Martin : There’s good weird, there’s bad weird, and there’s weird weird. Depite being at risk of being somewhat overlooked among Mories’ other projects, most notably De Magia Veterum and Gnaw Their Tongues, Cloak Of Altering is certainly an interesting beast. Initially, Mories seemed to be searching for this entity’s identity; with De Magia Veterum already being his ‘black’ project, it wasn’t entirely clear what distinguished the Cloak Of Altering material, other than a different moniker. The industrial and avant-garde tags didn’t help much either, as they don’t necessarily explain a lot. With ‘Manifestation’ Mories seems to have made a clear path for Cloak Of Altering to develop into something completely different.
The atmospheric black metal elements on ‘Manifestation’, like on earlier albums, definitely have somewhat of a mid-nineties vibe. Most of the album, however, seems to lean on a more ambient-oriented approach. Again the mid-nineties come to mind, as ‘Manifestation’ sometimes even bears some resemblance to Beherit’s opinion splitting electronic albums. Occasionally this makes the album come a little too close to GTT’s dense claustrophobia, but at other times there’s an almost krautrock-like quality to ‘Manifestation’ that is by far its most interesting aspect, not at the least since it’s unlike anything we’ve heard from Mories so far. As interesting as those parts may be, the black metal parts tend to ruin the tension, mainly because they simply sound very cheap. Usually Mories’ productions are far from amateuristic, but at times the guitars and especially the drum machine on this Cloak Of Altering album somehow sound quite Cubase 1.0.
‘Manifestation’ is a somewhat frustrating album. It really seems Cloak Of Altering is developing into an extremely interesting direction, but this really just isn’t quite there yet.