Review

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

Album · 2017 · Black Metal
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4.5/5 ·
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.
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bartosso wrote:
7 days ago
I agree with everything you guys have said so far :) Mories' stuff, and Cloak especially, often receives polarized feedback. I guess it might be because it's not true enough for black metal fans and too extreme for most avant metal fans. Who's left? Well, some random people, like me and Jonas ^^
UMUR wrote:
7 days ago
Well...it is pretty extreme...and I mean extreme beyond what even "regular" extreme metal fans are used to, and pretty inaccesible too.
adg211288 wrote:
8 days ago
I sampled some earlier work of this project a little while back, but I couldn't get into it. It strikes me as something only a niche audience is going to 'get'.
UMUR wrote:
8 days ago
Mories is a sick and twisted genius...his music is so disturbingly dark and eerie, that it can´t be faked. This guy understands the very essense of darkness.

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