“The Mask You’ve Made” is the crushing new single and video from New York City-based avant-grindcore/hardcore solo project MANIPULATOR, now playing ahead of the November release of the act’s impending second album, Drawing Secret Circles.
MANIPULATOR’s Drawing Secret Circles mercilessly deploys twenty tracks in fourteen minutes, with project founder Andrew Notsch handling the instrumentation and vocals. The record features guest vocals from Derrick Karg, Tim Bradley, and Juan Vargas, and additional guitar on “Fear And Mystery Drown” by Lucas Wyssbrod (Monovoth). The final production and mastering were handled by Adam Tucker of Signaturetone (Ulthar, Thou, Sunless) and the record was completed with art by Notsch.
The album also features its own video game developed by SpaceMicroscope, the creator of SwordCar, where the listener can play along to the album, and each track is a level. An accompanying art book features companion art pieces which visually tie-in with the music video and video game, making for a fully immersive experience. In addition to shirts, patches, and more, the merch for Drawing Secret Circles also features a DVD version of the music video that runs the course of the entire record. The vinyl is a single-sided 12″ LP in two variants, with 100 copies each – Purple Splatter and Silver Swirl – in conjunction with Wise Grinds Records, Here Is Nowhere Records, Dead Red Queen Records, and Psychocontrol Records in Europe.
Of “The Mask You’ve Made,” Notsch writes, “Simply, this song speaks to the fake faces people wear to convince you they are something far greater than the truth. I had a blast recording vocals for this one and think it’s probably my most unhinged vocal performance to date.”
Unload the audiovisual decimation of MANIPULATOR’s “The Mask You’ve Made” at YouTube HERE, and watch a teaser for the album’s video game HERE.
Somewhere between the shadows of NYC’s skyscrapers and rat-infested gutters, MANIPULATOR grinds forward as intensely as the city itself: fast, loud, and unrelenting. Created by Andrew Notsch – also of instrumental progressive/post-metal band This Is The Last Time and formerly of technical death metal outfit Sunless, among others – this solo project fuses death metal, hardcore, and grind into an explosive amalgam of decimating proportions.
Notsch brings forth music concepts from some of his past and current musical projects, sometimes paying homage to his time in Sunless with dissonant intricate passages but most often, listeners will envision his knuckles being worn to the bone from being dragged across the city’s unrelenting sidewalks. Beyond the music, Notsch also controls all of MANIPULATOR‘s visual identity including all music videos, media, layouts, and merchandise. Longtime collaborator Tim Bradley (This Is The Last Time) supplies MANIPULATOR‘s lyrical narratives with an unyielding sense of urgency, brutalism, and commentary on the falsehoods and lies of mankind. Bradley also supplies the samples and sound work by manipulating and orchestrating their use much like an actual instrument.
MANIPULATOR isn’t redefining genres; it merely seeks to create a no-holds-barred auditory assault that is as brutal as it is fun. Catharsis through brutality. Release through aggression. With every blistering riff, every blast beat, and every scream, MANIPULATOR invites you to embrace the chaos to calm the soul.