(8/10) Gothenburg is known for a vital metal scene. Death metal and especially the melodic version of this extreme metal genre has a solid homebase in Sweden’s’ second biggest city. But the epicenter of Swedish metal has more in the offer. Also more traditional based metal is hailing from Gothenburg and one ambassador in Manimal.
The band started in the year 2000th and premiered in 2009 with the ‘The Darkest Room’ album. It took six years before the next release was unveiled. ‘Trapped in the Shadows’ was the sophomore album and it was around the same time when I noticed the band for the first time. It was their show at the Heavy Metal Maniacs festival in Amstelveen, NL that brought the band on my radar. I have to say that I remember the shows as a good one, but also not more.
Manimal cut the waiting time for their third album to half. Three years after ‘Trapped in the Shadow’ it’s ‘Purgatorio’ that’s aiming for fans of more traditional metal. Manimal’s third album includes nine new songs and not that much things changed. Bands like Judas Priest, Queensryche and Helloween are still sources of inspiration for the quartet from Gothenburg. However, things improved when it comes to songwriting. I must say that I was pretty impressed of what I got to hear after having pressed the ‘start’-button. Maybe it’s because I could witness a concert of Judas Priest the other day, but when I heard the first riffs of ‘Black Plague’, the opener, I had to think about the Metal Gods. Guitars and vocals remind of the metal legends in a non-distracting way. The song stands for a well-done start into the album and creates appetite for more. .
Some Queensryche references are embedded in the moderate paced ‘Spreading the Dread’ while songs like ‘Denial’ represent the bands ability to write hymnic tracks too. None of the nine tracks on ‘Purgatorio’ is a filler which also means that the closer ‘The Fear Within’ is a metal treat. Slower in pace and dark in its expression the tune is a well-placed closer of a surprisingly good metal album. Well done metal from the North, that’s what you get with ‘Purgatorio’ and fans of bands like Judas Priest should not miss this longplayer.
- Black Plague
- Spreading the Dread
- Behind Enemy Lines
- Edge of Darkness
- The Fear Within
Label: AFM Records
Genre: Heavy Metal
Release Date EU: September 7th, 2018