Maniae - Vestiges
France’s Maniae’s future might be a little unclear with the departure of their bassist this year, but at least since their inception in 2022 they grant listeners a little something to get excited about for 2023. Fusing black and death metal for a short EP of mid paced but furious music, one can hear a mix of older Dark Funeral meets newer Bloodbath. It has that black metal harshness but mixed with the groove and beatings of Death Metal. “Vestiges” stomps its way along with tracks like ‘Clinical Messiah’ which is definitely more Black Metal influenced through the croaked/ snarled vocals and guitar work with the rather repetitive drums which may be programmed (no drummer is listed in the lineup for the album) so that would explain the rather clunky sound. What is most interesting is that the band does branch out a bit, even opting for a bit of doom to break up the routine with a track like ‘Inner Plague’ which is much more morose, includes backing gothic choirs, and guttural roars that are long and not the typical black or death metal approach. This track alone should pique interest for those who enjoy their black or death metal a little slower and not too gritty ‘kvlt’ or too blast beat heavy.
Many of the tracks are fast, and slightly fuzzed, such as ‘Redempted By Suffering’ which has the jarring riffs that stand in front while everything is a bit pushed back. Vocals croak along almost in Immortal fashion, but the song doesn’t quite have the epic proportions or melodic levels of that band; the groove through is very well oriented despite repetition. There is some melody injected into ‘Excuse All The Blood’ but that fades away quickly as the band goes for a thick, pounding sound more along the lines of death metal, leaving the black metal elements to dominate more of the earlier tracks.
Overall, this album is short, and will leave listeners wanting more which is a good thing. While slightly one sided on the musical structure in the beginning, “Vestiges” treks on for a ferocious piece that has atmosphere, groove, fury, and everything that any generic metal fan would enjoy. While nothing really stands out as miraculous, Maniae still have a solid sound and with more members in the future (hopefully) and a full length album, they will deliver the full crushing experience of their idea of French blackened death metal.
3.5 / 5 STARS