Digital & Hostile by Manumit

Manumit-Cover-Artwork-295x300 I don’t need to go in to much detail to tell you the heavy rock/ metal genre has always toyed with electronic and dance music. Going back to the psychedelic era: Jim Hendrix experimented with effects pedals, progressive rock bands used organs, new wave used heavy synthesisers and in the 90s acts like The Prodigy crossed the rave scene with rock influences.

Manumit are cut from the same mould as bands like Papa Roach or Funeral for a Friend. Many bands of this category have tried to incorporate their drum n bass influence in their music but keeping the ‘rock’ integrity, some have made a good career out of it (Enter Shikari) and some have experimented on later albums (KoRn). This is the Bridgend boys’ debut album, and let’s hope they can bring elements of both worlds together.

The album’s opener ‘Sacrifice’ starts like a grunge-era ballad then builds in to a Pendulum style drum n bass track. It’s not unusual for an opening track to set the tone for the rest of the album, but this includes so many styles it’s hard to predict what will follow. I can see what they are trying to do with a lot of tracks, as someone who got in to the metal/punk scene by listening to music like Linkin Park and Limp Bizkit I admire that Manumit are emulating this era and slightly updating it but a lot of tracks sound like they recorded them as ‘metal core’ tracks and then edited some trance beats and synth riffs over them. By the fourth track ‘Everything Changes’ I see a pattern forming: Start with a hard hitting riff, slow down with some pianos, scream a bit, then build into a dubstep style beat.

A lot of the piano riffs sound a bit like the stock music you find online if you are editing a video. I acknowledge this band trying to be a bit more soulful by including pianos and decent vocals now and then but it falls flat on its face. ‘Can You Hear Us?’ starts with a sample of what sounds like video game music then goes back in to their formula of screaming, dubstep and emo-style riffs. This is probably the best track on the album as well and I could see it working as a single. The rest seems like a mess lost between the kind of ‘rave’ music you hear from the phones of chavs at the back of the bus and the kind of music I thought we left behind when My Chemical Romance split up. A C+ for effort but and F for execution.

Reviewer: Neale McGeever

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