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Manes - Vilosophe CD (album) cover




Experimental/Post Metal

4.08 | 26 ratings

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Tristan Mulders
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Manes - Vilosophe

Manes might have been a black metal band once upon a time, but most of the extremes linked to that genre will not show up on this band effort. However, the music you'll find here is still heavily rooted in the metal genre. But that's where "Vilosophe" differs from most established prog metal outfits.

These musicians experiment with their sound and this you will notice right from the start: after an eerie audio fragment we are treated to about four and a half minutes of industrial metal, whereas the next song is a 10-minute suite which uses a lot of samples and atmospheric keyboards as well as drum computers and yes... the heavy guitars are present here as well...

Now, I sort of gave up on reviewing an album song by song quite some time ago, but I feel that I should mention the beauty that's titled White Devil Black Shroud. This song is one of the most depressing, yet beautiful, songs I've ever heard. It's so simple in essence with the repetitive and pretty plain guitar melody, but that in combination with the intense, emotional vocals and the drum computer... sheer beauty... I can't help but notice how well the vocalist fits the music. His voice occasionally reminds me of Stuart Nicholson of the British prog outfit Galahad, but better!

In the end "Vilosophe" is a pretty dark and ambient trip that comes to and end with one of the most disturbing closing tracks I've ever noticed on an album. The 5-minutes long Confluence (The Vilosophe Crux) is an eerie piece of work. It's mainly a German voice-over talking about problems in his relationship with his wife. Gradually the guy's losing his mind... Quite a disturbing way of ending this excellent album... I can't say I hate this ending though... It makes me remember to occasionally pop it in my CD-player.

Funniest thing is that in essence this is a pretty aggressive album, yet because of the use of a lot of electronic elements this album does not 'feel' like a (heavy) metal album. Heavy guitar riffs reminiscent of the better metal recordings are in good balance with Nine Inch Nails-like atmospherics and ethereal drumming that could have come from a Prodigy album! Overall, more than excellent mix of ambient, metal and electronic music.

Now, if that doesn't make you remotely interested, I don't know what will...

Tristan Mulders | 4/5 |


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