CLOAK OF ALTERING
Black Metal • Netherlands

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Cloak of Altering is an avant-garde black metal project founded in Drachten, Friesland by Mories, the founder and only member of Gnaw Their Tongues, De Magia Veterum and other projects. The project combines discordant sounds of avant-garde black metal with elaborate harmonies and industrial electronica.

Formed in 1996 as Ophiuchus, before changing name to Cloak of Altering in 2011. The project is signed to Crucial Blast Records.

..::bio by bartosso, edited on 30-09-2014::..
Thanks to bartosso for the addition

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ManifestationManifestation
Crucial Blast 2015
Audio CD$10.76
$9.17 (used)
Plague BeastsPlague Beasts
Crucial Blast 2014
Audio CD$10.47
$5.94 (used)
Night Comes Illuminated With DeathNight Comes Illuminated With Death
Import
Human Jigsaw 2011
Audio CD$5.49
$4.07 (used)
Manifestation by Cloak of Altering (2015-08-03)Manifestation by Cloak of Altering (2015-08-03)
Crucial Blast
Audio CD$40.35
Plague Beasts by Cloak of Altering (2014-04-29)Plague Beasts by Cloak of Altering (2014-04-29)
Crucial Blast
Audio CD$41.00
The Night Comes Illuminated With Death by Cloak Of AlteringThe Night Comes Illuminated With Death by Cloak Of Altering
Human Jigsaw
Audio CD$35.43
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CLOAK OF ALTERING Discography

CLOAK OF ALTERING albums / top albums

.. Album Cover 4.25 | 2 ratings
The Night Comes Illuminated with Death
Black Metal 2011
.. Album Cover 4.50 | 1 ratings
Ancient Paths Through Timeless Voids
Black Metal 2012
.. Album Cover 4.00 | 3 ratings
Plague Beasts
Black Metal 2014
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Manifestation
Black Metal 2015
.. Album Cover 4.50 | 1 ratings
I Reached For The Light That Drowned In Your Mouth
Black Metal 2017

CLOAK OF ALTERING EPs & splits

.. Album Cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
None
Black Metal 2013

CLOAK OF ALTERING live albums

CLOAK OF ALTERING demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

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CLOAK OF ALTERING Reviews

CLOAK OF ALTERING I Reached For The Light That Drowned In Your Mouth

Album · 2017 · Black Metal
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bartosso
Finding one voice

Following the evolution of Mories throughout the years is all the more fascinating on the grounds of his self-imposed obscurity. It's a man driven by a force I wouldn't even dare naming, a musician prolific to the point where it's almost scary. With a talent like that, he could have been big by now, had he been interested in appealing to a larger audience. And yet, the force he's driven by seems to be absolutely and irrevocably self-centered. You and I do not belong in this universe. Listening to Mories channel his demons is like watching a black hole swallow a star - all you can do is look, speechless, and only by keeping a safe distance it is actually possible to catch a faint, terrifying glimpse of what is happening.

I Reached For The Light That Drowned In Your Mouth might be a slightly, ummm, weird name for a black metal record, but this is where Mories finds a single voice for all of his disparate alter egos. Now that I think of this project in hindsight, I feel like it might have been its purpose all along. We know Mories as the twisted mastermind of the ambient-noise oriented Gnaw Their Tongues, where he's at his filthiest and most terrifying. De Magia Veterum is Mories in his primal form, where his seemingly chaotic black metal reaches the heights of technical prowess and structural forward thinking. The latest Seirom album, on the other hand, is where, despite the underlying sense of unease, Mories finds a key to the blissful and gentle. It’s his only truly uplifting and truly non-metal project I know of (Apart from Aderlating, maybe?), but he’s all there with all of his hair-raising relentlessness. And while Cloak of Altering sounds like none of the above, it is, in a way, a fusion of them all.

