Cloverseeds – The Opening

Progressive music fans can generally be classified into one of two categories: those who listen for the music and those who listen for the experience. While members of the former group won’t be very impressed by Cloverseeds’ The Opening, members of the latter will find that it is quite an excellent piece of work. It is an album that you will love if you’re a regular fan of its style, but don’t expect it to be one of those rare cross-genre wonders.

Cloverseeds plays progressive rock with a few elements of metal, and fans of Porcupine Tree and Riverside are apt to find something familiar in their sound. Tracks generally consist of simple dominating metal chord patterns with more complex underlying melodies. Instead of focusing on technical musicianship, each track of The Opening attempts to evoke a certain mood or feeling – and it does this quite well. Most tracks revolve around a central musical theme, but they manage to repeat themselves without feeling repetitive. Though the music is never too heavy or too relaxed, it still manages to span a wide range of musical styles, with tracks that are equal parts dark, calm, angry and passionate. It is vibrant with emotional quality, and the music is very refined – The Opening certainly has a high production quality, and the members of Cloverseeds know how to complement each other well.

That is, in fact, simultaneously The Opening‘s greatest strength and greatest weakness. The music and the vocals suit each other very well, and combine to create the emotional experience that is the album’s best quality, but at points the singing sounds a bit needling. This can probably be attributed to the fact that Ced is a French vocalist attempting to sing in English, but the criticism persists nonetheless. This is by no means a constant problem – much of the time the singing is fantastic, but there are points where it is slightly unpleasant. It should be said, though, that this probably comes down to a matter of personal preference. Appreciation of vocals varies from person to person – some will like his voice, some won’t. The best you can do is listen to the clip below and decide for yourself.

Ultimately, The Opening is very well made for what it is. While those who prefer more complex melodies won’t find it enthralling, it is clear that Cloverseeds’ musicians are quite talented, and the simple nature of the music is more of a stylistic choice than an indicator of poor musicianship. The Opening did not leave much of an impression on me, but what it did leave was quite positive. It is subdued but expressive, with little technicality but a lot of feeling.

Tracklist:

1. Over Camellia – 4:02
2. Fam(L)Ar – 4:53
3. Flowers – 6:18
4. Higher – 4:02
5. Brand New Day – 5:28
6. Calling Me Down – 3:51
7. The Opening – 6:01
8. For Those – 5:42
9. Enough – 4:55

Line-up:

* Cedric – Singer
* Christophe – Drums
* Stephane – Bass Guitar
* Pierre – Guitar
* Fabrice – Guitar

Links:

http://www.intromental.com/cloverseeds/

http://www.myspace.com/cloverseeds

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Nikola Savić is a prog enthusiast, blogger and author, in addition to being the founder of Prog Sphere, Progify, ProgLyrics and the ongoing Progstravaganza compilation series.

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