Cormorant – Diaspora


    Across a four-album lifespan, Bay Area’s Cormorant had consistently proven to be one of metal’s true and brightest hidden gems, offering a branch of Black Metal which takes as much worship from progressive giants such as King Crimson as it does from Extreme Metal’s icons. Still independent to this day, Cormorant have always showcased a meticulous detail that encompasses not only their rich and textured music, but even down to their vibrant, detailed and often awe-inspiring artwork. Having always shown true forward thinking and near limitless artistry, it is simply staggering that their fifth release Diaspora (self-released) breaks their mould even further, and is without a doubt their boldest offering to date.

    Consisting of only four tracks, but still clocking in around the sixty-minute mark, Diaspora packs in such a cacophony of styles and layers but remains utterly engrossing throughout. Album opener ‘Preserved In Ash’ sets the tone instantly, giving no room to breathe ahead of a furious and recognisable Black Metal riff kicking in. The tension then releases to more melodic and open landscapes, ever-flitting between this and dense, fast-paced extremity. Throughout, Cormorant are masters at melding such levels of intensity and rawness while juxtaposing melodic and hugely emotive passages with seamless precision and warmth; even down to the collective vocal performances that range from icy, visceral growls to emotion ridden clean singing.


    Capping things off is the twenty-six minute long ‘Migration’; simply their greatest piece to date and one that perfectly encapsulates their vision, their ability to take you on a journey and of their lack of regard to any perceived limit to their direction. Veering from a folky acoustic opening through pure melancholic Doom, menacing and furious Black Metal and towering vocal passages that emit such feeling; ‘Migration’ is an utterly magnificent journey of atmosphere, tone and range with such a deep and rich tapestry to dissect further with each listen.

    Some bands quite simply never fail to work magic, and despite still being one of Metal’s best kept secrets, Cormorant have further developed and created their most ambitious, progressive and forward thinking work to date and proved even further beyond a shadow of a doubt their worth and credentials. For those in the know, this will undoubtedly be regarded as one of the finest of the year, arguably the band’s greatest work to date, and that Cormorant are an incredibly special band.




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