MANIPULATION is a Death Metal band from Poland which, let’s face it, has been churning out quality band after quality band of this type for decades now. So when I tell you their debut album Ecstasy is a motherfucking monster, will any of you really be surprised? From the guitar duo of Rado Slav and Vulture ripping everything up to vocalist Bruzyc fucking your ears dry these guys will satisfy any and all fans of this music. And that’s not to leave out bassist Bysiek and drummer Kriss who together blast a hole in you a mile wide. I can’t believe I didn’t get this album till earlier this week, because it’s been out since September on Satanath Records. Well…NOT knowing when this group has new music coming out is a thing of the past because I’ll be watching them like a hawk moving forward.
Shades of DECAPITATED, one of my favorite bands, mark “Lifetime”. Not surprisingly it’s an album favorite. I can see myself taking a tire iron to many, many windshields while listening to this one. “Bad Boy” has the whole band spinning you like a top before punching you in the gut. But you won’t get a minute’s respite because “The Paradigm of Existence” continues the assault, peppering in some elements of FEAR FACTORY (peppering!!). Opener “Insomnia” drags its feet for all of 20 seconds before it’s asses and elbows everywhere; I can see the fists flying now. “Sic Itur Ad Astra” crosses over into Breakdownland, which is something I don’t love. Nonetheless, it’s not an awful track.
The pummeling resumes with “Sunset Over Vatican” which features some interstellar melodic guitar work from the boys, and a sweet mellow interlude, all during the first 1:30. After that it’s full-scale war, but the guitar lines still manage to be sweet even while killing you. This trend continues with “Temples of Vanity”, which, like the previous track is another album favorite. I wasn’t sure how I felt about “Burn Motherfuckers” during the first spin, but after a couple more I really grew to love it. It is a politically-charged anthem (something I always love) but the music didn’t catch on for me right away. Well, two listens later and I was fully into it. I think you all will be, too! There’s a nice little musical interlude going on here, too. Bysiek and Kriss have a field day.
“Dzwiek Upadku” is the sonic equivalent of a Tommy Gun ripping through a 1920’s gangster and disc closer/title track “Ecstasy” is all at once atmospheric, melodic, fluid, and MANSON-esque. You kind of ask yourself, “What the FUCK?!?” at first, but just go with it…it works. They did something really cool and different. Listen, when all is said and done MANIPULATION is one raging inferno of a band. And I don’t say that lightly. Ecstasy is an absolute must-have for your collection, and this band will be one to watch for years. TRUST AND BELIEVE.
STANDOUT TRACKS: “Temples of Vanity”, “Sunset Over Vatican”, Lifetime”, “Burn Motherfuckers”, “The Paradigm of Existence”