THROUGH THE CLOUDS- Blinded Minds
In late 2018 Roxx Records silently dropped a beast of a melodic metal hard rock album by Through the Clouds. Not familiar you say? It was entitled Blinded Minds; perhaps you saw the lyric video? No? I thought not and I’m not quite sure why.
Powerful vocals with melody, grit and muscle; delivered by Paulo Lima (who has a voice somewhere between Graham Bonnet (Rainbow, UFO, Impellitteri, Alcatraz), Gary Barden (Michael Schenker Group) and early John Fogerty… there is video of him on YouTube performing an early Creedence Clearwater Revival track that is amazing). Lima’s performance on this recording is unbelievable, flat out.
The guitar histrionics of Tiago Souza tear it up one side and down the other. Souza previously has demonstrated his abilities on releases for Hand of Fire and Perpetual Paranoia. On this release there is no lack of sheer energy or will and Souza delivers another fantastic outing of six string wizardry.
The music from Through the Clouds has more in common with bands like Rainbow or Michael Schenker Group than Slayer or Slipknot. Deriving a sound that is full of melody with intensity however is not afraid to let us see a more reflective side. Tracks such as Wondering or Lost lean more in a bluesy direction which complement the albums harder material. "Unforgiven" is a fantastic bit of metal whimsy the will demand you hit the replay button often and endlessly, a killer riff and dynamite vocal which blows up and leaves you helpless. (Why wasn’t this released as a single???)
Album opener "Crossfire" does clock in a little long, but that really is due to the atmospheric introduction, the main lick and melody is infectious. You’ll find yourself humming the chorus to yourself often. The albums title track is another ear worm which will just stick with you, haunting and powerful. (Make sure you listen to the reprise at the end of the album).
If there is one drawback it’s the uneven production. There are three tracks that suffer from a differing drum sound and guitar tone. Perhaps they were recorded using different equipment or just at a different time, but the sound is uneven at that point. However the songs themselves ("Make Your Choice", "Better Way", and "Lost") are fantastic compositions which deserved better. This is a long distance project between Tiago (California, USA) and Paulo (Londrina, Brazil) which undoubtedly brought its own set of logistical issues.
None the less for fans of 70s & 80s Hard Rock, Metal (Rainbow, MSG, Uriah Heap) with a nice metallic sheen layered over the top, Through the Clouds is a must pick up. Here’s hoping that there is a second release and that perhaps this one finds its audience! Save my space at the stage front.