Clint Listing – Voice/Guitars
Ryan Michalski – Strings, Drums, Guitar and vocals on track 3
1. Pagan Vastlands (4:39)
2. Ragnarok (4:03)
3. The Watcher (3:57)
4. Gold Fields (4:26)
For lovers of bands like Tenhi, Antimatter, and Of the Wand and the Moon, Clint Listing creates Magni: the marriage between his belief in Asatru and black metal with a dark gothic folk style. Throughout, you will feel the heathenry of Magni, the name itself coming from a son of Thor. Born out of an Until the Sky Dies session (Dark Post Doom Metal), Listing brings in ideas from his old project As All Die (Martial Industrial meets Neo Folk) and introduces us to his neo-pagan vision, embellished with the ancient elements of a Germanic tradition.
The Progressive Blackened Folk of Magni’s self-titled release is unlike anything I’ve heard before. As ‘Pagan Vastlands’ flows through the air in my garden, I’m pleasantly mellowed by the beautiful strings, and Clint Listing‘s deep and dark voice. Blissfully, my mind’s eye settles on a field of tall grass, where weeds and flowers grow and intertwine at dusk, the perfect mix of strange and pretty I desire. ‘Ragnarok’ follows and my feet come to the mountains – nothing on my back but a small bag, nothing on my mind but the unplanned journey that lies ahead. Unexpectedly, low, timid, and almost whisper-like growls layer the peaceful and uplifting feeling of the song. ‘Magni’ builds in an intriguing way, a mid-tempo walk through this easy-going soundscape with a twist.
Light footsteps of percussion, clean guitar lines, and wonderful bouncy strings sit behind a folk spin on 80s goth elements reminiscent of Crash Test Dummies, Sisters of Mercy, and even Type 0 Negative. ‘The Watcher’ and ‘Gold Fields’ take me through the final half of ‘Magni’, the vocals gliding over the natural atmosphere of the instruments. As moody as the tones in Listing‘s voice are, it’s the delivery I find most unusual and unique in a lovely way, with wavering and gritty vibrato thrown in every few lines between half growling whispers of dark pagan poetry.
I absolutely recommend ‘Magni’ for anyone looking to explore the new, different, and out of the ordinary. Enjoy ‘Magni’ for yourself, and be on the lookout for a full-length release in 2021.