Circling Buzzards – Manngard


review by Octavio Ramos Jr

Is it possible for some literary type to inspire a heavy metal band? Well, it's happened. Inspired by the works of none other that William Faulkner, Manngard unleashes Circling Buzzards, and like the aforementioned author from Mississippi, this band goes for aural equivalents of stream of consciousness, shifting points of view, and time shifts. Manngard avails itself of every conceivable genre, from speed and death to progressive and hardcore.

The CD kicks off with Wreathed In Rot, a breakneck thrasher with monstrous guitar riffs and screeching hooks, hardcore breakdowns, demonic rasps and punk screams, and relentless percussive bursts. Next up is Safe With Me, which taps into the progressive style of cascading guitar rhythms and applies Meshuggah's penchant for time shifts. Gravegang slows things down a notch and begins with a subtle bassline, only to morph moments later into a black-metal/ grind piece, complete with raspy vocals and circular guitar stings. Tomb Of God embraces grind, infusing the track with good old-fashioned punk to give it an even harder edge; and then there's Bury The Head, which belts out full-blown grindcore, complete with groove-laden guitar riffs, seriously demented breakdowns, and unforgiving drum work.

Unattainable Fuck fuses the guitars of progressive metal with the speed of thrash metal and then supplants both by burying the sound in a hardcore/ punk foundation that is sure to please the moshers out there. Into The Quagmire is overtly hardcore, and as a result is a bit of a downer considering what has come before, whereas It Was Demons finds Manngard unleashing some furious grindcore once again, this time making it as fast as Nasum and as groovy precise as Pig Destroyer. The closer, Blood On My Face, melds the fury of death metal with the groove of grind, and before you know it, only 30 minutes have gone past.

The schizophrenics amongst you must have this one in your collection. Believe me, not one of your personalities will be disappointed.