Thursday, 16 May 2013

Hessian - Manegarmr (Album Review)

 
Album Type :  Full Length
Date Released : 13/5/2013
Label : Southern Lord

Manegamr, album tracklisting:
1. Ascension
2. Serpent’s Whisper
3. Mourn The World of Man
4. Plague Monger
5. Father of Greed
6. Vamacara
7. Swallowing Nails
8. Hollow Eyes
9. Manegarmr
10. Mother of Light
 
Bio:
Buried deep in the consciousness of its four members at the time, it was these exact questions that gave rise to Belgium's Hessian three years ago. From the onset, the combined musical backgrounds of guitarist Levy Seynaeve (Amenra), drummer Tim Bryon (The Black Heart Rebellion), singer Bram Coussement and bass player Kenneth Vanhoutte fell effortlessly into place, pushing a sound that was at once pummeling, devouring and empowering across the rural fields where they started rehearsing.

After a well received debut EP, a split 7" with Amenra, a split LP with Pale Creation on Magic Bullet Records and countless shows throughout Europe, Hessian have found a new home, Southern Lord and are ready to unleash their debut album, Manégarmr to the masses. The album will be released in the UK/EU on 13 May 2013.

Named after the wolf that - in Norwegian mythology - devours the sun every night, their debut record focuses both sonically and lyrically on the endless cycles of destruction that are imminent to this life and the world in which we live. From the soaring take-off of "Ascension", via the treacherous calm of central pieces "Vāmācāra" and "Father of Greed", to the merciless onslaught that is "Mother of Time". With towering guitars, frenzied drum patterns and savage vocals that sound like the howl of the lone wolf, Manègarmr is a furious blizzard of cold Black Metal, violently crashing into a maelstrom of ultra-metallic dark hardcore.
Manègarmr ultimately takes the listener on a journey that is at once haunting, draining and exhilarating.

Mixed by the infamous Tomas Skogsberg (Entombed, Unleashed, Dismember) at Sunlight Studios in Sweden and mastered by Brad Boatright (Sleep, High on Fire, Nails).
Hessian have some European live shows in the pipeline, check out the dates below as well as some video content from previous releases. You can feel free to spread the word far and wide...

Line up:
Tim: Drums
Bram: Vocals
Kenneth: Bass
Levy: Guitars

Review:
Southern Lord keeps expanding its roster of talented and fast-paced groups, and the latest addition is Belgium's Hessian. They play a furious blend of metallic hardcore, laced with some black metal influence. Their debut record is 'Manegarmr', and it both shreds and kills in equally violent measure.
Any album that starts with feedback is a plus for me. It's most definitely not just noise, and it has a justifiable place in heavy music. That said, 'Ascension' opens with feedback. Right before erupting into a cacophony of BM drumming and righteous hardcore fury. If this is a statement of intent for the album, then I'm sold.
 
Turns out it was. And I am.
 
'Serpent's Whisper' has some oddly timed and discordant riffs sewn within its structure that only enhance the mood. At its heart though is more of that virulent hardcore noise, so pure in its hatred that you cannot ignore it. This whole fucking thing is an absolute rager!!  I adored the layered and levelled riffs, they pound you into submission. This is the audio equivalent of a knee to the face.
 
Now, a special portion of this review will be dedicated to 'Mourn The World Of Man'. Bear with me, because I'm going to get positively pornographic over this bad boy. This is another contender for track of the year, every aspect of it is glorious to behold.  Aggressive vocals, heavy in the mid pace where it needs to be, but the real magic is found within the second half. There is this droning riff that escalates rhythmically, and then descends into madness with a DM taste. This thing is pure and absolute FILTH and I loved it. It sets the pulse racing, and you'll do that thing with your head and face where it looks like you're nodding in agreement.
 
'Swallowing Nails' is an absolute winner of a track title. The BM weighs heavier here than some other parts of the LP, but the riffs are still vicious and quite straight forward in their tradition. The breakdowns are immense, and you'll feel that the nails are in your ears rather than your throat.
'Hollow Eyes' is more of the same, all Slayer speed and Nails ferocity. This thing could incite a riot. It's so evil that haunted houses should be built upon it by accident, leading to some kind of bloodbath. And maybe better property planning.
 
This exercise in insanity winds down with 'Mother of Light', a colossal monument to sheer brute force. The eerie effect in the background perfectly complements the progressing heaviness of the riff in the foreground. It rolls on, devoid of relent or compassion. Which is nice.
 
Southern Lord keeps signing these bands and making a name for itself. By no means was Hessian a gamble, but a certified slam dunk.   Armed with 'Manegarmr', you'd be a fool to bet against them. Check it out the moment it becomes available in your area.
 
Words by: Matt Fitton
As ever, show your support to the band by checking them out at the various links and buying their merch. This record is available everywhere now. Thanks as always to Lauren @ Rarely Unable for the hook up.
 
 

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