Reviews 17
Approval 96%

Soundoffs 255
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Album Edits 54

Album Ratings 3138
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Last Active 09-15-18 5:26 pm
Joined 08-11-13

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12.19.23 Cloak's best of 202310.19.23 Technical melodeath
07.07.23 So my band put out our debut EP recentl 04.07.23 Ok post-grunge
01.09.23 Keyboards in extreme metal part 211.22.22 Melancholic prog
11.16.22 Autumn gloom09.30.22 Heavy gaze
08.02.22 Keyboards in extreme metal06.20.22 Bands I wish would reunite
06.07.22 Keyboardists in hard rock/metal12.03.21 Frog albums
01.15.21 Great UK core bands10.25.19 Melodic Mathcore recs?
02.04.19 Great bands that became awful later, pa01.03.19 Rec me spacey alt-rock
08.31.18 Some of my favourites so far this year04.16.18 Cloak's mathcore digs
More »

Cloak's best of 2023

A little rundown of my favourite albums from this year, with a small soundoff for each album and my personal rating. No particular order.
Black Medium Current

Masterful avant-garde black metal that adds a lot more melody than their previous outputs, but with still plenty of weird left-field ideas to keep it engaging throughout. 4.4/5
Songs of Abundance, Psalms of Grief

Fantastic blend of alternative rock, doom metal and also ventures into some goth and shoegaze territory at times. 3.8/5
3George Clanton
Ooh Rap I Ya

Wasn't aware of George Clanton before this year but this album made me buy his entire discography. Clearly influenced by a lot of 80s stuff like Tears for Fears but never sounding like a rip-off. 4.1/5

A blend of mathcore, alternative metal, liquid dnb and breakcore. This album is an absolute mess, but it's a glorious mess. 3.7/5

Phoxjaw already proved themselves to be a very inventive post-hardcore band with their first album, but this one really turns that up another notch in the best way, adding noise rock and indie rock to their sound. Good stuff. 3.7/5

Absolutely top-notch progressive death metal that blends technical wizardry with some really memorable melodic sections. 4.3/5
Alchemy for the Dead

This album is a real grower and I enjoyed it more and more with every listen. Really brooding and dripping with atmosphere, almost like if Failure did a doom metal album. 4.1/5

Tenhi are back after 12 years and as strong as ever, with another serving of their signature blend of neofolk and progressive rock. Another grower for sure, but so rewarding once it clicks. 3.8/5
9Jessie Ware
That! Feels Good!

My favourite pop album of the year, a love letter to italo disco with some of my favourite Jessie Ware vocal performances. 4/5

Another new discovery for me this year, these guys have a really unique blend of psychedelia and doom metal. Solace isn't quite as good as Chaotic Divine, but it's certainly no slouch and there's plenty to enjoy here. 3.7/5
American Gothic

This would've been my favourite USBM release of the year if Panopticon hadn't dropped a new record, but this is still really damn good. What I imagine a black metal soundtrack for Red Dead Redemption would sound like. 4.1/5
12Sangre de Muerdago
O Vento que Lambe as mi​ñ​as Feridas

Another great folk album from this year, fairly standard in the band's discography but nonetheless a fine serving of Galician folk music. 3.7/5
The Rime of Memory

I wasn't aware that Austin Lunn was dropping a new Panopticon album this year but this one is a real highlight in this project's history, really takes the strongest elements of all their albums to produce the best album they've released since Autumn Eternal. 4.5/5
Ontological Mysterium

One of the best death metal albums I've heard in a long time, not the most brutal album ever but a real masterclass of blending extremity with progressive songwriting. Also some phenomenal guitar leads and clean vocals that actually work well. 4.4/5
False Lankum

Phenomenal Irish drone folk, an utterly mesmerising listen that I've come back to again and again this year. 4.5/5
16Johnny Booth
Moments Elsewhere

Very good modern metalcore album, got some hard as feck riffs and some surprisingly good clean sections that never sound too cringe. 3.8/5
17Nebulae Come Sweet
De Lumiére

Really good post-metal record from a band I'd never heard of before, but being a fan of the Phanerozoic albums by The Ocean this was right up my street. Really cool soundscapes and an impressive vocal performance. 3.9/5
18Fires in the Distance
Air Not Meant For Us

An impressive melodic death/doom debut in the vein of bands like Swallow The Sun and Daylight Dies. Really excited to hear more from this band. 3.8/5
19Ne Obliviscaris

This band hasn't really wowed me as much as they did with Citadel with their 2 more recent albums, but this is nonetheless an excellent and very technically proficient album that has plenty of replayability. 3.7/5
20Invent Animate

Really good pop metalcore album, feels like a natural continuation of their last EP. Feels a bit samey at times but the hooks are plentiful and the riffs are chunky. 3.7/5

Another fantastic Enslaved album that delves even further into proggy territory. Crazy to think these guys have had a 3 decade career without one slump, and it doesn't sound like that's going to happen any time soon. 4.3/5
22Sulphur Aeon
Seven Crowns and Seven Seals

Another beefy serving of Cthulhu-themed death metal from this band. Plenty of great atmosphere on this one. 4.1/5
Ancient Skills

Really nice little EP that was one of my few reviews I did this year. One of those releases that just puts me in a good mood. 4/5
24King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard
PetroDragonic Apocalypse; or, Dawn of Eternal Night: An Annihilation of...

King Gizzard's second fully metal album and a step above Infest the Rats Nest. Proggier, sludgier and just better in every way. 4.3/5
War of Being

The best TesseracT album since Altered State, really feels like they finally recaptured the magic they had on their first 2 albums with this one, even if I am more sympathetic to their lesser enjoyed albums than most people on this site are. 4.2/5
Of Golden Verse

Another really nice little find from this year. Very reminiscent of Tool but with some great songwriting, engaging riffs and fantastic drumming courtesy of James Stewart of Decapitated, Vader and Bloodshot Dawn fame. 3.9/5
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