For Rats and Plague
8/17/2007 - Review by: Etiam
Manticore - For Rats and Plague - 2006 - Deathgasm Records
|Track Listing:1. Envenomation |
2. Praising the Whore... On the Altar of Darkness
3. Liturgical Desecration
4. Unveiling the Ascension
5. Those Who Covet This Earth
6. For Rats and Plague
7. The Art of Possession
8. Rise of the Black Moon
9. Sodomy In the Womb of Paradise
10. Bleeding the Leeches
It can be difficult to identify the elements that separate brilliantly rude metal from pedestrian drudge. The ranks of the former are few, including such luminaries as Burzum, Ildjarn, Von, and Beherit—playing rudimentary, raw, and barbaric forms of metal that no civilized person ought to appreciate (nevertheless, some of us do). And, on the other hand, lie groups like Ohio's Manticore, who for all the traits they appear to share with those groups aforementioned still don't hold any more than a candle to their idols.
On paper, Manticore should be a success. 'For Rats and Plague' is a mash-up of black metal aesthetics, death metal bluster, and some thrash aggression, featuring all the crude cover art and filthy lyrics along the way that one would expect from a band with a song called 'Praising the Whore... On the Altar of Darkness'. They even have the backing of Deathgasm Records, a respected and usually reliable American label well known for its dealings in this field. However, somewhere between the brandishing of their spiked gauntlets and glorification of Satan, Manticore lose their charge and never regain it. One wonders whether it ever existed at all.
Their press material alleges that 'For Rats and Plague' is "an absolute must for fans of Archgoat, Blasphemy..." and so forth, but it seems unlikely that any but the most starved metal fan would find much to appreciate in Manticore. The band do employ a dual vocal approach—mid-level rasps and almost gore metal gurgles—that does keep some of their songs interesting, at least in part, but the effort is ultimately for naught. Manticore have most of the proper piece to succeed and perhaps do not deserve this much disdain, but they lack the emotional intangibles that make black metal more than an affected joke. In the end, it's a toss-up as to whether 'For Rats and Plague' is more derivative or uninspired—no matter the answer, one thing it is for certain is irrelevant.