Review Summary: Despite a bit of obvious repetition, Ben Sharp's debut is seamless, intense, epic and the most important one of them all: Mature.
It’s not every day one comes across an album this mature that also happens to be the band's debut. What makes matters more impressive is how Ben created this album all by his lonesome with no other help. Ben Sharp made The Discovery
for himself and only for himself which is quite refreshing in a musician. He also didn’t ask for a specific price and he simply gave people the option to buy it if they wanted to. Regardless of how much cash he pulled in this was Ben’s passion. Under the pseudonym Cloudkicker, Ben barreled into the progressive metal scene with a reckless abandon and what a debut album this turned out to be. Essentially one long song, The Discovery
is cohesive, creative and uses repetition to its full advantage by means of building and building on the guitar riffs introduced in the first couple of tracks. Rest assured, The Discovery
is an intense thrill ride of an album filled with top notch post rock esque builds and epic production.
The blaring sirens in the beginning of “Genesis Device” inspires the listeners to prepare themselves and soon enough the hard hitting guitar work comes in. At first, Ben’s riffs may come off as overly repetitious and the truth is, they are in fact repetitious. However, The Discovery
is best looked at as a whole work instead of coming back to individual songs and the repetition is meant to build a foundation for what is to come next. Sure enough, “Dysphoria” builds upon what was hard in “Genesis Device.” Ben’s charismatic guitar playing and expertly programmed drumming performance create a brooding, intense atmosphere that makes for an incredibly compelling ride. The title track is without a doubt the standout of the heavier tracks with its epic progression and ominous post rock like build. It explodes, subsides and then little by little rises again in a stunning fashion. This track also showcases the album’s crisp, top notch production and Ben pulls this off these heavy songs as a one man band which is impressive. However, the album also excels in delivering the very quiet and touching moments with finesse.
Once “Segue” starts the listener’s state of mind immediately develops a sense of peace along with "Convington" which delivers in giving the listener a strong sense of determination. "Segue" has beautiful and soaring guitar work that acts as the perfect interlude to transition into the title track. The song ends with thirty seconds of gentle feedback to give the listener time to process all that was heard. “Convington” delivers in a simpler mood but in a more epic fashion with typically touching guitar work and a fantastic sound to the drums. It seriously sounds like someone is actually drumming throughout the entire album, but the sound of them in “Convington” creates such a euphoric mood that one would never guess that Ben used a computer program instead of real drums.
Once “States” fades into oblivion all that the listener will want is more. Ben Sharp crafted an exceptionally seamless, compelling, heavy and downright inspiring epic that really showcases his talent. The Discovery
features fantastic production and an astounding amount of maturity not often seen in debut albums. The fact that The Discovery
happens to be a bit repetitious at times may turn some off and at times those who love it may simply want more variety, but the album nonetheless soars with its intensity and passion. His desire to only make his music because he wants to and not for money is quite refreshing. Little did he know that when he released this he’d develop a fairly devoted fan base. Anyone looking to get their hands on Ben’s debut has the option to get it for little to no money, but it’s worth every penny after all is said and done.