Thursday, 4 October 2012

Manetheren - Time review

Born around 2003, in Minneapolis, as the project of composer and guitarist Azlum, Manetheren fashioned old-school black metal on albums such as “The Absence of Light”, “Solitary Remains” and “The Seven Realms of Manetheren”. Ensnared by the lure of the post-rock scene and the fusion possibilities of US black metal, Azlum created “Time”, recorded in the US and Europe, and enlisting the help of Peter Anderson and Thorns. One look at the cover of the album, courtesy of Christopher Wood, featuring an image of a man who is obviously tormented by physical or emotional entities, helps the listener to prepare themselves for the onslaught of expansive, desolate and agonized landscapes. ‘I’ opens with a characteristically enigmatic drone, evoking all manner of melancholic angst in the listener, before waves of guitar and percussion envelope the ears and soul. Vocals are appropriately vicious and unyielding, and carry the listener relentlessly on through a maelstrom of emotion.

For the devotee of black metal, many could argue that albums such as “Time” bring nothing new to the table, and simply maintain the momentum of bleak, raw emotion set against a blanket background of guitar riffs and pounding percussion. “Time” however seems to encompass the atmospheres and space that “post-rock” (whatever that might be argued to be) and allows these compositions to breathe. This is music to let wash over the ears and heart, and allow the listener to soak up the fundamental nature. The tracks ‘I’ to ‘VI’ run through, linked only by tantalising vignettes of unsettling soundscapes, but vary in cadence and intensity. ‘III’ is carried along on the back of a battery of blast beats and brutal vocal passages, with the occasional roar of anguish, while ‘IV’ is propelled by a variety of moods, and levels of percussive passion. A standout track, to these ears, is ‘V’, which features many layers of differing instrumentation, from violent raw guitar to succulent rays of sound.....

Read full review here

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