Manii is the new incarnation of Manes, a pioneeristic black metal act from Norway, born 1993 and remained one of the most obscure outfit off the entire Norwegian BM movement. While other bands were progressing either in terms of switching to a more ear-friendly black metal sound or building a career, Manes remained beyond it all there.. Hidden, secreted… building a solid cult following destined to remain in years, together with other projects like Stigma Diabolicum, Thorns and early Carpathian Forest,
The demo “Maanens Natt” (1993) as well as their debut full length “Under ein Blodraud Maane” (1999) were nominated for years as two of the darkest recordings of Norwegian black metal, thanks to the feral guitar riffing and the weird keys of Cernunnus and the witching vocals of Sargatanas, the two founding and basic members of this obscure collective.
After a short hiatus Manes returned in 2003 with a strong brain and face lift: the album “Vilosophe” presented us a completely different band, at that moment engaged into an avantgarde jazzy dark music with no boundaries, extremely original and enchanting. The metamorphosis found its completion with “How the world came to an end” (Candlelight, 2007), at some parts even rather trip-hop and displaying a marvellous handling of electronica and sound design (sort of going into a Ulver drawn path).
Still we don’t know what could have been the future step of Manes after such a piece of orchestral delirium, at that point closer to acts like Tricky and Massive Attack rather than to the primordial black metal roots.
During summer 2011 Manes was officially put to rest but from their –ideal– ashes the spirit immediately resurrected under the physical name of Manii: Sargatanas, the original vocalist got back into the band and Cernunnus restarted writing music with a cursed electric guitar…
The duo laid down an incredible set of songs that could really belong to the old era and recordings: it is further more incredible how, despite 15 years having gone-by and the different musical styles approached in time, the old inspiration didn’t dry out at all.
Manii and not Manes, why then? “There’s many different small things and issues, that added together became kind of a burden.. people’s expectations, our own motivation, the previous history (old-manes vs new-manes), and more… we understand that we probably should use the manes name for what it’s worth. but we also want to signal “a new dawn”, a paradigm shift if you want.. and that little band-name twist fits well with that” as perfectly expressed by Cernunnus himself.
The duo is now recording what they have for the moment put down as a sort of demo of their new album “Kollaps”: a core of haunting, obsessive tracks that I had the pleasure and privilege to listen in their initial form and that immediately penetrated and possessed my mind.
Skeptical about long time returns? You will hear yourself.. we got the permission from them to post some brief excerpt from these demo recordings and we will… during the weekend.
Tune up your players men with no faith…………….
(picture: a draft, or possible front cover of ‘Kollaps’. Might change!)