The Man Closing Up

This is a band that would appeal to only a small percentage of extreme metal enthusiasts. So let me start with this: if you don’t like your doom/death mixed with serious amounts of experimentation, then you probably won’t dig this. But to the nuts like me out there, this is a whole new realm of torture and dementia to explore. Members of this band have contributed to acts such as Kayo Dot, Biolich and forcefedglass, but that information still does not give much indication to what this monstrosity of an album actually sounds like.

The Man Closing Up is a concept album based on the poetry of Donald Justice, and I feel this album is a good representation of his work. Justice’s poems often assume a special kind of depression. Not a comfortable “woe is me” depression, but something which truely digs into the darkness life often shadows us with. Tracks are only titled Part I through Part V, and I think that helps aid the atmosphere. At its core, this is doom/death, but not at all what that general label implies. I’d say a cross between Khanate, Portal, Gigan and the more intense Kayo Dot moments (“Marathon”, “The Antique” or “Gemini Becoming The Tripod”). It is absolutely mental and gives off only the most loathing of malevolent vibes. At no point in this album is there a steady tempo. In fact, most of the opening track is this spastic, lurching, atonal doom/jazz. I’m inclined to say the majority of it was improvised. Those parts are offset with outbursts of discordant death blasts. This will be enough to turn off 99% of the metal community. But if you still dig it after 3 minutes, keep listening!

Part II shows no deviation from the disjointed and tortured sounds of the first track. Vocals alternate between an Alan Dubin-like yelp (but lower and more demented than pained) and a meaty, low growl. They’re always convincing and compliment the music extremely well. The first four minutes of this track are the most unpredictable mixing of doom and death metal. It’s just completely psychotic, and I really can’t make any sense of it. Then all things come to a stand still as some clean vocals enter, belting “He has no hunger for anything, the man closing up” at an EXTREMELY slow and painful pace. I can’t even describe the effect this last portion has. I have never heard anything like it before. In those last two minutes of torture, I knew this would be a rewarding listen at the very least.

And let me tell you, it was a rewarding listen. I won’t even try an describe the other three parts of this album. It’s useless. There are no words to explain what this band does. They really don’t give you anything to latch on to. No melodies, no riffs, just oppressive sound. It beats you down until you find yourself curled up in the corner, gently weeping. If you are as sadistic as I am, and love the experimental side of extreme metal, then this is a must own album. It takes a lot to make my jaw drop when an album finishes, but Ehnahre’s The Man Closing Up is one fucking profound record.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Belgarath
November 21st, 2008


  1. Commented by: Nick
  2. Commented by: Stiffy

    Hmmm…..going to listen. Will see

  3. Commented by: axiom

    Sounds like something I’d like to hear. Can’t wait to check it out.

  4. Commented by: Anxiety Hangover

    Nice. Glad I read the review, this is some pretty good shit. The Portal/Gigan combo is just about dead on.

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