Manifestic – Anonymous Souls

Too many thrash metal bands these days preach the “modern” sound, infusing lots of elements from other subgenres of metal into their writing. Oftentimes, the high quality, sterile production value ends up making them sound too “modern” (ironically, ha), leaving me missing the days when thrash metal had that raw aggressive edge to them.

Enter Germany’s Manifestic. While reading the band bio, there are claims that they play thrash metal in the vein of Megadeth – which would have gotten me a little bit wary – my favourite album being Rust in Peace, and their later material being a little bit, erm, modern for my liking. Fortunately this was only after actually listening to their material.

Anonymous Soul is the band’s debut full length album. Right from the opening riff of the title track, one is reminded of the sound popularised by progressive thrash bands such as Vektor and Vexovoid. Not only do the vocals sound similar to those of the aforementioned, but the razor thin guitar tones are also reminiscent especially of Vektor. This comparison doesn’t just end in the production and the tone of the bands, but also in the playing. The most obvious would be in the strings department, in guitarists Rob’s and Samy’s phrasing, and the way the rhythm and the lead complement each other.

Musically, the band also takes influence from the technicality showcased on bands like Death‘s later works (think Symbolic-era), but with a larger dose of melody. For instance, moments like the intro of Code of Silence would have fit comfortably in arena rock of the 80s. At the same time, the easy shift between different tempos and the progressiveness of the writing often harkens back to the works of Vektor on albums like Black Future, although Vektor does take a much speedier approach on their playing. That said, there is sufficient aggression on the album to cater to headbangers, like the Slayer-esque moments on Time will Collapse.

I can see how the Megadeth references may have come into the picture, with the speed and dexterity that each of the band members showcase on their instruments. So if you are suffering from some Vektor, Vexovoid, or even Divine Chaos withdrawal, Manifestic‘s debut would be a good way to hold off the symptoms.

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