Idle Hands - Mana review




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8.10
Band: Idle Hands
Album: Mana
Release date: May 2019


01. Nightfall
02. Jackie
03. Cosmic Overdrive
04. Don't Waste Your Time
05. Give Me To The Night
06. Blade And The Will
07. Dragon, Why Do You Cry?
08. Double Negative
09. It'll Be Over Before You Know It
10. A Single Solemn Rose
11. Mana


A certain bloke that lurks around these premises said some time ago that nothing can make him lose interest faster than the mere reference of the term "gothic metal". I'd like to hear what he has to say about this one.

Idle Hands were born a couple of years ago from the ashes of heavy/speed metal outfit Spellcaster featuring three of their members. There are minor traces of similarity to be found between the two bands but Idle Hands' music cannot be described as heavy metal; in fact it is barely metal at times and, to give you an idea, The Sisters Of Mercy's Vision Thing is largely more metal than Mana. This four-piece plays an amalgam of gothic rock with heavy metal elements that is direct and catchy with memorable songs and countless hooks.

Now, when I am saying gothic rock I don't mean the darker-sounding stuff of the style's giants (The Sisters Of Mercy, The Cure, Fields Of The Nephilim), from whom they take some cues of course, but the more melodic and heartfelt version of this music as it has been presented by The Mission. The Spaniards Héroes Del Silencio and the Greeks The Flowers Of Romance also creep up when listening to Mana, and if you want a more metal reference I'd mention In Solitude, Paradise Lost circa One Second and the latest Tribulation release.

After all this namedropping, you must have gotten the hint that Idle Hands are not reinventing the wheel with this debut. On the other hand, they have managed to craft their own sound with 11 songs that each has its own distinctive personality and character. "Give Me To The Night" is the heaviest and faster of the tracks along with the opener "Nightfall", and they are both full of energy and power. The other somewhat heavy cut is "Double Negative" with probably the only riff in the album suitable for headbanging, proving my earlier point about how metal Mana is. And I'm not stating this as a flaw, just as an observation.

The vocals definitely stand out and, while it's clear that he cannot hit the high notes, Gabriel Franco has a distinct gothic style of delivery that fits the music perfectly and his grunts and howls are a nice touch. The guitars are brimming with melody and emotion - just listen to the final part of "Dragon, Why Do You Cry?", the beginning of "It'll Be Over Before You Know It" or any of the solos for that matter. The choruses of "Jackie", "Blade And The Will" (which is a re-recorded version of the track that opened the band's Don't Waste Your Time EP) or "A Single Solemn Rose" will stick in your head for days on end.

Some really sad, and sometimes suicidal, lyrics that are big on messages and meanings and complement the wonderful music help make Mana one of the greatest records you're going to listen to this year. All in all, the whole package takes you to one of these dark clubs where people dressed in black and leather are dancing back and forth like they are the protagonists of an Instagram clip using boomerang.

Idle Hands have proved with this debut that you can compose and play thoroughly engaging music without overanalysing every single detail. Mana is simple, yet it has replay value that I rarely find these days. If you're into any of the bands I've mentioned in this review, this album has a good chance of topping your end-of-the-year list. I know it will be there or thereabout in mine.

"On and on you live but you don't feel
Let the current take you where it will
You want me to speak but have not words to say
If we are equal why aren't we the same?"


 



Written on 09.07.2019 by I was into this music when you were still in diapers.

Guest review by
tominator
Rating:
9.1
Talk about an album that really surprised me this year! Idle Hands managed with Mana to create an album that (while not bringing anything particularly new) feels fresh and inspired. There are two records so far this year that I would score higher than this one. However, I find myself listening to this album way more often. Why? Let me explain.

Read more ››
published 20.07.2019 | Comments (1)


Comments

Comments: 11   Visited by: 132 users
09.07.2019 - 17:39
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Oh shit I just got called out
----
Take off those stupid glasses and kiss me
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09.07.2019 - 17:42
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
All that namedropping and you didn't namedrop The Cure?
----
Take off those stupid glasses and kiss me
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09.07.2019 - 17:45
nikarg
Old Nick
Written by RaduP on 09.07.2019 at 17:42

All that namedropping and you didn't namedrop The Cure?

I did in the third paragraph
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09.07.2019 - 18:37
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Written by nikarg on 09.07.2019 at 17:45

Written by RaduP on 09.07.2019 at 17:42

All that namedropping and you didn't namedrop The Cure?

I did in the third paragraph

Pardon me, I am blind
----
Take off those stupid glasses and kiss me
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09.07.2019 - 19:11
nikarg
Old Nick
Written by RaduP on 09.07.2019 at 18:37

Pardon me, I am blind

It's the heat that melts the corpsepaint and it's dripping in your eyes
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09.07.2019 - 19:29
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Written by nikarg on 09.07.2019 at 19:11

It's the heat that melts the corpsepaint and it's dripping in your eyes

It's just that this album is straight up fire
----
Take off those stupid glasses and kiss me
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09.07.2019 - 20:48
Lanthros
It sounds alot like the kind of thing I listened to alot during my twenties. It's pretty good. I heard alot of the influences you mentioned plus a few more. I got a Tiger Army kind of vibe with a touch of Killing Joke in the vocals.
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10.07.2019 - 00:26
nikarg
Old Nick
Written by Lanthros on 09.07.2019 at 20:48

It sounds alot like the kind of thing I listened to alot during my twenties.

Same here. This is probably why I like it so much.
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10.07.2019 - 13:37
Peasant
Excellent review. The music in this album is so memorable.
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15.07.2019 - 15:57
Bad English
Masterchief
One of greates albums of the year
----
Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
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20.07.2019 - 12:59
nikarg
Old Nick
Written by Bad English on 15.07.2019 at 15:57

One of greates albums of the year

Undoubtedly.
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