A death/thrash band from Gothenburg, Sweden... "Oh boy, here's another wannabe old-school Swedish death metal band" was my immediate thought regarding Manifestor when their newest demo "Old Monster" arrived in the mail. "A two-man band? Yeah, this is gonna be great" I thought sarcastically to myself. I could just imagine sloppy, fuzzed out guitars, the trashy bass sound, bland vocals and programmed drums. I was in for a surprise.
Hatetriot and Asbest, the two minds behind Manifestor, released their first demo in 2010 and followed up with Old Monster in 2012. 2 years to write and record 3 tracks may seem like a long time, but what the long period has resulted in speaks for itself. Manifestor may not be innovative in the traditional sense, but it goes against most current trends regarding death and thrash metal. Sure, they could have taken the obvious route and paid tribute to their legendary countrymen, or they could've jumped on the 80's thrash revival band wagon. But what they've chosen to write is death/thrash with heavy hints of early 80's grindcore. Sound familiar? One might connect this description with other acts like Frightmare, Ghoul, Macabre or Blood Freak, but in reality Manifestor is quite different from these groups. Manifestor's focus lies on a thick atmosphere of old school death metal with the rioting guitar riffs of thrashier bands like Morbid Saint which makes the demo both heavy, hard hitting and fast. But the main attraction for me is when they throw in some good old grindcore for good measure. The grindier parts of Old Monster bring to mind classics like Brutal Truth, Terrorizer, Repulsion, Extreme Noise Terror and especially early Carcass, and it's this kind of variation that makes Manifestor stand out.
The way they handle their instruments isn't exactly virtuosic, but it is completely ruthless and adds that certain element of aggression that many bands lose in their quest for a clean production. There's something honest about the way Manifestor mix the three genres and show blatant disregard for current trends. I feared that Manifestor's music would be ruined by programmed drums, but with Asbest playing drums Old Monster has the necessary amount of authenticity to be good. I love how the band never linger too long on one part of a song, and the dual vocal efforts from the band's two members grants the demo great variation. Their mix of grind, death and thrash is a fun mix indeed and stands out as a focussed effort. My only complaint is that the demo is too short and sometimes sounds a bit too chaotic for my tastes. They don't mess around lingering with the same two or three riffs in every song, but listening to the demo I sometimes wish they would've cared a bit more for the flow of the individual tracks and perhaps a greater concern for the delivery of each part of the songs. 8/10 guitars.
1. Black Sabbath (Note: Not a cover of Black Sabbath by Black Sabbath)
2. Old Monster
MANIFESTOR on MySpace