at Club Maiden, Oslo, Norway, April 11, 2008

BLODSPOR opened the night, and their performance offered a medium to well-done Thrash/Hardcore/Death Metal mixture, and the band came out as a confident and professional live act. Energy was at least present, and the band has every reason to be proud of this performance.

That statement most certainly also goes for what must be Norway’s foremost Thrash Metal act – MANIFEST. The band’s groovy and aggressive music, influenced just as much by Testament as Pantera, is literally made for the live format. Guitarist Ole Marius Larmerud might lack Dimebag’s charisma, but crams out far fatter riffs than the ’Bag did during his last years, and with singer Stian Leknes in front, who basically personifies the word ”hyperactive,” MANIFEST is a thrilling live act.

The band’s latest, and very enjoyable, offering, Hedonism, was well-represented, and from a good mix of old and new tunes ”Machinery Of Violence,” ”Grind Whore,” ”Chemical Solution,” and the mighty ”King Of Sin” came out the very best. The band was dead tight throughout, with Larmerud, together with bassist Kenneth Einarsen, making for a frighteningly loud duo. Worth mentioning is also Scandinavia’s Igor Cavalera, Alessandro Elide, whose groovy and creative yet still deadly precise playing style really makes him stand out among the lot of Nick Barker clones out there.

The crowd was not very big for a Friday night, but those who did team up certainly got their money’s worth. Soaking wet from beer and (his own) blood after a series of spontaneous stage dives, and rather intense moshing, Leknes ended the gig like he’d end a fight with the police he appears to hate so intensely – wounded, bloody, but still standing. He does make a great frontman for a band who are yet to get the recognition they deserve –- but in no way will that stop them from doing what they do best. Wounded, bloody, but still standing –- MANIFEST deserves your attention.

Photo by Kai Åsvik


  • Torgeir P. Krokfjord

    Torgeir was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio. After hearing Malmsteen's "Vengeance" on a guitar mag CD at the age of 12 or 13, he began doing hopeless interpretations of Yngwie licks and it just took off from there. After shorter stints at other zines he was snatched to Metal Express Radio in 2003. Alongside Yngwie, Savatage, WASP, Symphony X, Blind Guardian, Emperor, Arch Enemy, In Flames, Opeth, Motörhead, Manowar, and Queensrÿche are a quick list of musical faves. Torgeir is also guitarist in the Heavy/Prog/Thrash outfit Sarpedon.

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