March 27, 2020 Me And That Man – New Man, New Songs, Same Shit, Vol.1 (Album Review)
There comes a time in everyone’s life when change is inevitable. Fortunately, within that struggle of chaos there is still always new, wildly interesting music to discover. Up for discussion is the New Man, New Songs, Same Shit, Vol.1, from Behemoth’s Nergal and his solo project Me And That Man due out on Friday, March 27th via Napalm Records.
A project that was born some three years ago when releasing the debut album, Songs Of Love And Death, in 2017, those who heard the album were in for a wonderful surprise. The truth is most know Nergal as Mr. Blackened Death Metal vocalist for the unstoppable force known as Behemoth. Well, forget that and buckle up because he has gone full Dark Folk, Blues, and yes, even a little bit Country with Me And That Man. The best part is he has invited a bunch of reputable guest singers from random walks of Metal to accentuate his songs. For those who think this is just too weird and different, it is recommended that no judgement is made until after sitting down for a listen. To help ease your confusion, the essential elements of the music that Nergal has previously been known for are actually still a part of this – if you are willing to dig deep enough.
Starting it all with a catchy bluesy vibe is “Run With The Devil,” a track which features Shining (Nor)’s Jørgen Munkeby. Right off the bat catching you off guard, put into context it isn’t very out of the ordinary. All of this put into perspective, the true strength of the album lies in the witty lyric arrangements matched with the spunk of the Blues which still finds a secret passageway into the dark ritual world of music. It is fairly subtle though, so listen carefully.
Moving on, “Coming Home” features Madrugada’s Sivert Høyem and it certainly holds tight to a dark and bluesy agenda. Then, on to one of the most entertaining pieces of all, “Burning Churches,” featuring Grave Pleasures’ Mat McNemey, while telling a reminiscent tale of Black Metal gone Folk and Blues Rock. It’s a wild anomaly with a very unoriginal melody purposely crafted into a cute mockery. If that isn’t enough of a mouthful there are still a few more songs to go.
Raise of hands, who thought Emperor’s Ihsahn would show up on this album? Well, he is known as the master of variety when it comes to his music, and as a result appears on “By The River,” which is very much a well-structured tune that brings unusual light into a deeply energetic darkness. Then there is “Deep Down South” which includes Lucifer’s lead lady Johanna Sadonis and Nicke Andersson. Together they manage to create a fun Country Blues Rock cut that is reminiscent of something you would imagine on a Quentin Tarantino movie soundtrack. Not to be left out, “Man Of The Cross,” featuring Rome’s Jérôme Reuter, subtly dives into that ritualistic darkness but, again, in what is a shockingly unusual way.
Towards the end of the wild journey of randomness is “You Will Be Mine” in which Trivium’s Matt Heafy joins in. It’s a total Country-Western Blues ballad that has some cute and evil hidden depth to it. Oh yeah, there is also no shortage of harmonica, as well, just for extra enjoyment. Then comes another shocking piece called “How Come?” featuring Slipknot’s own Corey Taylor, as well as Mastodon’s Brent Hinds, and Volbeat’s Rob Caggiano. To bring all this unexpected amazement to a closure is “Confession,” which starts off with a mocked lyric quote of Peter Steele’s from a Type O’ Negative track before quickly jumping into a Western Rock melody that is deeply sung by Sweden’s Shining Niklas Kvarforth. Starting off stagnantly, the short and sweet tune crescendos into a Black Metal raging journey to the finish line.
Overall, Nergal has pulled off an inspired and magical album. In fact, anyone who truly understands the inter-working of his mind can derive satisfaction out of this unique creation. Bring on volume two, but until then, Cryptic Rock gives this album 4.5 out of 5 stars.