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Cloverseeds, The: The Opening

After gaining national attention with two EPs and a full length debut on a small French label, The Cloverseeds signed with one of the leading U.S. prog rock labels, The Laser's Edge, for The Opening. Showcasing elaborate melodies, heavy music and a touch of eccentricity, they earn their spot next to stellar contemporaries. It's not perfect, and they have a lot to learn, but the potential is there.

The quintet formed in 2004 and claims to "…aim for your heart as well as your head…" like colleagues Porcupine Tree, Riverside, and Anathema. Actually, and especially with the expressiveness of vocalist Ced Olčon, the band has more in common with newer (I.E. more alt rock-esque) Pain of Salvation than any of those three. While The Cloverseeds aren't on the same level as these other bands, they also haven't been around as long, and with a second album as good as The Opening, there's no reason to think they won't grow substantially with subsequent releases.

"Over Camellia" starts the album like a more intricate and dynamically sung Alice in Chains track. Olčon transverses octaves as he harmonizes with himself, remarkably sounding like Daniel Gildenlöw at times. The band plays standard genre guitar arpeggios and syncopation, so it's really nothing too new, but it's still worthwhile. "Fam(L)Ar" is slower and more ominous with its gongs and predatory melody. It builds nicely from a shy imploring to passionate outcry.

The marching band drumming and puzzled arrangement of "Brand New Day" easily make it a standout track. Elements are stacked as the track progresses, resulting in quite a frantic bit before it slows down for the climax. "Calling Me Down" features more interlocking guitar lines and some interesting rhythms, and as the ballad of the album (I suppose), it's still pretty heavy. The way the vocals complement the music is quite engaging.

"The Opening" shifts tone expertly, allowing for interspersed calmness and aggression. It's a track to drum along to on your desk or steering wheel. The Opening concludes with "Enough," which is certainly the most heartfelt and beautiful entry, and probably features the best songwriting too. It leaves a substantial feeling of affect and urgency on the listener, still holding a presence in its aftermath.

For a sophomore release, The Opening is quite impressive. However, in the grand scheme of today's progressive rock giants (and even just on the Laser's Edge roster), The Cloverseeds, perhaps fittingly, feels like a little brother hoping to fit in with the big boys. They aren't on par with the best of the best yet, but they could be with more diversity and stronger songwriting, which is definitely a foreseeable possibility.


Track Listing
01 Over Camellia
02 Fam(L)Ar
03 Flowers
04 Higher
05 Brand New Day
06 Calling Me Down
07 Opening, The
08 For Those
09 Enough

Added: December 3rd 2010
Reviewer: Jordan Blum
Score:
Related Link: The Lasers Edge
Hits: 2654
Language: english

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Cloverseeds, The: The Opening
Posted by Pete Pardo, SoT Staff Writer on 2010-12-03 09:46:46
My Score:

The Opening is the sophomore album from The CloverSeeds, but debut for reknowned progressive rock & metal label The Lasers Edge. This US band has a very modern style that draws obvious influences from Pain of Salvation, Porcupine Tree, Riverside, etc., and The Opening is a collection of upbeat yet at times dark, challenging, progressive rock & metal tunes.

Vocalist Ced Oleon puts in a stallar performance throughout the CD with his powerful & emotional delivery. Amidst an amalgam of churning, intricate, and often times spacey arrangements, Oleon displays not only a far reaching range but also the ability to cover the more aggressive passages. Highlights here include the soothing "Fam (L) Ar", the mix of alternative rock & prog on "Flowers", the angst ridden rocker "Higher", the epic sounds of "The Opening", and the dark and brooding "For Those...".

Honestly, there's not a bad tune in the lot, as the band obviously put a lot into the dynamics and tone of each and every song song on "The Opening". Pain of Salvation fans especially will want to dive in and check this one out. Filled with a variety of textures, this is a CD that will surely appeal to a wide variety of potential listeners, and signals the arrival of a new player on the scene.



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