Album Review: Man Made Origin – False Consciousness

Yes, I am reviewing another progressive metal band – quite different from Ramage Inc. though…

This album is not your standard collection of songs that work together when placed in the right order (like most albums)… but like Opeth’s Ghost Reveries (well, the first seven tracks of it at least), this album tells a story, not just through the lyrics (like such albums as Green Day’s American Idiot), but through the music too.

Under most circumstances, I’m sad to say most bands that go down this path fall into the same unfortunate trap… it becomes all about how talented, high-level musicians they are with no care for emotions or any interest in melody… it usually becomes all about “hey guys… look at me… I can play ____________” or “hey guys… listen to my incredible vocal range… I’m so amazing!” and to be honest, ego boosting show off albums like that do nothing but agitate me and want to throw things at the musicians…

Luckily, while Man Made Origin prove themselves to be a band with plenty of musical skill to show off, they decide to focus on telling the story from their main characters point of view, and explore the emotions he is feeling with their music, while also exploring their unique setting for this story… so on that note, a little bit of story background is needed – so here’s an extract of what Max Taylor (Vocals/Guitars) said about it in the extract of their book Tales Of The Verse:

“The ideas of both the book and the record stem from the question of how could Marxism work? I have always considered human nature incapable of seeing society as an end in itself, more preoccupied with having more than the man next door. Marx described the state withering away after the lower classes awoke from ‘false consciousness’ and took temporary control of governance; but why would people with wealth and affluence give up what they consider their own well-earned property? The answer is they wouldn’t… and in this respect I argue that Marx was wrong. Evidence lies in every attempt at a Communist government during the 20th century, be it the Soviet Union or modern day examples – there is always those with more than others. Establishing these arguments leads us to how the original concept of the record and book was born. After contemplating the question of how Marxism could work, I came up with this suggestion – what if those who believed in an equal society left the planet to start again? To me this seemed actually plausible if such a thing were attainable. In the universe we created such a thing is possible, and such an ‘Exodus’ of believers took place. But that is only half the concept, I wanted to illustrate why our current society could not be changed – in my eyes humanity could only experience a true communist society if it started again. I want to take this opportunity to underline that I am no Marxist – as in our contemporary society such ideas would lead to far more inequality than capitalism – just merely pointing out that in the future his utopia may actually be attainable.”

“So how does this album come out?” you may ask…
Very Well actually…

The highlight of the album is, in my opinion at least, the intro to the opening song Faith Of The Verse, with such an excellent build up, you really do get some feeling for this universe…

The problem is, as good as the rest of the album is, especially such songs as The Betrayal, Uncharted Space, False Consciousness and the rest of Faith Of The Verse, it just never really lives up to its intro. But then again – it doesn’t necessarily need to…

The addition of vocals from Sarah Coloso (who also has a solo project, well worth checking out) in the songs The Betrayal, Legion Of The Lost (Lament For Tomorrow II) and Uncharted Space add yet another dimension to this very layered album.

Be warned though – if you’re going into this without much experience of progressive metal… despite being only 7 tracks, this is quite a long sit, with most of the songs being between 4:20 (Uncharted Space) and 8:47 (Faith Of The Verse), and then there is the elephant in the room that needs to be addressed… indeed, we have a song at 20:03 at the end of the album…

Granted these sort of lengths are not unheard of – bands like Ayreon have songs this length too – the problem is, in my opinion, these songs start out interesting, but get progressively more boring…

I’m happy to say however that Man Made Origin manage to pull it off… in style too. Into The Darkness, despite its generic sounding title, is my favourite song as a whole on this album, and it doesn’t linger on just one segment of this masterpiece so long it becomes boring… it plays for just the right amount of time, then moves on… take notes Ayreon

There is only one more problem I would like to address with this album – a couple of the songs (The Betrayal and Redemption in particular) go on too long… I mean the riffs are repeated a few too many times in my opinion – but this is just a minor gripe, that does not take away from my overall enjoyment of the album…

I think for my next review I should find something to give an negative review to… then I’ll also review Excellent Cadaver’s Faith Destroyed.

Man Made OriginFaith Of The Verse:
Best bit: Intro to Faith Of The Verse
Best Song: Into The Darkness
Final Verdict: 10/10

Review by Stuart Johnstone.

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About moshontheradio

Mosh on the Radio: the 2 hour metal 'mix tape' streamed to you every Tuesday night. More brutal than a bag of honey badgers, more underground than a Womble. Now with subtitles! http://www.aberdeenstudentradio.com/
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