MANES
Black Metal / Metal Related / Industrial Metal • Norway

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Manes started around the end of 92/early 93. It started as a project with Sargatanas on vocals and Cern on guitars, synths, programming etc. – basically everything besides the vocals. With that line-up Manes recorded the three demos „Maanens natt” (93), „Ned i stillheten” (94) and „Til kongens grav de døde vandrer” (95). The two first demos was later re-released by the Hammerheart Records sub-label „Unveiling the Wicked” in 98. In 99 the album „Under ein blodraud maane” was released by Hammerheart Records as well, and it was simply a re-recording of various tracks from the three previous demos. Cern felt the project became more and more of a burden as he had spurs of no motivation, troubles with disease, little or no interest in the growing metal-scene etc.etc. – so, to activate the band again he chose to include a full line-up, Sargatanas left the band, and after a read more...
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MANES Discography

MANES albums / top albums

.. Album Cover 3.98 | 3 ratings
Under ein blodraud maane
Black Metal 1999
.. Album Cover 4.00 | 3 ratings
Vilosophe
Industrial Metal 2003
.. Album Cover 3.48 | 2 ratings
How the World Came to an End
Metal Related 2007
.. Album Cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
Be All End All
Metal Related 2014

MANES EPs & splits

.. Album Cover 3.00 | 1 ratings
[view]
Industrial Metal 2006
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Vntrve
Metal Related 2014

MANES live albums

MANES demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

.. Album Cover 1.00 | 1 ratings
Maanens Natt
Black Metal 1993
.. Album Cover 1.00 | 1 ratings
Ned i Stillheten
Black Metal 1994
.. Album Cover 1.00 | 1 ratings
Til Kongens Grav De Døde Vandrer
Black Metal 1995

MANES boxset & compilations

.. Album Cover 1.00 | 1 ratings
Svarte skoger
Black Metal 2006
.. Album Cover 2.00 | 1 ratings
Solve et Coagula
Black Metal 2009
.. Album Cover 2.50 | 1 ratings
Teeth, Toes and Other Trinkets
Metal Related 2014

MANES singles (0)

MANES movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

MANES Reviews

MANES Teeth, Toes and Other Trinkets

Boxset / Compilation · 2014 · Metal Related
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Gallifrey
An Unexplosive Return First and foremost, I'm glad Manes are back. It's strange, this is about the fourth or fifth band that I've got into recently just before a reunion, so it doesn't really feel as if they've been gone for long. But it's been seven years since Manes dropped How the World Came to an End and for those who were fans at that time, it must feel like an age.

I got into Manes through their 2003 album Vilosophe, which I consider to be one of the most unique and interesting electronic rock records ever, and it is absurd that in the absence of Manes, no other artists have truly developed this style, using rock guitars and melodies with glitchy drums and strangely sampled atmospheres. Tracks like "Death of the Genuine", with the violent drum and bass-style drum samples and epic vocal lines, just have not been paralleled in the eleven years since, at least not in music that I've heard. I'll admit, How The World Came To And End wasn't fully to my liking as much as Vilosophe, as it dropped the focus on the rock and metal elements that made the fusion so interesting, focusing more on trip hop ambience and electronica.

So now, come 2014, and Manes are back. Allegedly, they existed as a re-incarnated black metal band last year for a bit, with Manii, but I really wasn't a huge fan of the sole release, Kollaps, in its depressive/suicidal black metal style, it lacked the ambience and texture of the early Manes black metal releases, and honestly, it was a while before I came to the realization that these two projects were related. We're to expect new material from Manes soon, but for now we have this, a release of miscellaneous recordings from the past two albums, alternate takes, and even a live version, as well as When Dreams Become Nightmares, a release from side project of Manes guitarist Cernunus, Lethe. Teeth, Toes and Other Trinkets is meant to be a 'warm-up' of sorts, to remind us that the bands still exists, and to get rid of some material that may not be relevant to the newer original material.

Although I've often found b-side collections to be quite good, I can't exactly say this one has much promise. From a brief look, it appears we have four unreleased tracks, plus some alternate versions of tracks from Vilosophe and How The World Came to an End, even one with a different title ("One More Room" is actually "White Devil Black Shroud", although I can't actually pick what's different here), and a rather lacklustre and averagely recorded version of "Ende" from Vilosophe, despite that being one of their better tracks.

Of the four new (to my knowledge) tracks, I can say that I quite enjoy "Ease Yourself Back Into Consciousness" with its floating vocal melody reminiscent of material from Vilosophe, particularly "White Devil Black Shroud", but the rest of the tracks don't really bring anything new or interesting, they're just simple electronic/trip hop tracks with the standard Manes vocal over the top.

