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Armed Cloud: Master Device & Slave Machines

Man versus machine. Are they so different? This is the concept explored by Dutch symphonic/progressive metal band Armed Cloud on their second full length release titled Master Device & Slave Machines.

The band was formed in 2011, released an EP in 2012 followed by their debut in 2015. This brings us to their latest album released on Freya Records. The music is heavy, but not overly so as the band incorporate plenty of softer more moody sections making for a varied and quite compelling release. Lots of effects are incorporated as well as darker atmospheres and a good amount of keyboards. All that being said this is a rhythmically tight unit, check out the staccato heaviness and odd meter changes in “Withered White”, an excellent tune with a catchy vocal arrangement as well. The synth solo and somber guitar arpeggio in “Mirror Mirage” and the excellent musicianship in “Warhead” are more great tracks. “Warhead” in particular showcases the band’s chops with impressive change ups, excellent vocals and moody keyboard layering. “Dancing Spirit” has the band expanding their symphonic sensibilities over the span of ten minutes. It’s a somber statement opening with melancholic strings, piano and passionate vocals. Eventually the taught guitar riffs add intensity as the music turns effortlessly through the dark symphonic soundscape.

Also deserving of mention is the fantastic mixing and production by Christian ‘Moschus’ Moos of Everon fame. Overall the recording quality is very good.

Armed Cloud have made an impressive statement with Master Device & Slave Machines. Fans of symphonic/progressive metal should eat this up.

Band members:
Dean Dekker (vocals)
Wouter van der Veen (guitar, backing vocals)
Remco van der Veen (keyboards, backing vocals)
Boris Suvee (bass)
Rico Noijen (drums)

Track Listing:
1. Save Yourself (4:48)
2. The Crack (4:54)
3. Withered Machine (4:19)
4. Mobocracy (4:23)
5. Mirror Mirage (4:19)
6. Warhead (8:15)
7. The Cycle (5:07)
8. King Lear (5:51)
9. Dancing Spirit (10:10)
10. Ascension (4:46)

Added: March 31st 2019
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Band's Official Site
Hits: 975
Language: english

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