Martin : It’s easy to become a bit jaded after many years of music journalism. For metal in particular, the list of releases is endless, and there are only few gems within this ever flowing stream that really do make a difference. Therefore, a hiatus seemed inevitable for yours truly. However, the prospect of new material of Belgian outfit Hessian would be reason enough to take a little break from semi-retirement. Although Levy Seynaeve has put the band to rest (which makes a lot of sense as Wiegedood, Amenra and Oathbreaker should give him very limited spare time), Hessian are rumored to have recorded material for an EP that has never seen the light of day. Have these recordings finally been unearthed?
Oops… wrong band. This band named Hessian actually originates from Portland, Maine. Apparently there is even a third band with the same name. This particular Hessian plays gruff hardrock/ heavy metal with occasional, Thin Lizzy-inspired twin guitars. Apparently Fenriz really likes this band. Perhaps it’s partially due to the disappointment of finding quite another Hessian in my inbox, but it’s not very easy to see why the Darkthrone drummer is so fond of this band. ‘Mercenary Retrograde’ sounds dated and far from spectacular. The songs are solid but slightly plodding, and the vocals are particularly whiny. Sure, the whole eighties shtick has its charm, but there were better bands doing sort of the same thing back in the eighties, so why bother anyway?