Armed Cloud, Obsidian Desert, 2015
Another new record company has entered the market, Maxxive Records, and this is one of their first releases. The press sheet mentions that Maxxive has a new concept for beginning bands and that means not handing out money, but help them lower costs for releasing their first album. More about that on their website.
Armed Cloud is a Dutch progressive metal combo and the album became available on May 9. For the mix Christian Moos was hired, and mastering was done by Eroc. So sound quality is not a problem. The album comes in a nice digipack and with an extensive booklet. So again thumbs up. And now on to the music.
Let’s start with some data: 10 songs, ranging between 4 and 8 minutes and a total time of 57 minutes, played by 5 musicians. Vocalist Daan Dekker has a type of voice that may be an acquired taste for some. It is fairly thin and high pitched. For me, in some songs it works better than in others. Especially in the more quiet parts it works pretty well I think. The album as a whole surely shows talent. Despite the claim of an unique sound, I think this is solid, but nothing ground breaking or new. And it does not need to be in my humble opinion. Several songs on here are worth your time and attention and if you are more into Threshold than Dream Theater (meaning more emphasis on song than technique) I recommend you go check this out.