Cloudbreaker is a one-man instrumental djent project from Paisley, Scotland. As it’s come to be ypical for artists within the genre, Cloudbreaker mastermind Johnny Sallows prefers the term ‘progressive metal’, but his palm rests firmly in the string-muting position, as this video for the song “Nova” shows.
WATCH THE VIDEO BELOW:
Cloudbreaker cites TesseracT, Periphery, The Devin Townsend Project, Intervals, Novelists, and a number of more underground bands as influences. The ambiance and use of undistorted guitars in the ‘non-crunch’ parts lend definite credence to the mention of TesseracT.
Instrumental djent like this tends to fall into excessive restraint; Cloudbreaker wants people to kick up their feet and chill out, rather than groove or mosh. In the progressive metal coffee shop, Cloudbreaker serves it ‘djecaffinated’. This lack of aggression gives the subgenre a bad name among metal purists, but attracts new fans regardless. A tradeoff for sure, but some tension, some bite, and some danger would help to differentiate Cloudbreaker a bit more.
While Sallows might not have intended this, the lead refrain/motif bears a slight resemblance to “The Day That Never Comes” by Metallica. Another one of the song’s motifs recalls “Of Matter – Retrospect” by TesseracT. The chord progression around the 2-minute mark also sounds familiar, but to be fair, most chord progressions have been used many times. At least “Nova” has a chord progression, though. Most djent and other ‘chug-centric’ sub-genres do not bother with such considerations, so this would be where we see some potential for Cloudbreaker: the mere thought put into the musicality means this project and the man behind it are capable of great things.
FFO: TesseracT, Periphery, Intervals