MARK: 85/100


Quite a hard task to be able to catalogue this band of Norwegian classic intellectuals; started as a raw black metal act and touched the top with the frozen "Under ein bloodraud maane", of the far-off 1998 for Hammerheart, they're back with a CD which has NOTHING to do with the past, as their music has become rich with samples, though with true drums, atmospherical, dark and slow; the guitars are in the background and the vocals, clean from beginning to end, are shared between 2 singers, in my opinion not always satisfying; sometimes they sound close to Magellan's or Yes's, sometimes they are too artificial or gay-like; there are songs like, e.g. "Terminus a Quo/Terminus ad Quem", in which the aura is inflamed by electric explosions and a ruinous drumming; this track is so bizzarre that even reminds me of the mythical Jane's Addiction, to change in a calmed end. The very gloomy and menacing words at the beginning of "Death of the Genuine" come after, and the guitars and programming in the trail of Aphex Twin are later effectively mixed, although the vocals are most diverse. "Vilosophe" is a jam session among Katatonia, Radiohead and Aphex Twin, it's true prog metal, but they like to call it neo avant metal, prob'ly to avoid being confused with the bands usually labelled in the prog genre. Enslaved have remained black and have dared a lot, but they can still look at themselves in the mirror, things that Satyricon and Mayhem can't do so easily. Manes have completely abandoned that genre and have modified their line-up steadily, so it'd've been more honest to choose another monicker; I know it's hard to leave such an unusual monicker, so full of interesting meanings, all connected to hereafter godheads. However, these 7 tracks + a spoken outro by a psychotic German killer, who finally shoots himself, compound a brave CD that will be liked by the more open-minded lovers of metal, rock and electronic music, knocking down further barriers, and continueing what pioneeristic crossover bands began 20 years ago.