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CLOVER SEEDS
www.myspace.com/cloverseeds
Give or take the odd band, France is a country that's never had a rich history of reputable and/or prolific rock/metal acts. Turn to the underground, however, and there's a plethora of notable acts, particularly in recent years. Akphaezya is the last French band I heard that genuinely grabbed my attention, primarily due to their thoroughly innovative approach to the genre. And here we have Clover Seeds, who are progressive in a different sense, combining a dark metal atmosphere with prog rock influences such as Porcupine Tree, Tool, Muse, The Mars Volta, and Anathema, but the music on 'The Opening' grabs my attention as much as when I first heard Akphaezya. A follow up to 2009's debut full length 'Innocence', this is actually the first occasion I've had to sample the delights of Clover Seeds but it's a positive first experience. Pretentious journalists might label this as post-rock, or even post-prog, but let's not con ourselves with insufficient, empty genre terms, for this bunch of Frenchmen wear their influences on their sleeves, although do manage to weave them into a fairly original whole. Take, for example, 'For Those' and 'Higher' where there are perceivable Riverside undertones in each composition (and it's no surprise to discover that the Polish prog favourites feature in the album's thanks list), but they take that influence and encase it in well composed, original song structures rather than simply rehashing and aping antecedent styles. Sure, Clover Seeds' music could be read as mere pastiche, but the songwriting is of such a high quality that it never feels like they're mimicking those who have influenced their style. And vocalist Ced has one of those infectiously expressive voices where he's able to accentuate and embellish the atmosphere engendered by the music as he sings with a smooth tone la Vincent Cavanagh and Mariusz Duda but is able to rock it up with an effective gruffer delivery as and when the mood suits. Overall, an impressive second album from a band who are most worthy of your attention.
LABEL:
FORMAT:
The Laser's Edge
Album
THE OPENING
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Review by Mark Holmes
RUNNING TIME:
45:12
RELEASE DATE:
17th January 2011
TRACK LISTING
1) Over Camellia
2) Familiar
3) Flowers
4) Higher
5) Brand New Day
6) Calling Me Down
7) The Opening
8) For Those?
9) Enough
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
France
"...Clover Seeds' music could be read as mere pastiche, but the songwriting is of such a high quality that it never feels like they're mimicking those who have influenced their style."
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