Cloak: '2 Hits From Hell'
'London Dungeon' b/w 'Forever Burned' roar with darkness
Whether taken at face value for its haunting subtlety or as an earnest gimmick, Cloak’s “2 Hits from Hell” 7-inch pays serious homage to the Misfits. From the cover art and title, both references to Glenn Danzig and Co.’s 1981 EP 3 Hits from Hell, to the blackened metal cover of “London Dungeon,” this single is testimony to the Atlanta band’s burgeoning greatness. The moment the needle sinks into the record’s deep black grooves, singer and guitarist Scott Taysom dials back the vocal melody while honing in on a mid-tempo rhythm. The song is a natural fit for Cloak’s Southern gothic style. Here, the group reaches beyond the loud/soft dynamic that guided its 2017 debut LP To Venomous Depths (Season of Mist) to embrace a measured sound. Cloak’s vision of “London Dungeon” is accessible, but never at the expense of the original song’s grit, or of Cloak’s ability to turn this horror punk classic into something new. When Taysom sings the opening lyrics, “They call us walking corpses, unholy living dead,” his exquisitely throaty growl conjures images of corpse-painted ghouls, rather than the famous fiends and monsters and of Danzig’s baritone yowl. A demo version of “Forever Burned,” a deep cut from To Venomous Depths, appears on the B side, underscoring Cloak’s faith in black metal. When unleashed from the album, however, the song’s stripped-down and slow-burning fury is a welcome look into the process behind the intricate riffing and scorched rhythms that draw power from atmosphere and texture. ★★★☆☆
★★★★★ This album will change your life | ★★★★☆ A truly great album | ★★★☆☆ A solid effort, worth a listen | ★★☆☆☆ No thanks | ★☆☆☆☆ Don't bother