Manipulator - Voidbound

Very little is known about the band known as Manipulator, only that is driven by the sole member M. who is also part of the Black Metal based band Aurvandil. Manipulator is sllightly different from Aurvandil in the sense that is a Death Metal band, but it is very little of a difference. From the "Cromlech" cover by Darkthrone, many will agree that much of the work heard on this EP/demo is much rooted in the extremely early Darkthrone sound, especially on the demos which make up most of this album. Originally, 'Voidbound' was supposed to be just four tracks, but Soulseller Records was kind enough to include the second demo 'Unearthed' which gives a deeper look into Manipulator's style of music. However, there is a strong contrast between the two. The demos are much rawer, faster, and sound a lot like earlier Darkthrone but with deeper vocals, such as on "Lost In The Woods." Other tracks like "B&B" have a bit of a Thrash tinge to them and are a bit more rhythmic and melodic than most of the other tracks which mostly just sound like raw Black Metal mixed with Death Metal that really doesn't stir things up the way this track does.

The four from the EP have a completely different sound; sometimes it is even rawer than the demo. The opening "Passing The River" doesn't do too great a job at showcasing the vocals which sound echoing and pushed as far back from the buzzing guitars and thumping drums. Due to the high layers of distortion one could probably consider this Doom Metal, though the music isn't quite slow enough. Other tracks like "Voyage" have a much darker tone and from the guitar structure keyboards can be heard at one point with a haunting overdrive that steps up the music from being more than just the average 'raw Death Metal' output. This is by no way atmospheric Death Metal but still has plenty of qualities that will entice the more eclectic listener. The pace is easily accessible and the guitars less buzzy so they don't drown out the vocals. Overall, this collection may take some time to get into, particularly due to the huge contrast between the EP and demo sound, but to dig back into Manipulator's history shows where he has been, and where he's headed as well.

  1. Passing The River
  2. Massgraves
  3. Voyage
  4. Cromlech
  5. Onslaught Of The Weak
  6. Conclusive Ablaze
  7. I Am Lie
  8. B&B
  9. Of Witch And Wood
  10. Left Hand Of God
  11. Pyre No Fire
  12. Lost In The Woods