Seirom’s latest is actually the key to understanding the difference between the new Cloak and the old ones. Founded upon ashes of a discontinued Mories project, Ophiuchus, Cloak of Altering began and continued as an exercise in blurring the seams between the organic and synthetic. This premise, combined with Mories’ insatiable fascination with Swans-esque noise, drone and his tight, exalted songwriting, resulted in a project that felt both extremely experimental and driven by emotion. There’s a sense of neurotic urgency to anything Mories does and the new CoA album is no exception. The mood is set within the first 20 seconds with abrasive guitar harmonies heralding the imminent apocalypse. Or maybe howling in memory of one that already happened. This is also the point where the comparison with Seirom becomes inevitable. Cloak of Altering has always felt abstract concept-wise, but its mood was more easily definable. Even though it’s still the same sound, more or less, themes and moods of all the above mentioned projects are fused into one abstract nightmare. Much like Seirom, IRFtLTDiYM feels eerily celestial in a weirdly intimate way. While Seirom’s darkness was implicit, however, the CoA’s latest is outright unsettling, keeping pace with its predecessors. If a celestial being that left paradise to find rest in death were to give its final account of the unfathomable, this would be the way to tell the story.

While a black metal project at heart, Cloak of Altering both solidifies and deconstructs the genre, venturing into territories that not only black metal has barely explored, but music in general rarely dares to go to. With its closest relatives being acts like Jute Gyte and Wold, Cloak of Altering remains thoroughly unique. The last offering from the one-man band might not be as inventive and forward-thinking as some of its predecessors, but it does feel like a natural step forward in Mories' artistic evolution. It’s a complete, fully realized vision of something that eludes comprehension, an unfiltered stream of existential horror expressed on a record from one of the most unique avant-garde metal acts in existence.

CLOAK OF ALTERING Plague Beasts

Album · 2014 · Black Metal
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bartosso
Altering Forever

True artists are restless, insatiable, always looking for modes of expression that would satisfy nobody else but themselves. Not us, mind you. You're just a guest, a spectator of this eternal struggle between artist and his creation. Ahhh, and Mories. Those who came across this man know exactly how unwelcoming he can be. Plague Beasts, third full-length record under the aegis of Cloak of Altering, is another experimental record that catches Mories fusing his diverse styles into one whole. And as usual, it's very well done.

Not as well as it used to be, though. Two previous records presented Cloak of Altering as a well blended combination of black metal, industrial electronica, classical and noise. Plague Beasts consists of pretty much the same ingredients, with a stronger emphasis put on electronic and noise aspects of the music. If you're familiar with the band and its black metal roots are known to you, you can easily trace them. It may not be so obvious to newcomers, though. For the most part Mories' songwriting is as strong as ever. Unrelenting, polyphonic assault of devilish tremolos, ominous symphonic synthesizers and seemingly chaotic syncopation suck you into a whirlwind of beautiful insanity. You can actually see the genuine passion put into this music as it bleeds out of your ears. Still, as much as I hate track-by-track approach, I have to say "Ash666urA" and "Into Celestial Hell", due to their more straightforwardly noisy character, feel a little uninspired in comparison with the rest of the album.

Plague Beasts is another step in CoA's exploration of the unique blend of avant-garde black metal and electronica known from previous releases. While it's easier to mark out individual sound elements this time round, it still is a strangely consistent, yet in parts flawed, record. Recommendable to metal and electronica fans with a weakness for a full-on approach, Cloak Altering latest album is another quality release from the enfant terrible of experimental underground.

CLOAK OF ALTERING Plague Beasts

Album · 2014 · Black Metal
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UMUR
"Plague Beasts" is the 3rd full-length studio album by Dutch avant garde/experimental extreme metal act Cloak of Altering. The album was released through Crucial Blast Records in April 2014. Cloak of Altering is a one-man project featuring Mories of Gnaw Their Tongues, De Magia Veterum, Aderlating..etc. Mories is one of the more prolific artists in the more experimental/avant garde part of the extreme metal scene. He normally works alone and is usually responsible for playing all instruments, singing, and producing, which is also the case on "Plague Beasts".

Stylistically the music on "Plague Beasts" is a noisy, experimental, and at times quite avant garde take on extreme metal. Somewhere in the background and usually buried beneath layers of noise effects, tortured screaming vocals, and other absurdities, there is a black metal foundation. On this album Mories completely distorts that foundation by clipping the tracks and sampling them. Speeding them up, slowing them down, adding electronic effects, and just twisting them into something they weren´t from the get go. An approach not terribly different from the approach to making music that Whourkr are known for. Wold is another artist that comes to mind.

