• cloak of altering Manifestation (CD, £11.25)

    label: Crucial Blast Records

    One of many alter-egos of the notorious Dutch industrial black metal outfit Gnaw Their Tongues, Cloak of Altering returns to deliver the followup to the maniacal 2014 album Plague Beasts, unleashing yet another brain-scrambling blast of mutated symphonic black metal, nightmarish breakcore madness and hellish electronics fused together into a sweat-soaked, chrome-plated nightmare. Compared to previous works, the seven-song Manifestation is a slightly less chaotic monstrosity, giving these blackened maelstroms added room to breathe, but the cumulative assault continues to thoroughly scorch the listener. The sound is still rooted in a bizarre confluence of synth-drenched black metal, skewed industrial heaviness and fractured Planet Mu-esque electronic music, seemingly as informed by the hallucinatory throes of early Coil and the violent breakcore of Bong-Ra and Venetian Snares as it is by classic Nordic black metal. Strange contrapuntal riffs weave drunkenly amid crackling electronic glitch and eerie drones. Mournful synthscapes unfold across glacial rhythms and distorted doom-laden dirges. Blasts of foul, industrialized death metal pummel erupt alongside ominous piano figures and swells of sickening orchestral dissonance. One notable difference from previous works are the vocals, which take form as a vile, guttural robotic croak—a sickeningly putrid android presence layered among the rest of the distant shrieks, anguished screams and chilling, garbled cries. As always, Cloak of Altering balances this electronically deformed madness with strikingly beautiful and majestically bleak melodic passages. Blasts of bombastic, heavily atmospheric synthesizer roar across songs like “Parasitic Altering Sickness” and “Hidden Celestial Deity.” An arresting, alien album, Manifestation violently mutates these strands of symphonic black metal DNA into a stranger and more complex strain of digital delirium. Track Listing 1. Manifestation 2. -3.003486962(6)+—10-66 3. Stretching Infinity 4. Cave Systems of the Outer Moons 5. Hidden Celestial Deity 6. Black Hole Cloaks 7. Parasitic Altering Sickness

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