Having followed Hænesy from their debut album Katruzsa in 2018 to their 2019 split with Moondweller, I was keen to hear some new material from the band. Enter Garabontzia, which contains 44 minutes of the stuff.
The overall style is one of atmospheric post-black metal, with ambient and blackgaze elements mixed in. The album consists of mood-based pieces that build atmosphere with post-blackened effervescence and ethereal fragility. Light and shade work together to effectively craft music that acts as a musical expression of a landscape, rather than anything as prosaic as a traditional song. The band create soundscapes of passionate aggression, gleaming melodies, and textured depth.
Some of the melodies deployed sound dreamy, as if they have been pulled in from another dimension by a sleeping shaman of some kind. Others are resplendent in that special transcendent way that only post-metal seems to be able to achieve so fully. During the course of the album’s running time it is as if the listener is transported to a hypnagogic state of sorts, travelling between worlds with only Hænesy’s music as a guide. Its easy to become immersed in this journey, only to feel cold, alone, and abandoned once it has ended. The only solution, of course, is to slip back into Garabontzia‘s warm, comforting, trance-like embrace once more.
A record for dreamers everywhere.
Very highly recommended.