Ben Sharp continues with his solo, hovering hundreds of meters above the ground, weaving wordless stories about the world from a bird's eye 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. 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, reminiscent of the feeling you get while looking at the world through an airplane or bus window. While on BEACONS the ambiance was determined by the album's dark concept, here it reminds me of loose impressions from a flight or a trip across the States. The feeling of freedom you get while on the road, melancholy and anxiety triggered by a 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 build-ups and crescendos crafted by Ben Sharp are emotional to say the least. Ambient parts impart even more of the ethereal atmosphere 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 -