At the origin of every genre lies a raw energy that defies rules and norms, but inevitably, even the most extreme become restrained by convention. Mannveira’s latest release—surprisingly their debut, although the band has been around for ten years—rediscovers the purely manic misanthropy at the heart of black metal with some new influences, including some truly fucked up death industrial ritual cult shit in the intro and a generally more consonant and affirmative tone throughout. So if you’re looking for a soundtrack for tearing someone’s head off, here you go. We sat down with the group to talk about the album track by track.
Ópin rjúfa þögnina
Originally this song was just a riff that we jammed on during soundchecks and used to fill our timeslot, but we all felt that it deserved to be worked on a bit. And after a solid 45 minutes or so of collective stankface and thumbs-upping, we had a song. It‘s just the kind of dirty, sinister mid-tempo ball slapper that we all like, so it made perfect sense as an opener to the album.
Í köldum faðmi
Setting the tone for the rest of the album, “Í köldum faðmi” is about embracing self-destruction, i.e. willingly digging your own grave. The song itself flows surprisingly well considering how many different ideas were thrown at it. It also wasn‘t supposed to be the longest track of the album, but c‘est la vie. The intro (as well as the rest of the ambient breaks on the album) were done in collaboration with D.G., who was a tremendous help in creating this album.
“Vítahringur” was the first song we started writing on the album way back in 2015. It‘s a slow moving, heavy mood-ruiner in case anyone was having too good of a time in the first half. It‘s also a constant reminder of how long it took to get this fucking album done.
“Vítahringur” is also more or less the idealistic hub of the entire album—it’s all about finding solace in misery and the rude awakening when you realize there is no turning back. It also has a guitar solo, which is fun?
Akin to the idea of no turning back, “Framtíðin myrt” is an abstract ode to ensuring there is no going back, as well as ruining the path ahead. The years that it took to get this album out into the world squeezed some of the post-teen angst and fury out of us, but not all of it, so this song was sort of inevitable. Possibly the least dissonant track of the album with probably the most nihilistic ideas behind it. Then again, not a lot of positivity throughout the album.
Kverkatak eilífra martraða
Very much the conclusion of the whole album, “Kverkatak eilífra martraða” is just an ugly, hateful pit of riffs and misery that dissolves into nothing toward the end. Very much a fitting end to “Vítahringur” as a whole.
Pick up Mannveira’s ‘Vítahringur’ LP or CD at record shops around Reykjavík or online here. You can also listen to it on all streaming platforms.
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