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Music Review: These Are They – Who Manifest EP

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There’s this vision in my mind that doesn’t shake loose for a second when I listen to Chi-town death metal fiends These Are They roll out the three sludgy, down-tuned cuts on their debut EP: basically, I’m walking down the street minding my own business when the Gates of Hell open up beneath me and swallow me whole.

Featuring vocalist Paul Kuhr from Novembers Doom on Cookie Monster vocals, guitarist Stephen Nicholson formerly from Novembers Doom cranking out the licks and shadowy grooves, drummer Sasha Horn from Trials hammering away forcefully, and bassist William Wells from Earthen driving the bottom line even further beneath the crust, These Are They can undoubtedly boast some serious metal street cred.

The band reunites Kuhr and Nicholson to rock the depths once again, offering more of Satan’s music for those bright, doe-eyed kiddies to enjoy.

And believe me, this is the devil’s music on overdrive. Ass-shattering bass threatens to snap subwoofers in half, lightning-infused guitars slash through the sonic structure, grave drums unbuckle the seatbelts, and Kuhr’s vocals discharge over it all with a murky sort of industriousness.

Who Manifest works well as a mouth-watering EP, that’s for damn sure. The band is currently in studio rolling out their debut full-length, so if this trio of tracks is any sign, fans of devious fucking metal are in for a treat later this year.

I’m not going to bother pissing about genres, as usual. Whether These Are They add up to a doom metal band, a death metal band, a sludge metal band, a stoner metal band, a Muppet metal band, or a dark black metal band with neon leanings is neither here nor there with me.

Instead, I’d rather chew over what Kuhr and Co. were thinking when creating this EP and what their motives were. From the devastating, strenuous intro to “The Indweller” to the down-tuned, encrusted growl of “Birthright Of The Saturnine,” it’s safe to say that These Are They are more concerned with stealing souls and shattering ear drums than they are with type deliberations.

Sandwiched in the middle, the demonic, sludgy, shockingly warm bearing of “In the Halls of Waverly” has nothing to do with that Disney Harry Potter swindle and everything to do with conjuring up the darkest of spirits.

These are unrestrained, involving tracks that soar with ruthless force. The Who Manifest EP sounds off at about the twenty minute mark, but I’ll be damned if I found a moment where These Are They wasn’t sweating blood. Lovers of immense, cavernous, sinister metal will certainly be satisfied with this EP for the time being, but the anticipation for the full length will be hard to bear.

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