I think it's a good thing that the label, Debemur Morti, decided to release this at the same time as When Dreams Become Nightmares, so that when Manes fans disappointed in this release come back rather annoyed, they can immediately say "but no, look over there, a Manes album that doesn't suck", and everyone's happy. Sure, as I will point out in my review of that, it has its fair share of shortcomings, at least it has substance.

I can't really give Teeth, Toes and Other Trinkets a really bad rating though, because although it's pretty lacklustre, it was never meant to be anything big. I think that the four tracks here that are new could have been edited to make a nice little EP, but none of the alternate versions here add to anything, especially shoving that live version of "Ende" as the second track, which I'm sure will alienate many people. This isn't a bad release, but it's completely unnecessary, even for big Manes fans. If you're looking for more electronic and trip hop influenced experimental rock, then When Dreams Become Nightmares is right over there, there's nothing to see here.

5.1/10

Originally written for my Facebook page/blog - www.facebook.com/neoprogisbestprog

MANES Solve et Coagula

Boxset / Compilation · 2009 · Black Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
UMUR
"Solve et Coagula" is a compilation release by Norwegian black metal act Manes. The compilation was released through Kyrck Productions & Armour in 2009 and is limited to 1000 copies. I´ve been waiting for a new release by Manes since the release of their third full-length studio album "How The World Came to an End (2007)", even though I wasn´t completely satisfied with the direction the band took on that album. However I absolutely adore their second full-length studio album "Vilosophe (2003)", and was hoping for a return to the experimental rock/metal style, with lots of electronic elements, from that album. Once again though I´m taken by complete surprise by Manes as they seem to have gone back to their black metal roots on "Solve et Coagula". A very strange move since their last black metal release was their debut full-length studio album "Under ein Blodraud Maane" from 1999.

The compilation features six tracks distributed over a 44:50 minutes long playing time. The first track is the 15:21 minutes long title track (supposedly re- recorded material from 1994-95). It´s an experimental post black metal track and a very enjoyable and well composed one at that. It´s harsh yet melodic, symphonic but never overblown. If the rest of the tracks on "Solve et Coagula" were of this high standard too I would have struggled to give less that a 4 (80%) star rating but unfortunately that´s not the case. The remaining five tracks are a remixed version of the "Ned I Stillheten (1994)" Demo. The tracks from the demo are remixed in a slower speed by Cernunnus (the mainman behind Manes). Now as the original Demo was recorded on a broken 4-track recorder and featured one of the most noisy and obnoxious lo-fi sound productions I´ve yet laid ears to, I didn´t think it was likely that I would enjoy the same demo tape in a remixed version in slower speed. And I was absolutely right in that assumption. What a scam! I´m sorry to use such harsh words but this is simply not good enough. I find it unacceptable that a band of Manes caliber release something like this. Fortunately the title track saves this release from total disaster and it is only because of that song that I will give a 1.5 - 2 star (35%) rating. I can´t recommend a purchase though which is really too bad since the title track is of such high quality. I do hope they will leave their black metal past behind after this release and concentrate on a new full-length studio album. Hopefully in their more current experimental rock/metal style.

MANES How the World Came to an End

Album · 2007 · Metal Related
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
UMUR
"How the World Came to an End" is the 3rd full-length studio album by Norwegian experimental rock/metal act Manes. The album was released through Candlelight Records in May 2007. Manes started their career as a fully fledged black metal act and recorded three demos ("Maanens Natt (1993)", "Ned I Stillheten (1994)" and "Til Kongens Grav De Døde Vandrer (1995)") and one full-length studio album called "Under ein Blodraud Maane (1999)" in that style. Manes second full-length studio album "Vilosophe (2003)" was an entirely different beast though. Gone was the black metal style and in came a dark electronic/progressive rock/ metal style that I´m personally very fond of. An extremely well-crafted and intriguing album that one.

The music style on "How the World Came to an End" takes Manes newfound electronic rock/metal music in an even more electronic/ambient direction and the metal elements are almost gone from the music now. The vocals are predominantly in ordinary clean singing style but as a new thing in Manes musical universe there´s rap style vocals on the album too. These are performed in both French and in English. The concept is still pretty dark which should be no surprise given the title of the album. The production is excellent. Layers upon layers of sounds, vocals and synths. The closest reference are bands like OSI (the most ambient and mellow tracks) and especially Chroma Key but a band like Ulver also comes to mind.

