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The_Network Bishop Kent Manning

The_Network - Bishop Kent Manning
01. From Holy Water to Holy Wars
02. Following and Failing
03. Your Own Personal Time Bomb
04. Service with a Smile
05. Telethons for the Rich
06. Paranoid for the Deserter
07. East Just Stopped Showing Up
08. Corpse Paint
09. You Fucking Fakes
10. Bishop Kent Manning
2009 Black Market Activities

Reviewed by: Nick   //   Published: 10/5/2009

Somewhere in between The_Network's 2007 release, This Is Your Pig's Portrait, and the present time, something happened to the band's sound. Something good, that is. It's possible that they attended a weekend workshop on perfecting the turn-of-the-century metalcore sound. Or perhaps they used the same technology that the aliens in Space Jam used to rob Larry Johnson's and Shawn Bradley's talent to steal the songwriting souls of the members of Coalesce, Botch, Deadguy, and Burnt by the Sun. Or maybe, just maybe, they just figured out a way on their own to turn their excessively chaotic sound of old into a massively abrasive, groove-laden metalcore wrecking ball.

I don't care how it was done. The moral of the story is that even in the wake of absolutely stellar comeback releases from Coalesce and Burnt by the Sun, Bishop Kent Manning holds its ground surprisingly well. Take the thick grooves and layers of telescoping harmonics in "Service with a Smile," the painfully piercing interjections of feedback in "You Fucking Fakes," and even the melodic, but still intense departure of "Corpse Paint" as pristine examples. The reckless urgency that has driven The_Network's style in the past remains, but this record represents an improvement over their last on every front.

Some praise is definitely in order for the work that the pair of guitarists has presented here. Their mixture of thick riffs, jarring rhythms, and meaty hooks shows great flexibility, hopping from discordant to memorable almost instantaneously. And maybe it's an old trick, but I'm still very much in love with the noisy harmonic muting that shows up frequently throughout the record. Give Them Rope-era Coalesce, eat your heart out. Couple that with a rhythm section that understands the importance of power over finesse in this style of music, and there really isn't much else for which one could ask.

I came to the realization a few years ago that this is the type of music of which I seek out time and time again. It's the style that had me ecstatic roughly two years ago when Achilles, Engineer, and The Minor Times all took turns at showcasing their brand of heaviness, and again this year when Coalesce and Burnt by the Sun did us all a favor by showing everyone that they're still on the top of their game. But even in a genre that some argue has been filled to the brim over the years, The_Network's Bishop Kent Manning still manages to come away with a well-deserved spot at the table.

Bottom Line: It's okay to worship Coalesce, Burnt by the Sun, etc. if you're going to be this aggressive and enthusiastic in doing so. The_Network dramatically increased their game with Bishop Kent Manning by moving away from the often messy chaos of This Is Your Pig's Portrait into a more memorable world with colossal riffs, noisy guitar work, and unrestrained contempt. I know I'm not going to be the only one who digs this.

anonymous   posted 4/13/2015 6:29:35 PM
why i can´t hear they in youtube?
anonymous   posted 7/17/2012 6:57:37 AM
Any of you thoughtless, sleeveless shirt wearing ass pummelers that listen to this and enjoy it need to find something less shitty to get hyped about. This is the trendiest, bike-ridingest, pbr-drinkingest conglomeration of bullshit I've ever heard or read my way through. Get a real album, a real job, and quite letting your dad blast off in your nu metal buttholes. Oh yeah, and circumcise yourself infront of your lesbian mother.
truth_   posted 6/7/2011 9:36:58 AM
still one of the few records that can hold the test of time. This one is a bangah
buttslaps_   posted 12/18/2009 9:50:03 AM
record of the yr
smash_   posted 11/3/2009 3:00:35 PM
get into it

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