Stratus, Cumulus, Cirrus, Nimbus, etc. This band covers them all. Going by the name of He Films The Clouds, this five-piece unit has been hard at work since their formation a few years back. Picking up from their home of Riverside in California, they’re prepared to let their music rain across the world.
They’re very talented and it shows through their ability to seamlessly blend styles on a high level. Primarily, they deliver a Progressive Metal sound but they don’t seem to shy away from experimenting in other directions as well. Anything from laid back electronics to ruthless blastbeats and beyond are possible here.
All of this and more shows on the band’s debut album by the name of “As I Live And Breathe”. This record saw the light of day with its release about a month back. Boasting 16 tracks, there’s no shortage of content and replay value to be found here.
The title of this LP is appropriate considering it’s practically the musical equivalent to a lungful of clean air. It may not exactly break into new territory but it’s a beautiful, crisp, stirring listening experience.
From the very opening, it’s clear that the listener is in for a trip while approaching “As I Live And Breathe”. Press “play” and see for yourself.
Instrumentally, this album is impressive. As mentioned before, experimentation is a large part of their style. They’ll transition from the heights of beautiful clean guitar melodies to the pulverizing depths of heaviness and cover just about everything in between. The sound seems to have an almost video game like quality at times as if it was designed to push a narrative. And, in a way, it does just that.
This album is filled to the brim with powerful emotions and one would assume there’s a story behind it. That’s meant on both an instrumental and a vocal level. While I’ll admit I’m not the biggest fan of the clean vocals, it’s hard to deny the feeling within them. Every single member of this band brings something essential to the table with some very vibey playing. This is a cohesive group of musicians and it should be interesting to watch them grow into the future.
But, for now, there’s plenty of quality content exhibited on this LP. Tracks like “Permacoma” and “Crater” are infectious. There are insane mathcore moments on “Janus Complex” and “Nimbus”. There’s raw emotional delivery on “Life” (featuring Zedadiah Martinez of So This Is Suffering). And it’s hard not to fall for the beautiful swells of “Nobody” bringing the audience to a breathtaking closer and title track “As I Live And Breathe” (featuring Chaney Crabb of Entheos). Every track has it’s place and they all add up to a great listening experience.
I don’t have too many criticisms of this record. As stated before, I’m not particularly a fan of the high pitched, post-hardcore-esque singing but the emotion and ability is definitely there. That’s also completely subjective. I’m sure some people will like it quite a bit. Another criticism would be that the band wears their influences on their sleeves. They do have original moments given the frequent variation but they’ve yet to nail a sound to call their own. There’s plenty of room for evolution here. However, what they do, they do admirably.
In conclusion, He Films The Clouds did a great job in constructing their debut full-length. That’s not an easy feat to accomplish so kudos for that! It’s not perfect but sets the stage with much potential. This is a wonderful group of musicians and the future is looking bright.
If you’d like to give the goods a listen for yourself, check out the links provided up above. Also, keep in mind that the album is available for streaming in full and purchase over on Bandcamp! If you enjoy the sounds, go ahead and show this band some love as they forge ahead in their musical career! Any and all support is well deserved.