Happy (Belated) New Year!

Cheers!

* Happy National Day (for those who live on the island of Menorca)!

 

* Happy Feast Day of Saint Achilles the Confessor (for those who follow the Eastern Orthodox Church)!

 

* Happy Birthday to Benjamin Franklin “The Guy on the Hundred Dollar Bill,” James Earl Jones “The Voice of Darth Vader,” comedian Andy Kaufman, bassist Andy Rourke, boxer Muhammad Ali, actress Betty White, FLOTUS Michelle Obama, and singer Eartha Kitt!

 

* Let’s also commemorate the passing of music producer Don Kirshner, chess player Bobby Fisher, and former U.S. president Rutherford B. Hayes!

 
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If you can’t tell, I’m sort of reaching here, for any sort of a special occasion or commemoration to celebrate today. Since we’re now so long past the beginning of the year, I feel stupid saying “Happy New Year!” to you. But 2013 is still relatively new (and the majority of it is still yet to come), so I guess it really doesn’t hurt to still wish you a happy one.
 
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Well Holy Crap… Cormorant Bassist/Vocalist Arthur von Nagel Exits Band

Once again, let me just say, holy crap…

 

 

It is with great deference and gratitude to our fans and supporters that I announce my departure from Cormorant. After the overwhelming reception for Dwellings and national tours with longtime personal heroes, I feel fortunate to end this chapter of my life on a high note. Nick, Brennan, and Matt will continue to write and perform as Cormorant with my full support. The albums we created together were very personal to all of us, and I know the music they are composing now is of the same passion and honesty. I cherish our time working together, and I wish them the best.

I am taking a break from music to pursue my career in video games—another lifelong passion. Since May of this year, I have been at Telltale Games, hard at work on The Walking Dead episodic adventure series. Contributing to the game’s development has afforded me artistic fulfillment I never thought possible professionally. Thanks to the many colleagues I count as friends and projects I care deeply about, I look forward to going to work every morning for the first time in my life.

I have nothing but the most sincere thanks to our fans. You are incredible. From the Lebanese diehard metalhead who smuggled his contraband Metazoa CD in from Saudi Arabia, to the gentleman of indigenous Australian descent who wrote to tell us how profoundly “The First Man” had affected him, knowing that we’ve forged a connection with people through our music is the most gratifying. I feel grateful to have had the opportunity to perform for our fans across the US this year. Meeting you all in person was a true pleasure. I only regret that a worldwide tour wasn’t possible!

I’d like to thank the sound engineers and producers who made us sound our best, the publicists and journalists who wrote so beautifully about us, the visual artists who brought our music to life, the promoters who included us on such wonderful bills, and the bands with whom we shared the stage. While I have always taken great pride in Cormorant’s independence, so much of the band’s success is owed to your support. I look forward to attending future Cormorant shows from the other side of the stage.

Arthur von Nagel, November 2012.

 
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Cormorant Are Touring All Over the U.S.! (Well, not ALL Over…)

Regular readers of this blog (or the occasional random Googler) will already be familiar with my feelings on Californian blackened progressive metal band Cormorant. For anyone else who might be unaware, here is a brief overview of their discography which I wrote upon the occasion of their most recent release, Dwellings, back in December.

Knowing that this DIY band manages to put together strings of tourdates fairly infrequently, it’s always a big deal when they announce some shows. However, when I saw Primordial (Irish black-metal-turned-blackened-doom-metal, of whom I’m also really really fond) announce a jaunt through the eastern U.S., and Cormorant’s name appeared on the poster too, well I almost passed out.

Unfortunately, on closer inspection (and with helpful guidance from Cormorant bassist Arthur von Nagel), I realized that these two bands — along with the epic/melodic doom band While Heaven Wept — were only playing most of the dates listed.

While Pittsburgh’s Smiling Moose bar is shown in the image (see below), the asterisk next to that date, according to the legend at the bottom, means “WHW only”.

I’ve heard that that literally means “WHW only”… I’ve also heard (from Bandsintown, and later from Primordial themselves when they shared that event) that Primordial would indeed be playing Pittsburgh that night. Later, Primordial’s wall post was deleted, although the Bandsintown event remains. And the dude from Meatmeadmetal tells me that Metal Blade has confirmed there will be no Primordial.

What a huge fucking mess — I have no clue what’s happening. Opening bands at the Pittsburgh date will also include two local greats, Argus and Vermithrax. Those are both worth seeing, and if you like While Heaven Wept, then there’s another plus. Go check out the show, maybe Primordial will show up, maybe they won’t. Maybe fucking Black Sabbath will reunite with Bill Ward for one night only and play a secret show at The Smiling Moose. I wouldn’t be surprised by anything at this point.

Personally, I can’t help feeling a good bit of disappointment at the absence of Cormorant; however, Cleveland is only a few hours away, so ‘Burgh-area fans may want to keep that possibility in mind… or possibly Rochester or Philadelphia, if you’re feeling especially adventurous.

 
Anyway, here is the tour poster, in all of its bewildering confusingness, followed by a full list of dates:

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Out Today: Cormorant – Dwellings

Cormorant – Dwellings (self-released, 6 December 2011)

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First off, let me just say, I fucking hate Tuesdays. If I worked with that obnoxious lady from payroll or whatever in Office Space, she’d surely tell me I have a case of the Mondays every Tuesday. See, most people complain about Mondays because they don’t want to go back to work after the weekend, and they’re still a bit groggy throughout that morning. Well, I take this to a higher level, because I basically sleepwalk through Monday, go through the motions without really accomplishing much; you could say I’m virtually dead to the world for the entire day, so I’m more or less numb to how truly awful Monday really is. Then, after getting by on just vapors, I end up completely out of fuel by that night, and start out Tuesday feeling the way most people do on Monday. Anyway, that’s pretty much my story so far today.

There is one good thing I can say for Tuesdays though: that’s most often the day new music gets released. Ordinarily that would not be much of a consolation, but every once in a while, a Tuesday will roll around where there is a new release I have been looking forward to so much, that I almost forget how dreadful it is to be alive that day. Almost. And today is one of those rare days, because I’ve been counting down the days for the past few months, since I first saw the announcement from Californian blackened metal band Cormorant‘s bassist/vocalist/lyricist/spokesperson Arthur von Nagel, and now their new LP, Dwellings, is officially here.

For those out there who are already familiar with this band, and who have heard their earlier releases, you probably pre-ordered this weeks ago, and you are probably already listening to the digital copy while anxiously awaiting the CD (and all its fantastic artwork) to be delivered. If you know their past discography but you haven’t bought the new one yet, then probably you just missed seeing the news or you don’t know where to get it, so here you go: click this link.

If you’re still with me, then I assume you’ve never been exposed to Cormorant or their music before, so keep reading and we’ll go on a little trip through history.
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