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Cloak - The Burning Dawn

The Burning Dawn
by Eric Poulin at 02 December 2019, 4:34 AM

CLOAK is a Black/Rock/Doom outfit based out of Atlanta, Georgia. The band was formed in 2013 (another band uses the same name out of San Francisco, California), and this is their second full length album entitled “The Burning Dawn”, that was released back on October 25th of 2019, through the Season of Mist record label. First off, I wasn’t familiar with the band’s early material, but I had heard of their performance earlier this year as a support act for 1349. The crowd responded positively to their slower-paced style of black metal, that has been described as black n’ roll. To me their style is a bit more on the doomier side at times (not so much the WITCHERY-style of the aforementioned genre) and definitely heavier than just a rock element.

The intro “March of the Adversary” has a very dark tone, almost in the MY DYING BRIDE vein of melancholy, filled with guitar melodies, piano and a 1990s Peaceville vibe. This dives into “The Cleansing Fire”, a much more thrashier piece than I expected to kick off the album. A comparison I will make here that stands for almost the entire album is that the music is similar to DISSECTION, yet slower in pace. There are are some slower bass portion and acoustic parts and the tempo speeds up halfway through the song (a pattern this band seems to enjoy a lot). The vocals sound like a mix between Jon Nodveidt (DISSECTION) and S.A.S de l'Argilière (MISANTHROPE). The overall feel of the song is very reminiscent of PARADISE LOST in the Draconian Times-period.

“A Voice in the Night” has a nice atmospheric intro with a guitar fade-in, followed by a heavier rhythm section, acoustic/clean guitars as a transition (another element that transcends this track on the album). The solo presented here is exceptionally loud in nature and is concluded by a powerful double bass outro. “Tempter's Call” picks things up a bit with its IRON MAIDEN inspired introduction and it feels much more black metal than the previous songs, it has choirs and an AGALLOCH aura when the song slows down in the middle part. There are some clean vocals but they don’t hinder the styling of the track and the acoustic finish sounds a bit like what SENTENCED were known for back in the mid-90's.

“Into the Storm” has a pounding drum intro and a much more aggressive tone that should please fans of a certain “Storm of the Light’s Bane”. It contains by far the catchiest and most memorable pre-chorus and chorus combination so far on the album. “Lifeless Silence” is creepy number with piano and guitars that follow the same melodies. The drums are at the forefront here and really pound through all the other instruments. The chorus in how it is presented is very simple, yet also easy to remember (I had it in my head an hour after completing the album). There are some whispering effects used in the vocals as well to add a dark undertone.

“The Fire, the Faith, the Void” is an instrumental piece that has a bit of Hammond organ effects and more a Viking style in the guitar parts, it is a catchy song even though it is not a very long one. There is a smidge of a gothic side to the song that brought me back to the glory days of MOONSPELL. “On Poisoned Ground” is about as straight-forward as this band can be, in your face from the very first notes, a lot of fast picking, this is the juggernaut number that should make fans of MIDNIGHT happy, as it has the intensity and the memorability that is necessary in this popular style of black metal.

“Where the Horrors Thrive” ends the album with the longest track, being over 9 minutes, yet it flows extremely well, to the point I never realized the song was longer than the previous ones. There are some groovy bass lines (a great side to this band by the way), some energetic drumming and a myriad of tempo changes that adds a nice flavor and concludes with a lot of raw emotion.

The album exceeded my expectations as I thought this would be a standard black n’ roll record. It uses a lot of different influences from the 1990's Doom era, the start of Melodic Black Metal and traditional metal. All of their inspirations mix well together to make an album that flows perfectly, even when the structures sound similar, the songs all have their own personality and style. For sure, these guys will be a big time player in the years to come!

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 7
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. March of the Adversary
2. The Cleansing Fire
3. A Voice in the Night
4. Tempter's Call
5. Into the Storm
6. Lifeless Silence
7. The Fire, the Faith, the Void
8. On Poisoned Ground
9. Where the Horrors Thrive
Sean Bruneau - Drums
Max Brigham - Guitars
Scott Taysom - Guitars, Vocals
Billy Robinson - Bass
Record Label: Season of Mist


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