On September 14th 2018, HESSIAN will release their new album Mercenary Retrograde.
It took five years for Hessian to get their Bachelor of Black Arts, now it’s time to accept their Master’s diploma. The Portland, Maine-based heavy metal band garnered a substantial amount of recognition for their EP and début album – including a coveted spot as Fenriz’s Band of the Week. Mastermind Angus McFarland oversaw every stage, from sitting at the kitchen counter studying heavy metal harmonies of “the Old Ones of heavy metal” to touring nationally and playing festivals in Sweden and the UK. After a complete upheaval in lineup, Hessian are now ready with their second album Mercenary Retrograde – a wholly apt name. Angus has called up some rock n’ roll soldiers to aid him, including Greg Souza, Mike Pearce, and Zöey Haab.
“The title of the album reflects the history of the band at the time of writing. Mercenary because the band consisted of hired guns, and Retrograde because we are always looking back to the Old Ones of heavy metal for inspiration.” While Thin Lizzy are held in exceptionally high regard around Camp Hessian, there’s appreciation for any of the old guard in early metal and heavy rock – even some thrashier material as well; Angus’ occasional snarling yelp is testament to that. As for the lyrics, “it is an album about sex and death, which is what all good metal albums are, at heart, about.” That goes for the rockin’ opener “I Wish I Was Dead”, the macabre “Skull Ring” or the decadent and doomy “The Viper”. Final track “Manos – The Hands of Fate” rings out on a strong note with some phenomenal saxophone work over the heavy riffing.
Hessian have been through the wringer, but perseverance and a wholehearted belief in heavy metal have allowed them to prevail. Mercenary Retrograde is a triumphant record that looks proudly at the past and future simultaneously.
FFO: Thin Lizzy, Blue Öyster Cult, High Spirits
Angus McFarland – guitars, vocals
Michael Pearce – bass
Greg Souza – drums
Zöey Haab – guitars, vocals
1. I Wish I Was Dead
2. Skull Ring
4. Dude Messiah
5. Saint Leopold
6. The Viper
7. Rock ‘n’ Roll Soldiers [The New Order cover]*
8. Manos The Hands of Fate
Hessian – Cloven Lady
Hessian – Rats in the Walls
Band location – Portland Maine
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