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Manes: Vilosophe (first reviews)

Discussion in 'code666' started by Michele/Xyphias, May 11, 2003.

  1. Michele/Xyphias

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    NEOVOID(WWW.NEOVOID.ORG) A flashback to the nineties: It's been some time now since the Norwegian ensemble Ulver realised the limitations of their black metal genre and forced themselves to reconsider their method of delivery; the result was more or less an abandonment of their black metal sound and a development into more electronic areas, a step which was welcomed by lots (like me) and despised by perhaps even more. All of a sudden, Ulver made a name for themselves as they went from being "an interesting black metal band" to "the band that saved the black metal scene from stagnation" (or "the Judas of black metal", depending on who you ask). The band themselves don't care anymore, they've distanced from that discussion years ago. A lot of bands had experimented with incorporating elements from other genres into their black metal at that time, but Ulver were the first to completely throw away their distorted guitars and blastbeats and embrace an entirely different genre. Now, this is not an Ulver review, but seeing that the new Manes album seems to repeat Ulver's stunt, a bit of background history was probably not all that bad an idea.

    Now for the band in question. Manes started out as a black metal duo, and released in 1998 an album titled UNDER EN BLODRAUD MAANE. The thing about this debut album is, it was actually very very good. It was extremely cold and distant, the way black metal should be if you ask me, and though I'd be hard pressed to find comparisons, a mixture of slow Kvist and Emperor would probably be the best bid. Now, five years later, the band has expanded into a sextet and, well, they don't really play black metal anymore. At all. To be honest, I don't really have the vaguest idea what on Earth they're playing now. There's some trip hop here, there's some rock here, there's some jazz here, there's some jungle beats here, and I guess that there's even some metal left here as well. Somehow, this band took all these different influences (and a bit more) and made it sound like they've been playing this stuff all their life. This just proves the point that it doesn't matter what genre you play, how "metal" you are (Megadeth! Moonspell! Metallica! TAKE HEED!), if you're a superior songwriter, and it is obvious by now that these guys are.

    All the songs on this album are very strong and varied. The final track, "Confluence", is a different case though. It's a German spoken word monologue evolving into an Exorcist-style rasp, with some background build-up of some kind, which wouldn't be so bad at all if it wasn't so long (5 and a half minute). The two or three last minutes alone would be a lot better, and the track is a bit of an anti-climax after the seven first solid songs. Furthermore, I have one more point of criticism: this album is too short!! Yes, quality beats quantity, and it's a good thing I'm never getting bored (until the last track), but ten minutes more of equally good stuff would have been a blast. It's so hard to satisfy a seasoned reviewer, I guess.

    All in all, this album is a great example of remarkable songwriting skills and easily the best album I've yet heard from code666's (Manes' new label) roster. VILOSOPHE is highly recommended unless you are a stuck up true black metal fiend, and with this kind of evolution, I'm looking very much forward to Manes' next CD. 9.5/10
     
  2. Rc-VoS

    Rc-VoS Void of Silence member

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    Fausto?......:wave:


    Fausto?!?.... :Spin:


    FAAAUUSSTOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!! :hotjump::yell::yell::yell::hotjump:
     
  3. dimensionidol

    dimensionidol free thinker

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    where can i find a sample of their music ?

    :)
     
  4. Underdogstar

    Underdogstar New Metal Member

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    Hello Guys,
    first let me say that your band selection is really amazing, but regarding your promotion work I'm a little bit irretated, cause I owned Vilosophe a few weeks before (btw. it's exactly trailblazing as Ulver's PC or Arcturus LMI) and all what has happend since then is one single review (and the promo is around even longer). No website, no teaser, news from 2002 etc. :bah:
     
  5. Michele/Xyphias

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    Manes
    Vilosophe
    Code666
    2003
    (www.blackmetalonline.com)

    Recensire un disco del genere è impresa ardua. Essere compreso dagli utenti di un portale black metal lo è ancora di più. Tuttavia sono assolutamente convinto che l'ispirazione ed il talento innato non possano e non debbano interferire con le etichette. Ed è proprio parlando di etichette che sorge il primo dubbio: difficile spiegare con due parole o con un paio di accostamenti ad altre bands la proposta musicale dei Manes targati 2003. Questo combo norvegese deve fare i conti con il proprio passato, è indubbio; lo status di "cult band" che si portano dietro sin dalle prime releases è un'arma a doppio taglio. Soprattutto quando, di punto in bianco, non vi sono più alcune velleità di fregiarsi con certe etichette. Io lo chiamo coraggio. I Manes avrebbero potuto fare uscire un altro "Under Ein Brodraud Maane", la loro attitudine compositiva che gli permise di comporre certe perle è dote innata. Avrebbero potuto tagliare la testa al toro accontentando i fans con un disco probabilmente anche buono ma non più sentito. Nulla di tutto questo.

