New Era
CLOUDSCAPE

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CLOUDSCAPE - New Era cover
3.98 | 4 ratings | 3 reviews
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Album · 2012

Filed under Progressive Metal

Tracklist

1. Silver Ending (5:30)
2. Share Your Energy (3:48)
3. Kingdom of Sand (3:47)
4. Pull the Brake (4:35)
5. Seen It All Before (6:40)
6. Your Desire (5:41)
7. Voyager 9 (8:37)
8. Simplicity…Huh… (3:44)
9. Before Your Eyes (5:41)
10. Violet Eye (5:05)
11. Into the Unknown (4:55)
12. Heroes (4:30)

Total Time: 62:33

Line-up/Musicians

- Patrik Svärd / Guitars
- Michael Andersson / Vocals
- Håkan Nyander / Bass
- Fredrik Joakimsson / Drums
- Stefan Rosqvist / Guitars

with

- Peter Wildoer / Vocals

About this release

Released by RoastingHouse Records, July 31st, 2012 (Europe) and by Nightmare Records, September 11th 2012 (US)

Thanks to colt for the addition and adg211288, Time Signature for the updates

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CLOUDSCAPE NEW ERA reviews

Specialists/collaborators reviews

J-Man
Sweden's Cloudscape has been around for a little over a decade now, but it wasn't until 2012's New Era that I actually discovered their music - and if their backcatalog is anywhere up to par with this album, I've sure been missing out! New Era is the band's fourth full-length, and although it is often labeled as a progressive metal release, I'd be more willing to call it a sophisticated melodic metal observation. That is to say that Cloudscape's first intention is to create catchy riffs and powerful choruses, but their compositions contain a level of eclecticism and complexity that should appeal to fans of more progressive music.

Much like the classic releases from Queensryche or Fates Warning, this results in a record that is instantly enjoyable, yet still rewards the listener for giving it additional spins. New Era is also rather eclectic, as it explores classic traditional metal, heavy-edged American power metal, groovy thrash metal, melodic hard rock, and even extreme metal (there are a few growled vocals here!), all through a modern and mildly progressive edge. Although the sleek and polished production might turn off fans of 'raw' sounding metal, this style of production suits Cloudscape's music perfectly. New Era's real selling point is in the memorability of its compositions, however, as each track here is noteworthy in one way or another; whether it's the heavy thrash grooves in "Before Your Eyes", the progressively structured "Seen It All Before", or the anthemic chorus in "Your Desire", everything here is masterfully executed and infectiously catchy.

Although Cloudscape's strong dependance on hook-laden songwriting makes for a mildly repetitive listen when spread out over twelve tracks and sixty-three minutes, the music is so damn good that I hardly feel like any time has passed by at all. New Era is simply a high-quality effort across the board, and folks that enjoy the music of Fates Warning, Anubis Gate, Queensryche, and Pagan's Mind will want to hear Cloudscape sooner rather than later!
adg211288
New Era is the fourth album by Swedish metal act Cloudscape. The 2012 album is their first full-length since 2008’s Global Drama and in that time they’ve largely re-worked their line-up. Vocalist Michael Andersson and guitarist Patrik Svärd remain, but have been joined by new members Stefan Rosqvist (Fullforce), Håkan Nyander (Supreme Majesty) and Fredrik Joakimsson on guitars, bass and drums respectively.

Although you will most likely see Cloudscape included under the banner of progressive metal, New Era itself does not come across as being that progressive, at least in the normal sense of the term. It’s the sort of album that gives weight to the validity of the term ‘melodic metal’, as ambiguous as such a term sounds when written down. I’ve read that this is actually the term that Cloudscape favours for their music.

Of course that’s not to say that New Era isn’t progressive at all. It certainly has its moments. The simple fact is that prog is just one ingredient in Cloudscape’s sound and none of the established genres of metal really can apply to the album as a whole, although you could, I guess, say that this in itself is what makes New Era a progressive metal album. The common factor in the music though is Cloudscape’s sense for melody, which is why I find that I agree with them when they say they prefer melodic metal to describe what they do. It’s melodic, but is not dominantly power metal. It has more hard rock styled moments, but is undeniably a metal album overall. It is accessible in terms of its song-based sound, but doesn’t lack for instrumentation to keep the prog fan interested.

But regardless of what genre tag you wish to apply to the music, there is one undeniable constant – New Era is great melodic metal album that brings elements of many styles together into one well made and flowing style where as you are discovering the album you will never know exactly what direction will be taken next, whether it is the growl laden Share Your Energy (growling courtesy of Peter Wildoer), the oriental flavoured Kingdom of Sand, the power metal of Your Desire or the lengthy Voyager 9. New Era is perhaps in retrospect best described as an eclectic album full of lots of little subtleties that that reveal new aspects of the album every time it is played. Patience is advised for the more demanding prog fan for the album to give up the goods, but it is catchy enough that general metal and rock fans should be able to enjoy it regardless of how deep they wish to dig. A great album level rating is appropriate I think.

7.8/10

(Originally written for Heavy Metal Haven (http://metaltube.freeforums.org))
Time Signature
Share your energy...

Genre: progressive metal

At first listen, this album might not come across very progressive (but, it definitely does not take more than one listen to realize that this is good music performed by very skilled musicians) for a band slated as a progressive metal band. Of course, the album is called "New Era", which might suggest a different direction in the music of the band - I don't know because this is my first acquaintance with Cloudscape.

Anyway, subsequent listens will reveal all the progressive details. The music is very eclectic, drawing on power metal, speed metal, groove metal, more traditional metal and genres outside the realm of metal such as alternative rock and AOR.

Thus most of the songs on the album combine crushing grooves with melodic vocal lines and catchy choruses, and a track like 'Your Desire' also has a hint of the rage of speed/thrash metal. Not unlike Queensrÿche back in the "Rage For Order", "Operation: Mindcrime" and "Empire" Days, Cloudscape's music is thus very accessible but still quite sophisticated and not shy of making use of dynamic song structures that contain melodic almost ballad-like passages as heard in, for instance 'Voyager 9' and 'Pull the Brake'.

Personally, I really like this combination of various impressions from the universe of rock. A track like 'Voyager 9', for instance, combines the spacy keyboards of space rock and the uplifting spirit of AOR hard rock, also adding some grooves and spiced up with the twin guitar leads of NWoBHM, while 'Seen it All Before' combines almost metalcore-like grooves with AOR-oriented chorus-lines and almost funky grooves.

Personally, I think this is a very well put together album which is just sophisticated and eclectic enough to be considered progressive, but at the same time very accessible and catchy. Fans of more accessible progressive metal like Queensrÿche, Anubis Gate, and Persona Non Grata should check "New Era" out.

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