From the darkest corners of humanity, Cloak is here to represent strength & empowerment within the black metal scene.
Atlanta-based gothic black metal clan Cloak is releasing their third record & follow up to 2019’s seminal “The Burning Dawn”.
“Black Flame Eternal” their third album is the band’s most reflective & sonically expensive to date.
Right from the album’s opener “Ethereal Fire” the track begins with huge bellowing drums & and the perfectly rich in-tone tremolo black metal style riffing.
As vocalist & guitarist Scott Taysom lets out a mighty yell this track is starting off right & in the most epic & grandiose fashion. The track gives little moments of clean guitar melody before using it as the track’s main rhythm & driving force. Picking up the pace again with enough menace to perfectly balance the melody & harshness of traditional black metal.
A great opening track that really showcases what the band has to offer on “Black Flame Eternal”.
The rock’n’roll swagger in the band shows when we hit the second track “With Fury and Allegiance”. Using the fury of classic black metal like Immortal & Dissection but when the chaos hits they sprinkle in the raw swag of bands like Danzig & Motorhead. That foot taping, headbanging nature of darker rock with that aforementioned black metal core sound. Creating something mesmerising & unique.
As the track hits its bridge section it has this slightly calm moment before again Taysom spits some great venom over the clean guitars giving it the nice balance of playful but dangerous.
By the third track “Shadowlands” it feels like they are firmly in their stride. Where this track feels the most gothic influenced it still holds a huge punch.
Drummer Sean Bruneau is firmly the heart of the track. His drums sound huge, punch snare, echoing crashes of cymbals & cannon like tom hits really give this track a huge sound that really plays to the bands strength, Without this drum tone & the bands overall intertwining sounds this album would fall flat.
Like bands Black Anvil & Tribulation, Cloak are able to do this sound really well. Due to the three prong attack from Taysom’s guitar playing, as well as second guitarist Max Brigham & bassist
Billy C. Robinson’s particular style of writing.
The layers from each member are so fresh & fun to hear. Where sometimes black metal based music can feel a little one dimensional here Cloaks overall sound is so diverse it really shows with some creative writing you can create something different. Even after multiple listens to the album I’m still hearing little guitar parts & leads I missed the first time. This album will be one to revisit often!
Now when we get to “Seven Thunders” this track feels like the band really let loose & gave it all. The opening is yet again another grand affair but it feels more primal & aggressive. This track is my favourite on the album. It still has the great melodic moments the band have to offer but within the track the band go fully hard & really push the darker elements of their sound. At the album’s midpoint it’s a nice way to break up the tracks. A nice blend of 00’s era Behemoth & Gorgoroth this track has its balls but also some beautiful lead work by Taysom & Brigham.
Title track & closing the album “Black Flame Eternal” really lives up to its name. An epic track that fits the title track mantel well. This track feels like a culmination of all the album’s elements within one track. Blasting blackened parts in the chorus, A nice traditional metal style verse section that feels like you’re riding into battle. At the halfway point the band break the track down for one last time as Brigham rips out his best solo lead of the album before the band rebuild & go out blasting hard, fast & pissed.
“Black Flame Eternal” has all the markings of a saga feeling album. It’s rich in aggression, beautiful melodies & is down right a sonic onslaught. Unlike most Cloak have been able to craft an album that feels like a journey & a cohesive vision. A truly epic in nature & powerful metal album.
Black Flame Eternal is out via Season of Mist on 26th May 2023