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Cormorant unveil first post-Nagel track from new album Earth Diver

Cormorant 2013

A few weeks ago we gave word of a crowdfunding campaign launched by Bay Area blackened folk prog band Cormorant, seeking to raise $7500 to record, master and promote their forthcoming third album Earth Diver. The campaign was a success (huzzah!) and we’re already starting to hear the fruits of their labour as a new track called “Waking Sleep” has been premiered over at Stereogum.

The 9:14 beast moves across the range of Cormorant’s talents, opening with ambient acoustic prog and ending up in the blackened cesspool of furious riffs and screeches, with a variety of movements throughout keeping things interesting. I don’t absolutely love the track, as black metal isn’t my area of interest normally, but the quartet make a strong case nevertheless, and the proggier sections in particular are worth more than a casual listen.

It seems like the band will be haunted by their ex-vocalist/bassist Arthur Von Nagel for a while yet – the news of his departure having been unfairly touted as “Cormorant leaves Cormorant” by some outlets – but output such as this will only serve to banish that idea they were a one-man outfit. Brendan, Nick, Matt and Marcus have work yet to do, of course, but this is a strong statement of intent for the new era of the group.

What is always refreshing about Cormorant is their DIY approach. They’ve had label offers for sure, but kept plugging away under their own steam, which is admirable. The popularity of crowdfunding will only help them in this, which essentially acts like pre-ordering+ in a lot of ways these days. Long may this continue. The only thing we’d like to see is them able to expand from touring their local area, but you can’t have everything I suppose.

Earth Diver is a little way off yet, with March next year the most likely timeframe for release, but that’s just fine. Keep up to date on their Facebook in the meantime!