Cloaked by Ages, Crowned in Earth (Dark Symphonies)
by Martin Popoff
Titles like “A Slow Succumbing,” “Ebb Tide,” “The Mourner’s Oak,” and that of the album itself (near nonsensical if you ask me), offer your first clue that the semi-legendary Morgion are back to their slow tricks. The Morgion sound is one of near-infinite doom, My Dying Bride ground up by sort of gravelly Entombed tones, death vocals, and Neurosis chill-outs added to the mix, just to make you extra sad. Plus this thing’s a Caress of Steel-like concept album, making the journey that much more arduous, as our energy-sapped and ultimately coagulating hero encounters all manner of drum batteries, broken by near-silence, shattered by end-of-the-world riffs smoked like pemmican under a sky that yields merciless heat without the aid of light. And, oh yeah, unless you devote time and effort to these things, you might not notice that most of the album is ballads, Morgion winding up with the scummy, dirty, filmy, crusty version of Opeth’s Damnation album.