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

Death metal hero gets moody

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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.