“The Sobiet Union” by Cloth is a concept album of sorts built around prog rock with some other influences sprinkled in. It’s a very ambitious album and when it works, it really soars.
“Dovetails” opens up the album with heavy guitars and powerful drums opening up for occasional bluesy riffs. The riff and energy of the A section is good and the music in the B section is quite good too but the change to it is extremely abrupt without any development which makes it feel like separate songs that were crammed together rather than evolving into it. This continues on throughout the song, interesting well-constructed parts but without any way to glue them together.
“Cold Eyes” is based around a great arpeggiated guitar part that is supplemented by fantastic drumming that evolves and propels the song throughout moving from subtle rim clicks to heavier grooves. The vocal harmonies work quite nicely in the choruses, but some of the solo lines lack the edge that the guitars, bass and drums are bringing. Still, the guitar solo is well thought out and executed bringing the song into its outro quite nicely.
“Blind Ambition” moves from an up-tempo rocker to a slower groove with a descending bass line. Here, the transition is accomplished well, moving and transitioning into the new groove seamlessly. The bass has some nice moments during the breakdown after the first guitar solo (which comes in very loud). The second guitar solo fits into the dynamic space better and explores some interesting places.
“Unity” begins with acoustic guitar arpeggios rapidly finding their way through chords before the electric guitars and bass drop in with the drums moving to more of a nu-metal feel. The chorus is very catchy and has some neat echoes in the vocals. The song is book-ended by the return of the fingerpicked acoustic guitar, but at the end is supplemented with electric guitar melodies on top of it.
“Slave Of Strings” opens with jazzy seventh and diminished chords before moving into a math-rock groove. The song is humorous, questioning the singer’s relationship to the guitar before displaying some nimble melodies and riffs. The real star here though, however, is the drummer showing off some fantastic supportive flourishes and really driving the song.
“Tranquil Turbulence” is a classical finger style acoustic guitar instrumental that as the title suggests moves between peace and drama. It’s a nice interlude, though it goes on a bit long when just cycling through chords without a melody.
“The Machine” combines head banging rock with a southern-influenced riff. The fusion works, though towards the middle there is a new section that is again abruptly introduced and it feels like an awkward transition.
The title track closes the album with prog rock guitars influenced by a non-speed-metal version of System Of A Down. The vocals move between nu-metal and Minutemen-like spoken parts. Again, the smashing together of sections without development or transition happens several times throughout the song. It’s a tactic that can work sometimes, but for an eight-and-a-half- minute song is a bit demanding.
Overall, the album could be trimmed down. Every song goes on pretty long and without always adding something new to the melody, harmony, feel or sonic sphere. Finding some more concise ways to get the point across could really help each section shine even more.
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