Essenz – Manes Impetus (Pandering Black Metal)

 

Manes Impetus, the latest from Berlin, Germany’s Essenz, is nearly an hour long which is fine if the goal is to produce a musical journey encapsulating the musical anguish of the forebears, artistic sadism, and creative passions. Aesthetic value 10/10, but we don't score like that here whoops. This one progresses through some fairly typical melodic and harmonic minor tones chained down by the guitars along with some disappointingly safe black-end, campy vocals. Essenz plays around with some death metal, thrash, doom here and there in verses, but they pretty much play it safe. Keep reading to learn if it's a 10/10 or something else. Actually something else.

    

Notable in the opener is one of the riskiest vocal takes I’ve heard; a moan, a very long and extended moan. Artistically necessary and expressive, or another gimmick? Either way, aesthetically 10/10 but we don't score like that. Next comes genre filler and after 15 or so minutes you'll reach the most aesthetic track, "Sermon to the Ghosts." The final track following it is oddly mixed compared to the rest with the guitars super forward and distracting, plus in terms of banality it has the most of it. So you should know how I’m going to score by now and it's not 10/10. Essenz wrote Manes Impetus to sound good and to convince the listener it's good. But it lacks a real punch in the fucking stomach. They nail everything aesthetically, the album cover is super cool looking in particular (10/10 to Vortex Arts if that was how we scored). But it just doesn't have an edge, rawness, or feeling. It’s all calculated, super manufactured, too well-ordered and designed. By all stretches "good", but in the way Katy Perry produces good albums owning her lack of authenticity and pandering. Black metal, especially in the underground, lives off of authenticity and rejection of norms. 0/10 in that case but that's not actually the real score see below.

 

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Written by Nick the Indefinite

Essenz – Manes Impetus
Amor Fati Productions
3.8 / 5