manticorebowels

Manticore – Bowels of the Holy Anoint Us in Evil

Manticore plays what can be summed up as ugly-as-fuck sounding satanic blackened death metal.  If you’ve ever listened to some of the early Nun-Slaughter material, but can imagine a more heavy and guttural version of that then you have a pretty good idea of what you’re getting into here.  Unlike Nun-Slaughter however, who can sometimes come across more comical than I think was intended, Manticore is able to play with a conviction that makes you really believe these guys spend their free time having orgies with dead goats in Satan’s name.

I was first introduced to the band when I read a review of their second full length For Rats and Plague (another excellent slab of blasphemy) on the now defunct Unholy Cult webzine (you can still check it out on webarchive if your interested, url is www.unholycult.com).  The sound is similar on that album, and musically the band did tighten up on the second  release, but unfortunately the production  simply cannot match the disgusting perfection of the guitar tone and distortion the band achieved on their debut.  It’s because of this that I always tend to gravitate to that release, and honestly actually prefer the sloppier sound on this album.

I’ve seen this band called a black metal band, likely due to the satanic lyrics and imagery and raw production, but personally I feel the band has more in common with satanic death metal acts like Deicide, old Morbid AngelGoatwhore and the aforementioned Nun-Slaughter although I suppose they have just as much in common with acts like Beherit, Profanatica or early Havohej, but I still feel the riffs here are much more firmly rooted in the death metal style.  Regardless of genre identity, Manticore play a style that should please fans of both true death metal and true black metal, so either way this should make you happy.

The album is 10 tracks long, 1 of which is a cover of Beherit’s The Gate of Nanna which is certainly fitting with this style of blackened death metal.  Track 5 along with half of the last song, Demonic Rights, are genuinely scary sounding ambient tracks of demonic voices moaning and chanting.  It reminds me a lot of the soundtracks for the Doom games released on Playstation and N64 so it gets points there because I’m a old school Doom fanatic (Doom 64 is the only game I have on N64 and the reason I bought one). 

As I said, the star of this show is the guitar tone.  The band pulls off the feat of balancing a raw as fuck filthiness with a full and powerful production that delivers equal amounts of grinding evilness and barbaric heaviness.  Another plus is that despite the savagery of the guitar, the bass guitar is clearly audible behind it.  The vocals are mainly a mid-range growl that sounds like the guy is vomiting molten lava.  Something like a mixture of Paul Ledney from Profanatica and Greg Biehlfrom Nun-Slaughter.  Inhumanly demonic and harsh yet the lyrics are generally audible.  The main vocals are backed by deep death metal growls  and gurgles that sicken the delivery even more.  Totally fowl and hideous sounding, the way death metal should be.   The vocals are fairly loud in the mix, so along with the guitar they tend to overwhelm the drums a little, which sound somewhat buried beneath the wall of noise.  Thankfully however, I still think they sound good (not  triggered and clinical like more mainstream acts) and they get the job done, blasting away furiously for most of the album.  The combination of all of the instruments oozes with hellish heat and darkness.  This is definitely an underground production, but it’s perfectly suited to this type of material.

With song titles like In Bloodshed Rejoice, To Serve the Master, Urine Flowing Through the Vein and Our Will is His you can pretty much guess that lyrically this album is a combination of perversion, murder, hatred of all things Christian and a heavy dose of Satan worship, all delivered with a level of conviction that will give most people nightmares.  Artwork is the type of hand drawn, blatantly blasphemic type shit (brutal demon warrior gloating over a disemboweled Christ on an inverted cross) that brings back memories of the old school death metal demo days of the 80’s and early 90’s so it definitely gets the thumbs up from me. 

If you like your metal raw, filthy and evil as fuck, then Manticore is a band you need to track down.  Bowels of the Holy Annoint Us in Evil will sodomize your soul in the name of Satan!

-Sweetooth0

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