I am so freakin’ unqualified to review this.
Two reasons: Three of the songs on this EP (the “Terminus” songs) are remixes of an original I’ve never heard and two of them are covers/re-imaginings of other songs I’ve never heard (“Cinder Alley” from 16 HORSEPOWER and “Title” by DURAN DURAN). That makes two songs that I am supposed to be hearing for the first time.
Second reason: Aside from the opener (which is itself almost a Goth take on Industrial), all the songs are either heavily influenced by Electronica or completely Electronica. Considering that I don’t have a clue of the differences between Techno, House, Trance, Trip-Hop, etc., I really can’t do all that much with identifying things in specific.
So, uh, let me tell you about the band. From 1993 to 1999, MANES was an influential if underexposed Black Metal with most of the trappings you’d expect from an underground Norwegian Black Metal Band. They surprised the hell out of the underground world by pulling a super-fast ULVER and releasing the heavily Electronica-influenced “Vilosophe” in 2003. Jaded critics found it a refreshing breath of fresh air and previous fans mostly found it a betrayal as there was very little Metal left. I’m assuming it sounds like “[View],” but now I’m not so sure I want to hear it.
I want to keep an open mind, I really do, but this just doesn’t appeal to me. At the same time, I feel so out of my element I won’t tell you not to get it. The two songs I enjoyed the most, oddly enough, are the two cover songs. You can ignore most of the “Terminus”es (“Termin”ae?), especially the final one, which is just three and a half minutes of organized static and feedback. I really wish bands wouldn’t do that.
To sum it up: The label describes MANES’s sound as “like a jamming session between KATATONIA, RADIOHEAD and APHEX TWIN.” I don’t think KATATONIA is quite the right band, but if that appeals to you, go for it.
Incidentally, some sources claim “[View]” was limited to a pressing of 999 copies, but the band doesn’t say anything and the label only says “limited edition,” so this may not be the easiest album to get. (Online March 20, 2006)