Released: 2001, Spinefarm Records
Reviewer: Luxi Lahtinen
It's happening... now even Spinefarm Records goes for Stoner Rock!? Maybe they also wanna have their own, little Monster Magnet which could work out as 'a money magnet' for the label that could bring more money in than they are able to put out in several projects under the name of a promotion, advertising and such things?! You just never know that for sure, but Mannhai was absolutely a cool choice to release an album with - definitely!!
Mannhai consists of a couple of experienced musicians whose names I am familiar with myself; namely Joanitor who handles all the vocals on the album just like he did in his previous band called Xysma (they did one mini-LP titled ABOVE THE MIND OF MORBIDITY and two full-length albums, YEAH and FIRST & MAGICAL for a small, domestic label called Comeback Records in the beginning of the '90s - and 3-4 albums for Spinefarm Records off which probably an album titled DE LUXE, their 3rd full-length album, became the most known in some circles of the metal scene - even if it wasn't that much of an 'metal' orientated album as you may mistakenly think...) and the ex-bass player of Amorphis Oppu who still tries his very best for giving a 'de luxe' -torture for his 4-string blazing axe. The rest of the remaining two guys, Junior(!) on drums and Ile on guitar, are totally new faces to me personally. Still, I bet we don't talk about tomorrow's snotty brats here; more on the contrary, they both surely are well experienced musicians as well - at least according to everything that how incredibly well they match other guys playing-wise in the band.
As for the music, it could be best described some sort of a crossroad of several musical influences from such bands like the above-mentioned Monster Magnet, Kyuss, some Entombed, some Spiritual Beggars, some Furbowl (remember anyone?) and even some Kiss (they have covered Kiss' "100 000 Years" on the album, so ain't that already obvious...?). It's a mix of everything this - and even more (even Nick Cave) although it's kind of hard to describe their sound that well 'coz there's some of this - and some of that in Mannhai's sound which is characterized by a massive Stoner Rock -influence. But no doubts, they are influenced by some other musical genres as well; the main stress has been laid on strong chords of Stoner Rock, however. They are heavier than Monster Magnet. They are catchier than Kyuss - and songs like "Lowbrow" and "Inhuman Woman" that also happen to be some of my fave songs off "T.S.O.Y.B.G.", really speak for simple facts how much heaviness, catchiness and raw power these stony rockers hold inside.
Although this type of music has never been my thing that much, I really was into Mannhai's debut at first listen. Like 'all the magic' of a catchy, smartly rolling pieces of Stoner Rock could have been captured on THE SONS OF YESTERDAY´S... HELL! - this is an amazingly groovy shit from beginning to end!! If Mannhai are ever going to hit it big, well then, they fuckin' deserve it 'coz Mannhai fuckin' RULES!! Check them out!!