ALBUM REVIEW: 200 Stab Wounds - Manual Manic Procedures

ALBUM REVIEW: 200 Stab Wounds - Manual Manic Procedures

Manual Manic Procedures will be released June 28th on Metal Blade Records

Brutal death metal band 200 Stab Wounds have been chopping up and destroying their audiences in a blood-soaked of utter and brutal death metal. Since their 2021 debut Slave To The Scalpel, the band have been delivering hard-hitting slam death metal and making a name for themselves in the death metal scene, opening for legendary death metal acts like Dying Fetus and Deicide, along with other rising acts like Gatecreeper and Sanguisugabogg. With the band's new album Manual Manic Procedures, the band return to push the gore-level even harder, but also develop their sound even more. Evolving from the slam-death sound of their debut, to a more unique sound, while also continuing the hostility and violence of the genre.

The album opens with the track "Hands of Eternity". Opening atmospheric guitars and heavy reverb and delay create an eerie and uneasy feeling start. With distorted guitars by Raymond Macdonald & Steve Buhl begin to intensify as Owen Pooley's double bass kicks begin to amp up the track. Transitioning into a pummeling chug heavy riff as Buhl's blegh at the almost two minute mark intensifies the riff. The punishingly heavy riff with Buhl's guttural vocals hit like a ton of bricks, especially with the spoken word sections underneat the gutturals. I love Ezra Cook's rising bass gurgles throughout the section, especially during the three quarters mark of the song. Pooley's double bass just accents the pummeling guitars, as well as accent Cook's bass section near the close of the track. Heavy, atmospheric and punishing opener. "Gross Abuse" continues the intensity with a driving opening drum and riff. Buhl has such depth in his vocals with the production and vocal reverb, adding so much power and weight to his vocals. Macdonald & Buhl just delivering a consistent and pounding palm-muted riff, with flurries of tremolo and underlying bass by Cook. I was instantly headbanging along to Pooley's snare hits throughout the under two minute runtime. On the album's title track, we get a distorted, warping effect in the opening before Pooley's drumming and Cook's bass create a driving, heart pounding groove before the main riff kicks in. With blast beat, start-stop pacing, the song just goes for a constant stabbing effects throughout the track. The driving aggression in the song reminds me of classic Florida death metal in it's musical direction and performance. Especially with the wailing, 90's death metal guitar solo near the two minute mark. A song I can picture the pit going crazy for when the band plays it live.

"Release The Stench" opens with another classic old-school death metal sounding intro, with accompanying guitar solo to lead off the track. Before mutating into a slam death metal sounding riff that could have come off the band's debut. Definitely getting a Suffocation vibe in the song's sound. Pooley is just all over the kit, hitting every piece of his kit while the riff machine of Macdonald & Buhl deliver speed and brutality throughout the track. I love the breakdown-like section near the end with the instant headbang along, stank-face inducing closing riff. My favorite track off the album. Uneasy ambience and horror-like build opens "Led To The Chamber / Liquified". Like Blood Incantation, 200 Stab Wounds uses the elements of electronics and synths to add depth to their sound and production, and is a nice addition to their sound. The guitar solo after the halfway mark sounds so damn good as the drums and riff builds throughout the track. A nice, instrumental piece to break up the sonic brutality of the record as Pooley goes mad all over the kit amidst the closing random noises of the track.

On "Flesh From Within", we are back to the brutality with a commanding, almost thrash metal opening riff. Cook's bass adds such heft and power to the main riff. Buhl's vocals are fierce and gritty, almost reminding me of Max Cavalera on the first Sepultura record. The song is a great amalgamation of thrash & death metal in it's sound, especially going in and coming out of the guitar solo at the halfway mark. Buhl's gnarly, phlegm heavy blegh sounds so good when the riff kicks back in. There is an even surprising clean guitar section at the close of the track. Showing the band's evolution from classic brutal death metal as it transitions into the next track "Defiled Gestation". I love the counter melody of the bass against the main riff, creating an almost bounce or groove to the riff before we throw the groove out the window and go for the jugular with speed and blasts. The cavernous lead guitar solo in the background amidst the double bass and chugs breaks up the track a bit, throwing in new elements to the song. Buhl's vocals kick in at the halfway mark, delivering deep gutturals into high shrieks as the musical break kicks in-between the verses. "Ride The Flatline" features Jami Morgan of Code Orange on the song. It has a sick guitar tone in the opening guitar section. The bass gurgles and rings during the verses, which I adore so much when death metal bands do that. The riff is catchy and instantly makes me bob my head along as we get another wailing but short guitar solo. The double bass has so much power in the mix, accenting every riff and in-the-pocket drumming during the solo. There is an addition of almost hardcore-like shout vocals near the close of the track, adding a unique twist to the song, which wouldn't really work in death metal, but it works here. The album closes with "Parricide". An impressive guitar solo opens the track while the drums drive the song as we head towards the finish line of the album. Pummeling double bass and a heavy as heck, along with catchy, guitar riff through the verses. Buhl is his most guttural on the song. Almost sounding unhinged when he goes with a higher vocal delivery throughout the track. A strong, heavy, brutal and pounding closing track to the album.

With Manual Manic Procedures, 200 Stab Wounds took their version of slam death metal and delivered a solid and step-up with their second album. Adding elements of ambience and progressive elements to their sound, created a unique take on slam/brutal death metal and the band nails it. A strong record that was a true joy for any death metal fan and I cannot wait to see where the band goes from here with their sound and what elements they will continue to add to their sound.

SCORE: 10 / 10

1) Hands of Eternity

2) Gross Abuse

3) Manual Manic Procedures

4) Release The Stench

5) Led To The Chamber / Liquified

6) Flesh From Within

7) Defiled Gestation

8) Ride The Flatline (feat. Jami Morgan of Code Orange)

9) Parricide

FFO: Sanguisugabogg, Skinless, Jungle Rot

The band is currently planning to perform at New England Metal & Hardcore Festival & Full Terror Assault Open Air in September. You can check out the band's music and pick up some merch at the band's Bandcamp HERE .

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