Canadian quartet Man The Destroyer might sound more like 'man the conflicted' thanks to eclectic nature of their debut release. Drawing from roots and influences as diverse as Metallica to Dream Theater to Static X and maybe a nod to fellow compatriots Voivod, MTD sound little like any of those bands. But there is thrash metal, and definitely the obligatory doses of hardcore influenced metal so necessary these days. Actually, and frankly, the only way you're going to appreciate Man the Destroyer is by giving it a thorough listen and withhold judgment until the end.
You will especially need to get over the first two cuts, Wasted Life and When Freedom Fails, which even after repeated listening still came across as warmed over melodic metalcore. But it gets better from here, if not peculiar. What follows appears to have no musical rhyme or reason. A song like It Ends With You begins as modern melodic rock and then turns in upon itself with hardcore vocals. Yet, Forever June and The Hole are mysterious gems that near traditional heavier melodic metal, particularly thrash.
Other songs swing back again to harsher modern metal. What is All Form A Line? Metalcore, or maybe melodic death? It's melodic and has a terrific guitar solo. What about Seven Deadly Sins? Again it weighs in on the side of hardcore with lots of screaming, but has an amazing melodic vocal arrangement and another fine solo in between. Then again Soldier sounds near to black album Metallica, and Something of That Nature lands as a magnificent tribute to traditional melodic thrash metal. Go figure! If there is any constant here, it's the unpredictability in the song compositions, and maybe the recurring use of screamo vocals.
The former quality is what makes MTD's debut a real heavy metal persuader. There's plenty going on within this work to push this band toward modern progressive metal, and that's a good thingl. The latter quality of screamo vocals pulls it down into the gutter with the rest of modern metal. Additionally, you'll have to struggle with a poor quality mix and the near monotonous sounding nature of the riffing. Overall, however, this is a solid effort with the promise of some outstanding things to come from Man The Destroyer.
Don't dare pigeonhole Canada's Man The Destroyer. Their version of metal is profound, unpredictable and quite entertaining, even if some elements are not. While their arrangements tend towards creative and progressive metal, they still pander to the current trends of hardcore tainted metal with screamo vocals.
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