Balance is Cloak and Dagger’s latest offering. It’s the follow-up to their 2014 EP Divination, which caught the attention of major labels and metal fans alike. In short, there are some expectations Balance has to live up to.
“Snowfall” is an unusual song to find on a metalcore EP, but it works to introduce the record. The oddly soothing piano music and a strong drum beat contrast from the unclean vocals in a way I couldn’t have anticipated.
The end of “Snowfall” picks up and darkens to segue into “Balance.” It mirrors its predecessor’s riff, albeit heavier but without losing any of the emotion. The very small amount of clean vocals are enough to break up the song, as otherwise it would be a bit repetitive.
“Ruin” is angrier and darker in tone than anything before it. With the lyrics, “This is how the world dies, this is the end of days,” it may well be a late contribution if anyone’s looking for a song to sum up 2016.
The next song, in my opinion, makes this whole record worthwhile. “Dead to the World” is just a good song. It’s fast paced, and I love its guitar riff and drum beat. It’s already one of my favourite songs of the year.
“Stay Gold” was released following Cloak and Dagger’s signing to their record label, and it is a suitable song to represent their musical style. Personally, this song doesn’t stand out to me as much as “Dead to the World,” but with more in the way of clean vocals and a generally lighter tone, it probably is more palatable to the wider audience it needed to appeal to.
The EP ends with an emotional and emotive message embedded in “Graveyards.” Cloak and Dagger decide their closing song is the time and place for an inspirational speech, apparently, but it’s a nice, contemplative note to end the record on.
Metalcore fans are sure to like Balance, as it is, well, balanced. It’s a little heavy on the unclean vocals, but it is good screaming on the technical side. It’s heavy, but there’s purpose and meaning behind the music. And I really can’t recommend “Dead to the World” enough. I’d buy it for that song alone.
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