Impaled Nazarene - _Manifest_
(Osmose, 2007)
by: Jeremy Ulrey (7 out of 10)
Impaled Nazarene are one of those well known bands in extreme metal that perhaps manage to remain underrated even after ten albums, mainly for the crime of mixing genres freely, swapping unapologetically between black metal, hardcore, grind and even the occasional industrial and power metal influences. For a style of music whose fan base has been known to take purism to new levels, this brand of musical chairs has perhaps cost them a bit of the limelight that bands like Immortal, Agnostic Front and Napalm Death take for granted.

One of the most consistent bands around, after the spotty _Absence of War_ back in 2001 (perhaps the first real let down in the band's up to then impeccable career), Nazarene bounced back with _All That You Fear_ in 2003 and last year's _Pro Patra Finlandia_, two of the most furious and fully realized efforts in the band's catalog. _Manifest_, the tenth album of a long career, also rages from start to finish, but somehow feels like a bit of a let up in energy and quality after the last two.

Shorter tracks such as "The Antichrist Files" and "Pandemia" do the best job of conjuring that "loosed from Hell" frenzy of the last few years, but too often the album is slowed down by fairly generic hardcore moments, complete with group shout alongs and old school guitar licks (courtesy of new axe man UG). As such, songs like "Suicide Song" and "Mushroom Truth" serve to drag things down instead of providing the diversity the band were no doubt going for. Ultimately the more successful albums Impaled Nazarene have bestowed on us over the years have been the ones that barely top 30 minutes, and at 50 minutes perhaps the primary fault with _Manifest_ is that it overstays its welcome. Not a total wash, but won't likely become one of the most prestigious releases in the Nazarene canon.


(article published 14/1/2008)

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