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CORMORANT - Dwellings cover
4.27 | 12 ratings | 3 reviews
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Album · 2011


1. The First Man (5:58)
2. Funambulist (10:30)
3. Confusion of Tongues (4:25)
4. Junta (9:28)
5. The Purest Land (4:37)
6. A Howling Dust (8:52)
7. Unearthly Dreamings (11:56)

Total time 55:46


- Arthur von Nagel / Bass, Vocals, Lyrics
- Brennan Kunkel / Drums, Vocals, Keyboards
- Nick Cohon / Guitars, Vocals
- Matt Solis / Guitars, Vocals

About this release

Released December 6th, 2011, by the band themselves.

Justin Weis - Producer, Tracking, Mixing, Mastering
Alice Duke - Artwork, calligraphy, Graphic design, Artistic direction

Thanks to Time Signature for the addition and bartosso, adg211288 for the updates


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Specialists/collaborators reviews

The Purest Eclecticism

Cormorants usually spend the whole day on eating fish and wreaking havoc on trees with their caustic excrement. Cormorant (the band) proves that you should never judge a band by its name. Their second album is so unrestrained yet so consistent, so focused yet so spontaneous... impossible was made possible and, believe it or not, it's released for free.

With high quality cover artwork come high expectations. By combining sophisticated symbolism of the concept with heavy metal spontaneity, black metal harshness and Opeth's approach to harmonies, Cormorant measured up to these expectations. Even though some of the lengthy instrumentals may be a little bit jarring sometimes, I can't help but love these passages of emotional harmonies and clever melodic interludes. And this time I simply can't pass over the sound production which indeed is great and suits the music perfectly, but it by no means makes it easy to listen to. It kind of reminds me of Grayceon's ALL WE DESTROY - very organic yet extremely clear at the same time, a little bit like a good live recording in a small music club.

Cormorant's DWELLINGS is a very original eclectic metal album and that's a merit in itself. However, it's one of those albums that not only impress you, but also take you on a wonderful ride with great atmosphere and genuine feelings as main attractions. You don't need a ticket - it's free - so go and get it now!

- Available for download at any price on -
Time Signature
The purest land...

Genre: eclectic heavy metal music

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 Dreamings'. 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.

(review originally posted at

Members reviews

USA's Cormorant's past releases have caught the extreme metal scene by storm, with their debut EP and full length album garnering critical acclaim through their unique fusion of various different extreme metal sub-genres. Dwellings sees the band continue in the direction where they have set off from, and their appreciation of different kinds of art-forms is evident from their album artwork, which incidentally was the first thing that caught my attention and piqued my curiosity regarding the music behind the artwork.

The opening riffs of The First Man already displays the folk influences that are present on the band's music, before the vocals of Arthur come in, with almost a sense of frenzy in his vocals, spitting out the lyrics to the songs with much rage and fury, but as the album progresses this makes him seem to only put on a false aggressive front, though this is certainly not something to complain about with the brilliance of the music that one is about to discover. Despite the pace that the band travels at, there is a weird sense of calm and peacefulness in the music as well that is displayed through the melodies of the songs. Unlike many other bands of similar genres, there is not much gain on the guitar, lacking the bite that most extreme metal bands utilise, but this helps in making the softer and more melodic passages on Dwellings more soothing and sincere. Vocalist Arthur also utilises different vocal approaches, depending on and adapting to what is going on in the background, ranging from extreme metal-styled growls and screams to clean vocals and whispers. The clean vocals that are present on songs like Funambulist remind listeners of such French bands as Amesoeurs and Alcest, with the pleasing vocal quality.

The music on Dwellings, as already mentioned, is mostly soothing and at times border on epic and atmospheric. For example, on Funambulist, the band takes a slowdown, focussing on producing a huge wall of sound with an almost fuzzy guitar tone. This is not to say that there aren't heavy moments on the album though, as songs like Junta sees the band slowing down their music even further to a doom-pace, with heavily palm-muted riffs and hard hits on the drums, displaying the heavier side of Cormorant. There are also slightly more upbeat moments on tracks like A Howling Dust as well.

Throughout the album, the various instruments are also noticed to be made use of fully, especially the rhythmic instruments such as the bass of Arthur, with the softer segments seeing the bass taking over the lead role. The guitar solos also seem to take the role of bringing out and accentuating the emotional aspects of the music, with the soaring tone of the guitars, and guitarists Matt and Nick letting their instruments wail, at times sounding as if they were mourning the passing of a close friend. Drummer Brennan displays his versatility as well, through the band's rapid switching between fast and slower moments, incorporating odd time signatures at the same time, yet never missing a single beat. The band's abilities on their instruments is perhaps most evident on the instrumental Confusion of Tongues.

The strength of the band's songwriting is such that even long tracks that range in the 10 minute region such as Funambulist and Unearthly Dreamings never fail to entertain and keep listeners enchanted, not only through the variations in the musical style in a single song, but also through the charismatic execution of the track, and the perfect amount of emotions that they have included in their music. With music as strong as such on Dwellings, it leaves one wondering why bands like Cormorant remained unsigned by major labels, but it could just as well remain so, considering the quality of the work that the band has managed to put out so far on their own, putting many other more recognised and more experienced bands to shame.

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