This is the début album from the mysterious collective that is Dead in the Manger.
Dead in the Manger play a curiously unusual mix of Depressive/Funeral Black Metal and Blackened Grindcore, as ably showcased on their début EP Transience.
On this latest release the band continue with their exploration down the path lass travelled, (never travelled?), that they started on Transience.
The juxtaposition of Depressive melody and harsh Blackened Grind is still not something that’s common and by all rights it shouldn’t work, but Dead in the Manger take a hitherto largely unexplored sub-genre that probably hardly anybody else is usually bothered with, let alone covets, and make it fully their own.
A harsh Black Metal ambience and general negatively-charged melodicism are created by the band only to then smash it into a mutated, bastard Grind template that results in songs combining both atmosphere and aggression.
It’s like someone has taken Shoegaze Black Metal and given it some real backbone.
So has their sound progressed from Transience at all? Yes; I’d say that the Black Metal component is more prevalent on Cessation, although that could also be due to the fact that they’ve learned to incorporate beauty and brutality at an even deeper level on this release. There’s also more mid-paced sections where the band demonstrate that not only can they create an evil atmosphere but they can maintain it.
In order to get something like this right you really need to know what you’re doing, and Dead in the Manger have proven that their first release wasn’t just some fluke. Cessation is even better.
A highly recommended listen. If you haven’t done so already you need to discover Dead in the Manger.
Oh, and the band logo and album cover? Fantastic.