    Premetto che ascoltai una song dalla compilation della Code666, song che mi indispose. Mi attendevo altro, il cambio stilistico era troppo marcato per poter colpire il bersaglio al primo ascolto. Così è tuttora: questo album necessita di numerosi ascolti ma richiede anche spirito critico, è molto facile cadere nei giudizi per "partito preso". Ora, passando all'aspetto prettamente musicale, le cose si complicano e molto, descrivere la proposta così personale di questa band norvegese non è affatto semplice. Le note biografiche in mio possesso descrivono il sound dei Manes come un incrocio tra Aphex Twin, Radiohead e Katatonia. Per avere un quadro generale del lavoro credo la descrizione sia calzante... ma c'è di più.

    Si inizia con "Nodamnbrakes", song introdotta da un campionamento radio interrotto da una ritmica molto psicopatica ma al contempo accattivante. Sorprendono le clean vocals (presenti in tutto il disco), pop-oriented ma sofferte, cariche di pathos e di disperazione. Il primo riff di chitarra spiazza: i suoni sono molto aperti, carichi di impatto ove, senza assolutamente richiamare il passato, compaiono reminiscenze soprattutto a livello ispirativo che rimandano a stadi di disperazione profondi. La prima sopresa compare con "Diving With Your Hands Bound [Near Flying]" ove i richiami ai Katatonia si intensificano. Si comincia con atmosfere lente, a metà strada tra luce ed ombra, un autentico volo in tetre ambientazioni grige, ove le atmosfere si intensificano in potenza man mano che la traccia scorre via. Considero questa song quale l'autentica perla dell'intero album, commovente, disperata, in alcuni passaggi lisergica. "White Devil Black Shroud" si colloca a metà strada tra le prime due mantenendo le migliori caratteristiche delle stesse: atmosfere surreali ed impatto, che mai va a sconfinare in sonorità "estreme" ma le richiama in tutta la sua forza evocativa. "Terminus A Quo / Terminus Ad Quem" per parallelismo rimanda a "Diving..." ove pathos e disperazione si incrociano partorendo ambientazioni suggestive, avanguardistiche. "Death Of The Genuine" ritorna su coordinate ritmate ed accattivanti, per lasciare via libera alla succesiva "Ende", song che considero altra highlight del disco. Qui i richiami al rock/pop della scorsa decade sono forti, è la traccia più "commerciale" se vogliamo, più accattivante, che colpisce al primo ascolto grazie alla attitudine a farsi assimilare con immediatezza. Molto bello il passaggio successivo al refrain ove compaiono drum parts ritmate, che strizzano l'occhio a certe soluzioni "trip pop". Il viaggio ricomincia con "The Hardest Of Comedowns" e l'influenza dei Katatonia torna a farsi presente: atmosfere molto lente, curate, claustrofobiche ed opprimenti. "Confluences" conclude l'opera, traccia di pochi minuti ove un parlato inframmezzato da atmosfere rarefatte e terribilmente grigie, conduce l'incauto ascoltatore verso lidi di disperazione che si possono solamente sfiorare.

    In poche parole questo sarà un album che farà discutere, dividerà l'utenza tra open-minded e tradizionalisti. Un disco che non si può ignorare, nel bene e nel male, destinato ad essere al centro di dibattiti che spesso lasciano il tempo che trovano. Chiamatemi pure "eretico", "open-minded" o quello che vi pare ma ignorare la pura dimostrazione di talento ed intelligenza forti della quale i Manes targati 2003 disegnano nuovi confini alla perversione mentale/sonora è follia. Questo dischetto continua a girare nel lettore da giorni, riuscendo ad essere sempre più offensivo man mano che si procede al numero di ascolti. Disco sentitamente consigliato a chi non ama fare confronti con il passato.

    "I was never free, I was chosen".

    Recensione inviata da Amon
    Sito ufficiale della band:

    Giudizio finale:90/100
     
  6. Michele/Xyphias

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    hi Underdogstar,
    here Michele at code666 promo dep, just a quick reply to your doubts :
    well, all most important media got the promos as soon as I had them and
    everyone looks to be real cool about our new proposals, the problem is that sometimes media have to take their time to set up the whole thing!
    btw, I don't think someone inside the bands can be unhappy of my dirty job, I think everyone got reviews and inties with most important mags... so let's hope someone among them will defend me!
    :D
     
  7. Michele/Xyphias

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    Manes – Vilosophe 5,5/6
    from Aeternitas tenebrarum

    The first time I heard something from the new work of Manes was on the Code666 compilation, the first impression was very disappointed, it seemed something like for dance floors and so on, but I must admit that listening to one song isn’t enough to valuate such work. Now that I’ve listened to this album almost two times a day I’ve to say that I think that Vilosophe is a masterpiece, imagine Katatonia jamming with Aphex Twin with a bit of Radiohead and (the most important thing) a personal touch and interpretation, I found it astonishing. Useless to say that this work isn’t for any “closed metal ears”, the only black metal thing that remains in Manes is in some ways the attitude, just following their personal purposes and not the trend, how many black metal band are still “black metal” but only following the trend ? (who said Darkthrone?) I think that most of the extreme music listeners will found this work disgusting but I think that people with an inch of brain will recognise that Manes have done a very good work filled up with an atmosphere full of emotions and will appreciate it for its provocative spirit and its genius.

