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We start the morning on a downer with the bittersweet news that Cormorant bassist and vocalist Arthur Von Nagel has decided to step down from the band with immediate effect.

Cormorant, from San Francisco, CA, have released an EP – The Last Tree – and two fantastic albums – Metazoa and Dwellings – since 2007, and have remained fiercely independent throughout their time. The band’s music is rooted in prog and black metal, but includes a whole range of styles and elements, including death metal, folk and jazz.

A completely amicable event, Nagel has made the difficult choice between his two loves – music and video games – and has decided to make the latter his focus. He began working for Telltale games approximately six months ago, and has been working on the episodic game set in The Walking Dead universe (which has been an excellent series thus far), and says “I look forward to going to work every morning for the first time in my life”. That’s something not everyone can say, and so we wish him the best of luck.

The good news is that Cormorant WILL be continuing on. Nick, Brennan and Matt are reportedly writing new material, with at least five new tracks nearing completion, which they describe as some of the best music they’ve ever written, so we look forward to hearing this some time in the future. As they say themselves, “Cormorant will continue to write, record and perform music until the fucking wheels come off”.

The official word from both Arthur and the remaining Cormorant chaps can be found here.

Below: ‘Junta‘, from 2011′s Dwellings.