Before I begin the review, I want to mention I have two reviews of albums by Escape the Clouds. One is Circumnavigator, reviewed here, the other is Until the End. The latter will be reviewed on my German Steampunk blog. If you do not read German, there is a short note at the bottom of the Circumnavigator review, and this review starts now:
Escape the Clouds, a steampunk music project headed by Mark Rossmore, has created a very varied, danceable, rather electronic album. Three good things in one go. Even if electronic music is not your cup of tea, Circumnavigator is well worth a listen. Every song tells a story and all stories combine to create a picture of Escape the Clouds‘ version of a steampunked earth. There are even instrumental pieces in between to help the picture Circumnavigator conjures mature.
The range of styles is also broad, ranging from battle chants to rap. I was particularly enchanted by Steam-Powered Samurai. The first time ever I have encountered something steampunk-related not coming out of Japan concerning itself with the Land of the Rising Sun. In Your Sleep is another jewel. A song about a Romanov turned mad inventor, how bizarre!
The bonus material is also quite a treat. It expands the tale told by the songs and gives some background on some of the protagonists, like Captain Morena. Mark Rossmore has created a multimedia steampunk tale.
So, Circumnavigator for its ingenuity alone is an album no Steampunk should miss out on. It has its downsides, not every track is to my liking and the sound sometimes needs some fine tuning but this hardly diminishes my enjoyment.
Circumnavigator gets eight out of ten Zeppelins and a bonus Zeppelin for the excellent bonus material!
And about Until the End, the album I will review on my German blog: It is the one of the two I liked better, so you can imagine its ranking even without reading the review.