Manii - Sinnets Irrganger review


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Band: Manii
Album: Sinnets Irrganger
Release date: August 2018

01. Da Har De Sænket Mig Ned I Jord
02. Gravsang
03. Dødmands Ben
04. Hundre Gonger Hengd
05. Sinnets Irrganger

If for some reason you aren't familiar with Manes, you may be familiar with Ulver. Manes also has the Ulver syndrome. But Manii is the cure.

Just like Ulver, Manes released their first demo in 1993 in Norway, back when the scene was in full force. Ulver would go on to release three iconic full-lengths and then completely change course. Manes would follow the same path a few years later, but in 1999 they released their only black metal full-length, Under Ein Blodraud Maane. Up until that point, it was basically just Sargatanas on vocals and Cernunnus doing pretty much everything else. Sargatanas left and by 2002 the band had completely changed its line-up and style. But sometimes artists do feel the need to go back to their roots, back to the ethereal darkness of Trondheim, while not leaving the evolving path they've been ever since. Hence why since 2011 both Manii and Manes have existed, one as a continuation and one as the evolution of Under Ein Blodraud Maane.

Sinnets Irrganger barely scratches the 30-minute mark, unless you count the editions that also have the Skuggeheimen EP, which feature re-recordings of songs from old Manes demos, in which case we get into a comfortable 40-minute zone. If you've heard Manes's debut, I suppose I don't need to tell you that this will be cold and glacial. And the pace is pretty glacial, too, in the first half of the record, bearing somewhat of a resemblance to funeral doom at times. Even if the guitar's tremolo picking and the drum's blast beats pick up some speed, the song still feels very slow and frozen in place. The album does pick up some pace during "Hundre Gonger Hengd", only to slow back down for the last track. It goes without saying that atmosphere and immersion into said atmosphere is critical for a record like this.

There to help the immersion into the atmosphere is the album's production, which feels very '90s-ish raw while being noticeably modern in it being precisely as raw as it needs to be and more pristine in other moments. This does sometimes have the effect of sounding disjointed, as if two songs from different albums have been put together - for example, the difference between "Gravsang" and "Domands Ben". And the short run time of the album doesn't help with the disjointed feeling the album already has. The album also has a new drummer and his presence isn't felt as much as you'd expect. All of these things quite give this album the feeling that it was very rushed and Cernunnus put much more effort into Slow Motion Death Sequence, which is a real shame, because even with its shortcomings, Sinnets Irrganger still has its quirks and noticeably modern sounds along with the raw atmosphere it sometimes manages to maintain.

It feels like Sinnets Irrganger didn't get the attention it deserved, both by fans and by the artists themselves. It has its flaws, but there was clear potential for more. Manii aren't wack. There's no reason why the jigsaw pieces couldn't fall into place to create something as great as Under Ein Blodraud Maane. But until then.

At least, many who called for a return to roots had their wish answered. Some however enjoy the quirkier stuff. In which case.


Written on 02.09.2018 by My opinion is objective, sorry if you don't agree, but you're wrong.

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