Drug Honkey - Cloak Of Skies album review

Warped brilliance from sludge’s mad scientists

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In these jaded times it’s rare to discover an album that makes you spit your coffee across the room while shrieking “What the fuck am I listening to?!” Cloak Of Skies is exactly that kind of record. Ostensibly a sludge metal band, Drug Honkey have conceived and constructed a vivid and terrifying sonic world here, wherein festering sub-bass frequencies and tortured synths underpin a sustained onslaught of snail’s pace hypno-doom. At times it’s like listening to Cop-era Swans reimagined by the Butthole Surfers at their lysergic peak, at others it’s like some unholy mash-up of Hellhammer and Scorn’s Vae Solis. Either way, the likes of syrupy space rock dirge Sickening Wasteoid and the synapse-wrenching evil psych of Outlet Of Hatred are almost overwhelming in their power and grim charisma. The irresistible pull of the abyss is expressed through slow-motion nightmares, heaviness used as a weapon of nefarious enlightenment. Concluding with a Justin Broadrick remix of album opener Pool Of Failure, this is a staggering, unmissable triumph for bong-battered disorientation and psychedelic heft.