Review by: Meriel Longmore
Review score: 4/5
“Ghost Town” is the 2008 release from British band CLOACA and though this is described as an EP, it consists of two epically proportioned tracks that clock in at a closer length to a mini-album. At present CLOACA share links with the highly acclaimed UK Doom band ATAVIST and also the progressive Pagan Black Metal band WINTERFYLLETH; so you can be assured that quality is guaranteed on all levels. However, any pre-conceived notions you may have of this project are likely to be shattered once you hear “Ghost Town” as CLOACA is very much a separate project in terms of approach. The two tracks that appear on this EP are an excellent introduction to CLOACA and not only highlight the fact that the sound encapsulates some of the most successful elements of underground music today, but also that CLOACA are a force to be reckoned with when it comes to live performance and effect (second track “The Golden Path” is recorded Live).
CLOACA have an eclectic approach to Doom Metal, combining elements of Post-Rock, Post-Metal, chilling dark ambience and claustrophobic, monolithic, subtly industrialized soundscapes. As in the case of HATEFUL ABANDON; CLOACA are one of those bands that walk their own path & can’t just be shoved into a category along with everything else. Their experimental approach is genre-defying and should appeal to those who appreciate music which challenges boundaries without compromising on sound, technique or heaviness. CLOACA could be described as a combination of “Oceanic” era ISIS, “The Eye of Every Storm” era NEUROSIS, and GODSPEED YOU BLACK EMPEROR!, with the blackened edge of later DEATHSPELL OMEGA and ENSLAVED. The tracks on offer here gradually build and shift in intensity becoming heavier and ever more suffocating like all the best examples of Post-Rock / Post-Metal you will hear, however also reaching the dizzying heights of heaviness that rivals stalwarts of Doom such as ELECTRIC WIZARD at times. CLOACA also have the added individual touches of having cold, blackened screamed vocals, spoken samples, soaring ambience that chills and fires the imagination in equal measure plus an industrial precision that adds a bleak twist to the overall atmosphere. It’s also worth mentioning that the term “industrial” used here should not be taken too literally, it is more a reference to atmosphere than technique. For example; CLOACA features soundscape elements that have more in common with the unearthly ambient works of DARKSPACE and does not fit into the stereotypical mould of “Industrial”.
Fans of bands including NADJA, ASVA, WEAKLING, CULT OF LUNA, GOJIRA, VELVET CACOON, MOGWAI, MONO, CELESTIAL SEA, and the aforementioned bands should not hesitate to experience CLOACA. “Ghost Town” is an ideal choice for open-minded Metallers and also enthusiasts of unusual, sophisticated gloom.