CloverSeeds is a fairly young French progressive rock band with a very modern sound. The band started in 2004 and after two EP's, their first full-length album Innocence was released in 2009 on a minor French label. While still promoting their debut this enjoyable band released a follow-up called The Opening. CloverSeeds has been influenced by bands like Tool, Riverside, Porcupine Tree, Anathema, Pink Floyd and Muse, so it's obvious that their music has nothing to do with the sound of the prog rock bands from the seventies. They musically mix traces of the aforementioned bands with hints of modern and alternative rock resulting in an amazing sounding album. It was a bit hard to find the names of the band members, but according to their website, the band consists of: Caedric (vocals), Pierre and Fabrice (guitars), Staephane (bass) and Christophe (drums). The album has been produced by Chris Sheldon who already achieved a reputation with his productions for Oceansize, Therapy and Foo Fighters.
When I started listening, first thing that caught my ear was the wonderful song Over Camellia. This is a beautiful track with a vocal part that kept spinning in my head. The vocals slightly reminded me of the Swedish band Eleven Pictures that made some nice albums in the nineties. Well, starting with a highlight is very promising for the remainder of the album. Fam(l)ar opens dark and atmospheric; the relaxed vocals take you on a trip towards the heavy guitars that put their stamp on the song and building to a climax. After this just close your eyes and let Caedric lead you to higher places in Flowers. His mesmerizing and emotional voice impressed me a lot. A whining guitar, a rolling bass and percussive drums lead you to the heavier piece Higher with a fine guitar solo. Drums and vocals open Brand New Day, a slow song that showcases the high standard of the compositions CloverSeeds write. The middle-section contains an outburst of energy that slows down to relaxation again. Calling Me Down contains some adventurous drumming, but also that majestic, smooth but emotional voice of Caedric. The title track The Opening is a kind of an epic with a fine bass pattern leading to a powerful middle-section and some guitar sounds and solos towards the finale of the song. For Those sounds rather familiar to me. Pain Of Salvation must have been one of the influences of Caedric, regarding his vocal lines and the combination of soft singing and heavy growls. For Those is a powerful song containing enchanting instrumental bits. The final song Enough is atmospheric and dark. In this modern sounding composition you once more get the chance to enjoy the vocal qualities of Caedric, but let's not forget the instrumentalists for they make this album really worth buying.
Sometimes you get a first impression of an album just by looking at the cover. However, in the case of CloverSeeds, I have to admit that I was terribly wrong. Just by watching it I would have said: this is death metal. But no, CloverSeeds is a wonderful band creating a dark and intelligent atmosphere. Everything sounds coherent on the album with great instrumentalists and an exceptional good singer. Their progressive and atmospheric rock combined with modern accents is a promise for the future. It's just bad luck that I never got the chance to listen to their previous album...
****+ Pedro Bekkers (edited by Peter Willemsen)
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