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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 albums / top albums

MANES Under ein blodraud maane album cover 3.94 | 5 ratings
Under ein blodraud maane
Atmospheric Black Metal 1999
MANES Vilosophe album cover 4.05 | 3 ratings
Metal Related 2003
MANES How the World Came to an End album cover 3.42 | 2 ratings
How the World Came to an End
Non-Metal 2007
MANES Be All End All album cover 3.50 | 2 ratings
Be All End All
Non-Metal 2014
MANES Slow Motion Death Sequence album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Slow Motion Death Sequence
Metal Related 2018

MANES EPs & splits

MANES [view] album cover 3.00 | 1 ratings
Non-Metal 2006
MANES Vntrve album cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
Non-Metal 2014

MANES live albums

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

MANES Maanens Natt album cover 1.00 | 1 ratings
Maanens Natt
Atmospheric Black Metal 1993
MANES Ned i Stillheten album cover 1.00 | 2 ratings
Ned i Stillheten
Atmospheric Black Metal 1994
MANES Til Kongens Grav De Døde Vandrer album cover 1.00 | 1 ratings
Til Kongens Grav De Døde Vandrer
Atmospheric Black Metal 1995

MANES re-issues & compilations

MANES Svarte skoger album cover 1.00 | 1 ratings
Svarte skoger
Black Metal 2006
MANES Solve et Coagula album cover 2.00 | 1 ratings
Solve et Coagula
Black Metal 2009
MANES Teeth, Toes and Other Trinkets album cover 2.50 | 1 ratings
Teeth, Toes and Other Trinkets
Non-Metal 2014

MANES singles (0)

MANES movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

MANES Reviews

MANES Be All End All

Album · 2014 · Non-Metal
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"Be All End All" is the 4th full-length studio album by Norwegian experimental rock act Manes. The album was released through Debemur Morti Productions in October 2014. It´s been quite a few years since the release of "How the World Came to an End (2007)", but there have been signs of life in the intermediate years in the form of the "Solve et Coagula (2009)" and the "Teeth, Toes and Other Trinkets (2014)" compilation albums. Tor-Helge Skei, who is the mainman behind Manes, has been quite busy though as he released albums with both his depressive black metal project Manii in 2013, and with his experimental dark rock project Lethe in 2014. The "Vntrve" EP, which was released in August 2014 and features "A Deathpact Most Imminent" and "Broken Fire" (in an alternate version), which are both tracks that are also featured on "Be All End All", was however the first sign that a new full-length studio album by Manes was on it´s way.

The two tracks on the "Vntrve" EP more or less represent the sound on "Be All End All". Stylistically the music is a dark, electronic oriented type of rock, that at times is similar sounding to some of Ulver´s post black metal-era releases. There weren´t many metal elements left on "How the World Came to an End (2007)", and that tendency continues on "Be All End All", which features very few heavy moments with distorted guitars. It´s to great effect when the metallic tinged guitars appear though, as the rest of the music is predominantly more subdued and melancholic in sound. Besides the few more rock/metal oriented moments on the album (which are indeed very few), the music is mostly atmospheric and pretty laid back experimental rock with a slight avant garde edge (featuring apocalyptic themes, alien sci-fi atmospheres, keyboards, and electronic effects in addition to regular rock instrumentation of guitars, bass, drums, and vocals).

The material are generally well composed and it´s overall a pleasant melancholic sounding album with some clever compositional depth. The sound production is detailed and professional sounding, and "Be All End All" is on most parameters a quality release by Manes. I wouldn´t call it groundbreaking and sometimes the similarities to Ulver´s music is a bit too apparent, but a 3.5 star (70%) is still well deserved.

MANES Vntrve

EP · 2014 · Non-Metal
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"Vntrve" is an EP release by Norwegian experimental rock/metal act Manes. The EP was released through Debemur Morti Productions in August 2014. 250 copies were pressed on 7" vinyl but the EP is also available as a "name your price" option on the band´s Bandcamp profile. Manes haven´t released a studio album since "How the World Came to an End (2007)", but "Vntrve" is meant to be a teaser for their 4th full-length studio album "Be All End All", which is planned for release in october 2014.

"Vntrve" features 2 tracks and a full playing time of 8:45 minutes. "A Deathpact Most Imminent" is featured in the same version which will also appear on "Be All End All", while "Broken Fire" (which will also be featured on "Be All End All") is featured here in a "Slow Boat Alternative Mix".

You never know what to expect from a new Manes release as they´ve experimentet quite a lot with their sound since their early black metal days. Their next step was industrial/progressive metal and then a dark trip hop oriented sound with occasional use of rap vocals. A pretty interesting but at times also rather odd development in sound. The music on "Vntrve" is a dark experimental type of rock music with ambient electronic elements and a reference to Ulver is valid. While Manes are usually considered a metal act, you wouldn´t know that by listening to these two tracks, because there are few distorted guitars on the EP and if there are, they are not played in a riff oriented fashion. The tracks are both well composed and quite intriguing but not complex.

"Vntrve" is well produced. The sound production provides the music with the right dark atmosphere and "Vntrve" is all in all a solid and relatively promising teaser EP and a 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.

MANES Teeth, Toes and Other Trinkets

Boxset / Compilation · 2014 · Non-Metal
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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.


Originally written for my Facebook page/blog -

MANES Solve et Coagula

Boxset / Compilation · 2009 · Black Metal
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"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 · Non-Metal
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"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.

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