Released: 2015, Relapse Records
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
From my many musical exploits, I can safely say there is much good coming from the land down under. Enough to really put classics like Men at Work to shame. And putting Australia on the metal map again we have the fairly new Brisbane group Hope Drone, creating a kind of Atmospheric Post Black Metal that had me intrigued from the moment I turned the album on.
The group’s debut: CLOAK OF ASH isn’t something for the faint hearted. Opening track ‘Unending Grey’ clocks in at just over 20 minutes, so you must be ready for a long and hard journey into the realms of black metal music once you pick this album up. And what a journey it sends you on. The opening made me think of space and the cosmos, before the droning began and made me shiver nicely. Imagine Altar of Plagues droning on about what could be out there.
Continuing the journey, we hike over the chord mountains of ‘Riverbeds Hewn in Marrow’ which personifies nature with humanity nicely. This album delivers nihilism at its most bleak and honest. ‘The World Inherited’ then delivers some melancholy and then attacks you with a raining barrage of sound like a raincloud full of nails and glass.
The next two tracks deliver some of the angriest atmospheric black metal I’ve heard in a while, and this album reminded me of why I fell deeply in love with this genre. There is no other genre I’m aware of that will take you to such a euphoria and make you feel lost in another world. No other such genre of music is capable of taking your pitiful soul and twisting it to feel like it is on another planet or another existence that will leave you feeling so warm and soothed inside. This album explains how you make people feel better through anger.
It also takes a nice wide array of influences from blackened doom and progressive metal with bits of DSBM here and there when the songs feel so upsetting. Australia has given the world of black metal a high hope for the immediate future and I feel pleased to have witnessed it first hand.
Review by Demitri Levantis