MANNGARD – European Cowards

Norwegian metal bastards MANNGARD have followed up their impressive debut, Circling Buzzards, with an equally fulfilling album in European Cowards. Those familiar with MANNGARD‘s style know well that they sound like no other extreme metal band out there. Athletic and mathematic, MANNGARD is a complex smattering of death metal and thrash metal with sprinkles of hardcore aesthetics, and technical and progressive musicianship. While others often attempt to merge such a potpourri of styles, MANNGARD do so with finesse and razor sharp execution. Opening track, “Pests in Pools of Stagnant Water,” blasts forth furiously with odd time signatures, breakdowns, dissonance, syncopated rhythms, blast beats, and more, setting the tone for what is an exciting album. A frenzied pulse gallops throughout each track with busy drumming and atypical guitar work. The frenzied pace is further accentuated by the bad ass vocal delivery of Olav Iverson. Iverson utilizes several “voices,” high and low, all sinister. But not all is over-the-top madness…and such is the beauty of MANNGARD. There’s no shortage of dynamics as they can slow things down with “Expulsion of the Assailants Part I: Surgical Removal of Your Evil Thoughts” and mix things up throughout the epic “Part II.” European Cowards is a delightful release from a band with a refreshing sound in an oft stale genre of piddling filth. (Candlelight Records/Nocturnal Art Productions)

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