Review: Me And That Man “New Man, New Songs, Same Shit Vol. 1” [Napalm Records]

Review: Me And That Man “New Man, New Songs, Same Shit Vol. 1” [Napalm Records]

- in Reviews

Me And That Man, an Adam ‘Nergal’ Darski’s Dark Country/Blues side project suddenly gained attention in 2017 when the first album, Songs Of Love And Death was released. Next year John Porter leaves this project but Nergal moves on. In 2020 there comes a second album from Me And That Man, a dark, full of blasphemy and surprises New Man, New Songs, Same Shit Vol. 1.

“It’s deliberately provocative, but then all of our records are,” says Nergal. Behemoth is a super-serious band, but on my own I can be goofy  which is a huge luxury in these overly PC times. It’s liberating for me, and a huge privilege. We’re here to entertain you and piss you off, and that’s fine because we do it with a wink.”

The first thing you pay attention in New Man, New Songs, Same Shit Vol. 1 is a number of guest musicians: from 11 songs in the album only “Męstwo” (“Bravery”) was sung by Nergal and in another ten there can be heard Corey Taylor (Slipknot/Stone Sour), Matt Heafy (Trivium), Ihsahn (Emperor) and many others. As some reviewers already said, this project can be safely called “Me And Those Men”. “This record was originally supposed to be a mixture of some outlaw country and blues, – recalls Nergal, – but it’s become way more diverse. I knew that when I combined all those voices from different schools, different tones, different timbres, it would result in something absolutely unique and special.”

The album has become really diverse, indeed, while Blues and Country are prevailing in it, of course – they are its musical basement, if you please. Nevertheless, the mood is changing from song to song and here all ‘New Man, New Songs, Same Shit, Vol. 1 versatility opens up. The opening “Run With The Devil”, for example, is a rhythmical bluesy Rock’-n’-roll with great saxophone and Norway Shining‘s Jørgen Munkeby’s vocals. In its turn, “Deep Down South” is a buoyant Country with mandolin, piano, violin and harmonica, where Nicke Anderson from Entombed and gorgeous blonde Johanna Sadonis from Lucifer sing about revenge of a woman that raised from the grave – quite in a spirit of the Wild West.

Many vocalists also revealed themselves from the unexpected side: it’s very surprising to hear Matt Heafy sings the darkest Country ballad about gone bad love affair and a crime of passion (“You Will Be Mine”). Or Corey Taylor with Brent Hinds from Mastodon that sing, probably, the most striking song in the album, epic “How Come?” with the wall of guitar sound, atmospheric synths but still bluesy. And the most unexpected thing here is deep, expressive Ihsahn’s vocals in slow and severe Blues “By The River” with great guitar solo.

“Blues is the music of devil himself”, they said and Nergal approached to it with all the honesty of his anti-clerical attitude. The simple Dark Country song “Burning Churches” with Mat McNerney’s (Grave Pleasures) vocals tells the story about believing boy that turned away from religion for valid reasons (just watch the mocking cartoon video for this song); discording choir that sounds more like a bender in a bar is especially good here. But “Man Of The Cross”, where you can hear the voice of Jerome Reuter from Rome pretending for the darkest song in this album with its deepness and lyrics that desecrating all Christians dogmas. Yeah, that’s still Blues, but this Blues is blacker than the blackest black times infinity (according to Nathan Explosion).

The album ends with “Confession”, performed with Niklas Kvarforth from Sweden Shining. Musically this leisure and in the way epic song would fit to some spaghetti western if not Black Metal insanity in the end of the song: drums doing blast beats, guitars start to play an evil Black Metal riff and there are some infernal screams on the background.

Anyway, one more time Nergal did something unusual, unexpected and very interesting. And the “Vol. 1” in the album’s title implies that this is just the beginning. Well, that’s more interesting what will the next album become!

New Man, New Songs, Same Shit, Vol. 1 will be released on March, 27 via Napalm Records.


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