Release DetailsLABEL N/A
RELEASED ON 1/1/2007
Through the Eyes of Insanity
posted on 3/2007 By:
The cleverly named Manslaughter is the creation of ex-Iron Maidens guitar ripper Elizabeth Schall. In addition to writing the material and playing guitar, she’s also the lead singer. But if you’re conjuring images of sultry vocals sung over epic power metal ballads you’re in for a nasty surprise of the best kind. Despite Elizabeth’s prior pedigree, Manslaughter play a riff focused, fret board demolishing brand of blackened melodic death metal that brings to mind the epic swoons and raw, tremolo heavy riffing of mid era Immortal, but without any blast beats, mixed with the more complex riffing/tempo changes of late period Emperor or even a less technical Arsis. Further adding to the hybrid sound is a bit of outright thrash riffing on "Shadows In The Dark" but this falls more in line with what you’d hear on Immortal’s At The Heart Of Winter versus any of the 80’s greats. Add an extended clean guitar intro to "War Machine" and you can see there’s definitely a lot more spice added to this mix than your typical metal band.
But before you get the idea that this is just a more technical version of Immortal crossed with a simpler Arsis, it should come as no surprise that an axe shredder like Elizabeth would throw in a boatload of solos and melodic riffing. This is a pretty interesting approach, as they’ll be plugging away a fairly standard black metal riff and then launch into a huge, sweeping solo that just reeks of metal guitar god (or goddess in this case) greatness. That is definitely something you don’t hear in typical black metal fare but even fans that don’t appreciate solos will recognize the classic, tasteful manner in which they are executed.
There’s no possible way to get through a review of a female fronted metal band without touching on the vocals. Much like the similarly female fronted Light This City, the vocals are throat-ripping growls on par with any male singers in the genre. In fact, she reminds me of a lot of a higher octave Chuck Schuldiner from Death circa their final album, which, in my book at least, were his best vocals ever. So, like the musicianship and song writing, the vocals are strong as well, making this band strong across the board.
My only complaint is this EP is only four songs and you can be certain they’d probably re-record all of these songs for a subsequent full length, so I’m not sure this release is worth plunking down the cash. But, if for some horrible reason this turns out to be their only output then certainly pick this up and lament the too early flame out of a very talented band with nothing but upside ahead of them.
I’m sure a certain percentage of people will probably check this band out for the sheer novelty of a female guitarist/singer, but much like Light This City with their classic melodic death sound, they’ll become true fans after hearing their expertly crafted, zero compromise take on blackened melodic death metal. Get a big label production behind them and a full set of songs and I can see them crafting one hell of an album next go around.
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