Cloak of Altering, The Night Comes Illuminated with Death - Review

I posted the announcement of this release just a while back, but now that I've had the chance to give it a good listen, I'm reviewing it.

As I said before, this is the project of Mories (from Gnaw Their Tongues and De Magia Veterum, among others), who has chosen to resurrect the work he did as Ophiuchus in the late 90s. It is described as experimental, symphonic black metal, tinged with some electronic industrial sounds. That is certainly an apt descriptor, in this case, as it tells you exactly what you're going to hear. While fusing these fairly distinctive sounds, the album is still relatively straight-forward. 

Black metal is the foundation of the music, and a great foundation it is; the riffs are frenetic and played with a high level of ferocity, and some are quite memorable. For example, the simple yet infectious riff that pokes its head out about halfway through the second track, "Cloak of Altering" is grand, as is the opening riff to "The Lustful Far├žade of the Madrigals" and in conjunction with the guitar leads (which, throughout the album, are very, very good), they provide the album a majesty it might otherwise lack.

Mories is well known for incorporating a good deal of noise into his works, and that certainly doesn't lack here, but it sometimes feels likes the noise is either unintended or beside the point. At times, there is just too much going on; while the industrial samples do give an experimental edge to the album, they sometimes overwhelm the rest of the music and feel a bit out of place. Most of the time, though, they're very fitting and well-placed, and on the final track, "Golden Radiation Fills the Void" the industrial experimentation pays off in a big way, closing the album in very impressive fashion.

All in all, this is a very solid, enjoyable album, and while it's not groundbreaking, I certainly look forward to Mories doing more with this project, as it some of the more impressive non-GTT stuff I've heard him record. It's not out yet, but you can preorder it now from Human Jigsaw.

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