Whether you call them prog, melodic death metal, or Tiberian ass-bastard folk (an inside-joke that they’ll probably never live down), Cormorant can be summed up as just amazing. Their 2009 album Metazoa made waves, breaking the California-based band through underground local band status and into the spotlight of the online internet-community, thanks in part to vocalist/bassist Arthur Von Nagel’s well-spoken internet presence.

After what has felt like much more than two years, Cormorant are back with a new offering, titled Dwellings. The album promises to be more intense and much darker in tone, with stronger elements of black metal and doom. Here’s a selection from the press release:

The new album incorporates stronger elements of black and doom metal – even hints of 80s hardcore – reflecting darker musical and lyrical themes. To capture this change in tone, the band opted to record their rhythm tracks live to analog tape with producer Justin Weis (Agalloch, Brocas Helm, Hammers Of Misfortune, Ludicra, Slough Feg, Sleepytime Gorilla Museum) at Trakworx Studios in South San Francisco. Weis also mixed and mastered the album, imbuing it with an authentic old-school warmth unmarred by typewriter drum triggers and brick-walled production.

Says vocalist/bassist Arthur von Nagel: “I feel ‘Dwellings’ is a refinement of our folky hybrid style on ‘Metazoa,’ just really pissed off. We wrote and rehearsed the album over the course of two years. That time period was marked by some difficult personal losses and sacrifices, which definitively colored the music and lyrics. At its core, it’s a trad/prog metal album, but quite a bit more dissonance and blackness seeped in. Nick [Cohon] and Matt [Solis]’s guitars sound massive and evil, and Brennan [Kunkel]’s drumming is beautifully twisted – he never plays the same beat twice. Vocal-wise we went all-out, in fact my voice was completely blown out for nearly week after the recording. We’ve expanded the palette to include black metal shrieks, a semi-harsh Lemmy Kilmister bark, first-wave black metal shouts, spoken word, and ethereal cleans. I hope above all that people view this is as an honest record, because it’s truly been a labor of love and struggle.”

Regarding the choice of album title, von Nagel adds: “Whereas ‘Metazoa’ focused on the natural world, ‘Dwellings’ broaches human structures: societal, linguistic, familial, and architectural. The word ‘dwellings’ encapsulated all those ideas, and inspired dreamlike imagery of stone huts carved into cliffsides. I feel the word captures a wide swathe of human motivations, particularly man’s need for home and family, a major lyrical theme on this album. The lyrics themselves range in style from poetic and abstract to journalistic, which was a nice change of pace for us. While in the past we tended toward mythological and historical subjects, on ‘Dwellings’ we often attack more contemporary topics in a very stark and direct manner.”

Sounds interesting and exciting! There’s no date set in stone yet, but the band promises the album to be available “October/November-ish.” For a taste of what’s to come, check out a video of the band performing an instrumental track from Dwellings, apparently titled “Confusion of Tongues,” after the jump. More info when we get it!

– JR



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.