Manii - Kollaps
Avantgarde Music
Black Metal
8 songs (39:52)
Release year: 2013
Avantgarde Music
Reviewed by Goat

So, hands up who knew that original members of Manes Cernunnus and Sargatanas (vocalist for early demos and debut full-length Under ein Blodraud Maane) had decided to resurrect the band, split-up in 2011, under a new name, and released an album already? Confusingly, Manes are apparently back together again now with Cernunnus at the helm, leaving Manni's status in question – yet whatever happens, it's good to have this album. Far from the latter-day electronica-infused avant-garde of the original band, Manii instead produces a darkly atmospheric form of black metal that is traditional yet very far from the usual blastbeats-'n'-shrieks Norsk template that we're used to. The best comparison is probably the hypnotic spells of old Burzum, slow and melodic, holding you rightfully spellbound as they build (Kaldt is a perfect example).

Yet there's enough originality to mark Manii out as something different, the piano trills and closing Middle-Eastern-sounding trills of Endelaust just one example. It's mostly in atmospheric effect that the band make their mark, however, rather than sheer variety of sounds. For an album to be so professionally capable and captivating is surprisingly rare in the black metal world, but there's no denying that Cernunnus especially knows exactly what he's doing in his compositions. Opening track Skoddeheim pounds dolefully, Sargatanas' shriek marking this as black metal to the core, yet the backing melodies and effects that lurk at the edge of the music are unmistakeably the work of 2013, not 1993. Yes, black metal can have an atmospheric punch without sounding like it was recorded in a barn! The gathering darkness that opens Liv-Oydar is like something from Negură Bunget's catalogue of black metal, so atmospheric that you can taste it...

I love albums like this, seemingly made just out of love for the genre and for those inquisitive souls who will discover and enjoy them. Little touches like the between-tracks ambience that make intermissions seamless are proof of care and attention, and although it isn't perfect – the English spoken sample at the end of Ei Sjael Som Sloknar is jarring – and it isn't anything revolutionary or previously-unheard, it is an excellent rendition of black metal done right. Whatever flows from the leftfield Manes in the future, it's good to hear that Cernunnus has a foot in the past, and Kollaps will appeal strongly to lovers of black metal.

Killing Songs :
Skoddeheim, Liv-Oydar, Likfugel Flaksar, Kaldt, Ei Beingrind I Dans
Goat quoted 77 / 100
Other albums by Manii that we have reviewed:
Manii - Skuggeheimen (EP) reviewed by Goat and quoted no quote
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