Hail Spirit Noir equals experiment and innovation. These Greek lads have conjured quite some explicit tracks, melting forms such as black metal, psychedelic rock and many other genres. But with their latest release they are really stepping outside their boundaries. With “Mannequins” they are back but there can’t be a trace of metal found in this record. But in this case, it doesn’t hinder it one bit. The album is sheer fun to listen to. And although this album was released in 2021 it contains such a display of extraterrestrial power that I have decided to review this album…albeit a bit late.
On this album Haris, Sakis Bandis and vocalist Cons Marg offer you some pure nostalgia in the form of synthwave. Take the 80ies, big neon billboards, a high dose of acid and cheap horror movies, put it in a glass, add some vodka, shake and stir it a little… et voila! You have “Mannequins.”
Musically it’s a mix of Carpenter Brut and John Carpenter soundtracks so by now you might have guessed where Hail Spirit Noir gets its kicks from. “Mannequins” can be seen as a concept album. The excellent artwork and story of the booklet tells a slasher tale full of mayhem, murder, aliens, knives and blood. In other words a slasher movie because this album has the approach of a soundtrack.
This soundtrack breathes pure synth pop pleasure. Some tracks might be seen as an interlude or intermezzo. The other nine tracks consist of either instrumental songs or tracks where Cons Marg does a really good job on vocals. His voice is fucking excellent and really fits the vibe on this album. The superb production full of bleeps and bloops is spot on and makes this album danceable yet relaxed at the same time . And the songs itself bring you just enough eeriness to keep the horror topic going strong. Just listen to “Against Your Will, My Blade,” “Mannequins” and “Enter Disco Inferno” and you will grasp my meaning.
I don’t want to give too many spoilers. This album is so cool that it has made countless spins on my CD-player. If you like synthwave: get this album! If you like Hail Spirit Noir: get this album! If you like both: well you know what to do. If I had discovered this album earlier it would have made my 2021 year list. This is not the case so you must settle with this humble review. Great stuff!
Release date: 10 September 2021
Label: Agonia Records
- 12-31-1985: Night Shift
- Against Your Will, My Blade
- 12-31-1985: Night Shift II
- The Monsters Came From the Sky
- Visitors of Horror
- Enter Disco Inferno
- Mannequins II
- Alien Cell Charging
- On the Loose Again
- Ending Crashers
- Ending Crashers II