Armed Cloud -
Master Device & Slave Machines

(CD 2017, 56:52, Freya Records)

The tracks:
  1- Save Yourself(4:48)
  2- The Crack(4:54)
  3- Withered White(4:19)
  4- Mobocracy(4:23)
  5- Mirror Image(4:18)
  6- Warhead(8:15)
  7- The Cycle(5:07)
  8- King Lear(5:51)
  9- Dancing Spirit(10:10)
10- Ascension(4:46)

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Armed Cloud is a Dutch symphonic metal band which was founded in 2011 by Wouter van der Veen (guitar) and Boris Suvee (bass guitar). Four years later Armed Cloud released their debut album called Obsidian Desert (see review) and now you can enjoy their second full length studio album called Master Device & Slave Machine.

If you compare this new album with their previous one, than you will hear that Master Device & Slave Machine is much darker and heavier, but also more interesting and more diverse. Things that I noticed right from the start were the “rougher” and more aggressive vocals of Daan Dekkers and the excellent and sometimes brilliant guitar work of Wouter van der Veen. Especially the longer tracks like Warhead (8:15) and Danger Spirits ( 10:10) are real symphonic metal gems, featuring lots of tempo changes, almost brutal staccato riffs and hooks and breathtaking guitar solos. Other tracks like Mobocracy (rather catchy), The Cycle (a very aggressive, almost metal song), King Lear (fantastic vocals) and Mirror Mirage show an almost “other” musical side of the band, proving that these five Dutchmen know their stuff, as these songs are also accessible and packed with musical variation. Producer Christian Moos, who also worked with Delain, Haken and Everon, did an excellent job, making this album one of the best Dutch symphonic metal albums I have heard in a long time. A must for fans of bands like Alice In Chains and Stone Temple Pilots, check this album out and buy it at once; highly recommended indeed!!!

**** Martien Koolen (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)

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