How the World Came to an End
Candlelight Records 2007
While having traveled very far from their obscure black metal roots, Manes still delivers deeply moving and ultimately memorable music. From the opening “video game” sounding notes of Deeprooted I know I am going to experience powerful visions of an eternal night. Electronic beats and fuzzed out keyboards drill shimmering images of melancholic cityscapes into my head. How the World Came to an End is the musical visualization of fluorescent lights and bleak empty streets and the pulsing rhythm of the electricity flowing through immense power grids. As I lay in bed at night the haunting vocals continue to plague my waking thoughts. I feel this is an even stronger and more cohesive album than Vilosophe. The unity of feeling and theme make How the World Came to an End an album that is both compelling and fraught with dramatic tension. Songs like Last Lights with its jazz-in-the-rain via Peter Murphy or My Journal of the Plague Years with its robotic tyranny epitomize the individuality of the material while at the same time they illustrate a common thread of emotion that is woven throughout the album. The only spot I couldn’t really get into was the rapping during Come to Pass though it really doesn’t seem at all out of place. And in spite of the rapping the albums most powerful moment to me is on Come to Pass when the French vocals give way to a pounding club beat that builds and throbs with menace and drips with intensity. But by far the most mesmerizing segments of the album belong to opener Deeprooted. The samples are well placed and infuse the songs with a sense of clinical mystery and mental urgency. Emil’s vocals morph into different levels of pleading and begging, hoping to somehow inspire pity from the listener for his clouded and desperate emotional state. To say that I enjoyed this album would be a huge understatement. Ever since I received this unassuming promo the disc has rarely left my CD player. How the World Came to an End is electronic album that metal heads can enjoy simply based on the depth of despair it summons from that emotional well we call a heart. Manes managed to drop an album on my unsuspecting ears that has become as addictive to me as musical Heroin. How the World came to an End is an album best explored at night in isolation so the mind can absorb every single note with a singular clarity. Trust me, the songs will reverberate in your mind long after you have pressed the stop button. Sorrow will be your only friend after experiencing this album.