    Sephrenel 5,5/6
     
  8. TRSTN

    TRSTN maniimathician

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    I am a defender of all things Michelian or Xyphiasitory! Do not doubt. Do not dispear. You are the 7th Beatle.

    Actually - now I'm serious - Mixyele does one helluva job! Don't piss on his cake! Here's a great review in Norwegian:

    Manes
    Vilosophe

    Code 666 (out now)
    Denne skribenten føyer seg inn i rekken av internasjonale gratualsjoner og bøyer meg i støvet for en vel gjennomført og kraftfull skive, nydelig og storslagent.

    Tro det eller ei; jeg driter i konvensjonelle tenkemåter og hva folk måtte synes om min måte å veilede folk gjennom fete skiver; her trår jeg til med en tur du sent vil glemme...Du vet kanskje hvordan det er å elske ei skive; men hva med øyeblikk der du vet at selv om skiva bare har snurret litt i spilleren, kommer den til å bli en representant for samlinga di i mange år? Jeg vet Manes siste album kommer til å gjøre anmeldelses jobben min vanskelig; den har allerede ødelagt mang en stund hvor jeg burde ha tatt tak i stabelen med skiver som venter; det er ikke bra Torstein! Torstein ja; på en kanskje litt beskjeden måte overleverte han skiva under årets Southern festival;...nesten ydmykt ble "Vilosophe" dratt opp av lomma og overlevert en litt mistenksom heavymetal.no mann; det være meg - grunnet mannens engasjement i Chton , brutalt og kaldt, streifet det meg at dette også kanskje dreide seg om ekstreme, massive lydbilder. Sånn inni granskauen feil man kan ta.

    Første låt er monumental. Stemninger og bevegelser i låta gjør meg litt beruset...hi-hi...kanskje oppnår bandet det de ønsker; avhengighet. Refrenget, for benevnere, tråkker gassen i bunn for det som skal bli en biltur av dimensjoner. Tenk deg en 65 Mustang; vinduet nede, bygater, full fart; der har du den passende titulerte åpningslåta "nodamnbrakes" . Etter noen minutter i fri flyt nedover stressa gater, drar vi litt ut på landet hvor farten tilpasses et landskapelig og avstresset samfunn. Helt ned til andre gir må vi; myser litt ut av vinduet og tenker på hvor fett det var i byen. Savner det, men ikke så sterkt at man kjører tilbake; man vet det er ting i komminga; noe stort. Derfor er denne skiva så sterk. Det blir liksom ikke kjedelig og får deg til å skifte gir eller stoppe for en luftings. Etter nesten elleve minutter dukker tredjemann opp; "white devil black shroud" . Her må man få følelsen av å kjøre i monotone omgivelser hvor man blir litt apatisk. Låta glir godt over til det jeg vil kalle en likemann. Ikke så mye å spore unntatt et litt mer jevnt utrykk over det hele.

    Når "Death of the genuine" sakte sleper seg ut av høytaleren, får det meg til å innse at jeg lytter til et band som på ingen måte legger skjul på sin elsk til det ambiente og digitale. Men dog på en utrolig kledelig og selektiv måte, noe som ikke overdriver det musikalske utsagnet denne skiva står for. Nydelig. Som Dere nok finner ut, er denne karslige åpningslåta litt alene om å være tilstrekkelig til å dytte bandet inn i metalsjangeren, men la deg ikke stanse av den grunn. Litt Tiamat, Anathema , bits av litt oldtime Bowie og en dose Trouble -aktige emosjoner. Slutten av "the hardest of comedowns" minner meg igjen om at vi har med musikere av det harde slaget å gjøre. Her slutter det musikalske Manes har å tilby. Et utrolig behagelig sistekutt inneholdende kun en film/soundtrack liknende dialog på nærmere seks minutter, får alt til å virke opplagt. Takk.
    Vil du lese en kortfattet anmeldelse av skiva; sjekk ut andre kilder. For når jeg får ei skive som beveger meg, da blir det mye tenking, tygging og ingen tanke til hvor mye tekst som skal yte skiva rettferdighet.

