“In the Darkness, the Path” introduces the listener to the band’s gothic tinged black metal world with catchy later Darkthrone inspired rock oriented riffs against a melodic backdrop of subtle melancholy. The raw production quality helps add some extra edge to the guitars against the thicker, duller bass presence, as well as adds a bit of a chaotic sensation when the heavily echoed vocals kick in. Some of the riffs present, like around three-and-a-half minutes in, will remind listeners of mid-career Cradle of Filth, which isn’t a bad thing given the gothic rock vibe coming from the guitar solo. Meanwhile “The Hunger” casts you into a different direction, taking you in more of a rockabilly world with a blackened touch. There’s a distinct surfer vibe from much of the performance that rids the absolute seriousness for more of a fun, yet dismal offering with a commanding ritualistic drum beat about half-way through that will get your head bobbing along obediently.
Cloak‘s self-titled EP is definitely an interesting one. Between nods to the aforementioned acts down to being unable to shake simple atmospheric tones of Satyricon‘s hard rock fortitude, Type O Negative‘s depression, and early H.I.M.‘s gothic undertones, Cloak presents thirteen minutes of refreshing material that is both hard-hitting and catchy to say the very least. Given their initial demo had such a limited run, it’s great to be able to have this new version available for those looking for something a little off the beaten path of the style. Cloak‘s official debut is easily one of the most professional sounding releases, and shows a group that has a clear direction in mind while already leaving the listener wanting to experience more than just two songs into their career.