Canada Still Knows How to Do Rapcore!


A few weeks ago I came home to a small package in the mail, the type of package that is quite frequent for me… one consisting of a small press kit and a CD. I opened it and found a copy of Manafest’s latest CD. I’d never listened to Manafest before being sent his CD to review, but I’d heard his name. I knew he was a rapper, but little else. I began to recall a band from my high school days called Mannafest (note 2 n’s to this rapper’s 1), who hit is pretty big in the Christian market after changing their name to Edison Glass. So, I daydreamed about some old shows I ran for a bit, including a great all day festival where Mannafest (2 n’s) shared the stage with Element 101, Beanbag, Ivan and the Reds, Reconstructing Heather, Reign Storm, and my boys in Giving Way. My daydreams were cut short by a baby who needed to go potty and a meal that needed to be cooked.

The next day, after trying to throw any preconceived notions about Christian rappers and/or the current state of Christian music out, I popped Manafest’s The Chase into my car stereo on the way to work. Right away, the opening track hit my ears with all that I loved about Linkin Park’s Hybrid Theory years ago. Soon, I was singing along. POD, PAX217, and John Reuben all came to mind as I continued to listen… but once it was all said and done, I realized that Manafest had carved his own little niche in the Christian music world with a unique rap/rock hybrid that is all his own.

What makes this CD different that other rapcore and hip hop influenced rock that littered the radios a few years back? A lot, to be completely honest. Pop and punk influences on “Fire in the Kitchen” bring to mind some of my favorite moments of John Reuben’s The Boy vs. the Cynic. “Supernatural” reminds me that not all music that can be categorized as “Nu-Metal” has to suck. “Bring the Ruckus” sounds like POD at their best.

But… wait! I said that Manafest was different and all I’m doing is talking about other bands. True, I have been doing this, but you’ll notice that I referenced a wide variety of music in only a few short sentences. That is because Manafest’s influences are obviously diverse. The older and more mature I become, the more I appreciate musical diversity, especially when an artist can be diverse and yet still has a very unique and defing sound to what they are doing. Manafest does this. Whether it be a danceable synthrock rap tune like “The Chase” (think Family Force 5’s Dance or Die album meets Linkin Parks’s “Bleed It Out”), the beautiful ballad “Every Time You Run”, or the PAX217-meets-Gym Class Heroes sound of “Breaking Down the Walls”, each track still has a vibe that can only be described as Manafest.

In short: This CD harkens back to all the best parts of the rap rock heyday, but finds a way to not conform to the pitfalls of the beleaguered genre. In fact, if Beanbag were still around, these guys could definitely share a stage and rock all of our faces off until we had “Whiplash”. Pun intended


~ by thepaintedman on July 7, 2010.

One Response to “Canada Still Knows How to Do Rapcore!”

  1. sigh I need it… HaHa! Im tired of doing NOTHING in this city! if you’re sweet to chat to or cute by all means talk to me. Very cool post btw!

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