Published Feb 10, 2016New York City's Manipulate successfully marry hardcore and metal by weaving hints of the latter into their traditional NYHC sound. The first track here samples Patrick Bateman from American Psycho as he explains his disgust for everyone around him. It sets the tone for Becoming Madness right off the bat, as each unrelenting song here features heavy metallic guitars and ear shredding fast riffs; from "Beaten Path" to "Sin Upon Sin," rarely is the listener given a chance to breathe. The band blend lyrics that confront struggle and perseverance with loud catchy riffs, especially on "Beaten Path," where the band's punchy leads and Iván Murillo's vocals converge for a well timed two stepping moment.
The band aren't exactly trying to reinvent the genre with this EP — some of the six tracks here, like "Slip Away" and "Time Marches On," may start to sound familiar as they feature fairly indistinguishable chugging — but the band play to their strengths, making sure everyone knows that they're loud and pissed off. On Becoming Madness, Manipulate play a traditional hardcore metal sound that fans of the genre will recognize and appreciate. (Flat Spot Records)