200 Stab Wounds: Manic Manual Procedures (Metal Blade) - review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Monday, July 15th, 2024  

200 Stab Wounds

Manic Manual Procedures

Metal Blade

Jul 10, 2024 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

Sometimes, a record comes along and completely wallops you upside the head, forcing you to pay attention. As you may have already guessed, this is most definitely one of those records. From its appropriately gory cover art, you are promised a new and particularly brutal take on old-school death metal and this sure delivers. With only nine tracks clocking in at just over 29 minutes, this is a startlingly tight and mature record from a band only on its second album, following 200 Stab Wounds’ 2021 debut, Slave to the Scalpel. It’s such an adrenaline ride that it’s over before you know it. Therefore, it just makes you want to play it again and again and again.

Repeat listens, however, reveal layers and ideas not commonly found in most traditional “meat and potatoes” death metal, such as the almost shockingly pretty acoustic-laden intro to the first song, “Hands of Eternity” (which was debuted back in the winter), or the ’90s noise-rock tribute found at the end of “Led to the Chamber / Liquified,” the album’s fifth track, on which it feels like there may be something wrong with your CD (or the vinyl or MP3 or stream) at first until you realize it’s part of the plan. On the sixth track, “Flesh from Within,” there is another shockingly pretty acoustic-laden outro that hints at where they may go next, but for now, it’s just a brief respite from the brutality of the rest of the album, a chance to breathe before the roller coaster goes back down and you’re screaming for dear life again.

And lyrically, this isn’t just gore for gore’s sake. As vocalist/guitarist Steve Buhl has explained. He said, “The last song on the new record, ‘Parricide,’ is about someone going into a nursing home, and just blowing it up. The lyrics are about those types of corporations that don’t really give a fuck about those people. It’s all just a money grab.”

While 200 Stab Wounds are, for now, supporting other great acts like Gatecreeper, Dying Fetus, Full of Hell, and Nails, the quality of their second album ensures they’ll be headliners of their own in no time. Aside from perhaps Necrot’s also excellent Lifeless Birth, there has probably been no better death metal album released in 2024 so far. (www.200stabwounds.net)

Author rating: 8/10

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Average reader rating: 7/10


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