On their eponymous EP, Atlanta-based dark metal conspirators Cloak comb the blackest shadows of rock 'n' roll. In their opening track ("In the Darkness, the Path"), Cloak lead the listener down a winding walkway towards a shadowy intersection of black metal and cavernous death rock. First established in 2013, their shrouded sound evokes comparisons to artists ranging from Tribulation and Wolvhammer to Dissection and Fields of the Nephilim. Below, vocalist/guitarist Scott Taysom ruminates on exploring mysteries and horror films. But first, take a listen to the track and see where Cloak's pathway leads you:
Lyrically, what does the journey described in this song mean to you?
Taysom: These were actually the first lyrics I ever wrote for Cloak and looking back on it, it makes perfect sense. In essence the song is about being guided by ideas and forces that at first seem obscure and out of reach, but eventually come together to form something so powerful that it changes your whole perspective on life and what lies beyond the flesh. The past couple of years for me have been completely strange and I’ve discovered things about myself that I never thought I would. I went through a lot of changes; a cycle of Kali, if you will. There was something missing from my life for a long time and I feel like I have finally found that piece. So looking back on it, I think all of this self-discovery as a whole really had something to do with the original ideas for this song.
“Path” or a variation of the word occurs several times in this song. How did the hiatus so soon after the band’s formation contribute to the musical path you’re on now?
I was actually just thinking about this today. I thought “what if we never decided to get back together?” I’m not sure where we would all be, but I know I would feel somewhat lost without this band. It’s become my way of viewing the world and the ultimate outlet for all of us to expel what has been gnawing at our insides for so long. Something brought us back together for a reason and we now have a mission. On a more technical level, if people heard our early demos they probably wouldn’t believe it’s the same band. It started out purely as a death metal band but soon began to evolve into what it is now. It had to happen; genre limitations would hinder the expression of Cloak. Not to mention our musical influences range anywhere from Deep Purple to Mayhem to Danzig, and so on.
Your lyrics, as well as the band’s name, suggest an interest in mysteries and concealed truths. What are some of the mysteries that occupy your mind most?
Those that we will probably never get the answers to. The mysterious is meant to stay mystified but I also believe that it shouldn’t go untouched. Instead of running from the fear of the unknown, we use these things to our advantage. This band and our craft represents spiritual liberation, the kind that no one will achieve unless they continuously challenge themselves and delve into what they are afraid to learn.
You’re also a fan of vintage horror cinema. What are a couple horror sequences you could see unfolding with “In the Darkness, the Path” as the soundtrack?
I have been a big horror movie fan since I was a kid. The soundtracks and atmosphere that certain films can portray is amazing and I think a lot of that can inspire the band as far as aesthetics. I wouldn’t say Cloak in any way has to do with horror movies, though. We don’t write about fiction, but rather what the uninspired might believe is fiction. If I were to piece this song within a movie setting, I think it would fit somewhere in between the films of the German expressionism era and the early works of Dario Argento. The use of extreme shadows, deep reds, and long winding hallways would fit well.
Cloak are currently writing songs for their debut LP. Pre-order their EP from Boris Records to hear the EP's other killer track, "The Hunger."