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Manes - Slow Motion Death Sequence review



Reviewer:
8.5

34 users:
7.94
Band: Manes
Album: Slow Motion Death Sequence
Release date: August 2018


01. Endetidstegn
02. Scion
03. Chemical Heritage
04. Therapism
05. Last Resort
06. Poison Enough For Everyone
07. Building The Ship Of Theseus
08. Night Vision
09. Ater


If for some reason you aren't familiar with Manes, you may be familiar with Ulver. Manes also has the Ulver syndrome.

Comparisons between the two are inevitable. They were both Norwegian black metal bands who released their first demos in 1993. Ulver was the first to turn away from black metal, first just for a neofolk album, but then going full avant-garde in 1998, before Manes even released their debut full-length. In 1999, Manes finally released Under Ein Blodraud Maane, which was still more or less black metal. In 2003, after a line-up change, Manes released Vilosophe, which completely turned black metal on its head with avant-garde electronic jazz sounds, and the rest is history. But Under Ein Blodraud Maane isn't as much of a landmark black metal album as Bergtatt, and neither are the experimental Manes albums even close to being as impactful as Blood Inside or Perdition City, so, to the outsider, it feels like Manes has been trailing off in Ulver's shadow.

The good news for readers unfamiliar with Manes is that Slow Motion Death Sequence is quite likely Manes's most accessible record, and it's a pretty good place to start before digging deeper. It's still a very quirky album, but it's much more restrained in a sense, expansive rather than introspective. Despite not reading much into the lyrics, the feel I get from a lot of the songs is more of a moody personal one. Some songs are still the same old Manes, beautifully dramatic and intense, like "Therapism", but even these don't go to the experimental lengths that songs on How The World Came To An End did. Obviously, for readers who came here expecting a metal album, anything that isn't metal is going to be experimental. But on Slow Motion Death Sequence, instead of going in as many directions as possible and being as out-there as possible, Manes instead focus on mood-building.

I doubt it would be too far a leap to take to appreciate the lush soundscapes that the album has, mixing some progressive and post-rock-ish instrumentation, trip-hop electronica, and soulful sombre melodies. What might be somewhat hard to digest are Asgeir Hatlen's vocals, which are more of an acquired taste, but if hard-to-get-into vocals would be the make-it-or-break-it for bands, Inquisition would be out of business. Also, thankfully, Manes hired an array of guest singers to expand the vocal palette of the album, including Tom Engelsøy of Drontheim, Anna Murphy of Lethe, Rune Folgerø of Atrox (who had sung on the previous Manes record, too), and Ana Carolina of Mourning Sun. If you manage to get to "Night Vision", your patience will be rewarded with a slight reminder that Manes used to be a black metal band. Just wait.

Slow Motion Death Sequence still has Manes's signature sound, but more mellowed-out and restrained, containing a seamless mix of both electronics and organic instrumentation that create an effective soundscape.

And just like with Ulver, some may still revolt and call for a return to the black metal roots. In which case.


 



Written on 02.09.2018 by My opinion is objective, sorry if you don't agree, but you're wrong.


Comments

Comments: 4   Visited by: 132 users
03.09.2018 - 09:59
fenchik
Goo review. Love the album! The best one since "Vilosophe"
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03.09.2018 - 13:01
Darkside Momo
Retired
I'll chsck that one - Mane are good
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06.09.2018 - 13:51
Fallen Ghost
Craft Beer Geek
A fresh sounding album, Endestidstegn gives me the chills. Gotta listen to it more in its entirety
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07.09.2018 - 19:40
jmika
Describing the sound very well. Good review. Great album.:thumbup:
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