On The Bitter Truth, ManifestiV provides a preview for the forthcoming full-length debut on GIVE/TAKE. Comprised of three remixes of older songs and three “premixes” of new material, this EP occasionally sounds like music made from garbled transmissions sent from a future Earth warning us of what’s to come. Contributing to this effect is production and mixing assistance from Lcn1, with whom ManifestiV’s Lilith and Paragraph Taylor are collaborating for the full album. Both Lilith and Paragraph’s vocals undergo queasy distortions on “I Can’t See You (Blindfold),” which is turned into an industrial dirge in contrast to the original’s comparatively lighter tone. The remixes of songs from 2021’s Horsemen likewise change markedly from the originals with the addition of more electronic production. Paragraph’s slashing guitar passages in “Arrival” survive, but Lilith’s vibraphones get filtered and flanged to good purpose. The rhythm section veers into drill & bass territory, losing some of the elasticity the live rhythm section possesses. In KPT’s take on “Drummer Dust,” the percussion seems to have been reduced to bass kicks, but this leaves room for thicker layers of noise, and Lilith’s vibraphone shines through.
The newer tracks on the back half of the EP dump the listener in the deep end… or possibly onto a failed interstellar generation-ship expedition. The lyrics address impending planetary doom, asking, “How can we listen to the news… without shutting down?” and “How below before we go to / other places we might not survive?” While the Taylors seem to land on the “there is no Planet B” side of the climate change debate, a whispered “If you love it, leave” renders this interpretation ambiguous. Musically, these tracks show how ManifestiV plans on integrating the band’s previously slightly progressive-rock flavored metal with the electronics and industrial edge Lcn1 contributes. When the rhythms slow down, the menace increases.