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Man Made Man

Your Punishment Begins

Review by Mike Korn

Man Made Man may seem like a new name in the world of metal, but the band has been around in some fashion for about 15 years. This debut has been a long time coming. MMM is definitely part of the modern wave of aggressive music merging death metal with hardcore and melodic metal. It's a way oversaturated scene and the guys do fall prey to some cliches on occasion, but Your Punishment Begins manages to convince by sheer brute force and an attempt to vary the songs a little.

If you're into more oldschool stuff, the relentless anger and fury here may be off-putting but methinks the new breed of bloodthirsty spinkickers will find plenty to get spastic about on Your Punishment Begins.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2009  Volume 1 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Your Punishment Begins
The first cut surprisingly does not start out with a blast, but with more of a lumbering crunch, and then an absolutely hideous scream by Sean Virgin raises the hairs on the back of your neck. This guy has leather lungs and an asbestos throat. The pace picks up to thrash velocity and the vocals alternate between a witch-like cackle and a harsh croak. The breakdown is pretty typical but manages to be quite beefy. This is a real good introduction to Man Made Man's style - like a fist to the face.
By Blood We Survive
I dig the stalking riff that kicks this off. This track is very anthemic and shows a bit more of the band's hardcore roots. The shouted chorus sticks in your mind and reminds one of the best Hatebreed. There's some tasty lead soloing on display here, too.
The Brutal Truth
This one is all over the map. The beginning is really unique and sounds almost like a cross between AC/DC's "Thunderstruck" and prime Fear Factory, if you can believe it! It's a very cool bit that shows the promise in Man Made Man. Other parts of the track don't hang together so well, though. For one thing, it's too long by a good two minutes. Also, Virgin's clean vocals just don't work in the context of the rest of the album and stick out like a sore thumb. Parts of this are quite outstanding, such as the melodic twin guitar work, but it's a bit of a jumble.
I Feel Nothing
There's definitely a death metal touch to this screamer. Virgin's bellowing roars are overwhelming...hard to imagine such noise coming from a dude his size. This is modern deathcore with the emphasis on “death.”
El Degrador
This brief instrumental has a melodic, almost epic feel to it and actually is arranged pretty well for something coming in under 2 minutes. The second half acts as a showcase for drummer Brendan Hautamaki.
To Thyself
Racing thrash coupled with a brutal breakdown beat makes up the bulk of this tune. The guttural growls here are right up there with Suffocation in the gruesome sweepstakes. It's another fine slab of latter-day deathcore that builds to a powerful climax.
Waging Your Worth
Here's a crushing slower tune that starts off like a slowly advancing Panzer division. This is a track that avoids the breakdown trap because the entire cut is really a giant breakdown of the most punishing kind. This is the most purely heavy tune on the disc.
F.Y.F.E.
I sense the ghost of good old Bay Area thrash and a touch of Slayer to this fast-moving ripper. Again, though, the clean vocals hit an awkward note and the constant fascination with the F-word strikes me as kind of juvenile. You can't deny how tight the guys are here and the drums in particular are pummeling.
A Favored Son
This starts all chunky and choppy and then switches to another neo-thrash riff.  The lead guitar is more prominent here and it’s definitely a modern day metalcore tune, but better than most of its ilk.
 
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