Hope Drone – Cloak of Ash (Relapse)

Genre: Black Metal/Post Metal

If Wolves In The Throne Room were to meet Cult Of Luna at a crumbling rehearsal space, in a ruined, post-apocalyptic city, Cloak of Ash could be the fruit of their labours.

Aussies Hope Drone purvey a thoroughly contemporary form of black metal, creating soundscapes from the ruins of urban civilisation. Sound familiar?

Well, yes, there are a number of US bands ploughing a similar furrow – you’ll notice elements of Ireland’s Altar of Plagues here too – but the quartet’s Relapse debut is an absorbing, engrossing listen, one which surely puts them at the forefront of BM’s modern vanguard.

You only have to take in tracks like The Chords That Thrum Beneath The Earth to realise the Brisbane outfit put every ounce of themselves into their music – and feel that this could be a very special band indeed.

There’s a sense of foreboding to much of Cloak of Ash, as if Hope Drone are the harbingers of global catastrophe, and a majestic command of drama too… no better exhibited than on The Waves Shatter Upon Our Shores.

One of the best ‘post black metal’ albums you’ll hear all year, Cloak of Ash is a revelation. More of the same please. Richard Holmes