Monday 6 May 2024

Shadowcloak - Shadowcloak (EP Review)

Release Date: May 03rd 2024. Record Label: Self Released. Formats: CD/Cassette/DD

Shadowcloak - Self Titled - Tracklisting

1.Dark Days 06:08

2.Night After Night 06:06

3.Leave My Name 06:16

4.Everything Is Gone 05:05

5.Discomfort/Disorder 04:30

Band Members

Dave Gayler - Vocals

Zane Oskins - Drums

Paul McBride - Bass

Bryan Wiedenhoeft - Guitar

Adrian Lee Zambrano - Guitar/Vocals/Synth


Progressive Sludge Metallers Shadowcloak only formed in 2023 but they’ve already shared the stage with bands such as Howling Giant, Horseburner, Black Lung and Auralayer. Their debut self-titled EP sees the band traverse the world of Prog Metal, Sludge Metal, Psych Rock and Post-Metal with their music being easily compared to bands such as Pelican, Mastodon and Domkraft. The EP is full of epic sounding synths that have a world building mythos and quality behind them.

The progressive structure of the intricate melodies remind me of Crack The Skye and Emperor Of Sand in places but Shadowcloak venture into the more Ambient and Psychedelic wastelands that modern day Sludge/Stoner Metal bands regularly cover but the band bring a sense of creative storytelling which has echoes of Americana focused within its roots. The soaring riffs and harsh vocals are quite original in places especially on songs such as Dark Days and Night After Night.

The synths allows the music to change into a visceral style of Post-Rock within the quieter and stripped back elements of the EP with sweeping Sludge Rock guitars fastly capturing the listener’s imagination and the wonderful synths from Adrian Lee Zambrano reminding me of Bryant Clifford Meyer from the much missed ISIS  with his synth playing on this EP alone. 

Shadowcloak impress yet again on a more technical and creative level on the later stages of the EP on tracks such as Everything Is Gone and Discomfort/Disorder with the music becoming more Post-Metal/Sludge Metal obsessed and conjuring sounds that feel like they come from the classic era of Post-Metal and Progressive Sludge Metal whilst being quite grounded and original in their own right.

This is a exquisite and bleak-sounding experience with Shadowcloak allowing the underground scene know they’re well versed in creating deep meaningful and complex progressive Sludge Metal melodies and writing intense lyrics on this release alone. Shadowcloak feel like they've been around for years within the Sludge/Post-Metal/Stoner Metal scene and they’re already masters of their own doomed out domain. 

Shadowcloak have released a first rate EP backed up with superb production values throughout and hopefully they can make a bigger name for themselves in the future. As it’s least they fully deserve.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Desert Bloom PR for the promo.


Facebook | BandCamp | Instagram