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MANIFESTO, this German outfit's latest offering. The 11-track affair maintains the crush employed by many of the new wave of European metal acts, yet this sextet continuously throws musical curveballs which definitely makes their music stand out, but not always for the right reasons. The thumping techno opener "The Moribund Choir vs. The Trumpets of Armageddon" and the over the top street hip-hop performance that winds down "Deathrace" are prime examples of some creative moments that most metal fans will write off as miscues, despite their dead-on accuracy and attention to detail. However, if you can deal with this eclectic band's unorthodox leanings, jittery creative flashes, and solid yet tired beauty and the beast call and response vocals, the sonic battering applied to cuts like the Children of Bodom-esque "Fire At Will" and "Seal Slayer" stand up alongside any of the current crop's most notable, making MANIFESTO an album that dares to take chances yet holds its ground to keep it heavy.
- Mike SOS