I know I haven’t held back my love for the Californian prog metal band Cormorant ’round these parts. So it should also be no surprise that I’m well-hyped for the release of their 3rd full length album, Earth Diver, next week. In preparation for the new album, I decided to give their past material a good listen to better hear how they evolve into the new record. I popped them in last week and pretty much nothing else has found its way into my ears since, especially the album Metazoa.
When I first heard Cormorant it was right around the time the hype machine was promoing their 2nd full length Dwellings and I instantly fell in love with the album. From the heady lyrics to endlessly engaging musical compositions it has become an album I listen to more than regularly and has been aging more than well, getting better with each listen. Unfortunately, while I still owned Metazoa, I never gave it the attention I gave Dwellings and therefore was never really firmly grasped by just how freaking outstanding it is. Revisiting it in a more lucid state has allowed me appreciate how terrific and unique it is.
Compared to Dwellings, Metazoa has a folkier, more aquatic feel compared to the raw and earthen sensation I get from the former. Tracks like ‘Uneasy Lie the Head’ bleed that battle feeling I get while listening to bands like Moonsorrow and strong melodies heard on tracks like ‘Blood on the Cornfields’ have an almost Iron Maiden goes death metal touch to them. Seriously every track on the record is diverse and filled with power and passion. And the same could be said about Dwellings from the horror it weaves with the retelling of a genocide (based on a true story) in ‘Junta’ or the terror of being lost in outerspace on the tune ‘Unearthly Dreamings’ (which at the same time paints a picture of beauty and wonder).
Pretty much, if you dig on prog metal bands like Opeth and want something in the same vein that is wholly original I behoove you to dig into Cormorant. If you find yourself digging on these albums, you should totally get them (they are ‘pay what you want’ so free if you are really strapped for cash, but I highly recommend the physical CDs as the art and packaging are outstanding and well above par for your average CD release) and pre-order the new one so it’s ready to go next Tuesday. Enjoy!! Peace Love and Metal!!!!
Recently reported over on Metalsucks.net, founder and driving force behind progressive black metal band Cormorant, Arthur Von Nagel, has left the band to pursue his other passion of making video games. Being quite the gamer myself, I am sad to see him leave such an amazing band, but he left to continue his job at Telltale Games. If you haven’t deduced yet, I’m a big fan of adventure games, and Telltale makes some of the best money can buy, including the Sam and Max series, The Back to the Future games, the Monkey Island reboot, and the hugely successful modern adventure game masterpiece, The Walking Dead (even if you’re not a fan of the show or adventure games, play that game). So I am happy to see him put his talents into something else very worthy and Cormorant will continue as a band. They will recruit a new vocalist/bassist and go forth with Arthur’s blessing. I hope that they will continue to write, record, and release quality and unique music as they have been doing since the bands inception and I’ll continue to support them.
So in mourning, this weeks Song of the Week will come off of my favorite album of theirs, Dwellings (which landed at #4 on my best of 2011 list and #68 on my all time favorite albums list). “Funambulist” recounts the tale of a tightrope walkers dangerous walk and shows through symbolism the extents that man will go to be closer to, challenge, or surpass ‘God’. If you have yet to grab Dwellings you can get your copy here for what ever price you feel it’s worth (free even). Enjoy and check out the press release from Arthur after the jump. Peace Love and Metal!!!!
I know I posted the link to Dwellings some months ago when the preview album stream hit NPR. But now that stream has been taken down, so here is the updated version link to the full album stream via Cormorant‘s Bandcamp page. This is one album I will be shoving down everyone’s throat until the whole metal loving world hears it, it is an absolute masterpiece (I named it number four on my “Best Albums of 2011” list and you can check out my review of the album here). The more I listen to it the more I enjoy this LP and can not commend the wonderful job this San Franciscan band has done enough. Seriously, just listen to the album. And the purchase of the CD is well worth your money as a lot of work went into the presentation of the packageing and the liner note/lyric sheet is wonderfully drawn (I named the album artwork to Dwellings number one on my “Best Album Art of 2011“). While you are at Cormorant’s Bandcamp be sure to check out their excellent previous effort Metazoa which has a name you own price option for purchase (eg. free if you wish, but it certainly is worth your hard-earned cash) and you can also download their debut EP The Last Tree for the low-cost of free.
Second up for this weeks full album streams is Path to Totality by Brooklyn based band Tombs. If you dig on bands such as Neurosis, Isis, and their contemporaries you will be happily crushed by this release. They combine elements of Death, Black, Sludge, Progressive, Post, and Hardcore Metal to create a unique musical dynamic that will leave the hairs on the back of your neck at attention. Don’t be a stinker and pass listening to this album up, it’s well worth your time.
When I’m watching a sports match I tend to always root for the underdog(unless one of my NJ/NY teams happen playing). Often times it does lead to a disappointment, but when the little guy pulls through and wins the game it always feels as if I took part in something special and makes up for the large amount of disappointments. The metal realm is quite similar to the sports realm in this regard(as well as many others). There are the big labels and bands that are like the NY Yankees and New England Patriots, there are the mid-range guys who always put up fight and more than often pull through with a top-quality game/album, and then there are the underdogs. In the metal world I consider the underdogs to be the unsigned and independent bands, and even if their heart is in the right place most of the time, they often fall short and don’t make it big. But when one of these unsigned and independent bands pulls through and creates a masterful work that takes the music realm by storm and you’re there to catch it, boy, is it something quite masterful to witness.
This weeks full album stream goes out to Cormorant and their upcoming release Dwellings. Cormorant takes a mix of black metal, melodic death metal, and prog metal and combines it for a delightfully intoxicating cocktail. So far listening to this album(about half-way through at the time of writing) this album reminds me of early Opeth with cleaner production(especially in the composition and guitars). And for those that have listened to their 2009 release Metazoa, I can safely say that this is quite an improvement over an already excellent previous album(which is available for FREE(legaly 😉 ) here you can also contribute a few bucks too, hint hint hint).
While not yet released, this album is garnering lots of praise from journalists that have gotten themselves an early copy, and so far I may find myself joining in with that praise. This may be a late contender for a spot on the end of they year best of list(we’ll see how that goes after the second half of the album closes off for me). If anything, the artwork will be taking home a blue ribbon for Best Album Art. Dwellings will be available for purchase on Dec. 7, 2011, do yourself a favor and check this band out, especially if you are into prog metal and bands like Opeth. Click on the album art to go to the NPR sponsored official full album stream and enjoy. Let us know what you thought when you’re done listening. Peace Love and Metal!!!!