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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What To Do In Pittsburgh Tonight (6 September 2012)

 

Allure of the Earth Productions presents…

While Heaven Wept (exclusive Northeast headlining show!)

with Argus and Vermithrax

 

at The Smiling Moose

1306 East Carson Street, Pittsburgh (South Side)

 

Thursday 06 August 2012 | 9:00 pm | 21+ only | $10

 
Well folks, it’s finally here — the show everyone’s been talking about all summer long! You can catch the epic melodic doom majesty of While Heaven Wept in their only headlining appearance (as they prepare to join Cormorant and Primordial for a string of dates, beginning tomorrow night — more info here)!

A couple of heavy hitters in the local scene (Argus and Vermithrax) will be kicking things off tonight, so you won’t want to miss this one!

 

Allure of the Earth – While Heaven Wept, Argus, Vermithrax video flyer from Jim Pitulski on Vimeo.

 
Grab your tickets here, then RSVP right here.

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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Just Released: Enid – Munsalvaesche

EnidMunsalvaesche (28 November, 2011 – Code666 Records)

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Last weekend, my wife and I traveled to enemy territory* to catch the Korpiklaani+Arkona show.  Because my mother’s farm is about three hours closer to Cleveland than the Valley of Steel is, I had arranged for us to spend Thanksgiving weekend at her place.  Well, I think mom saw through my thinly veiled ruse, because in exchange for a couple days’ worth of free food and shelter within easy driving distance from Peabody’s, she decided that I needed to help put up her Christmas tree and hang the lights on it (she has an enormous nine-foot artificial tree, and lately it has become more difficult for her to get up and down a ladder). 

Anyway, during all this decorating nonsense, we were treated to a variety of Christmas-themed music from mom’s extensive collection.  This included a number of albums by Mannheim Steamroller, a multi-platinum selling, new-agey, electro-orchestral project of which she’s always been fond.  Anyway, during the process of assembling the tree, my wife remarked to me that some of the music we’d heard the night before (i.e. the concert) was not too far removed from what was being played at the house that morning.  I can see where she was coming from here — for example, the incorporation of traditional folk melodies and styles, and instruments such as the flutes and bagpipes used extensively by Arkona, into a more modern format, might superficially resemble the methods employed by Mannheim Steamroller.  However, to me the pagan/folk metal movement seems to take the folk/traditional instruments, melodies, song structures and attitude, and directly blends these with metal instrumentation (and often, metal vocals). On the other hand, the traditional folk Christmas carols that are reinterpreted on the albums we heard, seem to be rearranged in more of a classical orchestration and then reproduced with modern, synthesized instruments. I would be more inclined to compare this with something like Wendy (née Walter) CarlosSwitched-On Bach series of albums, although the correllation would be more apt if it were electronic versions of works by classical composers who, unlike Bach, often incorporated traditional folk tunes (either of their own cultural heritage, such as Dvorak’s “Slavonic Dances,” or those picked up elsewhere, such as Tchaikovsky’s “Cappriccio Italien”).

Anyway, all of this rambling is leading up to my review of the latest album, Munsalvaesche, by German epic/fantasy/symphonic metal artist Enid, which was just made available last week (28 November) through Code666 Records/Aural Music. Continue reading and you shall see (and hear!) why this album should appeal to fans of the folk-metal approach as well as the modernized folk-music-via-classical-arrangement approach.
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