CLOUDKICKER

Progressive Metal / Non-Metal / Metal Related • United States
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Cloudkicker is a one-man project of Ben M. Sharp, playing a powerful and technical blend of math metal and post-metal. Cloudkicker heavily uses drum machines and custom tuned guitars in his recordings.

You can find the entire Cloudkicker discography here for free: http://sites.google.com/site/cloudkickeruk2/

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The EP'sThe EP's
BLOOD MUSIC 2018
$29.57
$22.96 (used)
The DiscoveryThe Discovery
BLOOD MUSIC 2018
$19.53
$19.03 (used)
Live with IntronautLive with Intronaut
Century Media 2014
$10.00 (used)
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CLOUDKICKER Discography

CLOUDKICKER albums / top albums

CLOUDKICKER The Discovery album cover 3.77 | 17 ratings
The Discovery
Progressive Metal 2008
CLOUDKICKER Beacons album cover 3.82 | 23 ratings
Beacons
Progressive Metal 2010
CLOUDKICKER Fade album cover 3.33 | 5 ratings
Fade
Metal Related 2012
CLOUDKICKER Subsume album cover 3.00 | 4 ratings
Subsume
Progressive Metal 2013
CLOUDKICKER Unending album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Unending
Progressive Metal 2019

CLOUDKICKER EPs & splits

CLOUDKICKER The Map is Not the Territory album cover 3.27 | 7 ratings
The Map is Not the Territory
Progressive Metal 2009
CLOUDKICKER Portmanteau album cover 3.06 | 6 ratings
Portmanteau
Progressive Metal 2009
CLOUDKICKER ]]][[[ (aka A New Heavenly Body) album cover 3.48 | 12 ratings
]]][[[ (aka A New Heavenly Body)
Progressive Metal 2010
CLOUDKICKER Loop album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Loop
Non-Metal 2011
CLOUDKICKER Let Yourself Be Huge album cover 4.50 | 1 ratings
Let Yourself Be Huge
Non-Metal 2011
CLOUDKICKER Hello album cover 1.50 | 3 ratings
Hello
Non-Metal 2013
CLOUDKICKER Little Histories album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Little Histories
Progressive Metal 2014
CLOUDKICKER Woum album cover 3.00 | 1 ratings
Woum
Non-Metal 2015

CLOUDKICKER live albums

CLOUDKICKER Live with Intronaut album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Live with Intronaut
Progressive Metal 2014

CLOUDKICKER demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

CLOUDKICKER re-issues & compilations

CLOUDKICKER singles (1)

.. Album Cover
4.00 | 1 ratings
Not to Scale or Painted
Progressive Metal 2018

CLOUDKICKER movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

CLOUDKICKER Reviews

CLOUDKICKER Subsume

Album · 2013 · Progressive Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
bartosso
Even cloud kicking wears off after a while...

I've been waiting for a masterpiece from Ben Sharp since the debut album. His vision of instrumental metal was so fresh at the time, it seemed obvious that one day, as a result of natural selection of sorts, he'd create something spectacular. Instead, Cloudkicker has been threading the same, safe path over and over again since then.

And yet there's no denying it's still a somewhat appealing instrumental rock, even if stale. Sharp's ability to create almost romantic soundscapes within his post-rock/soft-punk and post metal influenced music remains unmatched. It's such a shame, that his inability to eliminate weaknesses from the songwriting is still there, too. The problems we had with Beacons are still valid in Subsume. Repetitive build-ups, stiff progressions and many others are still major issues that make the time spent with Cloudkicker a tad tiresome. As a competent musician, however, Ben Sharp managed to keep things very atmospheric and consistent throughout and for that he deserves some praise.

Apart from "He would be riding on the subway or writing formulas on the blackboard or having a meal or (as now) sitting and talking to someone across a table, and it would envelop him like a soundless tsunami.", no track has actually burnt into my memory. Too much of the same, decent post-metal. Decent yet boring. Boring yet pleasant. Oh to hell with that, it's free so get it and see for yourselves.

CLOUDKICKER Hello

EP · 2013 · Non-Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
bartosso
Goodbye

HELLO is another EP release from Ben Sharp aka Cloudkicker and this time we get 10 minutes of noise. Oh well, and I thought he took the easy way out with LOOP. As far as drone is concerned, I think it should never be the only component of the music. In HELLO it is the only component though and even though I consider myself a veeeery open-minded listener, this time I just got bored to death. Ben's lucky I'm not American as I'd surely sue him for that.

What else can be said about 10 minutes of drone tinged with post-rock atmosphere? Maybe I'll just present you with my point of view - there actually are drone albums I like. It's not that I hate the genre. Artists like Sunn O))) or Mories (Gnaw Their Tongues, Aderlating, De Magia Veterum) can put drone to a very good use. There are two conditions for that to work, though - it has to be used to create intriguing atmosphere and, as I've already mentioned, it shouldn't be the only element of the music. I'd go even further and say that drone has to be adventurous, ominous or unpredictable. It's like a crawling morph - changing shape in a mind-boggling way. Ben Sharp just abused his amps in a way that might have been entertaining for him, but certainly not for me.

