Manes - How The World Came To An End
7 May 2007

01. Deeprooted
02. Come To pass
03. I Watch You fall
04. A Cancer In Our Midst (Plague One)
05. Last Lights
06. Nobody Wants The Truth
07. My Journal Of The Plague Years (Fuckmensch Warmensch)
08. The Cure-All
09. Transmigrant
10. Son Of Night Brother Of Sleep

Like their Norwegian contemporaries Ulver, Manes is a band that forsake pure black metal in favor of a more all-encompassing sound, including forays into dance, funk, hip-hop, prog, industrial, disco and electronica. Although the above statement alone will most likely send most metal fans running in fear, the truth is, ladies and gentlemen, that Manes' latest album How The World Came To An End is one of the most intriguing and interesting albums of 2007, thanks to the fearless adventurous attitude of the band and their willingness to take chances.

The focus on this release seems to be on exploring hip-hop and funk induced arrangements, mixing them with contemporary electronica and still keeping this hybrid of styles sound cohesive enough to identify with just one band. By and large, Manes achieves this with flying colors on this album. Throughout the release, we are treated to all kinds of genre-bending ideas and it is all constructed well enough to ensure nobody is going to get bored of the music on How The World Came To An End very quickly. Unlike Ulver, Manes doesn't completely abandon their metal edge, and black metal guitars occasionally appear to add bombast to some of these songs. "Come To Pass" is an excellent example of this. When the guitars finally kick in towards the end of this otherwise French Hip-Hop oriented track, it becomes clear that we are dealing with perhaps the most interesting mixture of rap and metal there is. This is just the tip of the iceberg though, since literally every song here offers something interesting to the open-minded listener. "I Watch You Fall" sounds a little like the Young Gods dabbling in dub, "My Journal Of The Plague Wars" juxtaposes drum'n'bass fueled black metal passages with high pitched proggy singing, "Last Lights" recalls Perdition City-era Ulver and "Nobody Wants Truth" reinvents the use of ostinato and drones in making an otherwise supremely catchy song. Production and performance on this album is also stellar, with the main vocalist Asgeir (there is also a bevy of guest vocalists) being perhaps the most impressive, having the ability to use his somewhat delicate voice to create soaring melodies. Sadly, these don't appear as often on this album as they did on Vilosophe; however, the overabundance of experimentation more than makes up for this initial shortage of genuinely unforgettable moments from a melodic point of view.

People interested in what is "avant-garde" in metal music these days need look no further. If you enjoy unconventional, surprising and fresh music, this album is for you. Only time will tell if How The World Came To An End will receive the recognition it deserves; however, I can already say it is one of my favorite albums of 2007.

Band profile: Manes
Album: How The World Came To An End


Written on 20.10.2007 by
With Metal Storm since 2002, jupitreas has been subjecting the masses to his reviews for quite a while now. He lives in Warsaw, Poland, where he does his best to avoid prosecution for being so cool.
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Queen Of Hippies - 20.10.2007 at 22:10  
Interesting review. Although seeing you compare them to rap/hip hop bands doesn't really make me feel like listening to this .
Stu66 - 21.10.2007 at 00:54  
Good review, good album. Far more challenging than Vilosphe.
Darkside Momo - 23.10.2007 at 18:45  
That's sure this album is interesting !
I think it could be considered as trip-hop, after all it has rock (or in this case, metal), hip-hop and electronica elements. And more.
And yes, Come to Pass is really an awesome song.
jupitreas - 08.04.2008 at 08:29  
This is not trip-hop.
Trip-hop has a particular identifiable sound, which this does not.
They do draw influences from some of the same places as trip-hop artists tho.
Vitriolic Hate - 20.04.2009 at 16:52  
Cool album & nice review.
sn0 - 30.03.2010 at 18:30  
This album is a masterpiece.
Marcus - 02.03.2011 at 11:21  
It's a hard listen, WAY less accessible than Vilosophe, enjoyable, just much different.

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