Friday evening, Adam Darski and his ME AND THAT MAN crew held a live stream on Napalm Record’s Youtube channel to celebrate the release of their sophomore album “New Man, New Songs, Same Shit Vol. 1” (out March 27) which boasts a long list of well-known guest musicians among which include Corey Taylor, Matt Heafy, Ihsahn, Rob Caggiano, and many others.
Unlike black metal heavyweights BEHEMOTH, Nergal’s side project, ME AND THAT MAN follows a different approach to music, fusing blues and folk with rock and metal influences thus creating 11 tracks that have their own personality and flavor, especially considering the talent involved in this record. The proceedings begin on an energetic and rockish note with the track “Run With The Devil” only to be followed by the bluesy/Gothic mix-up that is “Coming Home,” which half reminds me of the Elvis Presley half of TYPE O NEGATIVE because of Siver Høyem’s sultry vocals, the lyrics, and the gritty guitar tone. This laid back and relaxed vibe continues with the uplifting “Burning Churches” a dark affair that has a western/gospel feel to it, especially during the chorus, which combines incredibly well with the black metal aesthetic that derives from the overall atmosphere of the song. The melancholy “By the River” is a song where the folky notes of southern country music meet a doomy, funereal vibe thanks to Ihsahn’s intense vocal delivery, while a superb guitar solo closes the track in style.
The upbeat acoustic “Męstwo” feels like an interlude more than anything else, with Adam Darski sounding confident and a bit delicate while the backing arrangements are ethereal and atmospheric. “Surrender” features a more preeminent gospel feel because of the backing choirs that add not only atmosphere but also intensity to the music, though the guitars and vocals give it a more rockish edge. Exploring the heart of the western culture, “Deep Down South” is a beautiful duet between Nicke Anderson (ENTOMBED) and Johanna Sadonis (LUCIFER) that even incorporates a harmonica solo and what sounds like a banjo for a more genuine feel. “Man of the Cross” is another dark affair that has some Nick Cave vibes to it coming from the atmosphere and orchestrations, as well as Jerome Reuter’s grave vocal delivery. The acoustic “You Will Be Mine” works as the ballad of the album with Matt Heafy delivering a sweet and tender, heartfelt performance, after which follows Corey Taylor, whose delivery in “How Come?” is as magnetic as it is suave. The guitar melody and bluesy solo courtesy of Brent Hinds makes the track feel more rockish than it actually is. “Confession” features a deep and elegant delivery from Niklas Kvarforth before a rush of guitars closes off the album in a very BEHEMOTH type of way.
Mysterious are the ways of the music, since a Polish artist has managed to create such an intriguing index of everything Americana, while somehow still retaining elements that are familiar to the listeners. There are a lot of different facets to this album that sometimes work like a charm, sometimes drag a bit, but everything is held together tightly by the gloomy atmosphere of dark blues melodies. Worshiping the devil has never been more seductive.
Written by Andrea Crow
- Run With The Devil (feat. Jørgen Munkeby, SHINING [NO])
- Coming Home (feat. Siver Høyem, MADRUGADA)
- Burning Churches (feat. Mat McNerney, GRAVE PLEASURES)
- By The River (feat. Ihsahn, EMPEROR)
- Surrender (feat. Rob Caggiano, VOLBEAT/DEAD SOUL)
- Deep Down South (feat. Nicke Anderson, ENTOMBED and JOHANNA SADONIS, Lucifer)
- Man Of The Cross (feat. Jerome Reuter, ROME)
- You Will Be Mine (feat. Matt Heafy, TRIVIUM)
- How Come? (feat. Corey Taylor, SLIPKNOT/STONE SOUR and Brent Hinds, MASTODON)
- Confession (feat., Niklas Kvarforth, SHINING [SE])
Adam “Nergal” Darski