When the genius behind the warhorse of a band Behemoth broke news about doing something different, it was hard to imagine what the outcome could be. Fast forward to this week and we are on the cusp of it’s release, a project soaked in country and folk driven blues, with the powerful writing forces of Nergal and John Porter, the outcome is a warhorse of its own, and its message is known as ‘Songs of Love and Death’.
Not being names many would put together, the release really puts the proof in the pudding with their softly softly approach, all tainted with a darkened edge giving a very impressive atmosphere. Opening with the anthemic ‘My Church is Black’, simplistic in its own ways giving that powerful presence to play itself. ‘Nightride’ continues the stripped back styling, allowing the song to breathe and travel like a midnight train through the desert, conveniently followed on that journey by ‘On the Road’.
‘Cross My Heart and Hope to Die’ brings the sounds of a man in his last days with superb choral vocals, as obviously dark a song as you can find on the album as the theme goes. Almost as a rebirth, the song is followed by a few tracks of an almost positive vibe, especially by the time you reach ‘Love and Death’ and ‘One Day’. ‘Shaman Blues’ takes on a bit of a delta blues feel, a great bit of dirt.
Album closers ‘Voodoo Queen’, ‘Get Outta This Place’ and ‘Ain’t Much Loving’ polish off the musical journey like an old western with the film ending in its typical glory of riding off into the distance on horseback just as the credits roll. Each track seems to all have the same styling and feel, yet all provide something each of their own. After a few playthroughs I find it hard to look at the musicians individually or back in their own projects, the maturity and level of musicianship is high throughout, I feel like they’ve been about as a band for a while and have a little frustration that there isn’t anything for me to look for in a back catalogue of Me and That Man. It might not be something for those diehard death metal and black metal fans of Behemoth, but for those that have any slight interest in music outside of those genres, there is plenty here for them. These sound like they will be such a treat to hear live, and as luck would have it, Me and That Man are on the road at the end of this month in the UK. With a release like ‘Songs of Love and Death’, catching them live will be an experience we can fully recommend going to witness.
Songs of Love And Death' is released via Cooking Vinyl on 24th March 2017