Armed Cloud is a symphonic metal band from Nijmegen, NL. The five-piece has gone through quite an evolution. After the release of the debut EP in 2012, the band played many shows and festivals in prestigious venues. The first full-length album was released in 2015 and was met with very positive reviews. Its follow-up was released in late 2017, to critical acclaim.
The sound of Armed Cloud is that of a live band. Even though the majority of the songs are written by keyboardist Remco van der Veen, Armed Cloud really sounds like the sum of its parts. The music is characterised by deep grooves, in-your-face riffage, catchy melodies, and thoughtful lyrics, where each instrument gets to shine, while keeping the focus on the song at all times. Their energy is raw, and their live performance is energetic to the point where it pulls in the audience, and invites it to headbang along to the rhythms.
The band was founded by guitarist Wouter van der Veen and bassist Boris Suvee in 2011. The line-up was formed in 2013, featuring keyboardist Remco van der Veen, vocalist Daan Dekker, and drummer Rico Noijen. With already an EP and participation in a compilation album under their belt, the first result of their joint musicianship and camaraderie was an album, called ‘Obsidian Desert’, released in May 2015. With production done by Christian ‘Moschus’ Moos (Delain, Haken, Luca Turilli’s Rhapsody), and a magnificent artwork by the late, great Sandor Kwiatkowski (Clepsydra), the album received numerous positive reviews in Fireworks Magazine, Aardschok, Streetclip.tv, Sea of Tranquility, and many more. The resulting success has brought the five-piece to many places, including an appearance on the esteemed ProgPower Europe festival; gigs in renowned venues like De Boerderij, De Groene Engel, and W2; a sold-out album release show in Willemeen; and finally a brief stint across the border, playing in Germany.
The second album, called ‘Master Device & Slave Machines’, was released in November 2017 after a very successful crowdfunding campaign. The best way to compare the new sound is to the likes of Fates Warning, Korn, Avenged Sevenfold, Rainbow, and Savatage, and every combination thereof. The album was once again mixed and produced by Christian ‘Moschus’ Moos, with artwork by the talented Rob Walden, and it was released through Freya Records. The album was presented in a nearly sold out Merleyn (Doornroosje). The band is currently presenting the new album across many stages and venues, playing live as much as they can to harvest new souls for the Master Device. What followed was a stream of positive reviews and a successful Dutch club tour that encompassed venues like Willemeen, dB’s, De Boerderij, Estrado and Popei. The trek also saw the band played a unique and intimate acoustic set for the first time ever.
Autumn 2018 marked a change in the line-up of Armed Cloud. Guitarist and co-founder Wouter van der Veen chose to leave the band in pursuit of other musical endeavours in the jazz-scene. After several auditions, Kay Bouten was introduced as the new guitar player of Armed Cloud. Bouten, a multi-instrumentalist who was formerly active in prog, jazz and punk bands, adds a new dimension to the band’s sound with his gritty, punchy distortion, spacy clean guitar sound, and his virtuosic solos. Together, the band is gearing up towards the future… and the next studio project.
Armed Cloud is a metal band first and foremost. Their music is accessible and knows a lot of variation. Their songs show influences from many other musical genres, including grunge, prog, and at times even pop. Their energy is best witnessed in a live setting, where a lively and energetic show is sure to capture the hearts of even those unsympathetic to the genre. With the new album, Armed Cloud has become even more intense, be it the wailing and shredding on the fretboard, the pounding of the bass, the gritty and powerful vocals, the ethereal and otherworldly layers of keyboards, or the melodic and unstoppable drums… they bring a powerful message packaged with music that is bound to shudder the unwary.