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The Chronicles of Manimal and Samara – Trust No Leaders

The Chronicles of Manimal and Samara
Trust No Leaders
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 13 May 2022, 7:05 AM

Hailed as “pioneers of a new form of expression” through the performance of poetry in music, THE CHRONICLES OF MANIMAL AND SAMARA (TCOMAS) are a UK-based duo comprising Daphne Ang (Singapore) and Andrea Papi (Italy) who came together in early 2020. Based out of the heart of London’s vibrant rock scene in Camden Town, London, the duo’s debut album, released on 26 February 2021, fills a gap in music by bringing literature, theatre, and history together, fusing rock, metal and electronic music with poetry performance.

Their upcoming second album, due for release in 2022, is a cathartic expression of outrage ignited by the global crisis. The new album's politically charged and satirical themes reveal a more aggressive side of the band. Recorded between April and August 2021 in the artists’ studio in Camden Town, London, United Kingdom, the album combines instruments and influences old and new, east and west. The lyrical content protests and petitions for the issues in urgent need of systemic change, opening our eyes to the grim realities of modern society and the darkness of human nature. The album contains eleven songs.

“Human Sacrifice” leads off the album. Wow…this is different. The vocals first sound like robots in monotone harmonies, then lash out with harsh vocals. The main riff is heavy and adventurous. “The Prophet” begins with slow, clean guitars and spoken words. The mood is solemn. The riff enters followed by chunky bass guitar notes. A warning masked in anger approaches, then the song fades out. “Pound of Flesh” begins with a heavy riff and harsh vocals. They warn “the time has come for you to pay…” The guitar solo is laden with effects, and the entire song is mired in hate.

“The Shaman” features more clean guitars and spoken words. The lyrics are indeed done with poetic qualities and the feelings they convey are both dark and brooding. “Chef’s Song” is a very short, two-minute burst of Punk attitude with lyrics that make fun of the evening chef. The harsh vocals are very angry. “The Pied Piper” begins with slower and softer guitars. According to Wikipedia, “there are many contradictory theories about the Pied Piper. Some suggest he was a symbol of hope to the people of Hamelin, which had been attacked by plague; he drove the rats from Hamelin, saving the people from the epidemic.” A combination of spoken words and harsh vocals carry the tale here. “Nothing but Dust” features a heavy riff and meaty bass notes above spoken words, done with little emotional quality. They are very matter-of-fact.

“Count the Dead” speaks of how the human race has been living in fear for years, from leaders who gambled with their lives. It’s a fairly stark statement about humanity in general. The harsh vocals reflect anger in the subjects, while the spoken words reflect a more sobering tones. “Smell of your Rot” features more thoughtful and brooding tones. As the song moves forward, the mood darkens, and fades out to completion. “Hypermatamorphosis” begs “come with me, take my hand…” to a faraway utopia or a place where dreams go to die. Spoken words lash out in order to get humanity to step up and take notice, rather than continuing to eat the shit sandwich of your leaders. “Scum of the Land” closes the album. “Rise to the top, scum of the land” nods to government officials and become leaders even though the earth is slowly dying.

If nothing else, this album was at least very intriguing, and held your attention throughout. A stark political statement runs throughout the album. The music shifts, and is reflective of various emotions as the tale is told. It’s also quite a creative and unique take on music in general, which anyone will appreciate. Though the music needs a little work, the messages here are very pure and consummate, and perhaps, prophetic of where we are headed. Pay attention!

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 7
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Human Sacrifice
2. The Prophet
3. Pound of Flesh
4. The Shaman
5. Chef’s Song
6. The Pied Piper
7. Nothing but Dust
8. Count the Dead
9. Smell of your Rot
10. Hypermatamorphosis
11. Scum of the Land
Daphne Ang
Andrea Papi
Record Label: Independent


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