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There is nothing truly odd or remarkable with Manipulation, but nonetheless, Consumned does a good job making it an album worth the time it takes to fully understand and appreciate it. That being said, it does take some time before it may entirely sink in. But like already said, it is not an odd or remarkable album despite being labeled as progressive death metal, so wondering what makes it a great experience is a reasonable inquiry.
In so many ways, the music could be called simply death metal. The guitar work is nothing too intricate or complex, but instead are composed with thick and continuous lines. As for the bass guitar, it is heard most of the time following the lead of the guitars, but never seem to do anything noteworthy. The drumming however, is a tad more interesting, playing at a balanced pace and usually changing between rhythms with much ease. Finally are the vocals, which can be divided into two different styles. One which is the typical growling, pulled off very well and easy to decipher, but average. The other is the clean singing, done quite well and somewhat harsh at times, but very enjoyable.
But aside from good music, comes the mixing and production, both which are well done. It should also be noted that the band is unsigned, so more than likely they did not have the biggest of budgets to go on, but still managed to get an end result that is great. The production and mixing leaves everything rather audible. In addition comes great songwriting into the process, that is very memorable and contains many catchy sections spread out. The musicianship should also be mentioned that it is top notch with good chemistry.
The only negative note is the bass guitar, that remains audible, but does not add much to the music as a whole, but is still nice to have there of course. That is about the only concrete and solid downside found on Manipulation. Overall, it is highly enjoyable and packs a hard hitting punch of solid, though not very progressive death metal.
Stand-out tracks: Incarnate Quarantine, 38 Stat. 251, Syndicate.