Release DetailsLABEL Candlelight
RELEASED ON 3/21/2006
posted on 7/2006 By:
For a dose of something different, turn no further than the Norwegian quartet Manngard. Their music shuns easy classification, too abrasive and proggy to be basic death metal, not “evil” enough to be black metal, not steady enough to be thrash. Only the term “extreme metal” seems to fit this band. They can get as loud and in-your-face as Strapping Young Lad sans Devin’s goofiness. In all, a compatible blend of influences that is pulled off pretty well, with a few scattered awkward moments.
“Safe With Me” is a high-energy thrasher that intersperses frantic riffing with mechanized Mastodon-like shouting. In fact, I hear a few more similarities between Manngard and Mastodon, mainly in the sonic walls they can both produce. “Gravegang” takes a different tack, with a blackened thrash verse section that sounds a lot like material from the newest Keep of Kalessin album. The resemblance ends there as they finish off with Slayer-esque shred soloing and loud chords.
Manngard gets a little technical on “Bury the Head”, playing fast and spastic lines, although the last half of the song is a mess of stops and starts. In that regard, they are a little like Meshuggah with the choppiness, and also the way they can ride out a droning and repetitive bit of noise. “It Was Demons” is intense, but not really in a good way, mixing rapid-fire riffing with a breakdown-speed chorus. The final song (“Blood on My Face”) is maybe the most complete track. It is purely fast thrashing throughout with a cascading outro of noodling.
Circling Buzzards is a short and exhausting album of piss and vinegar. Their overexcitement often leads to sloppiness, but there is an equal share of pummeling, ear-pounding metal. Those looking for melodies and anthemic, classic songs will find nothing here, but the grind and noise guys certainly can find something that piques their interest. Proceed with caution.
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