(HEAVY FRIENDS is the segment where Robby highlights the latest and greatest in the worlds of underground and sometimes/sorta mainstream worlds of heavy music.)
It's been a minute since I've done this segment, but what better way to make a comeback than with the release of a new Cloudkicker record?! If you're unfortunately not too familiar with the band, it is the musical project coming from the insanely creative mind of Columbus, Ohio's Ben Sharp, playing guitars and bass while accompanied by drummer Adam Castle. They play a style of instrumental progressive metal that never gets dull, monotonous or boring like some other acts in the technical side of metal can get. Albums like Beacons and The Discovery are consistently interesting onslaughts of progressive metal music that I just can't get enough of.
After going in a more subdued, ambient direction with last year's double release of Let Yourself Be Huge and Loop, Sharp is back at a relatively more heavy direction on his newest release, Fade. But what separates this from Cloudkicker's other heavier outings is that this is decidedly more mid-paced and introspective, not hitting you over the head with technicality from every single direction. In fact I see a much stronger influence from the worlds of post-rock and post-metal, I even heard someone describe this as a "proggy version of old Isis", and I can definitely see the comparison. If any of this peaks your interest, then stream the entire album below as well as the rest of Cloudkicker's discography via Bandcamp!
(For more metalhead fanboyisms, be sure to hit up Robby on Twitter @ClydeNut)