Mānbryne - Heilsweg: O udręce ciała i tułaczce duszy


Key Facts

Country: 🇵🇱

Genre: Black Metal

Release Date: 9th April 2021

Record Label(s): Independent

Band Members

Priest - Drums

Renz - Guitars

Wyrd - Guitars, Bass

S. - Vocals

Mānbryne - W Pogoni Za Wiarą

Rating (out of 5🤘): 🤘🤘🤘🤘🤘
Favourite Track(s): Pustka, którą znam, W pogoni za wiarą, Majestat upadku, Na trupa trup

When we think of the nation of Poland and it's black metal, there is a certain prestige and pedigree. In a nation that still has blasphemy laws, extreme music still has a very raw and significant edge to it. The newest edition to this prominent scene in Mānbryne, a mysterious, enigmatic band whose debut album Heilsweg: O udręce ciała i tułaczce duszy is a black metal opus in the same vein as Mgła's Exercises In Futility. Translating to "Of Carnal Torment and Wandering of the Soul" the album's powerfully immersive riffs and haunting melodies capture this sense of purgatory and torment. With so many heavyweights in the Polish black metal scene Mānbryne can more than hold their own with a fast, technical and aggressive brand of black metal.

Opening up with a clip from a 1970s witch-hunting film, it lays down firmly what this album is about. A dark, dingy and sinister album with an eerily graceful atmosphere yet packing vitriol aggression. The songs themselves are fairly typical of what you can expect from the Polish brand of black metal, but there is an added air mystique and mystery that makes the album stand out. There is a haunting and grim despair   weight that comes with this album, if we are to take its title literally. "Of Carnal Torment and Wandering of the Soul" is the perfect summary, in a way it is like Mork's recent album Katedralen which covers a similar theme of being a lost soul. The dark beauty of the Polish language helps capture this in a unique way, whilst us non-native speakers will not understand the words we can feel the pain and tormented emotions encased within them. This carnal torment pierces the should like a spear tipped with steel and ice, penetrating your chest and biting at your heart. This visceral emotion paired with the seemingly aimless and endless wandering of the soul through a purgatory like environment gives the album a considerable emotional weight. To really get the full impact of this album and marvel in its magnificence you have to pay extra attention to its complexities, nuances and subtleties. On the surface it is a black metal album, but clever sound design, sound effect and vocal use alongside the eerie melodies creates a texturally rich atmosphere. Musically, the riffs are well constructed and flow effortlessly between discordant aggression and harrowing atmospheric melody. There is a noticeable and significant effort that has gone into honing and fine tuning these songs so they can deliver maximum impact. Channelling the raw aggression contained in the Norwegian second wave and branching out into the more experimental side which is common in the Polish variety of black metal, Mānbryne does little to change this but they do demonstrate why Polish black metal is so dark, mysterious and captivating. The best thing about this album is that it still feels like there is too for the band to explore their sound further. Pustka, którą znam the album's opener is probably the stand out track, because of it's strange and slightly off kilter lead melody that floats over the primal chaos of the other instruments.  Where as Majestat upadku basks in melancholy and despair, the fear inducing sounds of barking and whimpering resonates with your most primal instincts. Overall, the album is drenched in darkness, brandishing highly polished musicianship as its weapon and raw aggression is spewed forth. 

The production is very reminiscent of Mgła, mainly because of the way the guitar tones are used to really establish a dark atmosphere and create a claustrophobic space simultaneously. Siting heavy in the mid ranges the rhythm guitar tones have an air of early Batushka about them, thick and heavy, the only difference being that it's not saturated in reverb, so the clashing discordance of the riffs can really shine through. The lead tones are interesting as they tend to vary substantially throughout the album, whilst they cut through the chaos well, the effects processing is what stands out. The most significant being on  Pustka, którą znam, where it has this strange modulated/filtered sound that grabs your attention. The drums have a very Polish black metal sound, relentlessly aggressive drive and lower in pitch to give it that extra pounding. The bass rumbles below, supporting the guitar riffs and adding extra power to proceedings. Overall, the mix is solid, retaining all the raw aggression and claustrophobia, creating an intense and emotionally resonate atmosphere for the music to fully express itself in. 

If you fancy some mysterious and dark Polish black metal, Heilsweg: O udręce ciała i tułaczce duszy is the album for you!

Mānbryne - Heilsweg: O udręce ciała i tułaczce duszy 


Popular This Week

Fjordhammer Is Taking A Break

Antrisch - Expedition I: Dissonanzgrat

Bathory - Blood Fire Death

Batushka - Litourgiya

Northlane - Bloodline