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Old 12-20-2011, 12:55 AM   #51
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14.) Cormorant - Dwellings


Cormorant hail from San Francisco, and they wear the upper-West-Coast metal badge with pride. What makes this album stand out? The guitar work, for one. It is very expressive and textural and emotional. It drops jangly jazz lines on top of mid-paced black metal canvasses. The chord progressions are always surprising; with most west coast black metal albums I can guess at this point where each song is going. Cormorant is not content with stagnation; each song manages to take dramatic twists without feeling forced. There’s also an incredible sense of melody on this album. It reminds me of Agalloch in structural ways, only beefier and with way more use of major scales. It sounds happier. But happy doesn’t necessarily equal unrelenting. This is heavy and it is intricate as all Hell. It’s perhaps the most expressive metal album of the year. A fantastic sophomore effort.


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