Manegarmr begins with a symphony of heavy, whirlwind guitars in opener ‘Ascension’. Hessian draws comparisons to their countrymen Amenra, but unlike the latter’s penchant for post-metal, Hessian prefer to be more up-front. Manegarmr definitely deserves to be played at obscene volume. The driving guitar is at the forefront of the whole record and it’s interplay with the growled vocals of Bram, makes the feeling all the more menacing. At times it’s metallic, but not so much that it sounds overproduced or copyist.
The songs aren’t particularly long; they provide enough for the listener to cling on to, whilst not overstaying their welcome. ‘Father Of Greed’ is punishing; the guitars are huge and the effects used are nothing short of bruising. The screamed vocals seem to hit another register and the grooving, slower instrumentation hints at a proper climax. The mixture of low-end rumble and treble from the lead guitar is crushingly powerful and as it fades, so does your soul.
Hessian has crafted an album of abject beauty yet with very real despair. It’s not forced or faked and with a stellar production leaving it sounding natural, it allows you to get totally lost.
8 out of 10