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Framtíðin Myrt - 85%

Nattskog7, May 28th, 2022
Written based on this version: 2021, CD, Dark Descent Records (Digipak)

Icelandic black metallers Mannveira return with a debut full length album to follow their sporadic EP and split releases...

The dreary dissonance of atonal guitars and chiming cymbals brings in that familiar Icelandic feel alongside howling vocals, with a raw and anguishing vibrancy that is harsh yet melodic. With a beginning set to a very low tempo, the feverish crawl picks up into a rocky drum beat, complemented by the same swirling guitars that offer psychotic melodies of trance-inducing quality. Snarling lower grooves bring the musics abyssal qualities to the surface, while interweaving with those dancing lead moments gorgeously. Haunting ritualistic passages open more portals to otherworldly realms, utilising a flurry of monolithic drum work and tantalising riffs to back up a slew of vocal incantations. Sitting somewhere between a fever-induced hallucination and a nihilistic breakdown of the psyche, Mannveira make profoundly unsettling and introspective music, akin to Andavald (whose debut album was my top record of 2019), though unsurprising due to shared members, it is important to underline the sonic uniqueness of Mannveira from Andavald. Primarily, the rockiness of this band makes for a more catchy energy that is less psychedelic and more in-your-face.

Ethereal and inhuman musicianship continues to permeate the air with a richly textured and vibrantly cacophonous form of black metal that eats away at joy and injects the soul with a feeling of tense foreboding.The cleverly used sampling is minimal but tends to lend the songs a bit more of the unnerving feeling that the band concoct gorgeously. That is perhaps the thing that has caused so much interest in Icelandic black metal, the sheer attention to detail that accompanies their superb musicianship. Each Icelandic band has a character and subtleties that are enriched and feel special, while sharing obviously similarities and often members, not deriving too heavily from each other. That can be heard here with the discordant flare of their fellow Icelanders while taking things into a much more despairing variation that dials some of the aggression back in favour of claustrophobic ambience that is truly chilling. Naturally there is still plenty of vitriol in their playing, which is probably best showcased on my personal favourite from them “Vítahringur” which is a savage onslaught that dancing with melancholy and depression, but in a way that is unarguably ferocious.

Sprawling forth from the abyssal darkness, Mannveira’s debut album is a potent and unforgiving slice of existential dread. Conjured in a storm of foul soundscapes and discordant barbarity, one can easily find the torturous and self-afflicted disdain of Mannveira to be a purifying experience. Another gem from the land of fire and ice.

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