Moondweller, Hænesy combine to take black metal into cosmos on gazey split ‘Earth and Space’

This isn’t a terribly easy time of the year for a site that tries to fill its pages with discussion about new music ready to hit the, um, shelves. Those shelves can be digital, you know. Anyway, it’s been tough sledding trying to find stuff these early days of January, so that took us to do some hunting for some things that were swimming underneath the surface.

Truth be told, I was at the gym last week between sets, scrolling through new metal releases on my Bandcamp app when I came across “Earth and Space,” a stunning split effort combining Russian atmospheric black metal band Moondweller with Hungarian black metal entity Hænesy. I decided to give it a go, dropped a few bucks for the music, and holy hell, was I ever happy I did that. Here I found four tracks, two by each band (I knew of neither before this), that are packed with power, emotion, and unquestionable melody, but smeared into a primitive black metal delivery that made the songs feel raw, yet energetic. There is precious little available about each band online, which also is kind of refreshing. It’s like falling into a universe you didn’t expect to visit, yet here you are, forced to find your way around. Hænesy formed in 2017 and have a demo from that year and last year’s full-length debut “Katruzsa,” that I have since visited and love. Moondweller’s history only can be tracked to last year, delivering their debut full-length “The Search” almost 12 months ago.

Hænesy’s portion begins with “Eternal Rest” that has a clean introduction that soars through atmospheric gaze before the thunder strikes. Right away, you can feel the emotion in the song as well as in the guttural screams, as the track gushes and then crashes into an ethereal fog, with a synth haze rising out of that. The song then bursts anew, with a speedier tempo, cries piercing the sky, and riffs taking over, leading the track on a daring, punchy collision before bleeding out into serenity. “An Onthology of Void” wraps their section as it spills open, blistering your senses before bringing on a penetrating chill. The track has gothic undertones, with wrenching wails and guitars firing up and cutting through its center. Growls build with intensity while the music hammers your mind, the vocals later reveal anguish, and the song flows out into calm.

Moondweller arrive with “World Entwined,” where they usher in dark menace countered by lush and atmospheric guitars. Sounds crash while melodies rain down, and cavernous growls jar you into the current. The pace later toughens as guitars chug away, and a spoken section slides underneath stormy synth before the track revamps with life. There’s a hugeness to the sound, which finally crests and washes away in waves. “Unknown Signals” is their finale, and right away the feel is heavier, as drums pound away, the vocals splatter, and a stormfront hangs overhead. Guitars swelter while the drums devastate, punching holes in any sense of calm, eventually working into slow-driving trudging. All along the way, the band’s playing leaves welts and bruising as they up the ante over the final moments before the chaos gives way and rests finally in a bed of plinking keys.

Now is a great time to go exploring for new music and bands that haven’t come to you yet, which is what led me to Moondweller and Hænesy. “Earth and Space” is an excellent, ridiculously affordable split putting together two bands with like-minded approaches but who translate their art much differently. This music is ideal for late-night sky-gazing, enjoying a dark ale during self-introspection, or simply for indulging in black metal that’s hungry to go beyond modern expectations.

For more on Moondweller, go here:

For more on Hænesy, go here:

To buy the album, go here:

For more on the label, go here:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.