I listened to French band CloverSeeds' sophomore album The Opening over two very cold days. It's still Fall (by the calendar) in central Pennsylvania, but we've been gripped in a persistent cold spell more characteristic of late January. Yesterday was frigid and sunny, today frigid and overcast. Both days, but more so the latter, fit the mood of Cloverseeds' The Opening. This progressive rock work is bleak and melancholy, nearly dark, in character either fitting the unsettled French sullenness or the aforementioned winter character.
However, at first spin, listening to opening tracks Over Camellia and Fam(l)ar, I though I was listening to a post-grunge version of melodic progressive rock. They have a weighty introspective character ground out with heavy riffs. Flowers seems no different. Even songs like Higher and Brand New Day might which could suggest some brighter, more uplifting, moments, are characteristically somber. Higher is probably the heaviest song on the album. And towards the latter third, Brand New Day begins to bring some brightness to The Opening. CloverSeeds most compelling music may come from Calling Me Down to the closing Enough. The music within these songs is less foreboding, more hopeful and brilliant.).
While there seems a contrast, even conflict, of darkness and light, be assured that CloverSeeds spares little in terms of musicianship and production. If when heavy or melancholy this is exceptional prog, and the production nears audiophile quality. Recommended if like Porcupine Tree, Anathema, or even Riverside (although this band is quite brighter than Cloverseeds.
While mostly melancholy, nearly bleak, in character, CloverSeeds' progressive rock on The Opening is marked by impressive creativity and sound musicianship.
Resolve marks the return of Allentown's Mindmaze, after a three year hiatus from the studio. Their third album offers a new and stable line up with new drummer Mark Bennett assisting bassist Rich ... [ Read More ]