Monday, April 13, 2015

Darkestrah - Манас (2013)

Masterful, epic pagan black metal from this long-running, Germany-based band. IMO Манас is their strongest work; it's idiosyncratic, but grand and sorrowful, with a warm, lush sound, and a river of fiery anger running through its core. The folk elements, which include throat singing and temir komuz, are used tastefully and to great effect, and their songwriting has never been more cohesive. And of course, their vocalist (who I just found out is, after 15 years, no longer in the band, boooo) puts in a chill-inducing performance, alternating between a fierce, gravelly scream and expressive, layered singing. If you have the attention span for it, Манас is one of the more rewarding black metal records in recent memory.

Track listing:
1. Манас-Мститель
2. Память
3. Победа
4. Кыргызстан
5. Манас-Батыр

Here the silence is empty. It is no longer there.
Nothing exists... nothing.
Columns of dust fly upon the desert as spirits and genies,
protecting their possessions.
Sands like herds of huge horses, rising under the clouds.

If you like this, try these:

Árstíðir lífsins - Jǫtunheima dolgferð (2010)
Negură Bunget - Om (2006)

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