Wednesday 1 February 2017

Tar Hag - Elder Cloak (Album Review)

Release date: January 29th 2017. Label: Doomsayer Records. Format: DD

Elder Cloak – Tracklisting

1.More Weight 04:01
2.Elder Cloak 02:59
3.Light Cast No Shadow 05:02
4.Clairvoyant 03:34
5.Mirror Priest 03:01
6.Coven Circle 06:20

Band Members

Beeg - Vocals
Dano - Guitar/Vocals
Kyle - Drums
Colin - Guitar


Tar Hag new album - Elder Cloak - is a fine slice of heavy Sludge/Doom/Stoner Metal carnage with some nasty Southern Metal grooves added to give Elder Cloak extra bite in the volume department. We've heard this kind of music a million times before but when it's played with such confidence it's very hard to ignore.

Opening track - More Weight - is an almost lo-fi and distorted take on the doom and gloom atmosphere that Tar Hag expertly create. The riffs are played loud, thick and fast with the heavy almost death based growls. Though you can easily understand them which are always a good thing. The psychedelic vibes allows Tar Hag to play heavy melodic Stoner Rock towards the end of the song.

Second track - Elder Cloak - opens with a NOLA inspired Swamp driven riff that is played at a slow to mid pace. Once the vocals kick in, Tar Hag return to their heavier doomier ways but the psych stoner element rules supreme. The vocals have a sense of despairing dread to them and that only adds to the overall enjoyment of the album.

Third track - Light Cast No Shadow - sees the band create perhaps the standout track on the album. As it's an exciting song with the band creating heavy demented Doom/Sludge riffs and the overall atmosphere being bogged down by a ferocious Southern NOLA sound.

The other three songs on the album - Clairvoyant, Mirror Priest and Coven Circle - raise the stakes even higher with more great examples of loud music to lose yourself in. Coven Circle is the standout track of the three. As Tar Hag play not so subtle riffs with more dark doomish tales to chill your bones with.

The production is excellent though the lyrics could have done with more work in places. Tar Hag could have included a couple more songs on the album. As I wanted the album to last longer. It’s all over within twenty five minutes or so. The performance of lead vocalist - Beeg and the fantastic music the band creates is what really saves the day. 

All in all, Elder Cloak is a superb album if you're a fan of all things Sludge/Doom/Stoner Metal.

Words by Steve Howe


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