As always Mories succeeds in creating a repugnant, eerie, dark, and claustrophobic atmosphere, that reeks of putrefaction and creates images of dreadful torture chambers or people being buried alive. No light will ever shine. His affection for early Swans and especially Abruptum is still apparent, like it is in most of his work/projects, but he always manages to twist his influences into something that´s distinctly his own.

"Plague Beasts" is anything but an easy listen. It´s often very unpleasant on the ears, it´s noisy, distorted, and the way the sound production is constructed the recognisable metal elements are often buried and obscured in the mix. On purpose of course and as a consequence they are that more effectful when allowed to be dominant in the mix. Mories is as brilliant a producer as he is musican, and therefore can make such a layered and noisy sound production work. So while "Plague Beasts" can be a bit of a trial to get through (and it´s only 37:13 minutes long) because of the incredibly busy and noisy soundscape and the furious intensity level, it´s a brilliant release if you adjust your expectations to what you´ll be exposed to when listening to the album. Expect to leave the listening session with your ears ringing, your blood frozen in your veins, and a tortured confused look in your eyes and you´re halfway there. A 4 star (80%) rating is deserved.

CLOAK OF ALTERING None

EP · 2013 · Black Metal
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bartosso
Title? There's none...

I may be repeating myself, but Mories de Jong doesn't cease to amaze me. I've already hailed him the god of madness, a prophet of misanthropy and google only knows who else. I just can't help it. Every single release from this man is a goblet of boiling individuality, messing with your reasoning, rending your heart and warping your perception of metal as one of the last thriving branches on the withering tree we call "contemporary music".

None is yet another step towards the unsettling eclecticism that has already been Cloak's hallmark since the debut album. Once again, dissonant and chaotic black metal blends seamlessly with IDM, breakcore, noise and the dark grandeur of modern classical music. Mories takes the chaos of disharmony (along with our good interval friend, "Diabolus in Musica") and combines it with soulful, unsettling and layered harmonies. In a word, Mories goes where his passion takes him, blends together seemingly incompatible elements and makes them work perfectly. As for a comparison between "None" and Cloak's previous albums... "None" is tad less sinister yet even more psychedelic, mostly due to a bigger share of noise and synth experimentation. There's also more air and polarized emotional charge in the songwriting with black metal element being less prominent.

In an interview, Mories once stated that at this stage of his life he can't see traditional composition and harmony as parts of his musical path. He chooses a different way than the one of De Magia Veterum or Deathspell Omega, though. Instead of plunging into disharmony entirely, Cloak of Altering blurs the borders between tonal and atonal, between organic and electronic, as if he wanted us to ask ourselves "Are there any rules?". Well, there are none.

CLOAK OF ALTERING Ancient Paths Through Timeless Voids

Album · 2012 · Black Metal
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bartosso
Nocturne of the void

How? How did he do that, for random chance's sake? Mories pulled off four quality albums with two different projects within two years but somehow he doesn't seem to be out of creative inspiration. Quite the opposite. His last observation, ANCIENT PATHS THROUGH TIMELESS VOIDS, is the second Cloak of Altering album and while it draws on similar ideas the debut did, it pushes the envelope in almost every way. While I still prefer the first album, I can't help but love this... unsettling nightmare.

Compared to THE NIGHT COMES ILLUMINATED WITH DEATH, the new record is a little bit more chaotic composition-wise and hence more similar to De Magia Veterum. Still, Cloak of Altering is first and foremost about creating unique atmospheres. That's exactly what we experience here. While the debut was a poetic depiction of cosmic apocalypse, ANCIENT PATHS THROUGH TIMELESS VOIDS sounds like a frantic soundtrack to its aftermath. Everything from clever electronica and overpowering black metal tremolos to rasping shrieks is here on purpose and contributes to the music's unique character. Speaking of electronica, Mories deserves a big round of applause for the way he redefined his - already original - approach to digital sounds. It's dark, intriguing and adds a whole new dimension to the music.

While I can safely recommend this album to fans of avant-garde black metal in the vein of Deathspell Omega and Blut aus Nord, I'm deeply convinced that despite being more popular, these bands are simply no match for Mories and his visionary Cloak of Altering. I'm not just impressed by this sensational project, I'm deeply moved.

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