I was first introduced to Cloud Rat when I came across their excellent self titled debut LP a few years ago and subsequently realized I had a missed an excellent free show they were playing in town a few nights prior. When I finally caught them live in a tiny storage space, it was obvious the band had already grown by leaps and bounds since the first LP had dropped. Moksha is the band's newest LP and again shows the band laying down their most sonically ambitious material to date.
For those unfamiliar with the band, Cloud Rat are a 3 piece grind outfit from Michigan playing punishing grindcore with nods to other extreme genres throughout. Moksha extends the idea of exploring other sounds and takes it further then they have before to great success. For a genre not normally known for much experimentation/breathing room, Cloud Rat does quite a bit in the name of forward thinking grind, from the crushing doom metal introduction of "Aroma" to the even more surprising and haunting acoustic introduction of album midpoint "Infinity Chasm". It's moments like these that show Cloud Rat is a band that is far from confined to one genre and sound, and moreover more then adept and taking on whatever sound they please. The production on this record also deserves a mention, maintaining the obviously raw nature of the music and still containing an incredible amount of clarity, and has an organic/warm quality to it that perfectly accompanies these songs.
While most of the time I have to be in a certain mood to listen to grind, Moksha is a record I have found myself constantly coming back to since I first started listening to it a few weeks ago. Very early in 2013 several outstanding releases have already come out, and Cloud Rat's Moksha is one that I have no doubt will turn many heads as the year moves forward. It's an ambitious step up from a band that has been quite prolific in it's 3 year existence, and brings with it much excitement for things to come. I would suggest everyone who's read this far into the review check out the free download link for the record that the band has graciously provided below, as well.
Purchase the physical LP via Halo Of Flies