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Armed Cloud: Torque

Dutch progressive metal band Armed Cloud is back with a new platter of musical technicality in the form of Torque, the follow up to 2017’s Master Devices and Slave Machines (reviewed on this site) and their first album Obsidian Desert, released in 2015. I really dug Master Devices and I think I like the new release even more. The band seems a bit heavier and more technical than before, the masterful interplay between all the musicians is really something special. The solos, both synths and guitars are all over the place and the chunky riffs give this music plenty of heft although there is room for softer dynamics as well which is what makes this music so interesting. The vocals are another highpoint, quite theatrical and dramatic, at times reminding me of Matthew Bellamy (Muse).

The buzzsaw electronics and guitar in the album opening “Torque” has an Industrial-like sound, very electronic and chaotic. After this rather short track we get the excellent “Heat of Darkness” with its urgent beat and dramatic technical interplay between the keyboards and guitar. I hear a bit of a Muse feel in this one. With “Big Bang Theory” a colourful backdrop of synths softens the progressive metal instrumentation supplied by the guitar, bass and drums. Again, these musicians have a synergy between them, allowing for some outstanding technical fireworks. “Torque II” is another short track with pulsating electronics followed by the instrumental “Cloud Overture” and its dramatic guitar and keyboard attack. “Under the Horizon” shifts from heavy to light, all under a veil of moodiness. Really love the synths and keyboards in this one. Nice acoustic and electric guitar can be heard on the slightly wistful “Wound in My Heart” along with a nice bass groove and melodic keyboard lines. The album ends with the near thirteen minute “Awaiting the Sound of the Chimes” where the band’s chops should make a lasting impression with many progressive music fans. Beginning with moody keyboards and mellow guitar, it builds slowly unfolding with full dramatic effect, especially the lead vocals which are excellent throughout the album. The playing here is superb by all members of the band.

Another excellent release from these Dutch progressive metallers.

Track Listing:
1. Torque (1:39)
2. Heat of Darkness (4:52)
3. Big Bang Theory (6:13)
4. Torque II (1:44)
5. Cloud Overture (2:51)
6. Under the Horizon (6:17)
7. Wound in My Heart (5:49)
8. Awaiting the Sound of the Chimes (12:53)

Added: December 22nd 2020
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Band @ Bandcamp
Hits: 776
Language: english

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