Review: “Garden Of Starvation” by Man’n Sin

Founded in 2015 around the area of Rennes in France, Man’n Sin quickly found there own musical path between Groove Metal, Thrash, Hardcore and even Progressive Metal as the quintet took influence from (early) Machine Head, Pantera and Lamb Of God before they began their musical journey on stage, playing dozens of gigs in Europe and overseas in places as far flung as Cuba before they even started to begin to write their first record. That process took about a year and half of jamming, writing and recording before they were ready to unveil their full debut album “Garden Of Starvation”. 

Starting with “Uprising”, a 78 second gradually building riff accompanied by urgent tension creating kit work and a single verse that sets the tone for the album in style before the title track takes hold. “Garden Of Starvation” sees the band stretch their legs on the longest track of the release and showcase an interesting take on the Gothenburg sound of In Flames. There might be not be synths but as with the opening track there are some cinematic orchestral touches and a face melting solo in the mix. It might be slightly over long but there is plenty to keep you on your toes over multiple listens. “Giving Up” has a Jonathan Davis esq spoken word with some dark atmospherics akin to Tim Burton’s award winning “The Nightmare Before Christmas“. Keep any thoughts of Nu-Metalisms at arms length, there is a fair amount introspection in the lyrics but they’re not woe is me fodder. Instead they’re a headlong rush of more straightforward thoughts that spill out of the mind of their vocalist and splatter the back wall. What Man’n Sin do incredibly well with that is keep the dynamic fresh and playful with some choice Groove Metal rhythms and even the Disturbed esq final set of screams is just hilarious good fun with more than a hint of nostalgia.

The two longest songs are in the opening trio so “Riot” begins at two minutes less than each of the previous tracks with an unclean verse and clean chorus. The call of “I can’t escape, it’s too late for me” cuts a powerful sentiment as the riffs begin to pile up with a couple of finely nuanced lead moments. “Neverland” was the ranch owned by Michael Jackson, the King of Pop and the song is orientated around the concept of everyone getting old except the protagonist who wants to take you somewhere, like the Pied Piper of Hamelin. Lyrically and vocally there are hints at Children of Bodom with some glorious storytelling with a creepy vibe. “We Are Still Motherf***kers” isn’t quite the balls out aggressive track that the title suggests, instead occupying the space between with plenty of bang for the buck as well as some neat ebb and flow. Whats interesting about the album as a whole is that you could age it as being of the sound that came to prominence around 2009 but it still sounds fresh, crisp and clean due to a solid mix and attention to detail.

Probably the strongest vocal performance “Bad Behavior” is a powerhouse track that bridges the gap between Europe and America with four minutes of punchy riffs that would go down well on US Hard Rock Radio if it wasn’t for some of the unclean roars. The accented vocals which are quite charming don’t necessarily locate the band in France with something of an Eastern Block vibe to them, though it would be nice to hear them do a track in their mother tongue. “Paris Palmyre” brings a thunderous drum groove during the introduction before settling into some stalker atmospherics that bring Faith No More side project Mr Bungle to mind. It bounces around neatly as a headbangable track that keeps the album at level of consistent quality while taking a few risks at the start. The final cut “Pray” could have appeared at any point on the album, it would have been just as good as a high tempo opening track as it would have been as a mid-album cut. A choice tempo shift during the final third sees the guitar work drop out for a big build up before the final, furious verse [7/10]

Track listing

  1. Uprising
  2. Garden Of Starvation
  3. Giving Up
  4. Riot
  5. Neverland
  6. We Are Still Motherf***ers
  7. Bad Behavior
  8. Paris Palmyre
  9. Pray

“Garden Of Starvation” by Man’n Sin is out now and available via bandcamp

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