Hessian - “Mercenary Retrograde”
Get ready for an old-fashioned thrashin’ with this powerful anachronism from rock and roll soldiers, Hessian. Fueled by a great love an reverence for the early black metal of ‘The Old Ones,’ this four-piece of hard rock mercenaries who hail the city-state of Portland, Maine, are here to fight in '“the war against the jive.”
Heavy guitars, propelled by dusty, cobweb-covered amps from the 70s surge across this release like war pigs, gathered in their masses. Anthemic choruses and blistering guitar solos soar like angels of death across a black velvet sky. Throbbing basslines thud at the bottom of the track as furious percussion keeps the pace for the marching warriors.
“We are the rock and roll soldiers!
Rock and Roll will keep you alive!”
- So howls lead singer and ringleader Angus McFarland, who hurls electrified bolts of pure distilled rock and roll in each note, as his troops behind him wage war with their amplified weapons of music. From the opening execution drums of “I Wish I Was Dead” to the closing death throes of “Manos, The Hands of Fate,” Hessian delivers a rich, robust draught of rock and roll in is primal form, steeped in decades within casks filled with ancient death metal spirits.
While emulating the music of old certainly is their selling point, Hessian has got a lot to offer. Look past the obvious things, like the retro riffs and album art - and you’ll hear an album that has real heart. These people love what they are doing, and they are having the time of their lives doing it really well. The over-the-top song titles and lyrics are genuinely a lot of fun, and the music stands up to repeat listens. I think Hessian ultimately isn’t trying to get you to accept this record as an item for the past you somehow missed - but to instead wants you to find a new appreciation for the artistry and style of the music they hold dear. Maybe it’s time to dig up your old collection and give your favorite records another spin.
So all that’s left in the world is to ask yourself a question. Are you a rock and roll soldier? Then get your marching orders - from Hessian!