"How the World Came to an End" is not really what I expected from Manes after the excellent "Vilosophe (2003)" but it is an intriguing album in it´s own right. I´m just not as thrilled about this album as I was about "Vilosophe (2003)". First of all the metal elements which were the link to their past are almost completely gone and then there´s the rap vocals which I have a hard time appreciating. The rap vocals fortunately only appear on occasion though and don´t ruin my listening experience completely. So upon conclusion I find "How the World Came to an End" to be an interesting album, but there are elements I could have done without. If you can appreciate the occasional rap type vocals and the general lack of metal riffs, you might enjoy this more than I do. A 3.5 star (70%) rating is still deserved though. No matter what I think about it, "How the World Came to an End" is still a quality release.

MANES [view]

EP · 2006 · Industrial Metal
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"[view]" is an EP release by Norwegian experimental rock/metal act Manes. The EP was released through code666 Records in February 2006 between the releases of Manes second and third full-length studio albums "Vilosophe (2003)" and "How The World Came to an End (2007)". "[view]" is limited to 999 digipack copies.

The EP features seven tracks distributed over a 33:21 minutes long playing time. Four of them are in a similar experimental electronic rock/metal style as the music style on the two above mentioned albums. There are distorted guitars on the tracks so they mostly remind me of "Vilosophe (2003)" though. The four tracks are vers/chorus structured with clean vocals and they are actually very accessible. The opening track "Cinder Alley" is a really strong track but I also greatly enjoy the pop oriented "Title" which reminds me a lot of "Dance Into The Fire" by Duran Duran. The three remaining tracks are different remixes of the song "Terminus a quo/Terminus ad quem" from "Vilosophe (2003)". Unfortunately it´s only "Terminus Rmx" that´s somewhat interesting. The other two remixes don´t do that much for me. Especially "Terminus dei Profundis", with it´s noisy and ambient soundscape, is rather redundant if you ask me.

Overall "[view]" is a good EP release by Manes even though the three remixes aren´t really that interesting. Had all songs been as great as the four original compositions I would probably have given a full 4 star (80%) rating. As it is now I think a 3 - 3.5 star (65%) rating is deserved.

MANES Vilosophe

Album · 2003 · Industrial Metal
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"Vilosophe" is the 2nd full-length studio album by Norwegian experimental rock/metal act Manes. The album was released through code666 Records in May 2003. Manes started their career in 1993 as a black metal act and all releases ( three demos and one full-length album) prior to "Vilosophe" are deeply rooted in that genre. The band were in those days a two-piece consisting of vocalist Sargatanas and Tor-Helge Skei (a.k.a. Cernunus) playing everything else. Sargatanas left the band after the debut album "Under ein Blodraud Maane (1999)" though and took the extreme black metal vocal style with him. Tor-Helge Skei opted to continue with the band and he recruited new musicians for the recording of "Vilosophe".

The style of music on "Vilosophe" is completely different from the music on "Under ein Blodraud Maane". As mentioned the extreme black metal vocals are completely gone from the music with the departure of Sargatanas as well as most of the extreme metal riffing. New industrial and electronic (at times almost trip-hop like) elements as well as clean vocals have been added to the sound instead. I can see this alienating old fans of the band but the new experimental electronic rock/metal style probably won them new ones instead. The dark atmosphere is intact in the music which is a thing I find is of great importance. In fact this is a very dark and melancholic album, it´s just not dark and "evil" sounding like the band´s black metal output. The tracks are rather simple but featuring multible sonic layers. Acts like Ulver, OSI, Nine Inch Nails, Fates Warning (the "Disconnected (2000)" album) and a bit Queensrÿche (the darkest moments from the "Promised Land (1994)" album) are valid as references. There are very few extreme metal riffs on the album. I actually only count one that could be considered extreme by some and that´s the opening riff of the brilliant "Death of the Genuine (The Redemption Ritual)". Note the extremely dark and eerie sample in the beginning of that song too. That´s how you start a song if you want it to have an impact on the listener.

The musicianship is excellent and especially the vocals are really strong, emotional and melancholic. I find the simple and repetitive melody lines very beautiful and they keep growing on me with every listen.

The production is quite frankly fantastic. Lots of audible layers and a powerful punch. Rock/metal music with lots of electronic elements doesn´t always sound good to my ears but it works very well here.

"Vilosophe" was a complete surprise to me upon inital listen. I wasn´t expecting it to sound like it did even though I had read reviews that tried to explain the sound. This is one of those albums you have to listen to yourself to fully absorb. It´s not that it´s a complicated album by any means but it is pretty original sounding. The music on this album wins because of the melancholic and bleak atmosphere it creates and not because of complex riffing and intriguing song structures. But sometimes atmosphere is enough and in this case it´s more than enough. I really find "Vilosophe" to be an excellent release and a 4 star (80%) rating is fully deserved.

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