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Manes - Solve et Coagula CD (album) cover



Experimental/Post Metal

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2 stars "Solve et Coagula" is a compilation release by Norwegian black metal act Manes. The compilation was released through Kyrck Productions & Armour in 2009 and is limited to 1000 copies. Iīve been waiting for a new release by Manes since the release of their third full-length studio album "How The World Came to an End (2007)", even though I wasnīt completely satisfied with the direction the band took on that album. However I absolutely adore their second full-length studio album "Vilosophe (2003)", and was hoping for a return to the experimental rock/metal style, with lots of electronic elements, from that album. Once again though Iīm taken by complete surprise by Manes as they seem to have gone back to their black metal roots on "Solve et Coagula". A very strange move since their last black metal release was their debut full-length studio album "Under ein Blodraud Maane" from 1999.

The compilation features six tracks distributed over a 44:50 minutes long playing time. The first track is the 15:21 minutes long title track (supposedly re- recorded material from 1994-95). Itīs an experimental post black metal track and a very enjoyable and well composed one at that. Itīs harsh yet melodic, symphonic but never overblown. If the rest of the tracks on "Solve et Coagula" were of this high standard too I would have struggled to give less that a 4 (80%) star rating but unfortunately thatīs not the case. The remaining five tracks are a remixed version of the "Ned I Stillheten (1994)" Demo. The tracks from the demo are remixed in a slower speed by Cernunnus (the mainman behind Manes). Now as the original Demo was recorded on a broken 4-track recorder and featured one of the most noisy and obnoxious lo-fi sound productions Iīve yet laid ears to, I didnīt think it was likely that I would enjoy the same demo tape in a remixed version in slower speed. And I was absolutely right in that assumption. What a scam! Iīm sorry to use such harsh words but this is simply not good enough. I find it unacceptable that a band of Manes caliber release something like this. Fortunately the title track saves this release from total disaster and it is only because of that song that I will give a 1.5 - 2 star (35%) rating. I canīt recommend a purchase though which is really too bad since the title track is of such high quality. I do hope they will leave their black metal past behind after this release and concentrate on a new full-length studio album. Hopefully in their more current experimental rock/metal style.

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Posted Thursday, July 30, 2009 | Review Permalink

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