After releasing the near perfect ‘The Satanist’ in 2014 and touring it to death with Behemoth; which included playing the album in full at Bloodstock festival last year, well, we were keen to see what Nergal would come up with next.
It has to be said, starting a folky rock and blues duo with John Porter wasn’t exactly what we were expecting next. It was quite low down on the list, actually. But here we are with Me and That Man and their debut album ‘Songs of Love and Death’.
It’s interesting timing, as Ginger Wildheart has just cast aside the punk rock day job to release a bluesy country album. It’s obviously catching…
So this is something a bit different. The deliberately slow and simple ‘Cross My Hope To Die’ is a far fling away from what any self-respecting black metal fan would call heavy with it’s childrens choir and pedestrian stomp. But, in its own way, it is heavy. Nergal’s vocals are a mixture of Danzig and a bit of Bowie while John is more like a raspy Geldof and Phil Lynott.
Musically, it’s a mixed bag of hard rock and blues but with more bells and whistles than we simple rock fans are used to. There’s plenty of orchestral work, strings, keyboards, choirs and female vocals to ensure these songs are layered and rich. But at the same time the songs are spacious and relatively uncomplicated.
Most importantly the mood of the album is both dark and uplifting. The cathartic outpour is releiving and the dark and heavy vibe is one you can just sit back and chill to. As Nergal and John take it in turns to take lead vocals and play off each others narrative, there’s a real story telling element to ‘Songs of Love and Death’.
It’s a bit more cigar smoke and bourbon than hellfire and pyro, but there’s something warming and likeable about Me and That Man. ‘Ain’t Much Loving’ conjures up a satisfying buzz that resonates with CackBlabbath’s mellower side and ‘Nightride’ would go down a storm with just about any crowd.
So a change of pace for Nergal, but a worthwhile venture and no doubt a much needed cleanse of the soul through doing something so different. Something we should all do now and then. Partnered with John, a definite chemistry has formed within these songs and the live shows should be up the ante for Me and That Man once again.