The Manichean: Back From The Dead With Visceral Lacerus
The Manichean is gearing up for their first full-length release next year. In the meantime, they will be releasing a new EP, Lacerus Rising, as appropriately bizarre as the excellent Whispers tonight at Avant Garden.
In a way, the EP serves as a trailer for the longer release Houston's weird-music aficionados have been impatiently waiting for; it's a collection of remixes of Whispers standout "Lacerus." That's something of a simplification, as the each of the artists who contribute have attempted re-imaginings rather than simple manipulations in pursuit of better dance tracks.
Vincent Priceless has, for instance, taken the upbeat progressive-rock original and turned it into something right off of Nine Inch Nails' The Fragile. It's a Lynchian exploration of the deepest depths of an audio oubliette, and we'd be lying if we said we didn't sometimes prefer it to The Manichean's original.
Also of considerable note is the 8-bit rendition done by Will Schorre. Schorre has cobbled the atoms of every awesome Mega Man track to make "Lacerus" less of an epic tale and more into the best damn mini-boss fight score we've have ever heard. Never before have we been so sorry that we didn't have a vampire killing whip and a handful of evil pixels to punish.
The question that Rocks Off was most keen to ask though is who exactly is Lacerus? Why does he rise? And most importantly, what's so damn special about him that he deserves a whole EP of variations on his tale by the current kings of Houston avant-garde?
The biography of the character has a great deal to do with the fact that The Manichean as a band also considers The Manichean as a separate sentient entity. The Manichean is a protagonist on a quest, and Lacerus is the Man in Black who flees across the desert from him.
The original song detailed the crossing of paths between the two characters, with the middle bit symbolizing Lacerus rising from the grave.