Published Jul 22, 2015Few bands embody their names as beautifully as Australia's Hope Drone. Combining the bleak loveliness of post-black metal with the oceanic majesty of doom, Cloak of Ash is a massive effort, intensely ambitious for a debut full-length.
Opening with a huge, 20-minute epic track "Unending Grey," there is nothing about the album that is understated or subtle; it can be delicate, in the flowing and seaweed-like textures of that opening track, and build slowly, like the eerily organic drumming of "The Chords That Thrum Beneath The Earth." But there is always a grandness to it, a sense of vast and enveloping vision. The vocals have a wonderfully anguished too-muchness to them, always on the rawest and most ragged edge, and the songs tend towards huge, elliptical structures that recall Isis.
It reaches towards the overwhelming but is never overwrought or indulgent; perfect for when you don't want to wallow but could benefit from some therapeutic weeping. (Relapse)