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Miasma and the Carousel of Headless Horses - Manfauna CD (album) cover

MANFAUNA

Miasma and the Carousel of Headless Horses

 

RIO/Avant-Prog

3.61 | 11 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Finnforest
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars City boy takes a vacation to the country way out in the middle of nowhere. He decides to take a walk alone after dark to get some air and think. The moon is bright with an occasional wind blowing. He walks a bit too far lost in thought before realizing he can no longer recognize the surroundings noticed earlier in the day. He stops and turns around but can't see off the road anymore because the moon has been covered by clouds and some fog has kicked up. Some strange noises make the skin crawl. If you can imagine the feelings in such a moment you might have an idea what kind of experience the music of "Manfauna" will produce. I can't claim to have any insight into the minds of these musicians intent, I only know what their music invokes in my own mind and the helpless feeling of being lost in the dark is one, whether actual or emotional.

While being lost is not pleasant the music of Manfauna certainly is pleasing for as we know the dark can be very divine. Part 1 "Manticore" begins with a sinister combination of the strings of Sara Hubrich and the Bassoon of Chloe Herington with minimal percussion. After a bit enter full drums, guitar, bass and organ which work themselves into a bit of a frenzy. Quite hard hitting and aggressive for much of the piece. The drumming approaches Keith Moon fury in places (a compliment) and the tension gets crazy by the finale. Part 2 "Taus" is the flip side, the feel of resignation after the panic has left the body. Soft Eno-esque soundscape is augmented occasionally by percussion, drowning bass lines and strange psychedelic territories. Part 3 "Garp Gadriel" is my favorite with the delightful piano and violin (or viola, I can't tell) absolutely masterful in musical storytelling. Lovely! Half way through the track the band comes barging in and they simply take this to their greatest heights before dropping off to the piano/violin, and then back with the band. Oh my I'm in love here people. Dark, divine, demonic, holy. All of it..at once. Bravo! My only complaint is the brevity, I want more dammit.

Manfauna is every bit the success of its accomplished predecessor Perils and in fact I like it better. Not long ago I criticized the popular group Alamaailman Vasarat for taking a certain sound and making it gimmicky by overriding it without enough compositional thought. While Miasma has a different sound than AV they are a good example of what I was suggesting to AV. This doesn't get tiring because it goes places well beyond any structured confines of song definition or rhythmic repetition, in my mind much more adventurous than AV for just that reason. And yet given the previous sentence they still produce songs that are musical rather than dissonant clutter, proving melody need not be a casualty of adventure. In my mind, one of the paths toward musical artistic success. This limited edition of 1000 comes with delightful packaging artwork, simple drawings on cardboard that perfectly capture the lifeblood of this music. Very exciting, magical, alive music making and my compliments to Miasma. 4 1/2 stars.

Finnforest | 4/5 |

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