MANIFEST – Hedonism

MANIFEST - Hedonism
  • 8.5/10
    MANIFEST - Hedonism - 8.5/10


Morningstar Records
Release date: February 11, 2008

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

Manifest is a Norwegian Groove/Death Metal band that was formed in Trondheim in 2000. They’ve come a long way since the beginning in 2000 and have played big festivals such as Wacken Open Air, Inferno, and Hole In The Sky. In 2005 they released their first full-length effort and now it’s time for the crucial second album, entitled Hedonism.

According to Wikipedia, hedonism is the philosophy that pleasure is the most important pursuit. The album Hedonism, however, is an album created to pleasure anyone who loves Old School Groove Metal combined with Modern Thrash and Death Metal. No question about it; within this genre Manifest is the leading band in Norway. There’s a lot of great stuff on this record, and the Groove Metal must be said to be the dominating genre in Manifest’s music.

The opener “Chemical Solution” and the second track “Unrelenting” are heavy and filled with uncompromising riffs. The songs are angry and it’s a good thing that they’ve kept the riffs as simple and plain as they have, because that’s just what songs like these two need. Vocalist Stian Leknes adds the little extra to the songs with his anger-filled voice. He truly is one of the better vocalists within the genre.

“Machinery Of Violence” delivers just what the title promises. It starts with some heavy drumming on courtesy of Alessandro Elide. Lots of tom and bass drum action is always a winner, and this is no exception. This song is more true to the Thrash Metal genre than the previous two, and a lot faster too. The riffs are more intricate and Ole Marius Larmerud shows true skills both on the fast riffing and on the melodic solo on this song.

“Swine” is a slow, but really heavy song. With this song Manifest shows how diverse their style is. Though you got fast Thrash Metal songs and really heavy Death Metal inspired songs, they’ve also taken the time to write something that could best be described as a really heavy Doom Metal song. What makes this song so cool is the catchy riffs in downbeat tempo, which makes it a perfect song for headbanging.

With “Cursed To Prevail,” they take the tempo up a few notches again, because this is another fast and Thrashy song, but with darker elements than “Machinery Of Violence.” This song could actually make you think of something from Hatesphere’s 2006 release The Sickness Within. “Hydroplaning” is a song in the same pattern, but this one has a nice breakdown in the middle of the song, where they also have placed a harmonic guitar solo before they speed things up again. The fact that they haven’t doubled the bass with a rhythm guitar during the guitar solos on this album is a great move from the band. It adds a lot of dynamics to the songs.

While “My Equilibrium” is a middle-tempo Thrash song, with lots of space for heavy headbanging, “Breaking ‘Em In” is a Death Metal inspired song in the same fashion as the first two songs on Hedonism. The tempo is a lot faster at the end of the record, and being the shortest song on the record, it functions as a great transition to the album closer, “Cynical Perception.” This is a fast song that combines all of the styles that were more separated on the previous songs. Leknes actually does some plaintive clean vocals on this track.

There’s also a hidden bonus track on this one. The question remains why they didn’t just make this song the tenth track? It’s a downbeat Doom-inspired song with some growling and clean vocals, and a great guitar solo. Since the total running time of this album is 42:10 (including some dead time between the last track and the hidden bonus track) it could just as well have functioned as a track on its own. It’s highly recommended that you give this song a listen too if you have the album available.

The snare drum on Hedonism sounds scarily similar to the snare drum sound Lars Ulrich of Metallica used on St. Anger, though maybe not as extreme as the aforementioned. You can especially hear this on songs like “Unrelenting,” “Hydroplaning,” and “Breaking ‘Em In.” It can be an annoying element in the music when you’ve first noticed it. However, this says nothing of Alessandro Elide’s drum skills. The man is truly a talented drummer and is definitely the right drummer for this band.

The riffing on this album is dead tight and the collaboration between guitarist Larmerud and bass player Kenneth Einarsen is great. Einarsen has succeeded in finding a great bass sound that goes great with this kind of music, and though you can’t hear every note he plays distinctly all the time (due to the fact that he doubles Lamerud’s riffs for the most part on this record), he adds a lot of depth to the riffs with the heavy and deep bass sound.

Hedonism is a diverse and aggressive release from Manifest, and this album will definitely bring new people to their fan base. This is by far one of the best releases within the Thrash/Groove Metal genre so far this year, and if your into this kind of Metal you should buy this album without hesitation!


  • Kristian Singh-Nergård

    Kristian is one of the partners at Metal Express Radio. He is Metal Express Radio's Marketing and Communications Manager, and on occasions also reviewer and photographer. Based out of Oslo, Norway, Kristian is a bass player and owner of the independent record label Pug-Nose Records. He has been a proud member of the Metal Express Radio crew since 2006.

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