False Consciousness is the brand new release from Scottish the extreme progressive metal band that call themselves Man Made Origin. I say 'extreme' because the band throw in plenty of death and black metal elements into their brew of adventurous and at times technical metal. False Consciousness is over an hour of well producted, well crafted music (and a concept album to boot) that will instantly appeal to those that like their prog-metal a bit on the dark side.
Opening cut "Faith of the Verse" is a dramatic, moody number, and right from the start you can hear that Man Made Origin are as far from the Dream Theater school of progressive metal as you can get. Influences from Edge of Sanity, Pain of Salvation, Immortal, Opeth, Faith No More, and early Fates Warning can be heard here, which is a breath of fresh air from the majority of what we hear in this genre. The guitars fluctuate between crunchy riffs and jagged tremelo picked lines, the rhythms are intricate yet pounding, and the vocals varied to include powerful clean passages as well as growls & screams. End result though is always epic sounding. The brooding title track is like a head on collision between Opeth and Faith No More, as lovely acoustic guitar strums give way to thunderously complex guitar mayhem, gorgeous lead harmonies, soaring clean vocals and evil roars. "Legion of the Lost (Lament for Tomorrow II)" starts off as a haunting acoustic number, featuring the guest female vocals of Sarah Colosco, who duets with the male vocals of guitarist Max Taylor. Mid-way through this piece the metal thunder kicks in, with huge riffs that wouldn't be out of place on Fates Warning's Awaken the Guardian or Opeth's Blackwater Park.
Acoustic guitars and tasty lead electric permeate the gentle "Uncharted Space", while the crushing "Redemption" is eight minutes of savage prog-metal brutality, as the twisting riffs of Taylor and Dave Clement weave around each other and the rock solid rhythms from bassist Aaron Middleton & drummer Andrew Gavine swim underneath. Heavy stuff for the most part, but there's a gorgeous proggy mid section featuring lush acoustic guitars and loads of atmosphere that is extremely well crafted. Fans of Opeth and Mastodon will totally dig this track. Speaking of Mastodon, "The Betrayal" sees some of the mix of hardcore & progressive metal that the guys from Georgia do so well, especially on their earlier albums, but here Man Made Origin throw in some even heavier riffs and Mike Patton-meets-Daniel Gildenlow styled lead vocals. The huge, doomy riffs during the mid section are fabulous, and so heavy, eventually giving way to death metal intensity. The band saves the best for last in the form of the 20 minute epic "Into the Darkness", a real tour de force of dark progressive metal. The guitar work on this one is spectacular, jumping from massive doom riffs to intricate & speedy passages, and the vocals are varied and effective throughout. Lots of twists and turns, changes in mood and tempo, moments of brutality as well as stark tranquility; this one has it all.
It's hard to imagine that Man Made Origin will be an unsigned band for much longer after hearing the amazing work they've put together here on False Consciousness. This is varied and exciting progressive metal, dark and haunting with just the right amount of technicality, heaviness, and extreme nature. If you like the thought of prog-metal with a healthy dose of death metal, doom, hardcore, and black metal, you need to check this out.
1. Faith of the Verse 08:47
2. False Consciousness 06:02
3. Legion of the Lost (Lament for Tomorrow II) 06:53
4. Uncharted Space 04:19
5. Redemption 08:13
6. The Betrayal 07:18
7. Into the Darkness 20:02