Navigate: main >> reviews
F U L L . R E V I E W S



Manes
How The World Came To An End

Company: Candlelight Records
Release: 2007
Reviewer: Etiam
Rating: 3.5



Let us be frank. This review is showing up long enough after this album's release to justify doing away with general intros and cutting right to the controversy at hand over 'How The World Came To An End', Manes's most recent foray into experimental music. At this point, it is simply unfair to judge Manes as a metal band, particularly since this LP was never presented as such, and Manes have been on an avant-garde path for years. Besides, by now we should expect Norwegian black metal to mutate, no matter how vociferously they may affect to be 'True Norwegian Black Metal'. Some changes have met with great approval (.e.g 'Anthems...'), some with derision (did anyone like 'Daudi Balders'?), but few have been met with as much ambivalence as has Manes.

Perhaps it is because the other group to follow the electronic/post-rock path, Ulver, diverged from metal so dramatically that no comparisons could be made to their earlier work. 'How the World...', on the other hand, still has some measure of metal to it (though hardly of the grim sort found on 'Under Ein Blodraud Maane'), particularly with its opener, 'Deeprooted', with an opening practically lifted form Rammstein's 'Sehnsucht' sessions.

For the most part, though, 'How the World...' carries the band into territory that no single genre can encompass. Post-rock, electronica, ambiance, hip-hop, and more are all explored here in depth. Any album with this many genres to cover is bound to have some flaws and meet with some disapproval from fans, but 'How the World's shortcomings and prickles both contribute to its overall success. Much like its tortured protagonist, this album is beset by conflict and dissatisfaction. Almost every track is a clinic in layered climaxes, with various themes returning and piling upon one another, spiraling each track upwards to a fevered finish. Admittedly, this does wear a little due to overuse, but it is better than leaving some of the sparser arrangements to taper out unaltered and inconclusively.

As fascinating as the panoply is to take in, this album's most poignant tracks come when Manes dials back on the rapping and aggressive riffing, and allows their mild, moody side to carry a song, such as on 'Last Lights' and 'Nobody Wants the Truth', both of which feature simple vocal melodies and stripped-down arrangements. Tommy's high, wavering tenor has come to be one of the few constants in Manes's sound, following their renaissance, and he does a commendable job adapting his voice to the many song textures found here.

Those who would accuse Manes of selling out are within their rights to be upset; 'How the World...' is a surprising album that could easily disappoint an unsuspecting metal fan, or even some fans of their '[View]' EP, which only hinted at what this album would bring. Still, 'How The World's music is still quite unorthodox and arguably as inaccessible for a mass market as their earliest black metal demos. It is an intimate trip into unfamiliar territory that is as controversial as it was meant to be. Is this a metal album? No. Is it a bad album because of that fact? Absolutely not. All music need not be metal to be quality music, which many of us should be reminded of more often. Manes are comfortable with the idea, and 'How the World...', a unique and highly emotive work, proves as much. Manes may no longer be part of the metal horde, but the band remains a kindred spirit. If metal truly prizes itself on being a genre that pushes boundaries and rejects the mainstream, then Manes should be welcomed with open arms.
Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.



ALL FULL REVIEWS FOR: MANES
CD
TITLE BAND
DOR
REVIEWER DATE
How The World Came To An EndManes
2007
Etiam2/8/2008


ALL SUMMARY REVIEWS FOR: MANES

No Summary reviews currently exist for them.


ALL INTERVIEWS FOR: MANES
INTERVIEW BAND INTERVIEWER DATE


YOU MAY ALSO LIKE THESE BLACK STYLED RELEASES:


<< back >>






ERIC COMPTON PICKS
The Haunted
Strength in Numbers
Sea
Sea
Hellyeah
Blood for Blood
Dokken
Broken Bones
The Pretty Reckless
Who You Selling For?

GREG WATSON PICKS
Borknagar
Winter Thrice
In This Moment
Blood
Nemus
Wald-Mensch
Septicflesh
Titan
Miss May I
Deathless

FRANK HILL PICKS
Queensryche
Condition Hüman
Metallica
Death Magnetic
Biomechanical
Cannabalised
Lemmy
Lemmy DVD
Born of Fire
Heavy Metal Hot Sauce

DAVID LOVELESS PICKS
Ihsahn
Angl
Aetherius Obscuritas
Viziok
Textures
Drawing Circles
The Chronicles of Israfel
Starborn, Tome I
Obituary
Obituary