Manifest Of Evil
posted on 5/2008 By:
Burnin' witches, drinkin' booze, punchin' faces and chasin' kooze: sometimes metal ain't all that pretty, but by hell, I wouldn't have it any other way. Sure, I love to savor a fancy Angus burger with blue cheese, hickory smoked bacon and a perfectly toasted bun just as much as the next guy, but sometimes there's just no denying that crude $1 double cheeseburger with the fries piled directly on it, you know? Especially if you've just spent the better part of an evening quaffing beers and raising holy hell. That's pretty much what you've got with Manifest of Evil: it's a fairly crude affair that's been sitting under a heat-lamp since about 1985, and it's best matched up with a night of drunken tomfoolery. The good news is unlike that less-than-perfect cheeseburger, this record won't leave you hugging the toilet the next morning. The bad news is if you're looking for the next technical assault of modern whiz-bang brutality, you're gonna be sorely disappointed.
On to the moniker...
As strange as the name Witchsmeller Pursuivant sounds, it's actually quite fitting. Swiped directly from the fifth episode of the first season of Rowan Atkinson's Black Adder, the name perfectly embodies the not-so-serious nature of this Belgian troupe. Not that these tunes are nearly as silly as the Atkinson show, but with titles such as "In the Sweat of Thy Face," "Heavy as Fuck" and "Machine Made Mary," you know you're not exactly in store for an evening of Bill Shakespeare, lyrically.
Soundwise, Witchsmeller Pursuivant is all about delivering elemental NWOBHM inspired iron-hearted M-E-T-A-L, and it's being kicked down your gullet via five dudes that have actually been in the game for nearly 15-years (despite this being only their third release). The recipe: a dash of pre-Dickinson era Maiden, a dab of Angel Witch flare, a smidge of very early Tankard-styled euro-thrash, loads of solid lead guitar work (my favorite element of this record) and a heaping spoonful of vocals quite reminiscent of Albert Witchfinder. Throw it all into a bubbling cauldron and you've basically got a heavy metal band that's reminiscent of a drunken Reverend Bizarre side-project doing classic metal. If that sounds like a recipe for success, you've got yourself a winner.
Manifest of Evil isn't likely to blow anyone out of the water with its technicality or inventiveness, but it's an oddly addictive little record that should appeal to those with throwback interests who aren't afraid to stray towards a less serious side of the metal spectrum. It's far from something I'd consider essential, but it's definitely a fun jaunt worthy of investigation -- crank it up and crack a few open.
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