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Pa Vesh En – Maniac Manifest

Pa Vesh En
Maniac Manifest
by Gary Hernandez at 09 October 2021, 9:50 PM

PA VESH EN is a Black Metal project hailing from Belarus. Yeah, you don’t read that opener very often. Formed in 2017, this paradoxically prolific but secretive project has produced three EPs and three full-length albums, the latest, “Maniac Manifest,” having been released on September 10, 2021, via Iron Bonehead. The project leans heavily to the ambient, lo-fi side of the spectrum, though this album is surprisingly well-engineered.

Promo material from the label states: “Life is hard, and it usually only gets worse. PA VESH EN encapsulate this experience with pulse-threatening delirium with ‘Maniac Manifest.’” The first part of the quote is darkly hilarious because it’s mostly true. The second part of the quote, of course, is also spot on. “Pulse-threatening delirium” is an appropriate qualifier for this album and a great line that I’m likely to start using in unsettling ways in casual conversation.

Track one, “Homicidal Sacrifice,” suitably begins with a sample from Hitchcock’s “Psycho.” From that dubious starting point, our descent begins into this nine-track, 41-minute hellscape. If you are into Ambient Black Metal, you’ll find this album amongst the better of the class. There are actual song structures and the separation between instruments defies the typical tendency to move beyond layering and into suffocation.

Considering tracks one and nine as bookends, there are seven tracks which make up the album proper. While these seven tracks are filled with signature muted screaming/screeching, foreboding basslines, and discordant sharps and flats, they aren’t necessarily unnerving. I think this is because the compositional structure offers a fair amount of grounding. And maybe that’s the point. Delirium, by definition, is a deviant of a baseline experience. Without that reference point to something solid, it loses its sense of aberration.

I’ll mention a few standout tracks although this really isn’t that type of album. You put the needle down and you take it all in as one complete fugue state. With that said, “Chamber of the Rotten Flesh” and “In the Wood of the Hanged Man” are my personal favorites. More than the other tracks, they come closer to approximating more conventional Black Metal.

As there is an intro piece, “…” serves as the outro, leading us back up the steps to a cadence of a slightly out of tune piano. With this final track, we resurface, embraced by silence and altered from our experience. Altogether, “Maniac Manifest,” is an exceptional third offering from the oblique PA VESH EN. It demonstrates an evolution from previous releases and hints that there is indeed a dark purpose to this project’s trajectory.

Songwriting: 7
Musicianship: 7
Memorability: 6
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

1.  Homicidal Sacrifice
2.  The Eyes Full of Horror
3.  Chamber of the Rotten Flesh
4.  In the Wood of Hanged Men
5.  Conquerentes de Iniqua Nece Confessionem
6.  Spellbound by the Witchmoon
7.  The Black Coffin
8.  Sister of Sin
9.  …
Record Label: Iron Bonehead Productions


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Edited 05 February 2023

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