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Manngard - Circling Buzzards Review

by Erin Fox

Flaunting tracks that sound like a tornado hitting the Gillette factory, Manngard can be held responsible for filling the stomach of a great many "Circling Buzzards", as their deathly-sharpened attack of math-thrash, death-jazz and black-tech flat out f**king slays. Blustery yet precise, songs such as "Unattainable F**k" and the Sodom-on-meth opener "Wreathed In Rot" pack a powerful punch, their gritty, harsh tones may recall classic Slayer, but the style of Manngard is exponentially different. As these Norwegians shift from blasting, spiked-bat riffing to lurching, blissful passages of sonic Armageddon, the listener is plunged into one of the most wickedly inventive representations of varied metal songwriting to be introduced this century. After nearly four years of waiting in the can, tracks such as the immense "Tomb Of God" still have the capability to utterly command the listener's attention, and the artistic direction and overall presence of the record sounds as if it were written and recorded mere months ago. Inspired, fresh perspectives of tried-and-true themes are strewn all through the album. "Into The Quagmire" explores a "Killing Technology" Voivod-type, off-kilter rhythms, placing a modern industrial element into the mix that gives the band the impression of being a modern day version of "Beg To Differ" era Prong. An intense blasting section leading to a call-and-response period of swift scales and blazing solos further defines the depth of the group's songwriting prowess. Start-stop riffing and a torrential thrashing onslaught initiates the insidious sounding "It Was Demons," a track that breaks down into a disjointed breakdown that repeatedly boots the listener in the skull with staccato strikes and voracious, tortured screaming. Being that this record clocks in at thirty minutes, another Slayer comparison is evident. Much as "Reign In Blood" provided an ass-kicking so swift and severe that one wouldn't know exactly what had hit them, "Circling Buzzards" offers a benchmark-setting, mandatory listen that will be hailed as brilliant by any true fan of extreme metal.

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Manngard - Circling Buzzards

Label:Candlelight USA

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