Cloak of Ash

Hope Drone

Post Rock and Metal have always needed one another; it was sort of a forbidden […]
By Calen Nesten
November 6, 2015
Hope Drone - Cloak of Ash album cover

Post Rock and Metal have always needed one another; it was sort of a forbidden romance. A good chunk of Post Rock is loaded with soft, pretty bands like GODSPEED! YOU BLACK EMPEROR (depressing, but still pretty) or EXPLOSIONS IN THE SKY. But there are bands that drive the Post-Rock genre into more aggressive territory: bands like ENVY, RUSSIAN CIRCLES, and BOTCH add a dash of Metal into the mix and it makes for something absolutely beautiful. Australian band HOPE DRONE takes a page from the latter group.

HOPE DRONE has signed on with the world famous Relapse Records for their newest release "Cloak of Ash". The album follows the predictable Post-Rock formula of buildup, buildup, buildup, drop, buildup, maybe drop again, end. It's a tried and true formula that has worked for countless bands, after a while it can be tedious. You wait for a conclusion that never seems to happen within the track.  HOPE DRONE is guilty of using this style but they do add a unique element of Doom within their tracks that really held my interest. Another unique ingredient HOPE DRONE adds is in their vocal style. It's similar to other harder Post-Rock bands, but the vocals seem tucked behind the music as a sort of ambient addition to fluff up the instrumentals. And while the vocals aren't the star attraction in most Post-Rock bands, HOPE DRONE makes sure to give them ample attention. And while the vocals are as aggressive as any Grind band they also sound fearful, depressed and desperate in contrast to the otherwise relaxing instrumentation. It makes the whole album dark and melancholic but somehow you can't help but feel good listening to it. "Cloak of Ash" is a great album but like all Post-Rock influenced bands their tracks are long, very long. The longest track on the album is "Unending Grey" which boasts a whopping 20:35, almost an entire set for most bands and the entire seven track album is over an hour long.

So if long build-ups and long, atmospheric riffs aren't your thing you might want to stay clear. For the rest of us "Cloak of Ash" is an amazing piece of work, and if you are in Australia or Japan in the month of November be sure to see if their tour with DOWNFALL OF GAIA is stopping near you!

7 / 10


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"Cloak of Ash" Track-listing:

1. Unending Grey
2. Riverbeds Hewn in Marrow
3. The World Inherited
4. The Chords That Thrum Beneath the Earth
5. Every End is Fated in its Beginning
6. The Waves Forever Shatter Upon the Shores
7. Carried Apart by the Ceaseless Tides

Hope Drone Lineup:

Chris Rowden - Guitar, Vocals
Karl Hartwig - Guitar
Aaron Pickersgill - Bass
Francis Keil - Drums

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