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Manic Sinners – King Of The Badlands Award winner

Manic Sinners
King Of The Badlands
by Issy Herring at 25 April 2022, 10:30 AM

MANIC SINNERS have finally released their debut album “King Of The Ballads.” Since their formation in 2020, the Romanian melodic hard rock trio gave us an insight of what was to come on the album with the track “Down in Flames” in late 2021. Following the release of singles “Drifters Union” and “Carousel”, “King of the Badlands” was released on 18 February 2022 via Frontiers Records.

The first track on the album is “Drifters Union”. The song kicks off with a powerful guitar riff, before leaping in with Ovidiu Anton’s signature vocals which are very similar to that of Iron Maiden’s Bruce Dickinson. This track has riffs galore, which is sure to please any hardcore metal fan! Next up is the title track “King Of The Badlands,” which again starts off with a memorable heavy guitar riff, clearly showing that they mean business. Anton croons over the memorable instrumentation with pure confidence and power, really showing off his voice to its full potential. Guitarist Toni Dijmarescu’s solo riffs are just pure gold. “Anastasia” is a slightly different musical flavour, incorporating synths into the backing track. The lyrical content is also very refreshing in this pandemic fuelled time, with Anton clearly expressing love and admiration for his romantic partner.

Ball And Chain” is a heartfelt song, with Anton singing honestly about his failed past love – quite the contrast from the previous track. In typical love song style, the track seems to have subtle Spanish influences with the softer guitar riffs added in for good measure. Next up is “Under The Gun”, which is a bit livelier in nature. As with all the songs so far on this release, Anton’s vocals really shine through and make this an album worth a listen! The song sounds like a mix of IRON MAIDEN and STEEL PANTHER combined– addictive and certainly memorable to say the least! “Out For Blood” starts off with an instantly catchy riff which is most definitely going to get in your head from the first listen. This is very different to the rest of the album so far, as it is a purely instrumental song. It really showcases Dijmarescu’s extraordinary talent as a guitar player, which I think all bands should try and do at some point within their musical career. “Carousel” is more of a theatrical number, while still expressing their heavier music style that we all know and love. The chorus is instantly infectious and recognisable, sounding like a classic song from the 1970s or 1980s. This song is most certainly one of the strongest songs on the album for sure!

Nobody Moves” is another great song, with some fantastic instrumentalism and another very catchy chorus. It almost has an anthemic, theatrical like sound identical to that of THE DEVIN TOWNSEND PROJECT, but with slightly heavier undertones. “Play To Lose” is up next, which is another emotional song, which most certainly tugs at your heartstrings! “Crimson Queen” leaps in with another solid guitar riff, really adding some emotion to the start of the song. This theme carries on well into the track, which is another instrumental interlude in the album. The second to last song is “A Million Miles”, which again has a theatrical feel about it. Anton’s vocal style is very similar here to Ralph Saenz from STEEL PANTHER, which is nothing but a treat! The instrumentalism also reminds me of Kiss and their signature style – what a belter of a track! Lastly, we have “Down In Flames”, which starts off on a good note. This track just gets better and better as it goes on, with an abundance of catchy riffs and vocal lines to rock out and sing along with!

King Of The Badlands” is most definitely one of the best metal albums I have heard this year to date! It is honestly so hard to believe that they are still a relatively new band in the metal scene, as this compilation sounds like they have been doing this for a long time. There is something really special and unique about the heaviness yet theatrical element of Ovidiu Anton’s voice, which really adds something to each and every song on the track list. If this is the first time you have heard MANIC SINNERS, you will not be disappointed!

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 8
Production: 10

4 Star Rating

1. Drifters Union
2. King Of The Badlands
3. Anastasia
4. Ball & Chain
5. Under The Gun
6. Out For Blood
7. Carousel
8. Nobody Moves
9. Play To Loose
10. Crimson Queen
11. A Million Miles
12. Down In Flames
Ovidiu Anton – Vocals
Adrian Igrisan – Drums/Keyboards/Backing Vocals
Toni Dijmarescu – Guitar
Record Label: Frontiers Records


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Edited 01 February 2023

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