Cormorant - Earth Diver (Own Label)

Unadulterated brilliance...
Release Date: 
7 Apr 2014 - 11:30pm

I don't like this album. I fucking love it. From the haunting, minimal (and wholly acoustic bar the samples) Eris to album closer A Sovereign Act, this is an massive, ambitiously constructed album - and Cormorant have executed it perfectly. The songs are impeccably balanced progressive black metal, veering between the proggy and the black metal with a confidence that is wholly satisfying. Take Daughter of the Void, which continues the vibe of Eris with beautiful drum fills that inject pure joy into my faltering veins. Then the feedback and overdrive kicks in with a scream; it's heavy yet mellow - how do Cormorant do it? It conjures the early years of metal with thoughtful, soaring solos. The raspy vocals are the only hint of black metal so far yet the arrangements are so bloody good, I'm unconcerned. Sold as a Crow starts with a watery (but not weak) intro before leaning more into the metal noir. Again, the drumming is killing me. Incredible.

There's just so much going on with Waking Sleep; Cormorant obviously favour the mellow intro before they come blasting their way into your mind. The bass notes on here are slow and deliberate but you know the madness is coming. About two and half minutes in and fuck, does it come. Mental. Mellow. Mental. Mellow. It almost flings you about the place. This is complex stuff but it holds your attention with the switching styles, riffs and rhythms. Wagnerian in its epic construction, it makes me so fucking happy. The Pythia has a slight whiff of doom about it but then it gets its corpse-paint on and picks up the pace while Broken Circle gives a bit of respite from the previous tracks - but the proggy start is soon sacrificed on the altar of Satan by blasting and mournful cries. Then it's mellow with a cheery little sample and a haunting vocal line. Oh, the guitars! I'm in a state of rapture...

Mark the Trail opens with a simple chugging riff before a harmonised part between the guitar and vocals (which are, like everything else on here, excellent) - so clever! Yet without any hint of pretence. Brilliant. Just brilliant. And then we're suddenly ending the album with A Sovereign Act, a massive tune that's a suitable finishing statement.

Excuse me while I go and rant to anyone (and everyone) how truly delicious this album is. If I had some sort of piss-weak star rating, then Earth Diver would get eleventeen stars.