Manring is a master of innovation and way crazy funk fun on the bass. He slaps his Zon bass silly, samples, loops, E-Bows, processes, and ultra-sustains his songs into a universe all his own. On Manring's The Book of Flame, all the stops are pulled out and a real beast is unleashed. His live, unedited, no overdub pieces are still a standard as well as his warped 'n' manipulated creations. Manring is funkified, burpin' bass joy with that telltale horn sound lead. He shifts from a tar pit stomp lethargy to a toe-tappin' alley cat strut in a heartbeat. He can be heard doing guitarish leads that flow right into a Stanley Clarke groove. "Dromedary" is high octane enough in spots to peel paint or melt the annuli off your woofers. The live studio piece "No Wontons for Elvis" has a Michael Hedges Live on the Double Planet feel, as if Hedges were playing through Manring. Finally, the pandemonium calms down on "The Book of Living and Dying" (in memoriam for Michael Hedges, 1953-1997) and outros into memories and silence.
AllMusic Review by John W. Patterson