Should black metal (even melodic black metal) ever be described as palatable? Probably not, but that’s a fair summation of Cloak’s sophomore release, The Burning Dawn, which provides plenty of thrills but in the context of black metal, they’re as threatening as The Backstreet Boys slathered in corpse-paint.
Before you move on with your life after just one sentence and one less than glowing comparison, please note that Cloak are anything but a bunch of pop-pricks daubed in black metal paraphernalia. Instead, they are a band who skirt the periphery of black meal (their riffs are chilly but they’re not frost-bitten) while also dabbling with all things gothic and all things traditionally heavy metal.
The result is an album that is accessible, catchy and……discernibly palatable! Which is not an insult.
What we’re saying is you do not have to be a forest-dwelling, church-burning, black metal fanatic to appreciate Cloak’s particular brand of melodic malevolence. In fact, you need only be a lover of heavy metal with a tolerance for a raspy vocal to seek satisfaction from this solid release.
Cloak are a band who deliver well executed, relatively mid-paced rock ‘n fuckin’ roll with raspy vocals providing the blackened element. As indicated, black metal, in its purest and most recognisable form, The Burning Dawn most certainly is not.
If that sounds abhorrent to you, do not proceed! However, those of us who enjoy the work of Tribulation and their ilk should heartily embrace Cloak’s efforts. 7/10