Cloudkicker
Beacons


4.5
superb

Review

by climactic USER (8 Reviews)
September 19th, 2010 | 15 replies | 6,501 views


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Cloudkicker decides that our advice wasn't critical enough and creates an album fixing almost all of his previous flaws.

6 of 6 thought this review was well written

What do I mean by this? Well, my review for Ben Sharp's EP set off a string of critiques on Cloudkicker's sound, most of which I agreed with. The general consensus was that the music was too repetitive, didn't have enough melody and leads, and had too many same-y sounding breakdowns. Most of these I agreed with, although I gave The Map is Not the Territory a 4 (which, looking back, was too high). Something was missing in the otherwise interesting mix of post/instrumental/progressive metal from Ben Sharp.

Fast forward about two months and Beacons is released, with a "name-your-price" download style similar to In Rainbows back in 2007. It's uncanny how the album matches the description of how good Cloudkicker could be. There are leads, more melodies, less breakdowns, and much, much more variety. The music has also gotten noticeably more technical and complex, which may not make the music any better for some, but definitely makes for a more fun and interesting listen.
On a related note, the drums have stepped it up about five notches, and although they are still programmed, they sound much more realistic now, while pounding out complex rhythms and fills.

Beacons itself has some stand-out moments, like the chaotic intro of "Here, wait a minute! Damn it!", the clean, ambient interlude known as "I admit it now, I was scared", and the tapping-filled guitar layerings of "Push it way up!"; however it should be taken in as a whole. As noted earlier Beacons is filled with variety, from ambience to jazzy-sounding clean leads to ridiculous-time-signature progressive metal. This all works together quite well though, something many bands cannot pull off. The ambience is still there, although it plays a lesser role than previous releases. There isn't really a lot to get bored with besides the two seven-minute tracks, which are stretched out too much for their own good. To contradict that, the two-minute clean tracks often feel too short, and I find myself wanting more, especially in "…It's just wide-open field" (which fits it's name perfectly) and "We were all scared." This is a problem the album faces often, but there's enough interesting material to make the gripe somewhat minor.

All in all, Beacons is several steps in the right direction, and by far Cloudkicker's best release. He is beginning to develop a very unique sound, and it's pretty ridiculous how these are all one man's ideas. Although it's only been out for a couple of days, Beacons leaves the listener wondering what Cloudkicker will do next. He's definitely headed there quickly.



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user ratings (629)
Chart.
4.1
excellent
other reviews of this album
Rob Heald (4.5)
In releasing an LP and three excellent EPs in just two years, Cloudkicker has progressed from a melo...


Comments:Add a Comment 
climactic
September 19th 2010



18313 Comments


short and to-the-point review I guess.

climactic
September 19th 2010



18313 Comments


Well this is disappointing

Hyperion1001
Staff Reviewer
September 19th 2010



18005 Comments


Album rules, best Cloudkicker yet, and he's an actually musician who realizes music isn't just about making money. Thus why i actually bought this from him.

Digging: Autechre - Draft 7.30

brutebeard
September 19th 2010



1655 Comments


Good review. Decent Album. Awesome band name nonetheless

climactic
September 19th 2010



18313 Comments


Thanks breh

ikarus
September 20th 2010



560 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this is more interesting than his last efforts i will say, still gets a little monotonous eventually though

Scoot
September 20th 2010



17677 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

His best out of an excellent discography. The man needs more notoriety.

Digging: Unjust - Glow

climactic
September 20th 2010



18313 Comments


Yup

puma35
September 28th 2010



972 Comments


cool review clim, you should write lots more!!

climactic
September 28th 2010



18313 Comments


Thanks a lot bro

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
March 16th 2011



9977 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Push It Way Up! could do without the last three minutes...

Digging: Deniro Farrar - Rebirth

MO
March 16th 2011



18198 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

no way

it may seem like it drones but I always find the subtle changes to be really effective

Digging: Immolation - Dawn of Possession

psykonaut
March 17th 2011



3913 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this album is the tits

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
March 21st 2011



9977 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Really? Hmm. I can see what you mean, honestly. I have to be in the mood for it, though.
Regardless, the last part of the album seems to still drag... "Amy, I Love You" seems quite bloated for its own good. I would rate this 3.5, but I'm incredibly generous and stuff.

fromtheinside
June 18th 2014



17713 Comments


this is my favorite CK album woo-hoo!

Digging: Fallujah - The Flesh Prevails



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