Cloudkicker
The Map Is Not The Territory


4.0
excellent

Review

by climactic USER (9 Reviews)
July 29th, 2010 | 54 replies | 12,605 views


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A one-man powerhouse of atmospheric, progressive instrumental metal.

3 of 3 thought this review was well written

It takes a lot of work to write, record, master and produce an album. It takes even more work to play every instrument on that album, including multiple guitar layers, bass, and drum programming. But Ben Sharp, aka Cloudkicker, the one man band from Columbus, Ohio, pulls this off in a seemingly effortless way, delivering a breath of fresh air in the genre that is instrumental metal. "The Map is Not the Territory" fits five solid tracks into just twenty-five minutes, each song filling it's own niche. The sound of the EP is different from Cloudkicker's other releases, and probably different from anything else you've ever heard. The music is a mix of Meshuggah-esque guitar/bass drum rhythms, Protest the Hero style riffing and leads, and the sensibilities of post-rock bands like This Will Destroy You (that is: unconventional, atmospheric, sometimes ambient songs).

"Hold On" gets the EP off to a good start with a small tapping section leading into a Meshuggah or Periphery-sounding guitar section. The drums (computerized, mind you) kick it up a notch a little before a minute and a half in, leading into some awesome-sounding (don't get the wrong idea) breakdowns and guitar harmonies. Halfway through the song takes a sharp left turn into a quieter, just drums and bass section. It builds back up and some beautiful guitar ambience can be heard in the background before the song ends. And that was just the first song.

The rest of the songs on the EP do all but follow in "Hold On"'s footsteps. While some of the syncopation and rhythms sounds similar at times, every song has a distinct sound. For instance, song two, "Tip Your Van Driver", while still featuring some guitar/bass drum syncopation sections, focuses more on solid riffing and odd time signatures, and less on groove than song one. "Seriosity", the next song, is my personal favorite off of "The Map is Not the Territory". Within the first two minutes, the song has blastbeats, some technical death metal riffing, an odd-time breakdown, a heavy groove, and an ambient section. The rest of the song is also top-notch, making it my personal favorite. The next song, the title track, is essentially a heavy post-rock song, and provides a good breather. The drums play a somewhat simple beat the whole song, while the guitars build, layer upon layer. It's definitely a cool track and gives some more variety to an already pretty varied EP.

As for the last song, "Ever Thus to Deadbeats", it combines everything good about the other four tracks. The grooving, the progressive tendencies, the inventive riffing, and the atmospherics of it all. It even starts out with a melodic death metal-sounding guitar riff, adding yet another influence to this short release. The guitar-made ambience in this song is especially good, providing an excellent backdrop to the breakdowns.

However, nothing is perfect. Some parts of the album tend to drag on, especially the second and last tracks. You may find yourself thinking "didn't I hear this part already?" And, although I talk about the album being varied, there isn't really anything very surprising; the album sticks to it's cool-sounding yet structured sound. There are too many "chug-chug-polyrhythm" parts and not many leads, which can get boring.

All in all, "The Map is Not the Territory, although just an EP, is Ben Sharp's best and most inventive release. If only he would get a full-time band together and tour the country, but now I'm just dreaming.

(The EP is a free download on the Cloudkicker Myspace)



Recent reviews by this author
Children of God We Set Fire to the SkyNew Vegas Post Tenebras Spero Lucem
Deafheaven SunbatherBorn of Osiris The Discovery
Explosions in the Sky The Earth is Not a Cold Dead PlaceOut of Yesteryear The Blackness
user ratings (111)
Chart.
3.9
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
climactic
July 30th 2010



18724 Comments


FIRST REVIEW GO EASY PLEASE

TRMshadow
July 30th 2010



4982 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

it comes off as a little fanboyish and I wouldn't give this anything higher than a low 4, but overall a good first review. Pos'd

"delivering a fresh of breath air"

in the first paragraph is the only obvious grammar error I can spy.

climactic
July 30th 2010



18724 Comments


Thanks dude. And fixing that now lol

TRMshadow
July 30th 2010



4982 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Found out about this guy through freemetalalbums.com (used to be .wordpress), great musician.

Zizzer
July 30th 2010



915 Comments


Free music? I might check it out... especially since he calls himself Cloudkicker lol

Xplisit
July 30th 2010



1646 Comments


i'll get this if it's not like 100 mb or something ridiculous for a 5-song release.

ikarus
July 30th 2010



562 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

not the most innovative metal but its relatively enjoyable

bloc
July 30th 2010



34780 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Boring as hell

Digging: Interpol - El Pintor

Yeahtoast
August 9th 2010



2041 Comments


Good review, pos'd. Will check this out.

climactic
August 9th 2010



18724 Comments


Thanks dude

climactic
August 9th 2010



18724 Comments


Thanks dude

bloc
August 23rd 2010



34780 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Just re-listened to this and it sounds a lot better :D

bloc
August 23rd 2010



34780 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Pretty much. Actually almost identical to Liquorworks.

climactic
August 23rd 2010



18724 Comments


Liquorworks meets ambience is a good generalization I guess

bloc
August 23rd 2010



34780 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Clever gal

climactic
August 23rd 2010



18724 Comments


Good job 'meng

bloc
August 23rd 2010



34780 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Actually I was picturing the guy in Jurassic Park who was watching the velociraptors quietly with his gun and then one pokes its head out of the blue and takes him out.

bloc
August 23rd 2010



34780 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Bah! Screw this guy...

I'm outta here.

climactic
August 23rd 2010



18724 Comments


"Oh."

climactic
August 23rd 2010



18724 Comments


You really should.

Oh.™



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2014 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy