200 STAB WOUNDS – Manual Manic Procedures – ALBUM REVIEW

Ohio death metal upstarts make a second incision with sophomore album; Manual Manic Procedures!

After making a sizeable impact with their first album ‘Slave to the Scalpel’ , 200 STAB WOUNDS return with their second full length ‘Manual Manic Procedures’. Their first full length made a strong impression which was only cemented by seeing the band live, on their support slot for CATTLE DECAPITATION’s last UK/EU tour. Size than there has been a real buzz around the band and a genuine feeling of anticipation for their next full length release.

The album is TIGHT, with all of your favourite genre tropes . If there was an ounce of fat on this album, it was clearly removed with deft surgical precision. The production is crisp, clear guitar tones and deep low end that just allows the Bass to snarl and grind. The album overall is a colossal step forward for the bands sound, riding the scalpel thin line between paying homage to Old School Death Metal but also sounding contemporary and fresh. Highly recommended album as a must listen for fans of Death Metal and Extreme music more generally.

From the opening notes of the first track ‘Hands of Eternity’ its apparent we are in for something different, from its clean intro and Melodic Death Metal lead playing its already a departure from the previous – brutal slamming Death Metal – album. For any fans worrying about an abrupt genre shift however, the song quickly progresses into some gloriously grinding Death Metal riffage but punctuated with Symbolic era Death melodic embellishments.

The title track ‘Manual Manic Procedures’ is as short, aggressive and lacerating as the title would suggest. Within the 2 minutes they manage to pack in a number of groove laden riffs. Many of the songs are short , barbaric and concise but with moments of impressive lead playing that is used sparingly to add embellishment. The pacing of this album with shorter punchier tracks like ‘Gross Abuse’, ‘Flesh from Within’ and ‘Release the Stench’ are standouts which provide the album with a frantic and savage quality that makes for a more exhilarating listen. Hurtling on into the album closer ‘Parricide’ is crushing and stompy track that ends the album on exactly the right note.

My absolute favourite track on the album however is ‘Defiled Gestation’, from the infectious riffs at the beginning to the soaring lead guitar at the end of the track. It had me nodding my head and pulling rather disconcerting faces whilst sat writing this in a coffee shop… and I can think of no finer endorsement of this album!

‘Manual Manic Procedures is out NOW on Metal Blade Records. Support the band by purchasing it on their Bandcamp.

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