Review Summary: Where the best of old meets the best of new, with a cherry on top.
Last year, in November, we saw Cloudkicker make a drastic change to his sound, going from crazy time signature, in your face metal to a more ambient and acoustic post rock sound on “Let Yourself Be Huge”. Many wondered what would be next for Cloudkicker, would he continue his further exploration the sound on “Let Yourself Be Huge” or would he go back to a more metal sound on his 4th (or 5th if you count “Loop”) full-length album? Well the wait is over and I can say that this release shouldn’t disappoint fans on either side of the fence and I can easily see this bring in a few new fans too.
With “Fade”, Cloudkicker combines the lofty sound of “Let Yourself Be Huge” and the massive and metallic sound of “Beacons” or “The Discovery” perfectly. “Fade” is truly the culmination of everything that Cloudkicker has to offer. But don’t think that “Fade” is just an album of recycled sounds thrown into a blender; the album has a shoegazy element to it that was not on previous Cloudkicker albums. Tracks like “Garage Show” and “LA After Rain” are great examples of this new addition to his sound. The combination of the more traditional post-rock/metal Cloudkicker sound with the new shoegaze style gives the songs a more immersive feel to them and really adds to the feelings that Cloudkicker is trying to give you when you hear his music.
“Fade” also features the best production on a Cloudkicker release to date. The bass is very audible and high up in the mix on the whole album, which is really something special for an album like this, it gives the album a much larger and full sound. The layering of the guitars really adds a lot of depth to the songs and gives them a grander feeling, a feeling that would not have been possible had Cloudkicker only used one guitar track at a time.
"Fade" truly brings out the best and worst in Cloudkicker sounds. Creating what could be the best album of his career. Although fans of Cloudkicker’s earlier releases like “The Discovery” and “The Map is Not the Territory” may not be too keen that he no longer plays djent, a listener that wants more than just wild instrumentals and more matured songwriting should find something in “Fade”.