Cloak Thyself in Burning Night with Bloodspell


Looks like it’s gonna be a rippin’ year for raw black metal, buddy.

From where I’m standing (sitting on the couch, actually) it looks like the underground geist of the current zeit is alarmistly aligned to put black metal in a corner. Regardless, the lightless and loveless spaces between the stars have aligned on This Year of Our Nonesuch, Two Thousand and Nineteen, to deliver wave after wave of tantalizing black metal. For those of you who don’t read or have abused your short-term memories with alcohol and the like, a recap:

We have already reveled in the raw Victorian chops of Enon Chapel. We’ve already been dazzled by the raw atmospherics of Ringarë. We’ve already been wooed by the raw, un-romantic vampiricism of Akasha and been taken down a peg or two by the raw downpeggery of Funereal Presence. And now we’re about to be devoured raw by the bloody spell of Bloodspell.


Cloaked in Burning Night is this mysterious American band’s debut, and as far as raw black metal debuts go, this one is very much better than just okay, boys. This one does absolutely nothing new — and absolutely everything right. We should be rippin’ this album right now, buddy. It’s the kind of album that, for fans of the genre, immediately clicks. Nothing to puzzle over, nothing to complain about — nothing to do but jam (without moving or emoting, of course, as is the black metal way).


We should be rippin’ this crumble-fuck distortion, boys. We should be rippin’ these four-on-the-floor-of-your-parents’-basement beats, boys. We should be rippin’ the dismal sloth of “Somniferum” and the feral urgency of “Chained to the Lychgate”. In fact, we should be literally chained to the lychgate, buddy. We should be rippin’ these neck-snappin’ trash blasts all night, boys.

Time out. Have you ever heard a more apt song title than “Prostrate in Mute Agony”? Why, I was prostrate in mute agony just the other day. Most of Monday, in fact, and well into Tuesday brunch. And conveniently enough, prostrate in mute agony is the best way to enjoy this effervescently enjoyable collection of tracks. Shut up, lie down, and suffer. It’s a short and sweet one, boys, and it’ll leave you plenty of time in the rest of your day to gape absently into the unappetizing blur where your future never was (buddy).

Comparisons could be drawn between what Bloodspell is cooking and France’s Les Legiones Noires collective or the modern Portuguese raw scene (I forget the name). The primary difference being that Bloodspell is not afraid of the lower frequencies, so that Cloaked in Burning Night doesn’t so much hiss out of your speakers as rip them to shreds on the way out. I’d say more, but if you’re smart and/or efficacious then you skipped past all this gibberish* and straight to the Bandcamp embed to decide for yourself. Doubtless you are not even reading this sentence as you rip the album’s desultory synth and plucked-string outro and go right back to the beginning to rip it all again.

(*The obnoxious nature of this “review” is due in large part to the fact that I have been binge-watching Letterkenny and now the lexical idiosyncrasies of the hockey players are stuck in my craw.)

Simply put:


Cloaked in Burning Night was released by Caligari Records on March 8th, 2019. For those of you who are familiar with this tastemaker label, you know that means you have to buy the fucking cassette if you want a digital download. Hopefully Caligari will make a separate digital download available once the tapes run out…?



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