a happy medium between repetition and variety of themes. It's a well composed and varied post-metal album and I can safely say it's Ben Sharp's best.
- Available for download at any price at http://cloudkicker.bandcamp.com -