Idle Hands - Mana review


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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

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.

First, I want to talk about the production of this record because it's excellent. The overall dark mood gives me a bit of a The Cure vibe (even more in combination with the vocals, but more on that later). On top of that it also has classic metal vibes to it. To get to the point: vocals are nice and clear in the mix, drums are prominent but not overwhelming, the guitars are clear and yet have a nice dark tone. The bass perfectly adds to the atmosphere. I might have liked it to be a bit more prominent from time to time but, overall, it's mixed in well.

Let's get to the second thing I liked about this album. Something which can make or break a record for me. Flow. The flow of this album is impressive. You start listening to this record and before you know it, you're already listening to the last song. Not because the songs are forgettable, but because it's so enjoyable from start to finish. The moment you realize you have been singing (in my case I'm taking liberty here with the word 'singing'…) along with every song and have now arrived at the last track is a testament of how good this album is.

Speaking of singing. The vocals on this record are simply awesome! I know it's a love it or hate it case here. But I absolutely love them. Just like with elements of the production it gives me some The Cure vibes. That deep dark tone is something that just perfectly works with the gothic feel of this album. A song like "It'll Be Over Before You Know It" completely relies on how good the vocals are. And Gabriel Franco carries that song perfectly. He makes this amazing album even better in my opinion.

What about the lyrics? They are overall solid and fit the music. If making an album is like building a puzzle, well then, I can tell you that in this case everything fits perfectly and it's one cohesive structure.

Now some nitpicking. I mentioned the song before but "It'll Be Over Before You Know It" could use some more instrumental touches to it. Not too many, but now it relies a bit too much on being carried by the vocals. I still overall like the song though. As for the title track, I don't know, but it might be my least favourite song on the album. It's solid and doesn't feel as filler at all but, given the high quality of the other songs, it just doesn't stick in my memory as much as the others do.

Conclusion: give this album a try if you like gothic metal or heavy metal and especially if you like both. It's really good!

Rating breakdown
Performance: 10
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 8
Production: 9

Written by tominator | 20.07.2019


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.

Staff review by
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.

published 09.07.2019 | Comments (14)


Comments: 1   Visited by: 37 users
07.08.2019 - 16:17
Bad English
Tage Westerlund
Great rewievs, album and band
Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

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