Bjarte K. Helland - Maniae - Reviewed By Metal Digest! Sunday July 11 2021, 12:18 PM
Bjarte K. Helland - Maniae - Reviewed By Metal Digest!

Bjarte K. Helland - Maniae - Reviewed By Metal Digest ! Check it out here at this link:

Norway gives us so much in the way of Metal, we fucking love Norway at Metal Digest. Per Capita only Finland has more Metal. Scandinavia as a whole provides half of the world’s Metal Power, and so many bands essential to the Black, Blackened, Thrash, Metalcore, Grindcore, Grave, Death/Deathcore, etc; so why should you be excited about some ProgMetal/Art Metal project by a drummer from a relatively niche scene hiding away in the corner from all the darkness and screaming?

Bjarte leads the project as one-third of a trio of the finest Metal/Fusion players this side of the Atlantic, and perhaps more importantly they bring a taste of their homeland bounty of Metal to the party. Jarle H. Olsen’s guitar work is as technical and as lyrical As Tosin or Plini, and brings in a subtle taste of Scandinavian magic. Ric Fierabracci has that bass player nous that makes you want to play in a band way more talented than you think you can. Bjarte’s drumming is almost too accurate at times, filling in across bars of time signatures that would have made Tim Smith’s head hurt a little bit.

But for all that; the structure and energy of this four-track debut EP does not dazzle and beguile to the point where the listener feels they are not clever enough to “get” all the technical stuff going on. This is an accessible gem of a Metal/Fusion EP you can enjoy without knowing how to riff from 17/4 to 11/8. Highly recommended. - Metal Digest

Release date: 18th  June 2021

FFO: Liquid Tension Experiment, Animals as Leaders, Dream Theater

Bjarte K. Helland presents: Maniae EP.

June 2021 - Bjarte K. Helland is an artist and performer who has recently re-
leased a brand new project, Maniae. This EP is a perfect example of what it’s like to produce detailed and highly nuanced instrumental music, with influences as diverse as fusion and progressive.

One of the most distinctive traits of this release is certainly the energy, and the
drive that fuels the kaleidoscopic compositions of the EP. The arrangement feels 
very open-ended and carefully crafted, but also quite spontaneous and one-of-a-
kind, never chasing the easy way out and always looking for innovative ideas in order to treat the audience to a more impactful experience. In addition to the impactful and diverse compositional value, Maniae EP is also quite distinctive because of the sheer quality of the production. The mix is balanced and very detail-oriented, making for a lively, natural and focus sonic approach, which actually allows every single element in the compositions of the EP to really stand out. In other words, the recording is so balanced and pristine that it really enables all of the many subtle nuances to stand out in this release. 

The diverse dynamic range and the wide scope of the ideas that drive each track really add to the richness of the EP and lends a much broader depth of sound to the entire concept.
Maniae stands out for its eclectic sound, and the EP is a perfect example of what
great fusion instrumental music could be these days. There are no rules: it’s all about following undiluted creativity and let the flow of the music dictate its direction, telling a more compelling story through sound. The amazing musicians featured in this EP definitely help the concept: the EP features Grammy-nominated bass player Ric Fierabracci (Chick Corea, Planet X) and Norwegian guitar virtuous Jarle H. Olsen (Quadrasonic). Both of them brought a high degree of focus and proficiency to these performances!

This is the kind of EP that will surprise you for it sonic variety, and it will keep you on the edge of your seat due to its catchy, yet unpredictable arrangement. I always love to hear from artists who set the bar higher and push the envelope when it comes to their productions: this certainly appears to be the case!

Find out more about Bjarte K. Helland and do not miss out on the artist’s most re-
cent releases, activities and events:



Bjarte is a progressive metal/fusion drummer from Bergen at the west coast of Norway. He is also active in the bands Quadrasonic, FastLoaders and Pitch Black Mentality. The Maniae project is his first solo EP, and for this EP he wanted to bring together a team of great musicians to create awesome progressive music with unheard-of progressive rhythmical patterns, yet still melodic and at times catchy. He his highly influenced by progressive metal, jazz fusion and blues, and all of these influences are can be heard in the Maniae.

Jarle H. Olsen: Guitars
Ric Fierabracci: Bass
Bjarte K. Helland: Drums

Mixed by Alex Argento

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