Mannveira – Vítahringur (Review)

Mannveira - VitahringurThis is the debut album from Icelandic black metallers Mannveira.

Featuring members of Andavald and Naðra, Vítahringur contains 35 minutes of unsettling atmospheric black metal chaos.

This is the sound of darkness given blackened form. The music swirls with sinister atmosphere, like a nightmarish vortex has been dragged into existence and is slowly contracting around you as you experience the horror of Vítahringur. The songs slither and twist around the listener, searching for weaknesses, ready to exploit any that are found.

The music has a raw energy to it, as if it is alive and simply biding its time until it fully reveals itself. Atypical aggression is married to despondent moods. The intensity is tempered with elements of melody and atmosphere. Some of the melodic dissonance sounds like it’s trying to wrap itself around your throat. Other melodies are less dissonant, but still malevolent, and still attempt to get under your skin using the most direct methods available.

Vítahringur‘s claustrophobic aggression is both otherworldly and grounded in familiar blackened dirt. This makes for a listening experience that manages to somehow combine the ethereal and the mundane, but to the benefit of both. Mannveira sound as if their music is simultaneously both of the old-school black metal style and also of something more esoteric and spectral.

Vítahringur is a very enjoyable release that once again demonstrates Iceland’s individual and charismatic take on black metal. As yet another example of this, Mannveira have their own voice within this choir, and use it to great effect throughout Vítahringur.

A highly recommended listen for connoisseurs of the dark arts.

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