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Review of the Album "Injection of Self" by San Diego California Thrash Metal Band Manic

Ara is a journalism graduate from California State University, Northridge, who is always looking to explore his writing opportunities.

About the Band Manic and the Musical Style of the Album Injection of Self

Manic is a thrash metal band from San Diego, California and their 2021 debut album Injection of Self is an album that is very much like the more modern style of Megadeth. A few examples that come to my mind are Countdown to Extinction and United Abominations. Guitarist and vocalist Michael Rice sounds so much like Dave Mustaine it is really obvious to anyone who knows Dave Mustaine’s vocal style. Whether this is a good thing or bad thing depends on your perception. If you are a fan of modern Megadeth and are wanting to see some kind of return to those days then Manic and their debut album should be definitely your cup of tea. If on the other hand, you cannot stand bands that sound like Megadeth then you may want to stay away from this album.

Lyrical Themes and Guitar Playing Style Described

Lyrically, Injection of Self focuses on political and social themes such as the flaws behind the freedom of speech concept of the US Constitution.

The album isn’t overly complex in terms of the riffing and bass guitar play is pretty good. Other than the releases by the band Havok, this album is a very promising start for these guys from San Diego. The vocals are audible enough that you do not need to refer to lyrics to understand what is being said. If, on the other hand, you really want to dive in deeply to see the deeper meanings behind the songs then referring to the lyrics is a good idea. Injection of Self is another example that the United States still has the ability to produce good thrash metal if the country puts its mind into it.

"Injection of Self" Song Only

A More Analytical Approach to Discussing the Songs in "Injection of Self"

If there is any song on this album that really describes what is going on in the United States and other developed countries in the world, it is the song “True Destiny.” Lyrically, the song takes a metaphorical approach to what happens to many of us who are born into this world. The song tries to tell us that we are born into this world not to work but to become a wage slave and seemingly work for free. The metaphorical part of the lyrics is when there is a reference to ants and bees that are forced to work for the queen. The ants and bees are like the employees that are forced to work for the queen which is the boss. The song also tries to say that our true destiny is to die. We are also employees that can be made disposable by technology. The title track is a song that is lyrically about the fact that from the day you are born if others do not think the way that you do, they will burn in hell. The song is basically trying to say how we can become brainwashed to think and or believe a certain way. Some of the song titles are indicative of the band’s themes and lyrical approach for the album. Such examples of songs that have to deal with brainwashed people are the songs Brainwashed, The Herd, and Taken Over. The album could also be a statement by the band saying that we should be careful of those that try to influence us to think a certain way. It might be a cliché to say this but we pretty much live and then eventually die and this is considered the game of life as it is called in the song “True Destiny.” The next song called “Rivalry of Radicals” is lyrically about rising up and demanding an end to the propaganda campaign that exists in US political life. The elites have all the power and control and some things are done with malicious intent. “New Age Philosopher” might as well be a song about greedy men but it is actually about someone that leads a life of deception and he is willing to crush and destroy facts at any opportunity. “The Herd” stylistically in the beginning may remind some of us of the more modern Slayer albums.

"Taken Over"

Final Thoughts

Listening to Injection of Self two times through consecutively, it shows that this is not an overwhelming album that will exhaust your listening tolerance but rather it is a thrash metal album that has much more than boring grooves. Injection of Self is actually one of the best thrash metal albums of 2021 and provides a sort of “return” to the more modern style of Megadeth without actually being an album released by Megadeth.

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This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2022 Ara Vahanian

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