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The idea of having just two songs and merely nine minutes of music may seem to be a crime, especially if the sounds coming out of the speakers are so devastating as those on “Manifestation of Black”, but for me this is the whole charm of EP singles, you know? They’re special kind of releases, which I like to collect, as they usually offer special, exclusive material, cool artwork, even the fact that they’re usually on 7”EP is special, as I like this format… it is just cool feeling to play something like that, it kind of seems like someone just smashed your face and then quickly finished it off with a heavy boot in your guts. This is exactly the feeling, which I have, while I listen to Nominon’s 2011 EP “Manifestation of Black”.
Coming on black 7” vinyl, with really nice layout (great front artwork and classic band photo in the insert!) this single catches the eye instantly. And music wise it probably is some of the best Nominon material ever recorded! I mean both songs - “Manifestation of Black” and “Burnt Human Offering” – are so damn fast and relentless that they just crush in a minute and it is hard to resist their energy and great, powerful sound. The title track especially is just amazing, I honestly didn’t expect that Nominon would play so fast, but still manage to maintain their unique morbid and obscure mood, which I know from such LPs as “Recremation” and “Terra Necrosis”. I dare to say that once you hear the title track you won’t be able to pick up your teeth, especially that soon after the change of sides “Burnt Human Offering” attacks and delivers equally killer tunes, maybe slightly more thrashing in few parts, but that is just awesome thing and I again cannot control that energy, which erupts with those sounds. Bang your head then and destroy!
Ha, if this EP is going to be an announcement of the upcoming Nominon new LP (“The Cleansing”) then I don’t know if the mankind will be able to survive it. Forget the nuclear wars, Nominon will do the damage! Arrghhhh! Killer EP! So fuckin scream: “manifestation of black, ceremony of doom… manifestation of black, worship the end!!!!!!”.
Nominon were one of those Swedish acts barely filling out their death metal diapers when countrymen like Entombed and Dismember were already establishing names for themselves, and yet the fact that their existence dates back to 1993 puts them well ahead of the hordes of Left Hand Path wannabes we've heard in recent years. To date, they've produced a number of solid full length efforts like Diabolical Bloodshed (1999) and Recremation (2005) which provide the same tangible excitement as their forefathers, without seeming like 100% derivatives. To supplement their four albums, they've issued a number of short player EPs through their history, the latest of which is Manifestation of Black through their latest imprint, Deathgasm Records.
Obviously the value here is somewhat confined due to its brevity, but for what it's worth, the title track is one of the best the band has written in some years, with solid tremolo riffing and unbridled, demonic energy redolent of some of the heavier Dismember records. The tones are not a far cry from their most recent full-length Monumentomb: grimy and muddy distortion which leans more towards an organic representation than a heavily polished one, immediately creating an inherent, murky darkness that honors its title. "Burnt Human Offering" follows suit, not a hell of a lot more charming than the first track but fully consistent in style, and I do like the thrashing impulses buried near its aft. The drums and guitars here are quite rich, the bass appropriately dense and shadowing the rest of the mix, while the latest vocalist Henke Skoog gives a ghoulish performance that would make L-G Petrov and Matti Kärki proud.
All told, you're only getting about 8-9 minutes of new music here, and who can tell if it's going to be included also on their next full-length (their last EP, Omen, was not exactly bristling with exclusive material). I wouldn't reach for this over Nominon's first three albums, but it's decent and gritty old school death metal from one of Sweden's longest lived devotees of the form, and it has only to contend with its own shortness of breath.