200 Stab Wounds // Manual Manic Procedures // Album Review


Cleveland death metal mutilators 200 Stab Wounds have returned to the scene of the crime with their next offering. Their sophomore album “Manual Manic Procedures” seems to be their most extreme to date.

Formed in 2019 and unleashed their first EP “Piles of Festering Decomposition” on the underground & quickly became of most talked about release in 2020. Releasing their debut album in 2021, “Slave to the Scalpel” has become one of the flagships of the new wave of death metal bands, bringing back that old school edge to modern music.

Now since signing with the mighty Metal Blade Records the group are releasing their next evolution in their grotesque practices.

Opening the album “Hands of Eternity” is the best first track I’ve ever heard. Using acoustic guitar & eerie effects to build tension & atmosphere as the band slowly comes in piece by piece to create this horror film like creeping, elevating track that builds in intensity before the band unleash the perfect movement & lifts the blood-drenched curtain.

The production of “Slave to the Scalpel” was fantastic but here with “Manual Manic Procedures” they have been able to create what I think is the best production I’ve heard in this style of death metal this year.

The guitar tone is hard-hitting & precise, the bass sound is thunderous & cuts through perfectly. Owen Pooley’s drum tracking on this album has also reached another level. The perfect sound crafting this album has created is mind-blowing. It’s so hard to find a modern album that hits you in the face with a brick but you’re good with it after ha!

The album’s title track “Manual Manic Procedures” has a fierce intro section from bassist Ezra Cook & drummer Owen Pooley which opens the song nicely & gets your pulse pumping before the band bait you & switches the track to this punishing death thrash style that is at a breakneck pace the whole way through.

It also slides & blends into the next track “Release the Stench”.

Where only minutes in were to hear vocalist & guitarist Steve Buhl’s lead work. Buhl’s lead playing is the perfect blend of Jeff Hanneman & Pat O’Brien, he’s a total ripper & his lead work has so much groove to it.  Whatever he lays down lead wise always elevates the song.

The track has a great build & release before paying off as Buhl mutters the words “RELEASE… THE… STENCH!” before the hardest-hitting bridge the band has created to date. Full of groove & brutality which is what they do best!

As a nice little breather “Led to the Chamber / Liquified” might be an instrumental track but like anything 200 Stab Wounds does it creates this epic piece of music that would fit in any horror film score. A soaring lead section closes out the track which is just phenomenal, the song picks up speed & turns to chaos as a swirl of guitar feedback/noise & frantic drumming before the murderous acts continue…

The brutality the band harnesses is shown in “Defiled Gestation”.

A track full of the most putrid chugging patterns & blastbeat sections. Yet again this track is chocked full of rhythm & groove. It isn’t until you hit the nearly two minute mark you realise what you’ve been listening to has been one big build-up before Bruhl’s vocals kick in & the song goes into its full element. The songwriting on this album is meticulous & so thought out that each song perfectly pays off every single riff, lyric, drum section or bass section. Truly remarkable.

“Manual Manic Procedures” is a landmark album in not only the band’s career but in death metal as a whole. There has always been a stigma with bands sophomore albums never living up to their first release but I can firmly say 200 Stab Wounds have created their best work to date. The standard of these tracks is so great it feels like a monumental album for the group. Truly feel like this current generation’s “The Bleeding” or “Seasons In The Abyss” & will be a seen classic in the next few years this album is truly a force to reckon with!

Review: Joseph Mitchell

Manual Manic Procedures is out via Metal Blade Records on 28 June 2024

  Hands of Eternity4:44
  Gross Abuse1:50
  Manual Manic Procedures2:43
  Release the Stench2:31
  Led to the Chamber / Liquified3:10
  Flesh from Within3:11
  Defiled Gestation4:24
  Ride the Flatline2:50



Steve Buhl – vocals, guitars

Raymond MacDonald – guitars

Ezra Cook – bass

Owen Pooley – drums


Manual Manic Procedures (2024) 
Slave to the Scalpel (2023) *Metal Blade repress
Slave to the Scalpel (2021)
Itty Bitty Pieces (2021 – 7″)
Piles of Festering Decomposition (2020 – EP)


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