STYLE: Hard Music RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 174718-28054 LABEL: Love Your Enemies FORMAT: CD Album
Reviewed by Ian Webber
On first listen, this album from Warsaw's Manta Birostris is a real assault on the senses and is difficult to process. The lyrics are delivered in Polish with all the subtlety of a sledge hammer. The grimy growl of the music as it shuffles and pulses is difficult to pigeon hole and categorise and I am still not sure whether the slightly muffled production has been introduced to enhance the mood and atmosphere. There are certainly elements of hardcore punk, but also a death/doom metal feel with industrial phrases. In all honesty this is probably best described as a belligerent progressive concept album. At times the music does include lighter touches and uses Middle Eastern melodies to match some of the themes that are reflected upon on these 10 tracks. The haunting pipes of "Synagogue" bring a Celtic vibe to the table in a largely instrumental track whereas "Ezekiel" is a bass heavy, exposed and primitive slug of a track. "Bieslan" features a female vocal to add a more delicate quality to what is at times a demanding listen. Amongst the moments of hardcore I even heard something that sounded a bit like a squeezebox highlighting the fact that the album is never one-dimensional. The extended title track, which is a melting pot of the many styles included on this recording, is really the first offering that starts to make sense of the experimental nature of the CD. On subsequent listens the tracks start to link together and become more accessible. It will not be to everyone's taste, but the mostly solid production on 'Cursed Eye Of The Prophet' does give space to the many elements on offer here to take their place and produce a quirky and uncompromising listen.
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