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Great Bestial Black/Death - 85%

optimuszgrime, March 24th, 2008

On the whole it pays to be weary of bestial black metal. For every three bands, if you add them together, you get one decent band with a shitty drummer. That is why when there are notable exceptions, they must be trumpeted and announced far and wide. I am blowing the trumpet and knelling the death bells for Manticore, now, a bestial black/death/war metal band.

Why do I do it? Because there are decent musicians playing here. Yes they chose a genre that is really simple to play and excel in, yes they chose an attitude where distortion can cover up a lot of your mistakes, and where playing well is not a focal point as much as playing fast or playing menacing is. However, they use decent recording equipment, to show the world that yes, they can fucking play their instruments. These guys are way more talented and skilled musicians than Beherit and Blasphemy, the originators of this dubious genre. This already puts them apart from most bestial bands (not all, for Bestial Warlust/ Corpse Molestation and Bestial Raids are all worse musicians, with similarly great music), and the almost clean sound they use makes them quiet a rarity indeed. They cover a Beherit song on this one, not surprising.

The music itself along with the vocals is a little bit more death metal than black, but it is the United States, so I am not surprised by that. What I am surprised by is how tight they keep music that is so destructive and drunken. So this is like a biochemical weapon of plague in more than one way. Totally destructive and rotten and negative, decaying form of art, but yet controlled to the point where it explodes just when it needs to and where it needs to, bringing in a large body count along with it, very effectively. To live with the same analogy, most bands in the genre are like the incident at Chernobyl. You can go with that comparison where you like. In the end, this is really negative and decaying music that is executed precisely and with great spirit. An intense listen, and very enjoyable.