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On disc: The Man-Eating Tree

Vine - Claudia Ehrhardt - 9 stars


(Cobra Records - 2010)

Vesa Ranta, known as the drummer of Sentenced, is back with his new musical home which is called The Man-Eating Tree. He teamed up with Poisonblack guitarist Janne Markus, bassist Mikko Uusimaa and keyboarder Heidi Määttä. For the production The Man-Eating Tree hired Hiili Hiilesmaa and so there is nothing to complain sound-wise.
They kick off heavily with Lathing A New Man, after a break they head into an atmospheric passage which focuses on Tuomas Tuominen's vocals. But they storm off again into a heavy, melancholy part, they take you onto a sonic roller coaster ride. And with the opener they will hook you up! Or you fall in love with The White Plateau which is a catchy rocker where Tuomas Tuominen reminds me partly of Ian Anderson. The atmospheric tune is mixing art rock with gothic elements. Just great!
They stay continue with This Longitude Of Sleep which continues the sonic journey they started with The White Plateau. Enchanting. For King Of July they add some heaviness, a song dark metal fans should dig.
The slow, emotional Of Birth For Passing is another atmospheric masterpiece. Touching!
Out Of The Wind was released as a single, a kind of appetizer which got the band on #3 in the Finnish charts! To get an idea about this one, just check out the official video!

Cover versions are very often too close to the original or are hardly identifiable. I love the Moody Blues' tune Nights In White Satin and so I'm pretty critical, but I have to say that The Man-Eating Tree manage to make it sound like one of their own songs - and still keep the spirit of the song alive.
At Tide Shift the heavy riffs are back and the keyboard adds a gothic vibe, but again it's Tuomas unique voice which ennobles the song.
Instead Of Sand And Stone kicks off quite metallic, but again they offer twists and turns. Atmospheric slow passages, heavy riff-based parts and a catchy vocal line is what you get. The closer is called Amended and more then 6 minutes long and so gives everybody in the band the chance to shine. A song which shows all the facets of The Man-Eating Tree sound.
The Finnish present a perfect mix of atmospheric sounds, heavy riffs and expressive vocals. Sometimes the simplicity enchants you, sometimes it's the emotional vocals which gives you goose bumps. A very impressive debut album!
Fans of melancholy atmospheric tunes who like heavy guitars should check out Vine! This album is very close to a masterpiece!

9 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt


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