Glass Cloud ‘The Royal Thousand’

Glass Cloud ‘The Royal Thousand’ (Basick Records 2012)

1. White Flag 2. If He Dies, He Dies 3. Falling In Style

4. Ivy and Wine 5. Prelude for a Ghost 6. All Along

7. She Is Well And Nothing Cane Be Ill

8. Counting Sheep 9. Memorandum 10. From May To Now

Produced, mixed & mastered by Johsua Travis

Jerry Roush – Vocals, Joshua Travis- Guitar,

Travis Sykes – Bass,┬áChad Hasty – Drums

I have to say, going into this album, I had pretty high expectations, mainly down to the fact that I am a big fan of Jerry Roush. He’s far from the greatest vocalist in the world, but his energy and ability to hook the listener in with his aggressive screams and spine-tingling, gritty melodies, especially with his stint in ever popular metalcore band, Sky Eats Airplane, had my attention from the first day I heard him. He is joined by guitarist, Josh Travis of extreme metal act, The Tony Danza Tapdance Experience, and Chad Hasty and Travis Sykes (of little known progressive band, The Escapist, who have been on hiatus for almost 3 years).

There seems to be a real musical bond between all these guys, and you can tell, even on the first spin of debut album, The Royal Thousand. With the unpredictability of Josh’s 8-string chugging, to the complex rhythms and vocal switches, the album really stands out, especially considering it is their debut effort (granted they are experienced in other bands, however, despite them only being together for a short time, they are insanely tight). This whole experience is a breath of fresh air and something that I personally have been crying out for, for a long time.

Opening track, “White Flag” sets the mood perfectly, with a somewhat bouncy, fast tempo riff and a nice mix of screams and cleans. You can tell immediately that Jerry’s vocals have improved tremendously since his short stint with Of Mice and Men. In saying that though, after watching a live video of the bands attempt at track number 2, “If He Dies, He Dies”, he seems to be writing vocal lines that are far too hard for him to pull off in a live setting, however, this review isn’t about their live performances. The high gritty vocals add a nice contrasting touch to the low tuned chaotic sound of the guitars. The pace continues throughout the first few tracks, keeping things flowing nicely onto my favourite song on the album, “Ivy & Wine”. The opening riff is almost preparing you for the wild chugging triplets and picky, almost non-sensical, but elegant riffs. The melodic chorus and following 2 minutes have a sort of atmospheric feel, leading into a prelude track which sets up beautifully for track number 6, “All Along”. The instrumentals felt Misery Signals-esque to me and features more of the scream/clean vocal mix that Jerry is known for.

“She Is Well And Nothing Can Be Ill” is probably the stand out track as far as vocals go. Probably the best I’ve heard Jerry sound in a long time, while the guitars lend more melody this time around, only really focusing on the chugging opens as a backing rhythm rather than at the forefront. “Counting Sheep” brings the heavier side of the band back out. I can imagine this being played in rock bars/clubs if I’m honest. I can see why they released it as their first single (along with opening track White Flag). “Memorandum” and final track “From May To Now” take us down a strange path of unpredictability. Both sound quite sinister, with quick rhythm changes despite a steady pace, lots of interchanging vocals and some downright eerie guitar parts.

In fact, unpredictable is probably the best way to describe this whole album. At times it seems like there is far too much going on, but I can say, despite being slightly confused at points, I was never bored listening to it. If you’re a fan of the other bands associated with Glass Cloud, or even just a fan of both the extreme and progressive sides of metal, then you won’t be bored either.

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