|3. Of Walking Abortion|
|4. She Is Suffering|
|5. Archives Of Pain|
|7. 4st 7lb|
|10. This Is Yesterday|
|11. Die In The Summertime|
|12. The Intense Humming Of Evil|
The roots of this album start with the over-produced "Gold Against The Soul" and the backlash that befell the band that wanted to be bigger than Guns N' Roses. While the effort was more streamlined than the debut, the result was a Manic Street Preachers album that was too polished, very photogenic, and even polite enough to merge with MOR stadium rock in an effort to gain a larger audience. The acoustic trend in music was acknowledged with hefty doses of fingerpicked intros and hushed Hammond organs while grunge was highlighted with wah-wah pedals and stacatto riffs. They supported this album by playing with Bon Jovi.
Then, things started to happen. Richey Edwards continued his slide into self-hurt, depression, alcoholism, and drug abuse. Musical tastes were changing as bands jumped on the BritPop bandwagon. Pop music was on the way up as moody, introspective rock was on the way out. Their manager, Philip Hall, had passed away from cancer. Kurt Cobain committed suicide. All of these factors combined with an Manic Street Preachers habit of changing gears to keep their musical approach fresh. Hammonds and acoustics were stripped off the songs. Fuzz guitars and bass were added along with flanger and phase effects. The band that had a soundbite for each track on their debut album started defining each track with an opening excerpt from film, text, and music. As the Manic Street Preachers were born from punk rock, so they fully embraced their roots, and made an album of sheer vitrol and noise.
Richey's illness had sidelined him from recording, yet as he never plugged in that wouldn't be a problem. Instead, his focus was on an over-all image. Combat fatigues and dog tags told you that the band was ready to fight. Images of distorted flesh and crosses dictated a lyrical focus on the body and the soul.
Released in late summer of 1994, The Holy Bible was a stark change from the eyeliner and glitter of the first two albums. As the band had matured, so had their audience and while not everyone was comfortable with the subject matter, it was generally agreed that the Manic Street Preachers had reached the highest artistic level of their career.
The songs span several topics and spare no-one in their intensity. Yet while almost everyone who has posted a review on this album comment on the dark tone, they all admit that they cannot go for long without listening to it. While unrelentingly bleak this album is the strongest the band have ever been. Had things been different, and a few more years passed, this album may have broken free from the British Isles and been a worldwide smash with the teenagers and youths who grew up in the shadow of grunge.
Their masterpiece, hands down.
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