It was sometime in April when I went to my very first live show in Philadelphia with the main purpose to see my favorite band that is Inter Arma. I was immensely excited to see them and knew I’d have a great time with other bands like Integrity and Full of Hell the two big names that were attached to the show, Devil Master as the exciting opening act, and one band I had never heard before: Cloak. They went on before Inter Arma so they had my utmost attention. Surprisingly, they blew me away. The moment they left the stage I told myself I’d check them out because they sounded so go, but due to pure laziness and forgetfulness, I never did until today. Seeing they have a new album, where better to start? In no small shortage, I’m glad I went to that show now more than ever because Cloak is a name whose sound I’ve been needing so much more of in my life!
There’s not much about this album that I wasn’t pretty excited about before going into it with that single previous experience with Cloak still in my head, that immaculate cover art, and the very sound of the style itself making me excited just thinking about it! But, that doesn’t always guarantee greatness, as we all know. Fortunately, though, Cloak rises well above and beyond the challenge with “The Burning Dawn” in every form as it’s with each and every track that we’re greeted with here is some of the best the fusion of black and heavy metal has ever given us. It’s not exactly a niche style, but we don’t get to see it very often and it’s clear after just a single spin of “The Burning Dawn” that Cloak should be considered one of the modern front-runners of the style if they aren’t already. If one track doesn’t bring an absolutely scathing collection of devilish melodies then it’s the next that picks up the slack to make a track that quickly becomes an earworm of an entirely different caliber, and Cloak makes it such that it doesn’t go away even a little bit until you’ve listened to the song possibly dozens of times. The whole of this album is infectious on a level that so many bands wish they could achieve, but it’s from this incredibly talented act on what’s just their second full-length work. That truly blows my fucking mind. If they achieved such magnificence on just their second offering, imagine what later works will sound like! But, until then, it’s with “The Burning Dawn” that we’ve truly been spoiled, and if this isn’t hailed as one of the most intriguing works of the year when we roll over in January, then that is a true crime upon all good music.
The concept of this album is so simple but so challenging in execution that it’s not surprising to see so few bands in such a promising style, and that makes Cloak’s success here all the more special if you ask me. They had an absolute mountain to overcome when penning this record, but they fucking smashed it at every turn as if it was nothing and it’s in every single track that we can see just how stupendously talented these guys are right down to the core. I said it once and I’ll say it again a little differently: if “The Burning Dawn” is just the tip of what Cloak is capable of, I feel fully confident in saying we may be looking at a new modern legend in the making.
LISTEN to “The Burning Dawn” on Bandcamp here.
LIKE Cloak on Facebook here.