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Cloud Rat - Threshold review




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Reviewer:
7.5

20 users:
6.75
Band: Cloud Rat
Album: Threshold
Release date: October 2022


01. Aluminum Branches
02. The Color Of A Dog
03. Inner Controller (Lucid Running Home)
04. Cusp
05. 12-22-09
06. Listening Ear
07. Shepherd
08. Imaging Order
09. Persocom
10. Porcelain Boat
11. Kaleidoscope
12. Ribbon Boot
13. Corset
14. Ursitory
15. Babahaz


Threshold is the fifth release by the unconventional grindcore trio from Michigan, Cloud Rat. Yes, that's right, Cloud Rat. Now don't be fooled by the band being named after a furry, fluffy little animal, because this band is far from soft. With Threshold they show us that grindcore needn't be all about pushing the limits of brutal madness, but rather about creating quality yet aggressive music on an album with a much shorter running time than a modern-day Iron Maiden song.

Now earlier I described this trio as unconventional. Well, what I really mean to say is that Cloud Rat aren't just your typical grindcore band: bringing forth a relentless barrage of repetitive breakneck riffs and furiously insane drumming beats, seemingly flowing in a set motion for the listener to headbang their way into a coma, with a songwriting pattern that can be described only as a rebellious hatred towards everything and everyone. Instead, this trio has taken a more refined approach, and they delve deeper into the emotional, and sometimes spiritual, aspects of things - like, for instance, their previous release, Pollinator, where the lyrical themes were in some ways more profound and meaningful, with their songwriting almost focusing on the spiritual aspects of things. Threshold isn't much different in that regard.

Threshold begins its formation in much the same aggressive manner as Pollinator, with their typical furious yet groovy riffing and slightly complex drumming taking centrestage, and that sheer aggressiveness and ferocity carry on through to the end. It also goes without saying that I've always been a sucker for Madison's harsh aggressive vocals, and here on Threshold her vocals are as powerful as ever, she manages to bring a unique and emotional rawness that recalls the old-school punk vibe and certainly plays a huge part in the overall performance of the band.

Now the structure isn't just plain and simple, especially when considering the fact that this is grindcore; it's typically jam-packed with irregular rhythmic patterns and tempo changes throughout, as is the case with most of their previous albums. However, where Threshold tends to differ most from Pollinator is in the production, where it seems as if the band has taken a backwards step, opting for a much rawer and edgier sound quality, much like the sound used on their earlier records. This would suggest a return to that slightly more blackened approach, notably used on their most critically acclaimed album, Moksha. And I have to say this worked very well for them in the past, and does so again here, as it gives off a much more aggressive and punchier sound and style.

Interestingly, despite nine of the fifteen tracks on here being under the two-minute mark, they manage to make every track sound different from one to the next, each with a different riff melody and structural approach. The riffs certainly come in abundance, containing no shortage of groove at all. The flow of the album seems to run so effortlessly, with every track smoothly coming together, whilst they never once lift their finger off the trigger in so allowing all that relentless aggressive energy to constantly burst through, and with the longest track, "Babahaz", being only three minutes in length, this album may fly through your eardrums like a speeding missile, but a memorable missile at that.

Now, my metalhead friends, go off and enjoy a bit of quality unconventional grindcore from a band conveniently named after a cute furry little animal; they may surprise you.


Rating breakdown
Performance: 8
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 7
Production: 7





Written on 15.10.2022 by And well there you have it.


Comments

Comments: 12   Visited by: 81 users
16.10.2022 - 00:41
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Andy, you're the first person I see calling rats cute. Have you seen a rat?
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Do you think if the heart keeps on shrinking
One day there will be no heart at all?
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16.10.2022 - 01:20
F3ynman2000
Nocturnal Bro
I haven't found a grindcore album that I've enjoyed, but your review got me intrigued. I'll go check it out.
Congrats on the front page debut!
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16.10.2022 - 01:24
Rating: 7
AndyMetalFreak
A Nice Guy
Written by RaduP on 16.10.2022 at 00:41

Andy, you're the first person I see calling rats cute. Have you seen a rat?

Maybe it's just me, but I find all little furry creatures to be kinda cute
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16.10.2022 - 01:28
Rating: 7
AndyMetalFreak
A Nice Guy
Written by F3ynman2000 on 16.10.2022 at 01:20

I haven't found a grindcore album that I've enjoyed, but your review got me intrigued. I'll go check it out.
Congrats on the front page debut!

Grindcore can definitely be an acquired taste, but you might want to check Cloud Rat out, maybe you will like them.

Congrats to you too by the way
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16.10.2022 - 15:29
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Written by AndyMetalFreak on 16.10.2022 at 01:24

Written by RaduP on 16.10.2022 at 00:41

Andy, you're the first person I see calling rats cute. Have you seen a rat?

Maybe it's just me, but I find all little furry creatures to be kinda cute

Go tell that to a 14th century peasant in Europe
----
Do you think if the heart keeps on shrinking
One day there will be no heart at all?
Loading...
16.10.2022 - 16:17
Rating: 7
AndyMetalFreak
A Nice Guy
Written by RaduP on 16.10.2022 at 15:29

Go tell that to a 14th century peasant in Europe

Although they maybe cute in my eyes, they are still responsible for millions of deaths, so that's not good at all but these one's live up in the clouds far from civilisation, so hopefully they won't be harming anyone
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16.10.2022 - 16:36
Rating: 7
musclassia

Rats can definitely be cute, I've known a couple of people with pet rats and they were sweet enough. Cloud Rat are a bit too violently noisy to be cute, but they're on the more listenable side of the grindcore spectrum. Well done on your first front page review!
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16.10.2022 - 16:54
Rating: 7
AndyMetalFreak
A Nice Guy
Written by musclassia on 16.10.2022 at 16:36

Rats can definitely be cute, I've known a couple of people with pet rats and they were sweet enough. Cloud Rat are a bit too violently noisy to be cute, but they're on the more listenable side of the grindcore spectrum. Well done on your first front page review!

Thanks I agree they are one of the easier listeners in grindcore, if there is such thing as easy listening involved in grindcore that is.
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16.10.2022 - 19:19
Bad English
Tage Westerlund
Not my band, but some songs are ok. Good review man
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Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
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16.10.2022 - 20:15
Rating: 7
AndyMetalFreak
A Nice Guy
Written by Bad English on 16.10.2022 at 19:19

Not my band, but some songs are ok. Good review man

Thanks
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17.10.2022 - 12:33
nikarg
Mod
Nice one, Andy, welcome to the first page!
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17.10.2022 - 14:22
Rating: 7
AndyMetalFreak
A Nice Guy
Written by nikarg on 17.10.2022 at 12:33

Nice one, Andy, welcome to the first page!

Thanks, I appreciate it
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