Me And That Man - Songs Of Love And Death album review

Death metal hero gets moody

Cover art for Me And That Man - Songs Of Love And Death album

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You might know Nergal, one of the main protagonists here, from his usual haunt with Polish death metallers Behemoth. But this is different. Very different. Collaborating with John Porter, he’s gone for a sparse, parched and dusty approach; one that owes a lot to Tom Waits or Nick Cave, having a darkly brooding undertone that’s both mournful and lonely.

This is a collection of songs that seems at home in the shadows, throwing out a miserable menace. It’s imbued with a sinister cynicism, but one that never becomes so bereft of lightness that you get weighed down and overwrought. The best songs – My Church Is Black, Cross My Heart And Hope To Die and Of Sirens, Vampires And Lovers – have a soiled, black humour, immersing you in the poignant emotions being exposed. This album is surely the first step on what could be an evocative trip.

Malcolm Dome had an illustrious and celebrated career which stretched back to working for Record Mirror magazine in the late 70s and Metal Fury in the early 80s before joining Kerrang! at its launch in 1981. His first book, Encyclopedia Metallica (opens in new tab), published in 1981, may have been the inspiration for the name of a certain band formed that same year. Dome is also credited with inventing the term "thrash metal" while writing about the Anthrax song Metal Thrashing Mad in 1984. With the launch of Classic Rock magazine in 1998 he became involved with that title, sister magazine Metal Hammer, and was a contributor to Prog magazine since its inception in 2009.