Mannveira – Vitahringur

Band: Mannveira
Title: Vitahringur
Label: Dark Descent Records
Release Date: 2 July 2021
Country: Iceland
Format Reviewed: High-quality digital recording

Who’s ready for some Icelandic black metal? (As I raise my hand up with a “Me! I am!”). I can’t wait to get into Mannveira who have been largely silent up until now. Not much happening in recording of music, but don’t let that be the door closing on this band, oh no, on the contrary, they have been taking their time to allow for thought-provoking, creative content, and just amazing sounds. They have taken the time and filled it with their brand of Icelandic black metal, and I couldn’t be more pumped to tell you about this album. Mannveira first came to be in 2010, starting with an EP in 2014 called Von er eitur and a split in 2016 with Ellorsith. That doesn’t mean that a lot of thought and preparation hasn’t been ongoing prior to their newest album entitled “Vitahringur”. There you will hear, Illugi as the vocal, Oskar as the bass player, Orlygur, guitar, Sindri, also guitar and Jon on drums.

It’s been sometime since I’ve heard Icelandic black metal, and this band is heavy on darkness and despondency. If the mood of this is your taste, then prepare to sink down and immerse yourself into icy depths of obisidian tinted vocals and instruments. Mannveira is ready to take you into a dark spiral, falling into a pit where the shadows are loudest..

Track 1- “Opin rjufa pognina” (Open to break the Silence), this right away is that dark, downward plunge into gritty screams and a haunting effect of riffs and drums. The sound at first has a doom feel, but soon the tempo picks up, and more of icy rhythm is established.

Track 2- “I koldum faomi” ( In the Cold….) a droning sound in keyboard off the start, with a murmured voice over, very ominous and dark themed beginning. Soon the vocal and guitars explode in driving riffs, and tortured screams. The scream takes on more and more as track continues, building that layer of now, here, you are in the cold with nothing. There comes a haunting melody in guitars, and its so sadly beautiful. Perfectly fits in with the dark and cold theme of this track.

Track 3- “Vitahringur” (Lighthouse), oh this is doom inspiration here, ponderous and heavy riffs, slowly so slowly on drums, and more of the atmosphere of unrelieved darkness where no light lives. Tempo increases to take in fury in the expression of guitars and drums. The mood of this is deep, depthy and heavy. No hope, just hold onto the frail pieces left and tuck your head down. Getting a feel of DSBM here, very present. Half way through the guitar mood lightens, bringing in the haunting beautiful side of sadness. In this track a story is being told in the tempo changes and vocals. Lastly, a droning sound is introduced at the very end to a gradual fading to silence.

Track 4- “Framtidin myrt” (The Future Murdered), as before mentioned, the misery that is expressed here is a work of all the thoughts that plague us at night. Tortured vocals and tremolos begin to battle and mix up for a truly dark, forbidding sound. Powerful. Skillful portrayal of deeply darkened instruments, with an unrelenting, hopeless theme displayed.

Track 5- “Kverkatak eilifra martrada” (Kverkatak Eternal Martyr), guitar treatment here is seeming to wander off kilter, off sounding, if I can say, but as the track continues the strength of this guitar sound is very memorable. Tempo change and the guitar bring a more classic black metal sound, and drums are picking up speed to match. The vocal here is covered in misery and darkness, but so very skillfully sung, and the feelings expressed in it are rage filled. Yet, the strong delivery is felt and you can’t help but feel with it too. Oh wow, nearing the end, the vocal takes on a long, murmured scream sound, sounding ghostly and haunting. Absolute chills from me. (the good kind)

A long time for Mannveira to take to write the lyrics and arrangements of the tracks, record with all the tweaking of sound once more, and finally to release their newest album out into the universe. I was taken on a downward ride to the depths of no light in this, no hope, yet there were little glimpses expressed in the hauntingly despondent melodies present, of some semblance of faint light.

Overall darkness and icy cold moods prevailed, keeping the lights off for the most part, but this music gives the listener a chance to revisit a truth in themselves and have the accompanying darkness keep them company… I give 8/10 Metal Marie

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8/10 To greatness and glory!
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