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Manes - Vilosophe CD (album) cover




Experimental/Post Metal

4.08 | 26 ratings

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4 stars This is one of those Metal-related albums I really enjoy!

If you know my tastes, then you know I am not really keen on metal in any of its forms, however I do enjoy some albums that I could count with one hand's fingers. To your surprise, one of those albums lies in this review. Some (at least 3) years ago I am not really sure if it was Assaf or Bryan who introduced me to this band, and I accepted because the name of the band caught my attention, nothing more. So later I listened to the album and since the first time I could say I enjoyed it. Since then, I play the album from time to time and have a good time while listening.

Manes is a band from Norway who started playing doom (as I have read), but in their second album their sound changed drastically, and they gave us "Vilosophe". It was released in 2003 and it is the one I am going to review. The album features eight songs and a total time of 47 minutes. The first song is entitled "Nodamnbrakes" and starts with a female voice speaking, some seconds later the music start at the same time as the singer's voice, anyway that female voice keep sounding lower, as background. Then the song turns heavier and the feeling is more intense, there is a nice but nervous keyboard sound. The structure is basically the same during the whole song, but it is nice to listen to that sudden change from soft to heavy.

"Diving with Your Hands Bound" is a long ten-minute track. A weird, experimental but really interesting composition which can be divided in two parts. The first one is soft, the music begins slowly and it progresses little by little. It makes some nice mood changes, then there is the voice along with drums, and an excellent use of synth, creating a calm atmosphere. Despite it may sound repetitive, it is good to appreciate the new figures and elements that are appearing while the seconds pass. This structure continues until minute three and a half, when it makes a short stop and then a new one is being built up. The guitars are more metal oriented, heavier but without being annoying. Since here, the song is actually very repetitive, but I would say addictive. They managed to connect the music with the listener properly, even with a listener like me, who don't like metal. However, a metal expert may argue this is really a metal album, I do not about it. And the second part of this track begins at minute eight and a half, when it seems to be fading out, but actually there is a beep keeping the song alive, and after some seconds an electronic composition starts. There are some guitar figures on it, but the song ends with that electronic sound.

"White Devil Black Shroud" is one of my favorite tracks. It is a soft guitar based composition whose atmosphere shares calm and even beauty. The drums accompanying those guitars make a great job, but also you have to notice the bass lines, which are also very interesting. This song is short but full of emotion and colors. When I play the album, I always use to repeat this track.

"Terminus a Quo/Terminus ad quem" starts with nice guitar notes that are repeating themselves for several rounds. After a minute the song makes another sudden change and becomes heavier and emotional. The drums and guitars are excellent, the vocals in moments sound far, leaving the instruments taking the lead role, but that's good, I like that sound actually. And worth mentioning, again, the use of synth, the atmosphere shares always the right feeling. The song finishes with some fading guitar and piano notes.

"Death of the Genuine" is a darker song, and you will notice it since the first seconds due to the voice and synth sound. Later it turns heavier and metalish, thanks to the guitars. The song progresses little by little, and seconds after the first guitar apparition, some kind of electronic drums enter. Again, their use of programming and electronic elements adds a special, yet interesting flavor.

"Ende" Is another of my favorite tracks, and I could say it is one of their most representative songs. It begins soft but little by little it is progressing. The drum work is excellent in the whole song and the guitars and synthesizer sounds help a lot. A very surprising thing here, is that they added a sax or trumpet sound, don't really know if it was done with the synth or the instrument itself appears as an extra and special guest. Though the song may be repetitive, I really dig it and enjoy it, especially the last part where the vocalist sings with all his heart.

"The Hardest of Comedowns" is another great song that combines the metal side of Manes, with their electronic experimentation. All the almost six minutes of this song have the same structure and the same mood. Until the final minute the music is fading out and the sound of a rain appears. When this happens, you are suddenly on the last track which is named "Confluence". Particularly I would not include this track because it is only spoken word, maybe If I understood the lyrics I could enjoy it more, but it is the voice with the rain, nothing more.

An excellent recommendation and a true surprise, what a great and original album this is. My final grade will be four stars.

Enjoy it!

memowakeman | 4/5 |


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