200 STAB WOUNDS Manual Manic Procedures: An Assessment of the Album

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If you desire to create pure death metal in 2024 without being overshadowed by the masses, you must ensure it is infectious, unforgettable, and crushingly heavy. If you’re not mixing the traditional fare with elements of doom, black metal, electronic, or experimental sounds, then the core offering needs to be exceptional. Fortunately, for the talented individuals of Cleveland, Ohio’s 200 Stab Wounds, this is a challenge they tackle effortlessly. Steve, Ezra, Owen, and Raymond exhibit mastery as chefs in the gruesome kitchen of blood, guts, and horror.

The band 200 Stab Wounds had already impressed death metal enthusiasts with their promising tracks on the 2020 EP and their debut album in 2021. However, with Manual Manic Procedures, they have reached new heights of proficiency. The impeccable production allows the guitars to soar out of the speakers, exuding just the right amount of impact and intensity to fill the room with energy. The rhythms are contagious, offering ample diversity to keep the listener engaged. The bass establishes the sturdy foundation of this death metal beast, enabling its menacing growls to resonate deep within your being.

The sound of 200 Stab Wounds bears a resemblance to the more recent work of Cannibal Corpse, with producer Andy Nelson crafting the guitar tone akin to the style of Erik Rutan employed on recent Cannibal releases. Despite this sonic affinity, the band’s technical prowess evokes flashes of Carcass and Exhumed at times, Dying Fetus and Skinless in certain sections, and Vader and Misery Index in others. It’s a potent, scorching display of death metal craftsmanship.

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While the intense and riff-laden opener, “Hands of Eternity,” sets an exhilarating tone, the true brilliance emerges in the second and third tracks. “Gross Abuse” is a captivating piece that intricately weaves together the guitar and drum dynamics, allowing both instruments to shine. Clocking in at only one minute and 50 seconds, it is strikingly potent. On the other hand, the title track emerges as a standout, showcasing the band’s versatility across moods and tempos, encapsulating the album’s strengths in a neatly condensed package.

Additional highlights include the atmospheric interlude “Led To The Chamber / Liquified”, injecting essential drama and diversity into the sonic narrative of the album. However, the band truly displays their songwriting prowess with “Defiled Gestation.” The multitude of twists and turns within the track make it feel like you’ve experienced five different songs in less than five minutes.

Manual Manic Procedures stands as a commendable offering in the realm of contemporary death metal. Each member of 200 Stab Wounds contributes excellently to this album, ensuring that fans of the genre will find immense satisfaction. The diverse sections within each track alone merit exploration, as they lead the listener through unexpected sonic territories. Undoubtedly, a bloody journey awaits, and you will relish every moment of it.

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