Whenever black metal and rock ‘n’ roll are mentioned in the same line, one immediately thinks of the style that either Satyricon has crafted, or the punkish, Motörhead-fuelled style of Darkthrone. But Cloak presents a rather different take on the fusion of these two genres on their debut full length, To Venomous Depths.
With the band citing cult black metal acts such as Dissection as their main influences, it isn’t surprising to find their style familiar right from the start. Opener To Venomous Depths/Where No Light Shines, with the dissonant chords and that infusion of rock vibes, quickly brings to mind the recent works of bands like Watain, especially of Lawless Darkness. That being my favourite release of Watain, this certainly marked a great start in getting acquainted with Cloak.
But Cloak is more than just another Dissection/Watain clone. As the album progresses, the comparisons to Watain‘s works slowly moves towards that of the style that bands like Tribulation or Morbus Chron has created instead on their more recent works. This especially so as the mood becomes increasingly darker, and the emotions that the band emanates gets more melancholic.
Songs like Beyond the Veil for instance, would have easily fit into The Children of the Night with ease, with the uncanny resemblance not only in the song structure, but also the riffs, down to even the vocals of Scott Taysom who bears rather strong similarities to Johannes (of Tribulation). The rock ‘n’ roll vibe on this track is especially helped by the basslines of Matt Scott, with hooks made all the more addictive with the clean guitars during the soft interlude on the track.
Perhaps the only gripe that I have with To Venomous Depths is the production quality of the album, where at times there seems to be clipping that slightly affected the enjoyment of the album. Other than that, the record is sufficiently raw to bring across the emotions that have gone into the writing of the album, while retaining that rather modern sound to keep listeners engaged.
Cloak‘s debut is an excellent album that is fun to listen to, and showcases their influences proudly on their sleeves. Every track contains slick licks that draws the listener in, and the perfect balance between the different genres that have gone into the mixing cauldron results in an album that has something for everyone. And with To Venomous Depths, there is finally a black ‘n’ roll album that I could really go back to time and again.
Favourite tracks: To Venomous Depths/Where No Light Shines, Beyond the Veil, Deep Red