Cormorant Needs You

If you aren’t familiar with San Fransciso progressive black metallers Cormorant, where have you been? Known for their pride in being an independently operated entity despite several offers from various labels, Cormorant have gained quite a cult following among their fanbase (including me) over the years.

Their 2009 debut, Metazoa, was an absolute underground darling that gained them a considerably amount of press and critical acclaim. But it was when NPR’s All Sounds Considered picked their 2011 sophomore effort, Dwellings, as album of the year that Cormorant was finally brought from the underground to the above. If you haven’t heard either of these records, go to their Bandcamp page now where both albums can be downloaded for free (that’s right, free!).

Since then, bassist/vocalist Arthur von Nagel left the band to pursue his dream of being a video game programmer which suddenly put Cormorant’s future in limbo. But fear not, it seems the band has regrouped, chosen a new bassist/vocalist in Marcus Luscombe of Vengince, and have entered TraxWorx Studios to begin recording their third full length release due out sometime in March of 2014.

As I stated above, Cormorant is a fully independent, listener sponsored enterprise (think PBS), and in keeping with this tradition the band has launched an Indigogo campaign asking for donations to fund their as of yet untitled third release. But despite my affinity for the Bay Area’s answer to Enslaved, I found this tidbit on their campaign page a bit perplexing:

With this album, we really want to put an all-out effort into the quality of the sound. As we did with Dwellings, we’ve tracked all music live to analog tape with engineer/producer Justin Weis, known for his work with Slough Feg, Agalloch, Hammers of Misfortune, Andre Nickatina, Ludicra and Sleepytime Gorilla Museum. In many ways, this release is our most focused album as we have learned that every tone counts, and nothing can be skimped on sonically.

Sigh, here we go again.

The fact is, Dwellings was a solid sounding DR6, but nothing really to rave home about. In fact, Justin Weis mastered Metazoa, and that was a full point higher (minus “Voices of the Mountain”) and generally more dynamic sounding all around. But frankly, I’m really splitting hairs here since both records sound fairly compressed and would have sounded a lot better if they raised the level of dynamics a full point or two (or five – Dave) higher.

So they need your help, and not just in a fiduciary capacity either: Cormorant listens to their fans and I believe if we get enough Metal-Fi’ers to send them email touting the advantages of a high dynamic master, that is exactly what we would get!

Homework assignment: Click on the link to the right, donate to the cause in any way you can, and then in your comment to the band, ask for a high dynamic master. If you have already donated or are just an interested party, contact them on their Facebook page or email them directly here (or even Tweet them at @CormorantMusic – Thanks Chase!). I believe if enough folks ask for it, Justin and Cormorant will deliver in spades, but there is only one way to find it. Do it!