Cloak of Altering
Category: Experimental / Black Metal
Blurb: Dutch artist Mories redefines the meaning of “controlled chaos” with an intricate and imaginative blend of heavy rhythms, erratic time signatures, and haunting sounds that stick in the listener’s mind.
In 2015, Maurice De Jong – otherwise known by his stage name Mories – released his fourth album Manifestation under one of his projects, Cloak of Altering, once again flexing his artistic muscles and remaining unafraid to take his compositions into more profound depths and dimensions, and his releases have continued to transcend many boundaries in the world of black metal. Manifestation delves deeper into a hypnagogic and turbulent world of sound and effects, and it’s the way that he arranges all of the musical elements of his songs together that sets Mories apart from many other composers. He boldly steers his inspirations towards more experimental and unpredictable directions, twisting and turning melodies and giving them constantly morphing life.
Manifestation begins with the self-titled intro track “Manisfestation,” which carries a grim ambience and a feeling of approaching danger and makes a subtle transition into “3.00348696261066,” which starts off with that same rising, menacing energy before lunging into a thrashing melee of guitar and drum programming. “Stretching Infinity” first commands that slow metal atmosphere with ominous clips in the background before disengaging in a barrage of mauling beats, followed by a darkly symphonic wind-down and then suddenly rising up again madly with more pummeling cadences as the programming and synths sound off like an old, demonic train coming to a grinding halt. Now, “Cave Systems” is a different kind of beast altogether, and one that takes many spectacular and fierce aspects, commencing with a steady death-march beat and then joined by Mories with boisterous, arpeggiated vocals, shouting commanding, robotic lyrics before the track kicks into a frenzy of drum and guitar. “Hidden Celestial Deity” is slowly raging and confronting in tone and is one of the angriest tracks in Manifestation, while “Black Hole Cloaks” delivers a punching tempo from the get-go with howling guitars. Throughout the song, Mories does a damn good job in maintaining a tone of fear and impending doom before the melody begins spacing out into electronic oblivion. Manifestation ends with the perfect track, “Parasitic Altering Sickness,” which has intricate arrangements and rocks that assaulting tone yet keeps a dramatic edge and then shifts gears into a droning chant accompanied by distorted vocals with the overtone of rising tension before dying off in spontaneous, flawless silence.
Cloak of Altering sometimes jumps right at the listener and at other times entrances them, and Maurice de Jong has continued to show us that he keeps his artistic brainchild warlike in sound and innovative and unpredictable in concept. As prolific of an artist as Mories is and the way that he’s constantly pushing the envelope, there’s no doubt that we’ll be hearing more bewitching music from Cloak of Altering in the very near future.