Manic Movement - Dark Glitter review
|Release date:||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
09. Russians [Sting cover]
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.
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| Jason W.
| Jason W.
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