Blood Moon is the latest release from the California metal project Manalyth. This br00tal five-song deathcore EP has some djent, death metal, and prog metal elements peppered throughout. Vocalist Brandon Craven is a beast on the mic and multi-instrumentalist Brodee McLaren is on point across Blood Moon, and, if that’s enough for you, Manalyth are a band worth having on your radar. Personally, I found this release a bit lifeless.
Blood Moon kicks off with “It Lives” and “Eyes,” two tracks that have been released as singles in the previous three years. The former is an almost ten-minute slow build in a similar, though toned down, vein as Traitors or Black Tongue and the latter has a greater emphasis on keyboards and features some great sung vocals from Christina Rotondo. The proggy instrumental tune “The Light” is a nice palette cleanser before the gnar kicks back in with “Disgust.” The EP’s closer “The Destroyer” is the true standout track for me. The exceptionally dissonant guitar work that kicks off the song is so off-putting (that’s a compliment) and just gets nastier and nastier as the vocals come into play. The song’s got a nice groove throughout, aside from a gross (again, that’s a compliment) vocal interlude halfway through, that makes the eight-and-a-half-minute runtime breeze by.
Despite the obvious talent Craven and McLaren have for this type of music, I found Blood Moon to be a bland release. There’s really not much for personality on this thing; I have no idea how I could pick these guys out of a lineup. The slick production isn’t doing anything for me either. By no means do I crave the trve cvlt style of painfully rough production on all metal releases, but I think Blood Moon could use at least a little grit. While Manalyth are good at what they do, I don’t like what they do. To me, the majority of Blood Moon lacks the sense of character that would warrant some re-listens.
by Justin Bruce
*Edited by Dominic Abate