It’s amazing that Post Thrash Metal has survived as long as it has. After the late 90s it seemed to go ‘out of style’, but many bands have continued to hold on that legacy. MANIFEST (coming all the way from Norway nonetheless) have added their own flavor to the genre and it seems to have kept them going.
Their sophomore effort, “Hedonism” displays the Death Metal tinged Groove in a pretty descent form here with the band keeping their music straightforward and heavy as hell, not like the overly complex Post Thrashers MESHUGGAH. But with this straightforward style comes a sigh of relief as it renews my belief in the phrase, ‘simple can be more effective’.
With their wide array of riffs and a very prominent bass basher, its hard to not fall into the groove of “Hedonism”. Although none of the riffs or occasional lead feel all that original, the band plays on this structuring with an intensity that sells the music. And strangely enough, the true impressive element on “Hedonism” is the stunning display of drum competence on every song. Not just one or two songs – every damn song has some interesting and enjoyable drum tracks. It’s not everyday that the drummer, in this case a Mr. Alessandro Elide, steals the limelight in one of these bands. With MANIFEST it was inevitable with how good the drums are.
I also must mention that I admire vocalist, Stian Leknes, for avoiding going the cliché ‘ I want to sound like Phil Anselmo!’ route. Adding in a lot of guttural depth to the vocals really sets these guys apart from the other barking fronted Post Thrashers these days, and when he occasionally hits the upper guttural register I was very pleased with the results.
Although not all that original in the end, “Hedonism” is one for fans of the Groove Metal genre and those who are looking from something new from the aging form. The band continues to evolve with this release and hopefully with the next one they can really fledge out their emerging sound.
Songs to check out: “Machinery Of Violence”, “Cursed To Prevail”, “Cynical Perception”.
(Online June 6, 2008)