Extreme Metal Fanzine est. 2012

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Manzer – Beyond The Iron Portal

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Tough one, this album. It’s actually not that good. The execution and production of the music is at times sloppy, the songs aren’t the best I’ve heard, it’s cheesy as is the image of the band. But do I like it? Yeah, I do. In all honesty, I caught myself headbanging along more than a few times. Manzer, hailing from Poitou-Charentes, France, mix blackened thrash metal like Japanese slaughterers Abigail and Sabbat with more intricate melodies that seem to come straight from the golden era of NWOBHM. The dated production adds more authenticity to the album. As said, it does get a bit sloppy every now and then, this has it’s charm, tho. The only thing I’m really not fond of are the vocals. Shaxul (ex-Deathspell Omega), who also handles the drum, is just not a very good singer. He sounds like he’s in a third rate dusty German heavy metal band, and adds just a little to much irony to the music for my taste. Strong points are the well executed guitar leads, the thundering bass lines and the often very catchy choruses. Just imagine yourself knocking back a few beers, wearing your kutte and screaming along with ‘Veisalgia Damnation’ or ‘Semen Goddess’ (uaaargh argh argh!!!). I think this album is going to be for a very select audience, but there are plenty of people out there who will enjoy this. (Stijn)