No longer a curiosity

Nergal’s Me And That Man project was setup to show a different side to the vocalist’s lyrical and musical darkness. A musical journey of country, blues and a twisted version of Americana folk tropes, nothing the average fan of his day job with black/death powerhouse Behemoth would normally readily set ears to.

Across two previous releases, the project has struggled to find its feet and its place in the musical spectrum that Nergal has spent the last 25 years aiming for. The second album – the first volume to this release – took a slightly different approach. Bringing in a raft of guest musicians, some also spreading their musical wings into unknown territory, came across as more of an oddity than a serious project to be treated with respect, if for no other reason than just how far off the blackened track it all was.

The great news is that while Vol. 2 also carries a raft of guest appearances, there is a feeling of cohesiveness that was missing the first time around. From the opening of Black Hearse Cadillac with Hank Von Hell (Rest In Power), there is an extra element of both musicality and story-telling in the lyrics, and of course with Hank’s sudden passing there is an added element to the melancholy opener.

The tracks are strung together with a flow that the first two albums missed, and finally the ideas have had time to breathe and relax. From the restrained power of Blaze Bayley’s vocals on All Hope Has Gone to Abbath’s imitation of Lemmy on Losing My Blues and the Alissa White-Gluz and Devin Townsend combination on Goodbye everything drilled into your ears is some of the best modern country/folk/whatever this is that I can recall in sometime.

This is the kind of album that is better heard than explainedit – that really is all it comes down to. How am I meant to explain the David Vincent/Nergal Year of the Snake if you have never listened to classic country like Merle Haggard or Willie Nelson? Big assumption I know, but you are on a rock and metal site reading reviews written by a guy who loves metal and hardcore. The assumption makes sense.

Don’t be afraid to cross to this side of the darkness if you haven’t before. After a couple of interesting attempts without ever exactly achieving anything memorable, Nergal has finally managed to contain all of his ideas one at a time and create something that is no longer just a curiosity but a full fledged beast all its own.

1. Black Hearse Cadillac (Feat. Hank Von Hell, Anders Odden)
2. Under the Spell (Feat. Mary Goore also known as Tobias Forge)
3. All Hope Has Gone (Feat. Blaze Bayley, Gary Holt, Jeff Mantas Dunn)
4. Witches Don’t Fall in Love (Feat. Kristoffer Rygg)
5. Losing My Blues (Feat. Olve Abbath Eikemo, Frank The Baptist, Chris Holmes)
6. Coldest Day in Hell (Feat. Ralf Gyllenhammer, Douglas Blair)
7. Year of the Snake (Feat. David Vincent)
8. Blues & Cocaine (Feat. Michale Graves)
9. Silver Halide Echoes (Feat. Randy Blythe)
10. Goodbye (Feat. Alissa White-Gluz, Devin Townsend)
11. Angel of Light (Feat. Myrkur)
12. Got Your Tongue (Feat. Chris Georgiadis)