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Vangough - Manikin Parade CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

3.50 | 51 ratings

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3 stars PoS fans listen up!

By now I'm guessing Clay Withrow is a bit tired of the Pain of Salvation comparisons, and yet I really have to say that's the sound that most came to mind playing Manikan Parade the last few weeks. This is an ambitious and well executed self-release from the multi-instrumentalist Withrow who hails from Oklahoma. He is backed only by drummer Lopez according to the credits, although there are four guys in the photos so I'm not sure. The tracks are fairly complex and reasonably varied, and they feature that tight, jerky, hard-edged rhythm guitar style which brings me to Remedy Lane-era PoS, along with Withrow's naturally Gildenlow-ish sounding pipes and flowing lead guitar work. My constructive (hopefully) criticisms would be that he use a more organic, less-busy drum sound in the future as I found the drumming too distracting at times. I would also like to hear him work with a more accomplished keyboardist, both for ideas about keys and about the overall density of the sound. But as a songwriter and guitarist Clay has a bright future ahead of him. I don't have much to say about individual tracks as I'm admittedly not much of a metal-head outside of atmospheric-doom stuff, but I do believe PoS fans should make an effort to pick up this disc. The job he did with his presentation is also very notable. The CD comes in a highly professional tri-fold digipak, as good or better than any large label would provide. The artwork is quite lovely and it comes with a booklet of lyrics and photo. A solid effort from Mr. Withrow and Vangough, showing again what some self-released artist are capable of.

Finnforest | 3/5 |


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