CD Reviews


The Diversity Of Life

'The Diversity Of Life' (Resurrection)

Rosetta Stone couldn't do it. The Marionettes failed miserably. And the Stun have just about given up. So it is that Manuskript gleefully raise their hands and step forward as U.K. Goth's next Great White Hope for mainstream infiltration. All the ingredients are there: great musicianship, superb vocals, catchy radio-friendly songs, and visually they're not so Goth as to scare the teenage girls away.

The debut I Can't Believe It's Not Goth! EP promised quite a lot, but we always knew that the material was there for a great full-length album. Anyone who's seen them live over the last couple of years will already know the power of songs such as 'Heads On Spikes' and 'Flies In The Marzipan' (here given a new treatment which completely trounces the EP version), and committed to CD the songs lose none of their edge.

There are a few dodgy moments: namely the ill-advised Queen-esque harmonies at the opening of 'Avaritia' and the just-too-cheesy-to-be-cool keyboard intro to 'Rapscallion'. The tracks which stand out are the ones which best embrace the Skript's unique Goth-Funk, and give Mike the most fluent lyrics to sing - 'Lima' and 'Guru' spring readily to mind, as fine examples. And it's the vocals which leave their mark. In fact it's pretty obvious that Mike is virtually the only Goth-vocalist in the country who comes close to challenging the likes of Sean Brennan (even without the heels). A fact which he backs up by turning in a fine performance on the love-torn 'Far Apart' (not even being distracted by the ropy strings!)

As debut albums go, this is definitely one of the most consistent - with storming tracks such as 'Aliens' more than making up for the odd weaker moment.

Yes, stage one in the Manuskript plan for global domination has been completed in fine style, it should all be plain sailing to the pages of Smash Hits now. Maybe if Mike were to get off with one of the Spice Girls. Or perhaps Swan could shake his arse at Michael Jackson the next time they bump into each other at an awards ceremony... a little controversy never hurt no one! (PB)


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