Some bands are very easy to pigeon hole. They decide very early on what they want to do with their genre of choice and they stick to it. There is nothing wrong with that, some bands are happy to find their lane and stay there. Cloud Rat are not one of those bands. For a decade, Cloud Rat have been taking the blueprint of extreme music and building their own thing. Each of their previous releases adds more ingredients to the already eclectic Cloud Rat sound and Pollinator takes that approach even further.
Indeed, their latest offering Pollinator turns out to be a very odd mutant of an album. It could loosely be classed as grindcore as it ticks a few of that genre’s boxes, but to just think of this as a grindcore album really misses the point of it by quite some way. There are huge chucks of crust punk, the odd bit of death metal and huge swathes of black metal in there too. Each one of the album’s fourteen tracks are a gloriously chaotic mix of whatever the band feel is needed creating music that is both harrowing and life affirming. Ultimately what you are left with is probably one of the best extreme metal albums you are likely to hear this year, by a band with their hearts on their sleeves happily following their own path.
However, it doesn’t stop there. Along with Pollinator the band have also released Do Not Let Me Off The Cliff, an EP of their more experimental work. Containing more melodic and electronic material, it provides a beautifully dark companion piece to the album showcasing a band clearly willing to push themselves as far as they can. Pollinator is a must of course, but for the complete effect however, you do really need to hear both to appreciate the full scope of the band.
Pollinator and Do Not Let Me Off The Cliff are both released on 13th September via Arttofact Records and can be purchased here.
Words: Nathan Tyler