Manmade God demo CD
Released: 1998, Independent
Reviewer: Nathan Robinson
Everyone hates it when his or her favorite bands break apart or call it quits. You know the feeling…you're sitting reading a magazine, or an internet page, or talking to a friend, and the printed or spoken words are taken in and the first thing you say is "goddamnit…that fucking sucks". It's happened many times within the thrash metal world alone, with bands like Exodus, Exhorder, Violence, and even the temporary hiatus of Testament.
But lets here focus on one of the all-time best of thrash bands, the almighty Forbidden. Yes, their latest opus Green may have leaned a little too close to the Machine Head brand of metal, but it is undeniable that Forbidden Evil, Twisted Into Form, and the progressive thrash masterpiece Distortion stand as tall, gleaming monuments among the classics of the past. It seems that this band was overlooked over the past seven years, which eventually lead to their decline. But four of the five members have re-emerged. Ex-guitarist Tim Calvert, as you must know, has joined the Nevermore ranks. Russ Anderson has, as it seems, dropped off the face of the planet. The remaining three (Craig LoCicero, Matt Camacho, and Steve Jacobs on guitar, bass and drums respectively) have formed a new band: Manmade God.
You might be thinking "fuck yeah!", but hold your horses. Manmade God are nothing to thank the gods of metal for. Their lineup is competed by guitarist Mike Ahrue (who has recently left to join Machine Head…go figure) and vocalist Mike Green. Manmade God play some of that "groovy southern doom rock/metal" that, frankly, I have little interest in. The closest comparison I can think of is Fall From Grace, the band lead by former Exhorder guitarist Jay Cervalo. There are some similarities to Forbidden's Green, which can only be expected, especially the production which is great for a demo (although the vocals are a little muddy). But in general, the tunes are slower, down-tuned (of course), simple, and maybe a little uninspired. But worst of all: no guitar leads. Apparently it isn't cool to have leads in this sort of music.
Now don't get me wrong…I do like this recording. However, given the background of the talented musicians contained in the band, Manmade God are disappointing. Manmade God would probably appeal mostly to fans of Machine Head, Fall from Grace, and maybe Down.