Bands: Cloak, Kult of the Wizard
Releases: Succumb, The White Wizard
Labels: Transylvanian Tapes, Independent
The second instalment of my nifty demo roundup is going up a bit sooner than I was expecting. Need to wrap my ears around a couple of albums a few more times before dropping some reviews for them. This time, being featured is Cloak and Kult of the Wizard.
Cloak – Succumb
This US 4 piece dropped their debut release, the demo Succumb in March this year which I happened across during a spree of bandcamp link clicking I did. Their label, Transylvanian Tapes, calls them Bay Area Black/Death Metal Punks and quite honestly this is pretty damn accurate for a marketing claim with the band churning a more death leaning black/death sound through an almost crust/hardcore punk filter. The opening track, Tank vs Tank, shows off the punk influence the most, with a stripped back DIY death metal sound sharing space with punk riffs and C’s hardcore-esque vocal style similar to what one would find in a later Mammoth Grinder release (which she keeps throughout all 4 tracks, aside from some almost gurgles during the last track, Purgation). Succumb naturally flickers between black/death sections – Purgation’s intro riffs actually bring to mind Portal with how swarming and churning they sound – and more punky sections – again, Purgation is a good example here, with the aforementioned section leading into a grimey punk section. Everything is always covered with a DIY level of grime, and it’s pretty great. The 18 min demo is up on bandcamp for Name Your Price and I highly recommend for anyone desiring grimy, punky black/death.
Kult of the Wizard – The White Wizard
I’m cheating a bit here, since this release is technically an EP but, fuck it. Kult of the Wizard are a US doom metal band with heavy drone-y influences. The White Wizard is their third EP, the other two being The Red Wizard and The Blue Wizard (I’m sensing a theme here..) and is a fairly meaty affair for an EP – the 5 tracks here bring the album to just under 30 minutes – but that’s expected with this sort of droning doom metal. Tusk of the Mammoth brings the drone right out of the gates, with droning chords and drawn out vocals dominating most of the track.
The second track shows off Kult’s more crunchy, stoner doom elements, with crunching bass and groovy swagger in the guitars and drumming, and Mahle’s vocals are more in your face than on the opening track. The third track feels a tad strange following Olde Fashioned Black Magick with its almost 4 minutes of a distorted monologue sample, but it fits in the overall occult vibe the EP gives off.
The last two tracks here combine the droning of the first track and groovy swagger of the second and the combination of both sounds pretty damn cool. The main hindrance here for these tracks is their 7:30 minute lengths, but anyone who hasn’t been put off by the inclusion of drone here will find the female fronted occult doom really quite solid and Kult of the Wizard certainly seem to avoid popular band wagoning within this genre; The White Wizard sounds sincere in its presentation and, again, for Name Your Price on bandcamp this comes with my recommendation.