Prog-tastic Contender For Album Of The Year
Pinning Cormorant down to a single genre would be about as productive & as easy as stapling a turd to the back of a particularly pissed off badger. However, if you really insist on having something to put in that tantalising “Genre” box in your iTunes, I’d say they play progressive blackened death metal.
Dark, crushing brutality mixes with beautiful melodic passages on pretty much every track. Influences range from Zao, At The Gates, Cynic all the way to Rush, Celtic Frost, Iron Maiden and a thousand other bands, yet each song sounds like something totally original & unique. Arthur von Nagel’s growls & screeches are reminiscent of the early black metal scene whilst his fretless bass work drives the whole album & really stand out in the production.
Opener Scavenger’s Feast builds from a slow intro up into a heavy Gothenburg sounding blinder before dropping into an epic hard rock solo then on to a classical guitar interlude before building again to more Slaughter of the Soul style savagery. One track that really stands out is Blood on the Cornfields which has an excellent NWOBHM melody & it tells the tale of Nat Turner’s 1831 slave rebellion. Rarely for an album this heavy, the lyrics are really intense, well-written epics on diverse subjects that fit perfectly with the schizophrenic styling of the music.
Its hard to believe that Cormorant aren’t signed to a label or that they put this out as a self-funded release, especially when you consider they got Billy Anderson (Sleep, Mr. Bungle, Cattle Decapitation) to produce it. The production is flawless. I’ve tried to think of more to say on the subject but it’s actually so perfect that anything I say superfluous wank-fluff. Just listen to it!
It’s rare that I get such an intense feeling from an album. It happened the first time I heard Cynic’s Focus, Zao’s Funeral of God & Mastadon’s Remission. Its a magical feeling that usually leaves me with a hard-on & a bit of shit in my pants. I think Cormorant might be the best new band to come out of the Bay Area in a long time. Trust me when I say that this is an extremely special album & a definite contender for album of the year.