Man Must Die - The Human Condition
Retribute Records
Death Metal
11 songs (43:33)
Release year: 2007
Official Myspace, Retribute Records
Reviewed by Ross
About 2 years ago I went to record a couple of bands playing at a pub in Edinburgh’s historic Royal Mile. For some reason, that I can’t remember, I wanted a quick getaway. So, once I had recorded the bands I needed, I dismantled my stuff bunged it in the car then went back in to say my farewells. Entering the bar I was assaulted by the most skull crushingly, hate fuelled sonic attack I have heard in many a long time listening to Metal music. Purveyors of such mayhem were Glasgow band Man Must Die. I knew straight away that I had just made one of the dumbest mistakes ever in all the time I had been recording. I’d been blown away by bands before but never on this magnitude. The whole place was total chaos; people who had been watching the previous bands from the sidelines, arms folded, nodding their heads were now embroiled in the vicious Mosh Pit or at the very least, headbanging fit to snap their spinal cords. I thought the previous bands on the line up were shit-hot but Man Must Die were in a league of their own. Every time I think of that night I give myself a healthy mental ass-kicking for not getting a recording of their set.

It was around this time that Man Must Die signed to Retribute Records and to make up for my stupidity I bought their debut album …Start Killing. An album that still makes regular appearances on my playlist by the way. And although some of the ‘Live’ aggression is missing it is still an awesome helping of Extreme Metal. Now making history as the first UK band to sign with Relapse they have released The Human Condition, which has gone some way to capture the raw aggression and hatred from their live performance, doling it out in spades with every track. Singer Joe McGlynn spits venomous growls that will shred your face with the ferociousness of an out of control chainsaw; prone to exploding “I don’t give a fuck!”, coming from McGlynn, you have a tendency to believe it. Guitarist Alan McFarland blasts out plenty of chugging riffs, tendon snapping solos and some soaring melodies that you wouldn’t expect from such brutal and aggressive music such as this. Bassist Danny McNab, as well as keying in plenty of bottom end, also takes on part of the role of rhythm guitarist, generating a basement level of low key menace. Drummer John Lee keeps everything tightly packaged with energetic and technical stickwork and kick patterns.

Though their overall sound is Extreme Death Metal, Man Must Die aren’t afraid to mix things up, injecting some Scandinavian Melo-Death, Hardcore and Thrash throughout. Their influences are many and you can pick out who they are throughout the album. However, their main song-writing influence comes from growing up in the mean streets of Glasgow. UK and some European readers will know what I’m talking about, a city with a dark and somewhat dangerous undercurrent flowing just below the surface. This existence is what fuels Man Must Die’s burning aggression and hatred that you can feel pouring from The Human Condition. Lulled into a somewhat false sense of security by the Neo-Classical Gothic style intro, you are soon left in no doubt where Man Must Die are coming from when Silent Observer bursts out of the intro’s dying chord. Pure Death March Of The Clones and Waster just confirm the dark depths from which they come and the breakdowns of Cardboard Gangster and Organized Insanity throws in a whole chunk of Hardcore to beat up on your already flayed senses. Album ender Suicide Gene is a darkly disturbing and mind jarring track which leaves you kinda unsettled – exactly as you should feel after listening to Extreme Metal as good as The Human Condition.

I know some of you may feel I am being overly generous with my praise to a virtually unknown band. Maybe so, but going back to my first hearing them live, they made a huge impression on me and I know it is nigh on impossible for you to get the feel of a band’s live show from a CD, even a ‘Live’ album, the memory of that gig throws a whole different perspective on The Human Condition for me than it would for anyone who has not seen Man Must Die live. To get a taster for their live show check out some of their You Tube Videos and to hear some tracks from both The Human Condition and … Start Killing go to their My Space Site. If all that doesn’t get you in the mindset to head directly to your nearest record store I don’t know what will. Man Must Die may not yet be headlining shows world-wide but if they keep on doing what they are doing now, with maybe a few tweaks and refinements here and there, I can see them on every Extreme Metalhead’s ‘Must See Before I Die’ list. I would like to give this an album of the month skeleton but because I am such a fan of the band, I will curb my enthusiasm as I wish to appear unbiased though many will think I have failed miserably.
Killing Songs :
Silent Observer, March Of The clones, Cardboard Gangster, Suicide Gene
Ross quoted 88 / 100
Other albums by Man Must Die that we have reviewed:
Man Must Die - No Tolerance for Imperfection reviewed by Charles and quoted 75 / 100
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