Courage Cloak - Courage Cloak (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Courage Cloak

Courage Cloak (2014)

Escape Plan Blueprint

Courage Cloak's debut is noticeably strong, a four-song EP melding post-metal and space rock with patience and atmosphere. Though the shoegazey vocals are somewhat timidly delivered at times (oddly reminding me of a band who share half their name, though it might just be the Hum influence), they still fit the package quite well and occasionally carry a range better than either of those aforementioned bands.

Opener "Lunar Atoll" is the longest track here at seven-and-a-half minutes, a fairly brave length to span as far as first introductions go. But the dynamics are scattered throughout, making it a compelling start. "A .'. A .'." begin with a rhythmically and atmospherically excellent buildup sounding enough like Rosetta that one half-expects that band's throaty growls to come busting through at any second; instead, they momentarily scale back the sludge and the ominous singing comes in. There's plenty more great soft-to-loud movement happening here as well, and what sounds like a great chorus even though it's never repeated as the band slip in a cool Cave In ca. Jupiter riff towards the end. The back half pairs up two six-minute, more upbeat tracks, "Iceage" and the softly finale-sounding "Nightforms", which aren't quite as good or sprawling with cool effects pedals and powerfully jolting volume and tempo changes, but are solid nonetheless.

Courage Cloak is as good as most first recordings go, though, a nearly fully-formed style that makes for an enjoyable body of work.