Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Review: Cloud Rat – 'Qliphoth'


Cloud Rat are not your typical grindcore band who serve up copycat blasts of angst that refer only to Napalm Death, Brutal Truth and Carcass for inspiration. Yes the band can blast through the album's seventeen tracks in under half an hour. And yes the majority of the album still barely sees the individual tracks break the two-minute mark. But scratch below the surface and you get a lot more than you'd expect.

The band's sonic formula is heavily informed by classic grindcore, and vocalist Madison Marshall's throat-shredding screams dominate each track. But the band make interesting use of tempo shifts, bringing the songs back into doom influenced waters, as well as adding elements of black metal, classic rock, drone rock, and post-rock into the mix to create a surprisingly diverse palette. This is perhaps best exemplified by songs such as 'Raccoon', 'Udder Dust', 'The Killing Horizon', 'Hermit Interstice', 'Thin Veil', 'Bolt Gun', 'Friend Of The Court', and 'Chrysalis' which toy with the listener's expectations expertly.

The production is pretty simple and straight-forward. The sound is pretty much what you'd expect the band to sound like live, albeit with a little studio spit and polish for good measure. But on the whole it is a clean, crisp and no-nonsense production style that lets the band's performance do the work.

Cloud Rat definitley have something to them. Yes the majority of the album will be familiar territory for anyone that has heard more than half-a-dozen grindcore records in their life. But the more esoteric elements the band brings to the album definitely serves to set them apart somewhat. Though it would be nice to really hear them experiment with these further on future albums, rather than rely purely on the tried and tested to give a more satisfying backbone to the album.  

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