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Cloud Rat - Qliphoth (2015)
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Cloud Rat - Qliphoth (2015)

2-06-2015, 21:13
Music | Rock | Metal | Punk

Cloud Rat - Qliphoth (2015)

Artist: Cloud Rat
Title Of Album: Qliphoth
Year Of Release: 2015
Label: Cloud Rat
Genre: Hardcore Punk, Grindcore
Quality: 320 Kbps
Total Time: 40:09 min
Total Size: 101 MB


01. Seken
02. Botched
03. The Upper World
04. Raccoon
05. Daisies
06. Bloated Goat
07. Rusting Belt
08. Udder Dust
09. The Killing Horizon
10. The Boars Snout
11. Hermit Interstice
12. Live Wake
13. Thin Vein
14. Bolt Gun
15. Rouge Park
16. Friend Of The Court
17. Chrysalis

Cloud Rat have been tearing through hell for five years now. The Mount Pleasant, MI grind house is only on its third full length but is becoming a staple of the genre. J. Randall's Grindcore Karaoke did some wonders in feeding the band to the frequenting grind heads of the site, myself included, and has, in my opinion, stuck out as one of the strongest signings (though I do not believe GK actually owns anything they release or re-release). The strong slash, burn and somewhat schizophrenic nature of the band has nurtured them as something of a standout though, and not just because vocalist Madison Marshall could give Kat Katz a run for her money. Qliphoth brings heed a far-from-suspended state of discontent and feverish anger that the band is already strongly known for.

An album about the Kabbalah Qliphoth, which relate to “peels”, “shells” or “husks” which are representative to evil or impure spiritual forces. Or so I've read. Regardless, the title is likely taken as metaphor, and the album as a form of catharsis, as the Noisey interview with Marshall would suggest. The lyrical prowess the front-woman is known comes in full force, like a flamethrower to the face. Songs are steeped in frustration and rage, sometimes with added spoken sections that serve to enhance the vitriol. Marshall, known for her more poetic and symbolic approach to writing, pens some of her strongest work here, at times inciting something akin to what Sean Murphy of Verse might write (see, for instance, “Rusting Belt").

Instrumentally, Cloud Rat are at their strongest with Qliphoth. 2013's Moksha (another Kabbalic reference) was a seething trip of dizzying insanity, often times heavy and not afraid to get dirty. Qliphoth tightens the approach, sticking with a stronger focus on blasting and speed. The opener “Seken” takes little time to introduce itself with a bit of heavy static and some vocal harmony before peeling away with vicious abandon. It's here that listeners will notice the large cues taken from the hardcore/punk genre. By far and large, Qliphoth is the punkiest thing Cloud Rat have put out. The second track “Botched” is straight up old school. Even the recording quality brings this sound out.

Where Cloud Rat have really come to excel is exactly how they approach their songwriting. There are plenty of surprises and small twists to be had. The album is noisier, the drumming simply off the wall and the guitar parts sound like they're having more fun with the genre. There's small tweaks here and there that give songs distinctive flavor.

Melodically speaking Cloud Rat have brought out some exceptionally serendipitous pieces as well. The intro to “Bolt Gun” is floaty and relaxing until the band bring the hammer down. And even so, as the song goes on, the guitar keeps a harmony tied down, still distorted, still angry but not without some scenery. It's a testament to the brutally beautiful concept that I so hate to pen down but won't ignore when it's done with such grace. “Rouge Park” also offers a slick mix of blasts and melodies.

Cloud Rat may be peaking as far as writing goes but this may also be just the tip of the iceberg. Qliphoth serves up seventeen tracks of chaotic, artful grindy chunks that are nigh impossible to ignore. Not to mention they're also one of the most standout bands in the genre. With any luck they will continue to push the envelope for both themselves and for the genre and remain ever angry.

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