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Cormorant

Cormorant are a band that have defied convention from the get-go. The group sprang to life in early 2007, formed when a quartet of talentedBay Area musicians came together with the simple goal of writing music without boundaries. For an unabashedly metal band, Cormorant’smembers hail from a number of unusually diverse backgrounds. While Arthur von Nagel grew up on folk rock and classical music, guitaristNick Cohon spent time as a member of old-time country band The Yellow. Bellied Sapsuckers. Percussionist Brennan Kunkel spends his freetime making hip hop beats, and the other three memb ...read more

Cormorant are a band that have defied convention from the get-go. The group sprang to life in early 2007, formed when a quartet of talentedBay Area musicians came together with the simple goal of writing music without boundaries. For an unabashedly metal band, Cormorant’smembers hail from a number of unusually diverse backgrounds. While Arthur von Nagel grew up on folk rock and classical music, guitaristNick Cohon spent time as a member of old-time country band The Yellow. Bellied Sapsuckers. Percussionist Brennan Kunkel spends his freetime making hip hop beats, and the other three members recruited guitarist/vocalist Matt Solis at an Enslaved gig. The eclectic nature oftheir musical interests undoubtedly contributes to the band’s propensity for experimentation and genre-bending. With influences rangingfrom Agalloch and Enslaved to Slough Feg, Cynic, Lykathea Aflame, My Dying Bride, Sleep, Dissection, Vintersorg, Fleurety, DiabolicalMasquerade, and a host of others, Cormorant’s sound is as difficult to describe as it is to resist.

After recording a 3-song demo, the band played a string of successful shows around the Bay Area with bands like Wolves in the ThroneRoom, Withered and Grayceon, surprising crowds with their proclivity for improvising whole songs on the spot. Local radio play soonfollowed, as well as the endorsement of master luthier Greg Nelson, who built Arthur’s signature fretless and fanned-fret basses and Nick’scustom Explorer. Cormorant’s debut EP, “The Last Tree,” was released in December 2007 to overwhelmingly positive reviews. Recorded atSausalito’s Studio D (of Faith No More and Soundgarden fame), the EP explores many facets of the black, death, thrash, doom, and folkmetal sub-genres while still referencing the formative influences that make Cormorant’s music unique. Nick comments: “I have no problemintroducing a blues-based guitar solo into a Norwegian black metal piece if the song calls for it. Why worry about rules?” Arthur agrees.“Other music genres have so much to offer. Hardly any metal players are utilizing the tonal advantages of fretless bass guitar.” Arthur’s ownvoice and lyrics play a major part in the Cormorant sound. “Some have trouble with the harsh vocals,” he admits, “but I think if people canget into Tom Waits, they can enjoy this. Once you get used to the singing, you realize how essential it is to the presentation of the music,and eventually you’re even able to understand the lyrics.” The words to Cormorant’s songs are of a style seldom seen in metal, and play anintegral part in the band itself; his involvement in Cormorant originally stemmed from von Nagel’s desire to bring those words to life. “Thelyrics start off as poems, mostly influenced by French Romantic and Symbolist literature, then I combine that with American folk music’sstory-telling and old-school punk’s sense of social unrest.” Brennan loves that kind of contrast. “You need a balance of brutality and beautyto fully appreciate both,” he explains. “If I’m dropping blast-beats the whole album, it all ends up sounding the same, and it’s not scary orimpressive anymore.” Matt smiles and adds, “Sometimes you have to lull your listeners into a false sense of security..

Fast-forward two years, and Cormorant’s sound has evolved even further on their upcoming full-length, Metazoa. Recorded and mixed inJanuary 2009 at Sharkbite Studios by legendary producer Billy Anderson (Neurosis, Sleep, Melvins, Primordial) and mastered by JustinWeis (Slough Feg, Hammers of Misfortune, Ludicra) at Trakworx Studios, Metazoa sees the band fully come into their own as one of the mostcreative, innovative heavy metal bands of the new century. With a sound rooted in death metal and steeped in melody, that combines thefolk-tinged atmosphere of Agalloch with the progressive-minded black metal of newer Enslaved and the galloping heavy metal thunder andepic guitar harmonies of Slough Feg and Iron Maiden, Cormorant are far more than the sum of their parts, and are sure to appeal to all fans oftrue heavy metal in all its forms. Alongside friends and like-minded souls in Hammers of Misfortune, Ludicra, Giant Squid, and Asunder,Cormorant have established themselves as one of the brightest rising stars of the once again burgeoning San Francisco metal scene, andwith the release of their debut full-length, Metazoa, promise to continue their graceful rise to the top. « hide

Similar Bands: Agalloch, Enslaved, Ludicra , Mirrorthrone, In the Woods...

LPs
Earth Diver
2014

4.5
13 Votes
Dwellings
2011

4
80 Votes
Metazoa
2009

3.9
124 Votes
EPs
The Last Tree
2007

3.8
22 Votes

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