Princess Alice Manor is not your usual musician; she’s also an alternative model and vlogger. Her music is an eclectic blend of electronica, industrial, and nu-metal fused with EDM, orchestral, and metalcore elements. She performs most of the music you hear on this five-song EP, but does have a few guests come in to help round out the sound. Princess Alice Manor also fits into the “dark Kawaii” theme, evoking J-Pop imagery. However, it is a dark variant that includes vampire elements, and death metal screams all wrapped up into one persona. She also happens to be transgender and one of the new faces of the Brighton LGBTQ movement.
- Princess Alice Manor – Vocals
- Guest Musicians:
- Scottney Vektrill – Guitar Solo (Break It Off)
- Neptune Dubstep – Synth (Numb)
- Russell Plowman – Drums
- Katja Macabre – Vocals
- Vlad Con Kitsch – Vocals
Independently Released on September 23, 2022
- Hate Games
- Break It Off
- Numb (Linkin Park cover)
01. All The Things She Said (T.A.T.U. cover)
02. Kill You
The album starts heavy. “Head Games” is the first track, and it is all of the darker elements wrapped into one song. The vocals are harsh, the guitars are moody and haunting, the synth/keyboard pieces are closer to industrial than electronica, and the whole thing feels vicious. Is there such a thing as nice “Hate Games?” I think not. There are rapped harsh vocals and a few lines of clean vocals, spoken with just bass and drums backing it, then the voice goes growl again, and the guitars step back in. The keys/orchestration on this one is menacing and foreboding, sending some delicious shivers down my spine.
“Break It off” begins more melodic before going electronic, feeling like a power metal intro with some EDM thrown in for good measure. The tone is lighter, but the song is still nice and heavy. There are more drops where most of the instruments go silent, then come back in slowly. There is another vocalist on this one with a more female timbre, primarily due to that voice being clean. The EDM mix in this one is a bit more prominent, and the guitars take a bit of a back seat, so this has a more techno/industrial vibe.
Then, “Beautiful” seems to straddle the line between those two. You get lighter keyboards/piano with a heavy guitar riff and punishing rhythm. The drums are excellent on this one. The variable rhythms fit into the overall composition quite well. At the bridge, the guitars get melodic, and the whole tone of the song shifts to a more friendly/accessible tempo. The ending with the piano is a stunning way to end that track.
“iDolKillerZ” opens with a heavy guitar/keyboard riff, having them play somewhat off each other to create some sonic tension. The chaos continues with the clean and harsh vocals trading off. The rhythm is more of a pulse than a steady beat through the verses, but it’s a hard-driving power riff for the chorus. The keyboard solo is nice, going more electronica than industrial, lightening the texture just a bit over some of the earlier tracks on the disc.
The EP wraps with a cover of Linkin Park’s “Numb.” It is fast, heavy, and utterly harsh from the main vocalist, but Katja Macabre comes in clean and takes the song closer to the original for just a moment. This is an electronic/industrial version, not much like the one you heard on the radio, but it has a lot of appeals. It is a bold version that dares to venture away from the relaxed tone of the Linkin Park rendition. This version is sped up and darker in tone but works well because of that.
There are two bonus tracks with the version I got. One is “Kill You,” a track that starts with some cool synth tones, then goes heavy with a rapid-fire drum section. All that drops out, the voice comes in clean, the guitars enter melodically, and then all hell breaks loose. The heavy EDM crashes over you, and the vocals go harsh. There is a lot of back and forth in this one, both with the rhythm and the vocal tones. The layered harsh, and clean vocals did not hook me like the trade-off lines, probably the only criticism I have of this record as a whole. Honestly, I think the mix or the engineering might be slightly off. If this is a demo, that explains every bit of it.
The other bonus track is a cover of “All The Things She Said” from T.A.T.U. Again, the way they interpret the song is quite good. Going harsh with the vocals and blast beat with the drums while keeping the keys true to the original is a brave way to take on the song. It is far enough from the original to stand on its merit but faithful enough to the song to be easily recognizable. Similar to the Linkin Park cover, this one is well done and hits the senses just right.
Princess Alice Manor is not your standard musician. She ranges through several genres, mixing whatever she wants into the composition, daring to explore new variations, and boldly going wherever she desires. The overall effect is pretty amazing, creating something unique, especially with the aesthetic she invokes with the dark Kawaii/Goth/Vampire elements woven into her persona. This one is not for everyone, but I seriously doubt it was intended as such. This feels like it was made for Princess Alice Manor and those who feel/think like her. Be true to yourself and do what makes you happy.
- Guitars – 9
- Rhythms – 9
- Vocals – 9
- Songwriting – 8
- Production – 8
- Overall – 8.60