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Review: Manes - Under Ein Blodraud Maane
Under Ein Blodraud Maane

Label: Karmageddon Media
Year released: 1999
Duration: 37:13
Tracks: 6
Genre: Black Metal

Rating: 4.5/5

Review online: February 6, 2007
Reviewed by: Lars Christiansen
Readers Rating
Under Ein Blodraud Maane

Rated 4.07/5 (81.33%) (15 Votes)

I realized the other day that I've dropped Manes name around in a few of my black metal reviews as reference points, without the band themselves having a review of their own to indicate what they actually sound like. So, for those who are unaware (or even interested), Manes started out in Trondheim back in 1993 with the first of their 3 legendary demos (all of which are now available on a very handy CD compilation). The demos gave the band immense underground popularity due to the quality of material, and the morose howling evil serrating listener's ears. The band went inactive until the culmination of their debut album release, which featured the cream of their 3 demos re-recorded into the form of 'Under Ein Blodraud Maane' (or 'Under a Blood Red Moon').

The album, while more polished sounding than the rawness of the original demos still featured some of the most evil black metal created, with classical elements in the abundant early Dimmu Borgir-like piano and organ arrangements, and synthesized flute piercing through the fuzzy guitars and wraith-like vocals. All this is covered with stomping, distorted, fizzing black metal that Malefic of Xasthur pretty much based his career on (and I'm sure he'd admit it himself, after covering a Manes song on the 'Destroyers of the Western Skies' compilation). Harrowing, echoing cavernous black metal is the dish of the day then, served up with the aforementioned garnish of extravagant synthesizer and dissonant guitar melodies. My personal favorite track has to be 'De Mørke Makters Dyp' with its slow, eerie arpeggio ridden introduction leading into perhaps one of the most Burzum-ic songs on the album, replete with horrific delay drenched vocals echoing Norwegian lyrics from the void like ambiance.

This is certainly one to check out; it'll be well worth your time. However, be warned, after releasing this album, Manes underwent a sonic transformation that no metaller could've foreseen, let alone been happy with. Yes, they fell into the dreaded Ulver trap, and are now releasing material very similar to the sound of a piece of fetid meat working its way around a camels digestive system (or alternatively just 'latter day Ulver' would suffice as a description) where bleeps and farts are aplenty. Rest assured, this album is the complete antithesis of that shit, so part with your cash (or max out your download limits) with that in mind.

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