Sunday, June 1, 2014

Man Must Die – Peace Was Never An Option

So I put this album on to give it a listen and my ears immediately perked up.  I didn't think bands were putting out music like this anymore, and I mean that in a good way.  These guys, Man Must Die, really took me by surprise.  They sound a lot like the early days of The Haunted, up to “Revolver”.  Man I don't know what happened to that band but after about 2005 they've just been circling the drain.  And to think that when they started it was basically 3/5 of At The Gates.  I mean, how do you take that sacred music and wind up where they are now?

But I digress.  We were talking about Man Must Die.  As I was saying, these guys are really good.  So if you imagine the melodic death of early The Haunted, and throw in some of the better traits of metalcore, you've got these guys.  In my book, that's a damn good combination.  You get the growled vocals that you can still comprehend, drums that pound and pummel away where once in a while you hear something that makes you think, “A human couldn't possibly have just played that”, solid guitar riffs with touches of melody in just the right places and quantities, and a bass player that holds it all down and manages to get some flashes of brilliance in there as well.

This band hails from Glasgow, Scotland.  Did you know that people from Glasgow are referred to as Glaswegians?  How the hell does that even make sense?  I'm sure it has something to do with ancient languages that are still spoken in the British Isles, where you still have Gaelic and Welsh spoken, so something my simple American brain can't understand.  But still.  And I digress again.

These are some solid, well written songs.  The ones that stand out the most to me are “Patriot”, just for its all around sense of beating the shit out of you, “The Hell I Fear”, which gives us the lyric that provides the title of the album and also manages to call someone a “fucking piece of shit”, and “Absence Makes The Hate Grow Stronger”.  This one has one of the things that I really like in death metal, when you get all of the instruments playing the same rhythm.  When you get the drums, bass and guitars all locked into the same riff, it's just unbelievably heavy when done right.  And they do it right on this song.

As good as these songs are, as well as they are written and played, I think this could be an even stronger album if there were fewer songs.  There are 12 tracks total, and even with 2 of them being basically minute and half acoustic breaks, the album verges on being a bit much.  That is the only criticism that I can really level, though.  This is a very, very good album, in a genre that doesn't see a whole lot of fresh ideas.  It really does leap out at you as something you need to hear, and I heartily recommend to all my metal friends.


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