How The World Came To An End
Norwegian heavy metal has followed the same trends and movements as their American counterparts — albeit a few years behind. Whereas 15 years ago, Manes started out playing bludgeoning speed metal reminiscent of mid-’80s thrashers like Metallica and Megadeth, the septet from Trondheim has only recently started adding elements of hip-hop and electronica to their sludgy sound.
In fact, it is those subtle, almost unassuming moments on their new album that are often the best things in their songs. The lovely baroque synth lines of “The Cure-All,” the vaguely drum ‘n’ bass rhythms that creep in to “Transmigrant” and “Last Lights” and the appreciation of drones and space in their songs showcases a restraint and forward thinking musicality in Manes that most other bands of their ilk are unable to participate.
How The World Came To An End falls prey to what is becoming a prevalent issue in the metal scene: pure overkill. It clocks in at under 45 minutes, but every moment of that time is filled with warped samples, drum machines and rumbles. There is breathing room to be had, but the air still has a distinct tang to it, making every inhalation a bit of a struggle.
Candlelight Records: www.candlelightrecords.co.uk