Cloak – Black Flame Eternal (Review)

Cloak - Black Flame EternalThis is the third album from US black metal band Cloak.

Cloak play black metal with melodic weight and malevolent guitars, yet do so with their own personality that betrays a healthy classic metal influence. Black Flame Eternal is a 49-minute journey into the band’s dark world.

The base of Black Flame Eternal consists of Swedish and Norwegian black metal. It’s important to note though that while Cloak may be influenced by acts like Watain, Satyricon, and Dissection, and share similar attributes, they also have their important differences. An obvious one would be the heavy metal aspect of their music. Black Flame Eternal is a merging of black and heavy metal, with an emphasis on the former that nonetheless feels an impact from the latter. In many of the riffs, structures, and vocal patterns heavy metal’s classic song-based influence can be felt, all within an infernal blackened framework.

Rich in dark atmosphere, the songs conjure affecting moods that spread their wings and soar to the Heavens above. There’s a streak of epic grandeur here that’s intoxicating in its execution. The music is well-crafted and professional, and is not lacking in clear passion and enthusiasm. Hooks are plentiful across the album, and Cloak strike a compelling balance between catchiness and atmosphere.

Black Flame Eternal is a strong and enjoyable album. On the surface of it you can hear the obvious influences, but as you get to know the album over time it becomes increasingly satisfying what Cloak have done with them, and how they have made them their own.

Very highly recommended.


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