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Manierisme – “Manierisme” – [Nekrokult Nihilism]

Rat King   10/15/2014   A Library, CD

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Raw, low-rent Japanese black metal. Manierisme is a one-man show run by Jekyll, who seems to have perfected the frown-and-glare. This release from Nekrokult Nihilism is full of weird sounds, unfocused noise, and black metal angst.

At over an hour, Manierisme’s self-titled release seems a little bloated. It also sounds like complete garbage, in terms of recording quality. This cannot be overstated: Manierisme sounds like it was recorded in Jekyll’s garage, then bootlegged by teenagers in some cold third-world country who played it through a tin can and recorded it with a potato (for the worst (or best) example, go for “Collapse Prelude”).

It has distorted Japanese speech, ticking clocks, growls, howls (“Koware Kuruu Ningyo No Akumu”), weird layered voices (particularly on “The Secret Garden”, where they are surprisingly soothing), strangulated choking noises (“Monochrome”), Gollum vocals (“Scenery That Goes to Ruin”), and grave recitations. The guitar has a sort of lilting quality at times (but is mostly a thrashy wall of distortion squared), “Waltz at Last Moment” does indeed sound like a waltz, and “In Dear Memories” is strangely pretty and chased by a hidden track full of twinkling that sounds like a song from the old country. It’s an odd piece of work.

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