Morgion Cloaked by Ages, Crowned in Earth

Morgion are back with their first album in five years, and while its title sounds grand, its contents are magnificently subtle. Cloaked by Ages, Crowned in Earth opens softly, but within minutes it becomes clear that doom still propels the weight of the band’s mountainous metal. Despite that ferociousness the record’s tension comes from a sense that Morgion are always holding something back. Delicate acoustic guitar and soulfully lyrical vocals dominate every song. Whispers and sinister undercurrents of electricity inject the beauty with a dark tragedy, only occasionally and briefly pouring over into waves of cascading power. Even in its understatements the music here has a mythical quality that corresponds to the record’s name and the story its lyrics tell. The whole experience offers an immersion of the senses — demands it if nothing’s to be missed. Cloaked by Ages, Crowned in Earth isn’t a light listen and its strengths can easily slip past the inattentive; it’s an investment with slow but valuable returns. (Dark Symphonies)