Cormorant - Dwellings (Own Label)

Cormorant have a flair for success. Dwellings is all that any band dream in their path to success. If they fail, shame on them.
Release Date: 
6 Dec 2011 - 12:30pm

I came across this band some weeks ago when I had seen the art and then the extended artwork of Dwellings' cover.  I was really impressed and thought that a band capable to offer that kind of refinement in their presentation was really worth a listen. 

Of course I didn’t 'get' the album the first time I heard it. I have a self definition that when the music is undecipherable to my ears at first, it is usually something very valuable.

Some spins later, here I am fallen for the album. 

The First Man is a track of epic proportions. It merges melodic death/black with rapid changes of musical phrasing (very similar to Opeth, without losing cohesiveness)  and crude vocalizations, varying from brutal to idyllic in a matter of seconds, being this track the summary of the things to come.

More melancholic is the second song Funambulist, this one being over 10 minutes long, and soon the sadness turns to thrash and frenetic parts, just to end in the next minute in an introspective piece at snail's pace with clean and debonair vocals, and then the confusion is set up in an endless spin of swift change of phrases and tempos. A crazy song for sure, but with a bleak atmosphere surrounding the whole recording.  Something very different from their first effort, Metazoa, where one can notice that the same idea was put in motion, but things didn’t work out as expected. Maybe the production, maybe the haughty nature of young musicians trying to put everything into a single album, the fact is that if I had started with the Metazoa, I would have dismissed the band right off the bat. It lacks the total progressive depression of Dwellings, incorporating “happy” folk parts to it, which don’t occur on the latter whatsoever. Cohesiveness: these lads learned fast!

Confusion of Tongues is an instrumental very pleasant to my ears, thanks for asking. 

By the fourth song, Junta, one starts to ask oneself what the heck are the influences of these guys. Answers start to appear: Opeth, Enslaved, Agalloch, and all the progressive bands which appeared from 1990’s to date. With two main differences, Cormorant don’t try to be a copy of them and besides, they lack the real vein of 1970’s progressive rock (Yes, Genesis, E.L.P.), which make them sound a band of their time.  Perhaps In the long haul, maturity wall bring the winds of seventies. For now let’s stick to their current gestalt. 

Patterns start to emerge here and there: dirge, heavy guitars, melodic black metal explosions, dirge (again), bucolic threnodies, euphonious chants and harsh metal seizures, as in the song The Purest Land.

But their chef-d'oeuvre is the song A Howling Dust, a sad ballad. The real definition of progressive music, it grows up in metalness, step by step, asserting their traditional heaviness, but with some air of Dream Theater in the riffage. 

A gust of gloomy piece brings the last track Unearthly Dreamings, exploding  out of the blue in a melodic black onslaught, great song with remarkable riffs and melody that resounds in the mind even when the CD comes to an end. 

Once again, if you’re used to sounds of Opeth and Enslaved you won’t have much problems understanding the musical lines of Dwellings, but if you’re a total strange to this kind of music, it’s a good way to start.

Cormorant is ripe, let’s root for progression in their career (no pun intended), and wait for their deserved success in the great arena of metal.