Norway’s Manes are an odd entity.
Having formed many, many moons ago, the band have undergone some serious lineup changes and sound shifts yet the core of the band – frontman Cernunnus – has always strived to create music of the more artistic variety. Be All End All is another step into the unknown for Manes and the record strikes a delicate balance between being slightly off-kilter and making some kind of sense. Opening track A Deathpact Most Imminent is a gorgeous, soft-winding song that showcases Cernunnus’s voice quite beautifully before Ars Moriendi (The Lower Crown) drifts into trip hop-style beats and A Safe Place In The Unsafe builds curious vocal layers over even stranger electronic glitches, while Blanket Of Ashes gets a little too David Bowie for comfort. Manes are unashamedly weird and the twists and turns into different soundscapes work well for them. The huge guitars of Name The Serpent contrast against the ambience of The Nature And Function Of Sacrifice, giving the record a shimmering glow and sultry essence.
Via Debemur Morti Productions