Glass Cloud

The Royal Thousand

Written by: MN on 24/02/2013 15:05:02

Glass Cloud's debut album "The Royal Thousand" is hopefully one of many to come. The super group quartet hailing from Hampton, Virginia deliver a seamless stream of hard-hitting metalcore with an experimental and gritty edge. The album will be sure to please the fans of no-bullshit uncompromised metalcore, yet the distinct progressive, and stupidly technical details will also likely please the metal nerds who yearn for unusual time signatures and complex riffage. Glass Cloud is a fierce cocktail assembled by the seasoned metal vocalist Jerry Roush, former vocalist of both Sky Eats Airplane and Of Mice and Men. Joining him to fill the roles of bassist and drummer respectively are his childhood friends Travis Sykes and Chad Hasty, both of whom are fresh graduates of the prestigious Berklee College of Music. Filling the role of guitarist is Joshua Travis from The Tony Danza Tapdance Extravaganza.

The success rate of super groups can be viciously debated: Often come formation, the sound can be unfocused and out of place, possibly resulting from creative differences and the hot-headed egoes of the elite in any given genre. Glass Cloud consists of very strong personalities and brilliant musicians, and for a change, this 'super group' works as each member's contribution manifests itself beautifully on the album as a whole. As a main painful downside of the album, the production is almost too squeaky clean that it seems to lack the punch that complex guitar playing and howling vocals need to be successful.

Opening with the first single "White Flag", the album soars into a soundscape consisting of dynamic guitar tapping and clean- combined with harsh vocals. As a trademark sound of metalcore, the inevitable breakdowns will keep your head banging furiously. One of the early highlights of the album, the monstrosity of a track "If He Dies, He Dies", clearly shows that Joshua Travis hails from an extreme metal background, and his raunchy sound compliments Jerry's painstakingly raw vocals. This is clearly a very personal song for bassist and lyricist Travis Sykes, in which the lyrics echo themes of forlorn friendships.

Without a shred of doubt, the prize for best song of the album goes to "Ivy & Wine", a vicious masterpiece that is complete on every level. The composition contains some of the best riffs infused with expertly executed cataclysmic drumming. A mythological story with a metalcore backdrop; pure gold.

After a dreamy interlude in the form of "Prelude for a Ghost", Glass Cloud return to their signature sound, highlighted by the experimental and gritty track "All Along", which displays some of the best vocal melodies by Roush. The fast-paced "Counting Sheep" takes an interesting perspective on the problems of insomnia. The track also proves just how good their drummer and bassist are, the Berklee graduates proving their ridiculous skill.

The album culminates in the epic track "From May To Now" which seals the band's debut. The listener is left intrigued, hopeful and satisfied. Glass Cloud have immense potential to develop a unique sound and considering their project is still in its infancy, it will be fascinating to see what they plan to do with their next album, if they choose to continue. This reviewer is eager to know.

8

Download: Ivy & Wine, Counting Sheep, If He Dies, He Dies
For The Fans Of: Volumes, Periphery, Elitist, Erra
Listen: facebook.com

Release Date 10.07.2012
Equal Vision / Basick

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