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Cormorant: Dwellings

Post-metal is pretty much a hot genre these days, as metal bands take various types of metal music and, infusing post-rock sensitivity into their approach, move their music into new uncharted areas through experiments with sound and ambiance and atmosphere and so on. In that sense, post-metal, like post-rock, is very progressive.

And then there is Cormorant.

They are progressive.

They take metal in a new direction.

But, unlike post-metal artists, they do not search for innovative elements outside of metal. Instead they bring together a lot of elements of various quite different subgenres within the universe of heavy metal music, proving that the metal universe is so big these days, that genre transgression - one of the features of progressive music - is possible within the metal music genre. Thus, on Dwellings, the listener is exposed to chaortic black metal aesthetics, sludge grooves, proto-metal and hard rock drives, NWoBHM inspired guitar harmonies and guitar leads, doom metal heaviness, gothic metal darkness and progressive metal odd meters, as well as even some hardcore elements. The vocals are primarily harsh, ranging from black metal shrieks over Schuldiner-like screeches to hardcore yells. While metal definitely is dominant on the album, there are some more post-rock-like and folk-rock-inspired passages, too, and there is also a slight presence of dark psychedelia

Dwellings is one of those albums which is very varied, yet very consistent and focused. The production is pretty consistent, and its unpolished nature might even prove to be a breath of fresh air to those who are tired of the polished and sterile production of much progressive metal these days. And the same category of listeners might also be interested to known that this album, while definitely progressive, does not emphasize technical prowess or instrumental wankery. The focus is primarily on expression, and Dwellings definitely is a very expressive album (which is pretty well captured in the guitar solo towards the end of 'Unearthly Dreamingss'. That is not to say that the level of complexity is low. The song structures are quite complex, and especially the longer ones like ' Funambulist', 'Junta', 'A Howling Dust', and 'Unearthly Dreamingss' take the listener on journeys through various moods, sounds, and landscapes.

Dwellings is a very solid progressive heavy metal release, which gives the listener some of the best that heavy metal music has to offer. Fans of dark progressively oriented metal acts as diverse as Solstafir, Psychotic Waltz, Mercyful Fate, Thine and Opeth should definitely check out this release.

Track listing:
1. The First Man
2. Funambulist
3. Confusion of Tongues
4. Junta
5. The Purest Land
6. A Howling Dust
7. Unearthly Dreamings

Added: November 25th 2011
Reviewer: Kim Jensen
Related Link: Cormorant official website
Hits: 1900
Language: english

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