F U L L . R E V I E W S


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.



Rating: 1.5



--Etiam
Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.



ALL FULL REVIEWS FOR: MANTICORE
CD
TITLE BAND
DOR
REVIEWER DATE
For Rats and PlagueManticore
2006
Etiam8/17/2007


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