Hessian – Manegarmr (Southern Lord)
CD / LP / DL
An exhilarating and exciting must-hear album for fans of metal from Belgian band Hessian.
Having just signed to the awesome Southern Lord label, Hessian are another band that push the barrier of sonic assault. Southern Lord is already home to some of the most ferocious and intense bands on the planet, such as Nails, Black Breath and Sunn O))).
This group of Belgians can take their place next to these bands as Manègarmr is an album that is exhilarating and exciting. They fit the bill perfectly.
Manègarmr is named after the wolf that – in Norwegian mythology – devours the sun every night. The album starts with Ascension, which opens with a sudden bout of feedback before an onslaught of black metal tinged drumming hits you straight in the head.
Serpents Whisper carries on the assault on the ears with furious riffing and screamed vocals. Mourn the World of Man is segued into seamlessly with a slower tempo but still with 100% ferociousness retained.
Father of Greed takes the album into very doomy territory with slow, churning riffs and some extremely ruthless vocals. The track ends with whining feedback which sounds like the end of side one.
Vamacara is a three minute dose of ambient feedback before the arguably the albums most furious track; Swallowing Nails. Frenzied drums, a wall of guitar noise and some utterly savage vocals make up an amazing few minutes of music. The screams of Swallowing Nails and the shift in tempo between black metal blast beats to more stoner like beats make this one of the most exciting songs I’ve heard in a long time.
The album closes out with the driving Mother of Light. The howling vocals reek of despair and the cacophony of noise that the band create behind the vocals leave you feeling exhausted at the end of the album,
With the infamous Tomas Skogsberg (Entombed, Unleashed, Dismember) behind the mixing desk, Hessian have created a piece of work that is a must listen if you’re a fan of metal.
All words by Dom Walsh. You can read more from Dom on LTW here.