Armed Cloud - Obsidian Desert (2015)

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Hailing from the Netherlands, today we have extremely promising Progressive Metal outfit Armed Cloud and their debut release “Obsidian Desert”. Featuring over 57 of music, this release is both engaging a very technically proficient, showcasing the band’s songwriting skills and instrument abilities. Recommended for fans of bands like Circus Maximus, Ayreon, and Pain of Salvation, this release will keep you entertained for a while.

Opening with the playful title-track, the band instantly sets a very mellow mood filled with intricate details. This song showcases Daan Dekker’s excellent vocals and the tight percussions of Rico Noijen. Getting a good vocalist is vital for Prog bands and Daan does a great job in pieces like “Wound Healer” and the dramatic “In your Mind”.

Filled with lush arrangements and brilliant guitar leads, tracks like “Jealousy with a Halo” and “Meltdown” showcase the band’s abilities to switch between up-beat passages to more serious and melancholic sections. Other tracks, like “My Own Kind”, deliver solid riffs from the start, bringing a very healthy balance to this release and demonstrating Wouter van der Veen creativeness.

For fans of the magical keyboard solos in Prog music, “In Your Mind:” offers a good peep into Remco van der Veen skills as he alternates between atmospheric passages and more elaborate sections. Our favorite track in this release has to be the super engaging “Pyramid of Charlatans” and its brilliant tempo changes and instrumentation.

Perfectly rounding things up with the melancholic “Wasted?”, the band comes full circle in this brilliant debut release. We are quite surprised at the maturity and quality of the band’s music and can only hope they get better in the future. If you are Progressive Metal/Rock fan and are in the hunt for new up and coming bands, please be sure to keep an eye out for Armed Cloud.

Band: Armed Cloud Album: Obsidian Desert

Label: MaXxive Records

Release: May 7th, 2016

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Genre: Progressive Metal

Country: Netherlands

Rating: 88/100
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