Sharps' skills at the guitars and the bass are magnificient and the drums, even though they are programmed, don't sound out of place and contribute well to the overall experience. If you're into prog-metal, buy this now. He has gained significant notoriety amongst the Internet music community, and releases all of his music for free under a Creative Commons license. So cold in fact that one of our cameras got busted, so unfortunately we have no awesome close up shots for all you internet stalkers out there, but you definitely get a sense of who the man is. Posted Friday, February 4, 2011 Review 394066 Cloudkicker is a one-man metal project around Ben Sharp, a gifted musician with a good ear for details, delivering an album that sounds surprisingly organic, mature and professional for these types of one-man endeavors. I appreciate the variations in the rhythm, particularly with the bass drum.
However, I would be more impressed if it was a finished backing track for lead parts. There are some great soft interludes of course, but it's not enough to change the impression of uniformity. It's downright good and entertaining throughout, incorporating the math-metal and atmospheric post-rock aspects into nicely moody and harmonious pieces such as Push It Way Up! He's certainly matured a bit, but the process has robbed as much fire as it has added nuance for this particular listener. It has an uplifting feeling that gives way to a sleepy, sadder passage. At least it has a certain level of originality in fusing math metal with post-rock. Well, get it to find out, it's free anyway! It whispers underwater-like tones and pulls the focus away from metal altogether, treating the listener to an Enya-like new age experience. The shorter tracks tend to be these thick guitar textures acting as more melodic pieces, offering him room for simple but very emotive clean guitar work.
Rather than setting a mood, the music leaves my ear wandering. The imposing, only occasionally interrupted wall of sound sometimes grows tedious, but never horrendous. I've never really felt as though our interviews needed a preface before, however this interview has broken grounds with several things we've never done in Metal Injection history. He began releasing short, ambient tracks, for free download around once a week. Cloudkicker draws extensively on Meshuggah's twisted ideas to create its own, original interpretation of the style. Damn those tricky one-man baaands! Thou shalt praise Ben Sharp's debut for its beauty, despite numerous imperfections.
Sharp's sound has become a bit more technical and guitar oriented, and unfortunately a bit less moody. I've since changed my opinion of the album, but at the time, it didn't register very high. The riffs are more interesting, the passages less monotonous most of the time , and the musicianship obviously very careful. On November 24, Century Media will release a live recording of the set that Intronaut and I played as Cloudkicker. All in all, this is a fantastic piece of music, and considering that you can get it for free, there is no reason for someone not to have this. I must say that's what's best in the album - dramatic tension that pervades the whole concept is thrilling. I was hesitant, but I decided to go for.
All in all, a solid outing. The sound was there, but it didn't grab hold and transport me. The riffs are actually tighter, the production is a little sharper, but ironically, there's actually less sense of danger on this record than this first. There is nothing sloppy here at all, and unfortunately many metal bands delight in their slop. We're hit, man, we are hit.
This is a haunting and inventive record - there is talent, originality, beauty, heart. These lines feel like they would be weak alone, but together make a surprisingly minimalistic sound. And the only doses of other sounds typically come from metalcore, a genre I just cannot deal with at all. For a homemade album the sound is just amazing. What I found was unlike what I was expecting: There are angular textures, sure, but this focuses much more on post-metal atmospherics and textural guitar playing. They use computer generated drums and think they're cool. If you're into post metal, you may love it.
The last couple releases have seen him get more into Mogwai style Post-Rock and the new one, Fade, takes that direction and shows off a lotta love for Siamese Dream era Smashing Pumpkins. Another thing is the production. Having worked out his own style, Sharp don't even try to diversify it. Almost four minutes of repetition, building layer by layer a climax, with a great but tacked on outro. Despite having an already full day of shoots, I found myself hauling ass in a 90 minute drive to meet Ben outside a hotel I've never heard of, in a place I've never been, to conduct the coldest out door interview to date. There was a great deal of mystique behind this guy as to why he refuses to get involved with labels, distributors, or even other musicians. Cloudkicker is an instrumental progressive metal band from Colombus, Ohio consisting solely of musician Ben Sharp.
What do you have to lose? Also the fact that it's instrumental makes it more arty then your normal metal platter. Favorite track: A weather front was stalled out in the Pacific--like a lonely person, lost in thought, oblivious of time. I know that too, and I'm a slave of this rule. Read the rest , and listen to Fade below. A battery of drums floods the middle section.