    Yjmetal - www.heavymetal.no
     
  9. Michele/Xyphias

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    Thanx a lot mate, never believed to deserve so cool words!
    Hope to be always so apreciated! :D
    keep on Vilosophing the World!
     
  10. Underdogstar

    Underdogstar New Metal Member

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    Hi Michele,
    thanx for soon reply.This was not to be understood as an attack, therefore, it also needs no defence.Something more like a question. Thanx for the reviews, but I'm not very well coached in Italian and Norwegian language :erk: ...and for sure we love ya all at code 666 :devil:
     
  11. Michele/Xyphias

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    of course mate, no problem... sometimes I need someone telling me cute words, so I used your critics to obtain them :cool:
    more reviews (hopefully in English coming soon)
     
  12. Russell

    Russell __

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    One from me coming in the very near future! :) :wave:
     
  13. Michele/Xyphias

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    so hurry up mate... we want your opinion! :hotjump:
     
  14. Russell

    Russell __

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    :lol: In brief it says this album = teh win!! ;) I'll get it finished ASAP :)
     
  15. Michele/Xyphias

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    teh win? what kind of ancient language are you talking mate? Maybe I must refresh my english but I must admitt I can only guess the real meaning of this quote! eh, eh!
    p.s. sorry couldn't resist to pull your leg about this!
     
  16. Rc-VoS

    Rc-VoS Void of Silence member

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    Che disco stupendo!!!!
    Complimenti a voi! :hotjump:
     
  17. Russell

    Russell __

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    :lol: It's sanskrit my good man! ;)
     
  18. Michele/Xyphias

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    oh, grat now it's really clear! :OMG:
     
  19. TRSTN

    TRSTN maniimathician

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    Here's a review written by Pestenberzerker kolonell. I don't know for what zine, but I know it's translated from french...

    Manes ... a quasi-legendary name for all addicts of what has been done through early 90’s norwegian Black Metal ; legendary ? yeah ... the word isn’t that actually strong for this duet formed by Cernunus and Sargatanas at the dawn of 93 has incessantly casted a massive Black music, slow as the decomposing corpse, INTENSE as a vortex for 6 years (93/99) in which the traders saw the successions of those monuments named Maanens Natt (93) , Ned I Stilheten (94) and Til Kongens grav de Dode Vandrer (95) ; later those demos would be re- printed to 1000 copies each (for Maanens N. & Ned I Stilheten, under the HammerHeart division ‘s ‘Unveil The wicked’) and the first album Under Ein Blodraud Maane which consists in re-recorded version of those old trax came through HammerHeart in 98’, ending this period before a silence of seclusion that has longed for 4 years...personnaly even in the older times I didn’t even wanted to call that ‘Black Metal’ for this appellation tended to came more and more meaningless, for Manes standed apart from every caste , even not to their own ‘scene’ in a total popstar delirium, and for their “cult” (was that really a music ?!) seemed to be EVIDENCE to the inner soul . “A Dead Music For The Fallen”
    They’re back now with a brand new label, Code666 and a new album : Vilosophe... there watch out ; forget everything that has been said, forget the cult status they never wanted, forget the black metal attitude, forget this transcended and sharp voice of Sargatanas who’s no longer in the band, forget the 4-trax sound taste that echoed like the hoot of the specter ; Manes has reached with this newest album the level of it’s most absolute independance, apart from every stable paradigma, from every scene and no doubt that the basic blackster wouldn’t understand anything to this album whether he’s formated, not a bit clever, moreover if he doesn’t know Manes’ personality and vibrations. The band in itself got highly enriched musically , under the pending presence of Tor-Heige ‘Cernunus’ Skei , 5 other musicians apparently coming from varied horizons worked to make Vilosophe a complex and intelligent piece that goes straight to the depths of our unconscious ; THERE it stayed Manes entirely, the essence is the same but the musical shape has changed ; some trax like Death of The Genuine (also appeared in a pre mix called Redeemer) or Nodamnbrakes can allie a Jungle beat made on a groove box and a sharp guitar riff that could have make a Maanens Natt intro, the whole stuff being pushed to it’s extent with an undefinable way of singing... the new singers (yeah..i said ‘singers’) Asgeir Hatlen and Tommy Sebastian have a very special tone, very high, with a very special mood in it, that gives this impression of cosmic depth and that gives a new sense to this durable INTENSITY of the band . A huge mix of electronics, even of Rock gimmicks (Diving with your hand bounds / Ende), of rythmic sonorities sometimes Jungle or even drum & bass come to give a groove to Cern’s verve who has revealed
    another mask of the ‘hydra faced combo’ . They have definitely got detached from this earth to create a very unique & own feeling ; so the identitary purists could easily do without such an album , it would give ‘em some headache, as for the rest...read carefully instructions before use ...
     
  20. Russell

    Russell __

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