The third full length of the German band Essenz, six years after the previous Mundus Numen, brings back to the fore an enigmatic and elusive band, but of uncommon thickness in its interpretation of the extreme matter. The black metal offered by the Berlin band (which includes members of Drowned and Early Death) is quite far from the orthodoxy of the genre, if we look at the form, but much closer to the final result, because the load of misanthropic gloom that ours download in Manes Impetus is really very high. The sound, in some ways, can be likened to an avant-garde version of black more French than German (so we speak of extreme experimenters such as Blut Aus Nord or Deathspell Omega, but also neighbours Darkspace) but it’s not difficult to find the attempt, often successful, to involve the listener in a more direct way, thanks to a gait often cadenced that pushes everything to the parts of a doom deviated. The world prefigured by Essenz is a place where oxygen is scarce, both when you run at breakneck speed and in the moments when the pace slows down and the sound expands; the solemnity that distinguishes the Germanic black metal is certainly not lessened, but here it is put at the service of a claustrophobic pace to the nth power, with those double-drum rides that never seem to see the end, especially in the very long Peeled & Released and Randlos Gebein, ideal sound posters of the album. Essenz don’t spare the listener any suffering and in almost an hour of fury, asphyxiating slowdowns, ambient and openings close to the most morbid death (Ecstatic Sleep, for the part that comes after the initial extension of the experimental Sermon To The Ghosts), they offer a work that is sometimes complex and difficult, but with a rare and annihilating potential. Do not mislead the reference to avant-garde bands made earlier: despite a certain contiguity to similar sounds, in reality Manes Impetus paradoxically turns out to be smoother, as long as you do not resist the rhythmic reiterations and the rumble, overhung by the growl of g.st., which materializes within a work that, for its contents, should not for no reason be overlooked.

2018 – Amor Fati Productions