Hessian - Manegarmr
Southern Lord
Black metal/death/hardcore
10 songs (28:42)
Release year: 2013
Southern Lord
Reviewed by Charles
Unlike some other European countries, Hellgium probably has more people in it than black metal bands. Its more notable acts have, at least from my perspective, inhabited the more melodic end of the blackened spectrum. Indeed, most recently, I was really impressed by Saille’s exceptional symphonic Lovecraft-worship on Ritu. Hessian are an entirely different prospect: a much dirtier and harsher form of black metal with a heavy influence from gravelly hardcore (e.g. Trap Them) and gnarly Entombed-style ‘death and roll’. Manegarmr is a worthy album; short, violent, and sounding equally at home delivering frost blast or ugly groove.

Opener Ascension serves as an overture, introducing the various sounds that the listener is going to have to deal with. Its opening bars are icily pure black metal, but seconds later the vocals enter as an LG Petrov-influenced bellow. Concurrently, the riffing gets more rambunctious, becoming more like brutal, high-energy death metal. After 2:20, though, we are back to a more graceful passage which would fit neatly onto an album by one of those melancholy Quebecois bands like Gris or Monarque. Hessian’s adeptness is obvious from the fact that these different ideas never feel forced; the band are fluent in various extreme metal dialects.

Manegarmr can be extremely crude, to great effect. Mourn the World of Man, with its stomping hardcore riffing, would be one example. But this is nothing besides the awesome Swallowing Nails, with its relentlessly obnoxious chorus (“Swallowing Naaaaaaaiilllssss! Swallowing Naaaaaiillllllsssss! Swallowing Naaaaiiilllllssssss! Swallowing Naaaaaiiiillllllsssss!” and so forth). But these moments are balanced by a savage flair which is in evidence at other points. Plague Monger is less than two minutes long, but crams in an exhilarating array of grasping blackened hardcore riffs, and even a screeching lead solo (see also the title track, at 1:34). All told, this is a skilled and entertaining debut album.

Killing Songs :
Swallowing Nails, Plague Monger, Ascension
Charles quoted 80 / 100
0 readers voted
You did not vote yet.
Vote now

There are 1 replies to this review. Last one on Tue Jun 04, 2013 10:09 pm
View and Post comments