I've always admired Cloudkicker for releasing his music for free. Both his soft, post-rock stuff and heavy, post metal albums are highly recommendable. This time he ventured into a genre without any solid ideas of exploring it though. That's why HELLO is just a boring, noisy and uninspired drag of an album.

- Available for download at any price on http://cloudkicker.bandcamp.com/album/hello -

CLOUDKICKER Fade

Album · 2012 · Metal Related
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
bartosso
Wordless poetry

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 -

CLOUDKICKER Beacons

Album · 2010 · Progressive Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
bartosso
Silent film

I have really mixed feelings about that record. Cloudkicker's second album, BEACONS, is undoubtedly a very interesting effort and given the fact it's released for free, it's even more awkward to rate it with 3 stars. I promise, I'll explain myself. But now for something completely different...

Damn those tricky one-man baaands! They use computer generated drums and think they're cool. Well, they are. Cloudkicker is anyway. His drums, guitars as well as bass sound convincing. As for drums, they're not as realistic as drum set from hell in CATCH 33 by Meshuggah, but still realistic enough. Guitars feel a bit too sterile for my tastes but the fact they're heavy and perfectly executed is undeniable. For a homemade album the sound is just amazing.

Less original and more personal yet still technical. That simple phrase describes the music in BEACONS pretty well, but I'll elaborate on the subject in order to seem more intelligent. So, despite being an instrumental collection of songs, BEACONS is a concept album with a story told in... song titles! It's a story about a plain crash, or should I say a desperate report from the crew, just before the crash. I must say that's what's best in the album - dramatic tension that pervades the whole concept is thrilling. It's like a silent film created with sounds instead of images. Stylistically, Cloudkicker went completely opposite way of what I've expected though. Instead of developing his progressive side, Ben Sharp focused on drama and more traditional approach to riffs and melody. So-called djent is still there, but now it's more of a spice than a defining factor. Don't get me wrong, it's an album loaded with excellent riffs and emotion provoking build-ups ("Amy, I love you" shines here) but its repetitious nature makes it tiresome just too many times.

All in all, BEACONS is a solid album with some great features and some really bad ones too. It's still among the best records in djent as it presents a new approach to the style unlike the mass of young djent bands that have nothing interesting to offer (besides making Meshugah's style more accessible and melodic). If you're into post metal, you may love it. Well, get it to find out, it's free anyway!

CLOUDKICKER Beacons

Album · 2010 · Progressive Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Conor Fynes
'Beacons' - Cloudkicker (7/10)

The second full-length bout from the mysterious djentleman Ben Sharp, Cloudkicker's 'Beacons' is defined by it's higher highs, and lower lows, when compared to it's predecessor. Maintaining Cloudkicker's deep root in post-metal, the sound here goes even farther from the typical Meshuggah soundalike this one man instrumental project started with in 'The Discovery.' While 'Beacons' is certainly not as consistent as the evenly-flowing debut, it remarks a very distinct development in the sound of Cloudkicker, and is a satisfying follow up from this quality project.

While there's certainly a change o sound witnessed here, the essence of Cloudkicker is still here in droves. The emphasis in the music is still about atmospheric, larger than life textures, gradually building tension and sound that only gets more complex as the composition progresses. Like 'The Discovery,' 'Beacons' is comprised of a song suite; each track is generally seamlessly connected to the next, giving a very continuous and pleasantly flowing product. However, 'Beacons' doesn't sound as much like a front-to-back composition as much as a seamless string of smaller compositions, the effect of a well- flowing album definately gets across.

A very interesting thing about 'Beacons' is it's concept. While there hasn't been any discernable binding concept in any Cloudkicker work before this, the theme here revolves around black box messages found on crashed airplanes. While the music itself is instrumental and relies completely on the talented guitarwork of Ben Sharp, the music does reflect the atmosphere of panic and desperation quite well. Of course, there are always mellow sections here to give a respite from the mathematically complex metal-leaning music here, including the quiet flourishes of 'I admit it now, I was scared' and '...it's just wide open field.' These softer compositions are deeply rooted in post-rock, and generally trail back into the heaviness before they can go anywhere of much value. However, in the scope of the album, they work beautifully as interludes.

While 'Beacons' is a strong record, the two problems here concern the less consistent nature of the album, and the overbearing concept of repetition in the album's composition. Things here are performed and produced beautifully, especially considering that for all intents and purposes, this is an indie release. However, there are times when Ben Sharp's musical ideas are stretched out a little too much beyond what they're worth. Musical themes will be repeated over and over again, and while this can be very effective for some of the more atmospheric sections, the less captivating sequences can go as far as being boring. Fortunately enough however, around the time the nerves start to wear, a new musical idea comes forth to save the day. Overall, 'Beacons' doesn't leave as much of an impression as 'The Discovery.' Perhaps this is because I now have high expectations for the talented one man project, but in any case, this album is a very welcome contribution to Cloudkicker's catalogue... and despite the flaws here, this is indeed a welcome contribution to an impressive discography.

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