‘To Live To Kill To Live’ is the new Manticora album and the title can easily confuse since the predecessor was named ‘To Kill To Live To Kill’. However, the naming of the two albums shows that there is a link that connects them, which is the storyline.
Both records are based on a novel, lead singer Lars F. Larsen wrote and the new album is the continuation of what started two years ago with ‘To Kill To Live To Kill. I wasn’t thrilled by the previous record and that had also to do with the sound. The more I am surprised of what the quintet delivers with their part 2 album. It might has to do with the renewal of the entire rhythm section, a downer on the latest album to date. With Kasper Gram and Lawrence Dinamarca two new guys went aboard and gave Manticora a thundering beat that helps the new longplayer a lot.
‘To Live To Kill To Live’ comes with excellent songs that reflect the plot of the novel extremely well. It’s amazing how many different nuances are created by the quintet, including everything from sensitive to harsh and aggressive. There is the dark ‘Through the Eyes of the Killer – Filing Teeth’ with its cinematic expression. It’s storytelling with lyrics and notes, crafted in a rousing fashion. The album contains with ‘To Nanijng’ an asian sounding interlude, which follows the title track ‘Katana – The Moth and The Dragonflies/Katana – Mud.’ The first track on the album is with nearly 15 minutes an epos that is well-composed and keeps a high level of excitement throughout. There is no boring moment in this quarter of an hour and the same goes for the entire album.
There are moments, like with ‘The Farmer’s Tale, Pt. 3 – Eaten By The Beasts’, when I had to think of bands like Iced Earth and Blind Guardian, a comparison band and album can handle.
‘Goodbye Tina’ is a calmer track on this longplayer, being a musical counterpart to the heavy ‘Teased/Ice Cage’. And there is an instrumental too on ‘To Live To Kill To Live’. ‘Stalin Strikes’ is an atmospheric bridge that builds together with ‘Ten Thousand Cold Nights’ the intro for the closer ‘Katana – Beheaded’. The band ignites with the last song of the album another metallic firework, finishing off an release that I haven’t expected to be that strong.
‘To Live To Kill To Live’ literally closes the book when it comes to the storyline, but it feels like an awakening for Manticora. The Scandinavian five-piece band evince a lot of power and passion, which can be found back in each of the twelve tracks on this album. Fans of Melodic Power Metal should give this album a listen. You will not be disappointed.
- Katana – The Moths and The Dragonflies/Katana – Mud
- To Nanjing
- The Farmer’s Tale, Pt. 3 – Eaten By The Beasts
- Slaughter In The Desert Room
- Through The Eyes Of The Killer – Filing Teeth
- Katana – Death Of The Meaning Of Life
- Tasered/Ice Cage
- Goodbye Tina
- Stalin Strikes (instrumental)
- Ten Thousand Cold Nights
- Katana – Beheaded
Genre: Melodic Power Metal
Release Date EU: August 28th, 2020