Blackened progressive-heavy metallers CORMORANT have completed the recording of their sophomore full-length album “Dwellings” to be released in mid-fall, 2011. The self-funded“Dwellings” is the follow-up to the San Francisco Bay Area quartet’s critically-acclaimed 2009 debut “Metazoa,” and marks an earthier, more wrathful evolution of their sound. 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.”
CORMORANT formed in 2007 as a trio consisting of guitarist Nick Cohon, drummer Brennan Kunkel and vocalist/bassist Arthur von Nagel, recording a 3-song demo and their “The Last Tree” EP that very same year. With the addition of seasoned six-stringer Matt Solis in 2008, the band dove into the writing and recording of their full-length debut “Metazoa,” tracked and mixed by legendary producer Billy Anderson (EYEHATEGOD, MELVINS, MR. BUNGLE, NEUROSIS PRIMORDIAL, SLEEP). The album launched to overwhelmingly positive reviews, earning them an “Unsigned Talent of the Year” nod from the readers of UltimateGuitar.com and a string of successful shows alongside the likes of JELLO BIAFRA AND THE GUANTANAMO SCHOOL OF MEDICINE, PRIMORDIAL, GIANT SQUID, MOONSORROW, WOE, VELNIAS, GRAYCEON, WITHERED, BLACK COBRA, WOLVES IN THE THRONE ROOM, SUIDAKRA, WOODS OF YPRES, HAMMERS OF MISFORTUNE, HELMS ALEE and SLOUGH FEG. With the imminent release of their new album “Dwellings,” CORMORANT are poised to continue their rise as one of the most exciting and original independent bands in metal.
Stream Metazoa here.
The Emigrant’s Wake (Metazoa album version)
Uneasy Lies the Head (live at Thee Parkside September 2009)
New instrumental song from “Dwellings” (live at The Hemlock July 2010)