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April 2004
Released: 2004, Ranch
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Luxi Lahtinen

Feel the heat, smell the smoke, get drunk... get high... get hot... get wet... booze! The hippie shakers of the early 70´s Heavy Rock Mannhai are back with a new album... and it´s called THE EXPLODER. And then what? Expect them to be metal of some sort? Then please do NOT read any further ´coz they are not. Or that actually depends if you consider bands like Kyuss, Soundgarden and Monster Magnet as metal bands. No? That´s what I thought so, too. But FUCK man, do they know something about how to groove indelibly and raise a spirit of joy up to the roof? While I´m listening to THE EXPLODER, I can honestly say, yes, they do indeed and that´s basically all I care for. And just FUCK their metalness as good music is always good music and that´s all what should really count, right?

However, as much I happen to like THE EXPLODER as wholeness, I still prefer Mannhai´s previous album EVIL UNDER THE SUN a bit more because of a slightly heavier approach in it. There´s nothing particularly wrong in THE EXPLODER either, but I have to say it still suffers from a lack of certain heavier moments that I would have wanted to them to perform on their new output as well. Also, it´s no denying either, but when EVIL UNDER THE SUN had a couple of songs there that showed a ´true hit potentiality´, bringing such songs into the daylight as "Spiritraiser" and "Evil under the Sun", the guys haven´t managed to keep their pencils sharp enough for THE EXPLODER as far as its content is concerned. For their strenght, however, I admit they do rock a promisingly groovy way in such songs as "Mr. Out of Sight", "Behind the Trees (sounds a bit like something off from Sab´s VOL. 4)", "Error´67 (I smell something ´soundgardenish´ in this song...)" and "Heads Against the Stones" which contains faint elements from Kyuss, Soundgarden, Motörhead and even from Entombed. These particular 4 songs in question represent the style I would have wanted to hear more from these fellows on THE EXPLODER.

But the biggest crown full of shiny black diamonds belongs to the last song on THE EXPLODER, and it´s a song called "Black Water Swan" that in my opinion is easily one of the most mature, atmospheric and most atmospheric song that the Mannhai –camp has penned down ever!! Joanitor´s hysteric screams simply send cold shivers down my spine every time I hear the song. It´s also a very Sabbathesque song all in all, with a truly spooky and somewhat addictive feeling in it. Man, you just gotta love the song until you hear it, too.

Despite of the album´s lack of metal elements, THE EXPLODER deserves a place in´s reviews section because of its heavily rockin´ groove parts. If you disagree with me, well, feel free to do so as I have some news for you: I don´t give a flying fuck! THE EXPLODER fuckin´ ´ROCKS´ and that´s the only thing I care for. I´ve said it before and I´ll said it again: Good music is always good music bad is bad and it´s as black´n´white thing as that. Now get ready for a exploration – Mannhai will be your shepherd through this journey!!
Track Listing

01. Mr. Out of Sight
02. Lonesome
03. Broken Chains
04. Rock to the Top
05. TNT Mountain
06. Two Roads
07. Behind the Trees
08. Error´67
09. Head Against the Stones
10. Black Water Swan


Joanitor – Vocals
Ile - Guitar
Oppu – Bass
Junior – Drums
Kasper - Keyboards

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by Luxi Lahtinen

by Luxi Lahtinen

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