Atlanta, Georgia-based blackened melodic death metal band Cloak are dropping their third full-length studio album Black Flame Eternal this Friday through Season Of Mist, and it’s more than worth a listen for fans of the genre.
The band have stated that Black Flame Eternal is meant to be a reflection of life, death, and the world in between — a look at their own spiritual philosophy, if you will. That comes across in not only the lyrical themes and imagery, but also the melodic power and sheer force of the songwriting on this record. On this release, the band truly prove introspective, clearly a bit less focused on just churning out the riffs and the hits and more focused on writing powerful songs and delving into deeper themes.
There’s also a stronger sense of brutality on this record, as the songs seem to hit even harder than they did on previous efforts. It is still melodic and catchy, but a little more punishing then before, which fans should definitely appreciate.
Back in 2019, the band released The Burning Dawn. Like many bands, COVID saw their touring cycle and tie together cut short, so as soon as they were able, they returned to both touring and writing full force, another thing that makes this album sound all the more meaningful.
“Invictus” is one of the thrashiest songs on the record, full of straightforward fury, while the track right before it titled “Shadowlands” is conversely one of the album’s most melodic offerings. “Eyes of the Abyss” is probably my favorite from the record, as it’s the song that’s most reminiscent of old school blackened death metal but with the signature Cloak sound that feels like you’re being engulfed by the guitar and drum tracks. “The Holy Dark” also is one of the most evil-sounding tracks, spewing chaotic black metal all the way through.
Those who already dig this band, and folks looking for an introduction to really solid blackened death metal, will find this record a refreshing take on the genre and a natural, but nonetheless powerful, continuation of the band’s sound.
Black Flame Eternal was recorded at The Green House. Mixing was handled by Cameron Webb, while the album was mastered at Audiosiege in Portland, Oregon. Cover artwork was designed by Jordan Barlow.
Cloak’s Black Flame Eternal is out May 26 via Season Of Mist.
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