Manners
Pale Blue Light


5.0
classic

Review

by Mark A. USER (40 Reviews)
July 23rd, 2014 | 20 replies | 420 views


Release Date: 01/03/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Manners has succeeded in creating an album that highlights the harsh realities of life in a way that is addicting and endlessly listenable.

4 of 4 thought this review was well written

If there was one thing that I could pinpoint in my life that first attracted me to music, it would be the cathartic expression of hardcore. The distorted walls of noise, pounding drums, and anguished screams all pointed to something that I felt but couldn’t really articulate myself. Bands such as Modern Life Is War and Comeback Kid opened the proverbial door to a world where I was not only understood as an angry teen, but it also gave me the ability to adopt and embrace the bitter cynicism that I felt at that time. It ended up turning into a positive, strangely enough; I would go to concerts and scream along with angry and disillusioned fans while not feeling so directionless and alone for a few hours. The raw power and unified feeling in the crowd just made me come alive, in a way that I couldn’t ever fully describe.

Pale Blue Light is an exercise in everything that I grew up listening to, with a smattering of different influences that elevate the album to a completely different level. Manners have created something that is depression personified; from the desperate howls of the lead vocalist to the startlingly black metal-influenced guitar sections, the mood of this release is as varied as it is emotionally impacting. Album opener “Boiling Point” starts off with gorgeous guitar melodies and then veers into a mid-paced example of what can be expected throughout the album; raspy, screamed vocals with lyrics ripped straight from a personal journal entry. The thunderous double bass that rears it head on “Wallflower” is matched in intensity only by the plaintive screams of, “I don’t want to be faceless, nameless/But I can’t stand to change this/So I guess I’ll remain this/The haunted and wasted”.

The intensity of Pale Blue Light never lets up; it is monolithic in that aspect. Even when the album takes a breather (beginning of “Equinox”), the dark undertone is never lost. There are plenty of heavy moments to be sure, but the inclusion of a bleak atmosphere is what gives this album such a personal meaning to the individual listener. As the last seconds of “Living Will” fade out, I can’t help but compare the feeling I am left with to the equivalent of getting to the end of your favorite book. You read through the book multiple times, not because the story within changes, but rather because different emotions and ideas can be taken from the same pages. This is not a perfect album in any critical sense, and many people will state that this is just another excellent melodic hardcore release. Its imperfections are what speak to me in a way that an album has not spoken to me in a very long time. The despondent lyricism doesn’t make me more depressed, but rather makes me feel like I am not alone when those thoughts tap me on the shoulder at night. In this case, Manners has succeeded in creating an album that highlights the harsh realities of life in a way that is addicting and endlessly listenable. Pale Blue Light is nothing and everything all at once; a not-so-gentle reminder that not only is life difficult, but that you are not alone.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
thelastsignal
July 23rd 2014



986 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Originally posted here: http://thesonicsensory.com/2014/05/26/manners-pale-blue-light/

I love this album, one of my favorite albums ever.

Digging: Mastodon - Once More 'Round the Sun

VheissuCrisis
Contributing Reviewer
July 23rd 2014



847 Comments


Whoa, weird you should review this as I almost bought it the other day! I going to have to now, great review man!

Hawks
July 23rd 2014



34423 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

AOTY yeah.

Digging: Equilibrium - Erdentempel

thelastsignal
July 23rd 2014



986 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Haha nice man! It seems like we are always doing this sort of thing, I remember you saying you had listened to Athletics' first album a few days before I posted my review of it. Definitely check it out, I doubt that my hyperbolic review will provide much insight though haha. I am definitely interested in hearing what you think of it, though.

TooLateToGoBack
July 23rd 2014



1751 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

whoa, great review.

"Rent" hit a little too close to home, but that's exactly what I expect and want from this genre.

thelastsignal
July 23rd 2014



986 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

@Hawks, hell yeah it is man. It's incredible.

thelastsignal
July 23rd 2014



986 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

@Toolate, thanks man. It's definitely more of a personal review than my others, glad to know it worked out okay. This is one of those albums that you almost don't want to relate to, if only because the subject matter is so depressing lol.

ExplosiveOranges
July 23rd 2014



1363 Comments


Wow, man. This is a really good, passionate review. Unfortunately....... I've never heard this album before.

Digging: Seven Lions - Worlds Apart

VheissuCrisis
Contributing Reviewer
July 23rd 2014



847 Comments


Haha yeh man, its a good habit. I've just bought it, and I'm going to spin it after Islander. Will let you know.

thelastsignal
July 23rd 2014



986 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Thanks Oranges, appreciate it man. You should get on it, I think you might dig it.

Sounds good, Dan!

XingKing
July 23rd 2014



10034 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Solid review but a 5 just feels too much

thelastsignal
July 23rd 2014



986 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I can definitely understand that; this is one of those times that I have happened upon an album that lyrically speaks to me.

Hep Kat
July 23rd 2014



14995 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

WHAT HAPPENED

IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIISSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS

Digging: Merchandise - After The End

thelastsignal
July 23rd 2014



986 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

It's awesome that you dig this, Hep Kat.

KSK1
July 25th 2014



4072 Comments


This album serious slays

thelastsignal
July 25th 2014



986 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

AOTY so far for me, dude.

Hawks
July 25th 2014



34423 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Same.

thelastsignal
July 25th 2014



986 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Just curious, Hawks. What keeps it from being a five for you?

Hawks
July 25th 2014



34423 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Idk dude it's not quite on a 5 level. Not yet at least.

thelastsignal
July 25th 2014



986 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Yeah, I get that. Once it gets into the 4.5 range of my ratings, it ends up being more of a "feeling" that pushes it to a 5.



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