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Manimal – Trapped In The Shadows

Manimal
Trapped In The Shadows
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 19 December 2015, 11:23 PM

MANIMAL is a Heavy Metal band based out of Sweden, formed in 2001. Following the release of three demos, the band released their first full length album in 2009. After a six year pause, this is the band’s second full-length album, and contains ten new tracks.

Irresistible” has a suspenseful lead-in, like a deep breath before the plunge. The riff and main sound in somewhere between the NWOBHM bands of old and the Power metal bands of the present. The vocals are impossibly high and impressive and this is something you might have heard from the “Painkiller” album by JUDAS PRIEST. “March of Madness” takes the sound on a different path, with a QUEENSRYCHE vibe from that opening riff. It’s darker and perhaps leaning on the Progressive side a bit, though there is plenty of melody in the chorus and I love the running guitar parts. “The Dark” carries a similar vibe with the chord progressions, with a little more emotional yearning.

Once again I cannot get over how high vocalist Sam can register, and negotiate his voice so well in these upper ranges. The title track is swifter in pace, and digs deeper into the realm of heaviness and bombast. I think this would be the perfect song to showcase the sound on the album.

Invincible” has a great opening riff, like a juggernaut of dark shapes materializing out of the mist ready to take reclaim the horrors of the night. The chorus is really strong in this song and it makes you want to cry out the anthem, but you could never reach those vocal heights! “Silent Messiah” is also another strong track. The riff is grandiose in nature and the double bass drumming and fast picked riff sound like a machine working in overtime. I like the effect that the song has with just vocals, drums and haunting effects in the verses. “The Journey” breaks up some of the steam that the earlier tracks had with a soft acoustical entrance and chilling feeling of what might be to come. When the rest of the instrumentation catches up however it remains a slower, grinding song, accenting the low end of the scale and truly tortured vocal parts. “Screaming Out” embraces some more traditional style melodies and hooks you in hard with way they craft them together. Closing the album is the song “Psychopomp.” Pig squeals ring over the main riff and the rhythm of the guitars compels you to bang along with your head.

The extended time the band was working on this album was worth every bit of effort in the end. This album would stand up very well with others in this style. For me the highlights were the singing and the toggling between several sub-genres while presenting a core sound that is recognizable and pleasing.

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Irresistible
2. March Of Madness
3. The Dark
4. Trapped In The Shadows
5. Invincible
6. Man Made Devil
7. Silent Messiah
8. The Journey
9. Screaming Out
10. Psychopomp
Lineup:
Samuel “Sam” Nyman – Vocals
Henrik “Hank” Stenroos – Guitars
Kenny Boufadene – Bass
Andre Holmqvist – Drums
Record Label: AFM Records
     


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