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Eruption - Cloaks Of Oblivion

Cloaks Of Oblivion
by Daniel Stefanov at 20 May 2017, 10:08 AM

The first thing that strikes you about "Cloaks of Oblivion", even before the music has begun playing, is that ERUPTION have upped their cover art game significantly since their past two albums. "Lifeless Paradise" and "Tenses Collide" did not look bad, by any means, but "Cloaks of Oblivion", with its controlling crimson-hooded monstrosities, looks menacing and memorable. Once the album is playing, you will find that "menacing and memorable" is an overall theme of this release, not just an album art impression. ERUPTION have displayed substantial technical skills and command of the hard thrashing with their previous releases, however their current offering stands out with how complete and meaty it sounds. And while the fast grinders and screamers of "Lifeless Paradise" were great to head-bang to, "Cloaks of Oblivion" follows the path of "Tenses Collide" and gives the impression of a solid wall of sound that will pick you right up and won't drop you till the very end, while also being overall slower, deeper, more melodic and meaningful.

"Pharos" is a melodic intro that takes a slow and epic approach at easing you into the metal onslaught that is "Sanity Ascend". The singing is melodic and going into power metal territory at times. The song feels a bit experimental with its peculiar guitarwork, and may weird out someone expecting a simple thrash grinder, but once it settles, it leaves a good aftertaste. I personally do not whole-heartedly agree with how cymbals stand out at times, it feels like someone is tapping on your car window with a key, but overall the drums leave a good impression. "Cloaks of Oblivion" starts soft, dreamy and acoustic, a-la "United in Hate" by KREATOR, however unlike "Phantom Antichrist"'s jewel, the title song of ERUPTION's album transitions into a slow, heavy and rhythmic epic. The masterfully written lyrics speak of social dystopia, and fit Klemen's powerful voice perfectly. It's a memorable song with a strong mid-section, and a shy at first solo, that gains speed and confidence as it pours into the final verse.

"Drones" is off to a very strong start, and proceeds as strongly, making it one of the best songs of the album. Impressive guitar work and a tight rhythm section make "Drones" a song that can easily be replayed over and over again. Some coarser vocals would not hurt, as the song has the potential to carry a really angry singer.  "Reborn into Demise" starts off slower, and then has a few changes of heart of the tempo it would like to set. The song is even more reminiscent of the Bay Area thrash style than usual for this album, and sets a great example of what the whole album gravitates around. Strong drumming dominates this song, and I find its pounding command of the track to be exceptionally ear-pleasing.

"The Yearning" is another fast and heavy track, very similar to the previous one, however with a melodic twist and a brilliant solo. The problem with it is that it comes right after the six-minute ear assault that was "Reborn into Demise". Also, some lyrics, more meaningful than the generic "I am the starving demon" would have really helped the song establish itself instead of staying in the shadow of the previous track. "This Barren Existence" alternates soft and melodic segments with slow heavy ones, that truly underline the theme of desperation and impending doom. As the song gains momentum, the intensity is overwhelming and masterfully expressed, both in music and lyrics. For some reason the song reminds me of KING DIAMOND’s “So Sad” and PINK FLOYD’s “Hey You”, while it has nothing in common with either of them musically. But the atmosphere of despair at the hands of grim destiny that you have no control over, is there, and is strong. "Seven Archons" is a fast, riff-dominated thrasher with a huge melodic chorus that turns this song into a headbanging epic of the next level. Definitely my favorite track on the album, "Seven Archons" easily earns its place on any melo-thrash fan's daily shuffle. "The Prophet" is seven minutes of narration-like singing over generic riffs and an alternating rhythm section, unfortunately ending this good album on a low point for me.

All in all, "Cloaks of Oblivion" is a very solid album, showing that Eruption were serious about the transition from rough fast headbanging grinders in "Lifeless Paradise" into heavy-set hard pounding epics, through "Tenses Collide" and beyond. Will they stay on that road? Nobody knows. Should they? That's solely for you to say. The only potentially annoying aspects of the album, are the supposed insufficiency of fast and simple thrash songs, and the poorly managed momentum, which may tire out people towards the end - it is a hard lesson to create contrast between fast and hard, slow and heavy, and melodic or ballad songs. But it is one that every band should learn in order to not get the fans exhausted, especially since the same principle applies to live shows, where crowd energy and interest have to be carefully balanced. But all thing considered, ERUPTION have shown so much talent, promise and strive for identity across their releases, that I am confident whichever path they take in the future, they will make a solid name for themselves, just like their album currently is doing.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 7
Memorability: 7
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Pharos
2. Sanity Ascend
3. Cloaks of Oblivion
4. Drones
5. Reborn into Demise
6. The Yearning
7. This Barren Existence
8. Seven Archons
9. The Prophet
Nika Krmelj - Bass
Ivan "Tegla" Cepanec - Drums
Grega Kamenšek - Guitars
Klemen "Buco" Kalin - Vocals
Andrej Čuk - Guitars
Record Label: Xtreem Music


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Edited 03 December 2022

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