Today, Black Metal Daily is proud to present you with the exclusive full stream of… a nightmare.
Over the course of nine excruciating previous ephialtes, the entity known as PA VESH EN has unleashed torment after torment upon our psyches via an impeccable blend of suffocating, cloying atmosphere with malodorous melodicism; the resulting alchemical devilry oozing sepulchral magniloquence and twilight mysteries. Now, on the project’s third full-length, the gloves are off – or perhaps on, as this Belarusian master of the macabre and miserable is finally going in for the kill. Nine fresh horrors are provided, possessed of a veracity and violence that has been swelling within the project for some time, finally coming to a head with blades brandished and a fevered, unhinged glint in the eye. This, ladies and gentlemen, is Pa Vesh En‘s Maniac Manifest.
Arriving to slaughter you in your dreams on the tenth day of the ninth month, we reveal the entire sanguineous tome for your perusal. As is traditional for our exclusive premieres we originally tried for an interview with the reclusive being behind it all – only to be met with nought but eerie, supernal silence. All contact between our material plane and the eldritch realm in which Pa Vesh En dwell yet remains firmly off limits. Ergo, to accompany this striking journey we instead provide a brief review by our very own Dex, who braves the possibility of dream death and considers the meaning and implication behind one of the most wretched and riotous emanations of the year. Thus, prepare for 10th September when reality is torn asunder on CD, LP and CS under the banner of Iron Bonehead Productions. Abase thyself before death. Submit to the blood-drenched mysteries. And most of all, listen deeply… to the deranged and delirious throes of the Maniac Manifest.
Hails. I doubt anyone else pays too much attention to this stuff, but there was a quote going around a while back by Esmé of raw black outfit PENANCE STARE that went something along the lines of: “Do you ever think about how every ‘mysterious raw black metal entity conducting arcane rituals from an undisclosed location’ is literally just a guy called Jim or Steve? Because I do.” A true (and somewhat hilarious) fact, but one which PA VESH EN has managed to artfully sidestep thus far. Each release, supplemented by complete cold silence and anonymity from its creator, only served to bolster the whispered legends that swirled around the Belarusian wraith – but now however, on his superlative third offering Maniac Manifest, the tiniest cracks may be beginning to appear in his impenetrable shadow armour. The mask might just be beginning to slip.
How? The devil is in the details of this maelstrom of misery, beginning with opening up the album with an introduction containing the most well-known sample in all of horror film lore – the Psycho shower scene music. Yes, you know the one; screeching violins, violas and cellos stabbing along with the screams of actress Janet Leigh in Alfred Hitchcock‘s masterwork. Entitled ‘The Murder’ by composer Bernard Hermann, it’s a sound not only immediately recognizable to horror fans, but pretty much everyone on the entire fucking planet would be able to place it if you played it for them. Why select something so immediately identifiable? Well, bear with me.
Pa Vesh En has been undergoing a subtle evolution over the course of a rather impressive discography. Originally mired in doomed-out, wretched DSBM stylings that reached out with caustic tendrils and dragged the listener over a pile of shattered and jagged ribcages, each release has seen a little more liveliness creep into his sound – and this blooms like corpseflowers in the skulls of the long-dead on Maniac Manifest, where previously oft-obscured violence has been given glorious free reign. Sure, there have been upbeat Pa Vesh En jams before. ‘Grotesque Abomination’ off Pyrefication had some fairly punkish vibes, for example, but even they were buried beneath a haze of impenetrable, coarse negativity. On the latter part of new album track ‘Chamber Of The Rotten Flesh’ he completely throws all fucks to the wind and conjures a riff to make you bang your fucking head and thrash like a maniac. Of course, the very next track ‘In The Wood Of Hanged Men’ initially returns to his usual soul-rending howl from the netherealms, but then even that tears into a pandemonic hyperblasting midsection and another absolute banger of a riff.
Of course, there’s still loads of his tremendously crushing, soul corrupting misery to suck all the air from your chest and life from your veins. The transcendentally excruciating ‘The Black Coffin’ will fucking demolish you with impunity. Opener proper (and first streaming single) ‘The Eyes Full Of Horror’ is vintage Pa Vesh En; haunting spectral hypnosis in scintillating waves. But for every one of those more expected compositions there’s a ‘Spellbound By The Witch Moon’, which is also a total neckwrecker. It almost, almost sounds like he’s beginning to have… fun?
Whether through growing confidence or a reinvigoration of spirit for whatever reason, Maniac Manifest sees this perhaps not-quite-so-mysterious spectre enjoying himself and throwing in all manner of dissonance, devilry and dash to the best parts of his already established withering sound, and it works a mighty treat. Does any of it shatter the illusion a little? Who cares, honestly. So, the “mysterious wraith” apparently likes horror films and banging his head like an old school maniac. That is a very good thing.
This is the finest Pa Vesh En material for a hot minute and his most complete, dynamic and varied full-length expression yet. You should listen to it. Being miserable can still be a very good time.
RATING: 4.2 / 5
Maniac Manifest releases September 10th via Iron Bonehead Productions.
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