Rating:
N/A
Manic Movement - Dark Glitter
10 January 2009


01. Face Your Mirror
02. Army Of Agony
03. Voices (Why You Can't Sleep At Night)
04. Vanity (Pride's Paradox)
05. Sleeping Beauty
06. Hollow Hearts
07. This Sweet Indifference
08. Mindstruck
09. Russians [Sting cover]
10. Puzzled
11. Maze Of Shadows


Truth be told, I wasn't really sure what to expect when "Dark Glitter" by Manic Movement was put into my stereo system for the very first time. I mean, come on, what would you expect from an album entitled "Dark Glitter" with such a frenzied cover art and where the actual disc itself looks like a smashed pinkish red disco ball - a freaking shot in the dark, right? But for sure, I wasn't counting on such an overwhelming and pseudo-beautiful experience. As you might guess, this Manic Movement album made quite the impression on me the very first time I heard it, one I didn't see coming (thou shalt not judge a book by its cover, right)

"Dark Glitter" is the third studio album of Manic Movement, a long-running Belgian female-fronted Symphonic rock/metal band. For the record, this is actually only the band's first album featuring a female vocalist, before 2006 Manic Movement was actually labeled as a death metal band. The band deliberately opted to go for a more "commercialized" and poppy, by any means, a more accessible direction and thus also the death grunts got replaced by very ear-friendly female vocals - talk about a drastic shift here. Now, I know I haven't always been the biggest fan of female-fronted bands in general, but I'm speaking highly of "Dark Glitter" whatsoever: this is quite the stupendous release. And for once I can really digest the female vocals as they fit this kind of sound really well. These are the kind of honeyed vocals that are able to touch you if you want to be touched by them, if you know what I'm getting at. The music itself is energetic though layered and gets pretty dark by times; some specific songs even have a few gothic touches on them - dark glitters, remember. Keyboard melodies are dominant and pervasive, but there's also enough room for a couple of masterful guitar solos and some fervid drumming. In fact, as a result of the guitars and drums having such a remarkable character, this album gets pretty close in being a stand out release in its genre.

The album also features a very moving cover version of Sting's classic "Russians". An entertaining anecdote concerning this song is that the video clip was featured several weeks and even reached the first spot in a weekly all-Belgian chart list on JimTV, a popular Belgian commercial pop music television station. One might surmise the choice for a more commercial switch (without actually selling out) wasn't exactly the worst one for the band.

The attentive reader noticed, though, I stressed the fact I really enjoyed the very first listen more than anything else. This is in fact the only big problem I have with this release (but also with many of the aforementioned female-fronted bands): it gets pretty indistinctive and insipid after a while. In spite of the preceding consideration, "Dark Glitter" is still one of the first worthy catches of the new year, just don't wear yourself out on it.


Band profile: Manic Movement
Album: Dark Glitter


 


written by Thryce | 01.02.2009



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dismaleuphony - 06.02.2009 at 15:26  
An excellent review here I really know exactly what you are saying - that feeling that peaks your interest because the vocals are really beautiful, but something fades into ambivalence after that. This is a really appropriate review for fans who can only appreciate that top tier of most interesting and original female fronted / symphonic bands.

However, I'd say that for me, I did not get the same feelings. I'm a big fan of the genre, and I can keep listening to this over and over without a problem Do I think it's original? No. The guitar solos, as you note, are a real pleasure - and without them, I think I'd be worried this band had little staying power. From what I understand, the vocalist on this album is no longer in the band - the video of "Russians" the band filmed has new vocalist, Virginia in it. Irregardless - my retail copy is on its way. I'd say this a good bet for fans of this kind of music, in the sense of there is lots of potential, some hints of greatness, but not totally realized yet. For those who don't like this music, well, it may not change their minds much. There are bands who are leagues above them still.

On a side note - I am a bit uneasy about the band using their old name now when it's a mostly different band and sound. Why ruin the old band's legacy and just change the name? In fact, it's the main reason I initially passed over the review - I thought it was an extreme metal band, and I was right - for their early 2 discs. Great cover artwork by the way
Thryce - 06.02.2009 at 16:16  
Written by dismaleuphony on 06.02.2009 at 15:26

However, I'd say that for me, I did not get the same feelings. I'm a big fan of the genre, and I can keep listening to this over and over without a problem

You are, but I'm not. And so I don't want to "overdo" this album because the next time I throw this cd in my stereo, I still want to appreciate it as much as the first listen, you know.

Glad you liked the album and found the review appropriate.
dismaleuphony - 24.02.2009 at 21:53  
Just wanted to update my thoughts on the album, I really enjoy it, and some very satisfying nuances have even started to come through, particularly in the guitar passages, like in "Puzzled." And, best of all, seems they are booked for Metal Female Voices Fest this year - I hope my plans to go are realized! It would be great to see the new vocalist with the songs now.
annodomini - 21.12.2009 at 00:32  
Wow, i don't know why i was waiting so long, but now i listened to this album... And i felt like I was listening to what Sengir would have left for us if they still be here. Probably because of the Keybord player of MM that was in Sengir too. And also vocals reminds me "Sign of Devotion". Nostalgia came to me, and I am happy that I discovered this, cause now the life will be easier having this insted of Sengir which I miss a lot.

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