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'Trapped In The Shadows'
(AFM Records)
Out now

Johnny Main

johnny main


Swedish Heavy/Power Metal band Manimal were founded in 2001, with their first full length album, 'The Darkest Room' being released in 2009.

The band pride themselves on their intelligent mixture of powerful Melodic Metal and progressive elements making the band one of Heavy/Power Metal's most promising new acts.

For the last couple of years, the Gothenburg-based quartet have been working on the follow-up, titled 'Trapped In The Shadows', and the resulting opus is nothing short of magnificent, being energetic while impressively still managing to remain melodic all the way.

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'Trapped In The Shadows' is well chosen and there's absolutely no doubt why this is the title track – a truly amazing track from start to finish. Front man Samuel Nyman really stretches himself vocally while the relentless guitar riff from Henrik Stenroos drives the song onwards while at the same time, drummer André Holmqvist lays down a solid foundation. It really is a top class and a hugely enjoyable track.

The band have just completed a video for 'Irresistible' which starts off with a slow intro but once the tempo picks up, it's reminiscent of 'Painkiller' era Judas Priest from Stenroos's crunchy guitar riff to the Halford-esque vocals from Nyman.

Likewise, 'The Dark' allows Nyman to show his vocal range once more as he goes from lower register to screams without any problem whatsoever.

'March Of The Madness' has Holmqvist showing off his incredible drum skills as he keeps the beat solid at the back while the guitar riff once again drives the song onwards. It's a good paced number with Nyman giving a more tuneful performance as opposed to the screams on some of the other tracks, and he occasionally holds onto the longer notes proving he's a more than capable vocalist.

'Invincible' is a showcase for Stenroos whose guitar riff punctuates the lyrics – and what a great riff it is too. Just when you get used to it, the guitar solo bursts out of nowhere and takes the song in a whole new direction.

It's fast and it's technical but it also manages to be thoroughly entertaining, with my only complaint that the solo is over all too quickly as the song reverts to the basic riff as the chorus kicks in. All in all, though, it's another top notch number.

'Silent Messiah' has a long instrumental intro which gives way to what could be the fastest tempo number here. Holmqvist lays down a simple but frantic beat which is picked up by the guitar riff before both give way to the soaring vocal performance from Nyman, and the song doesn't look back.

Power chords wash in and out before the main guitar riff returns during a slightly slower paced chorus section then the drums and razor sharp guitar riff bring the tempo back up once more.

The only real respite in the track is a showcase for Holmqvist towards the end, before the guitar chimes in for an epic finish. Absolutely incredible stuff from start to finish, and it's certainly a firm favourite of mine already.

'The Journey' is the token slow number that has buckets of atmosphere from the simple guitar and drums intro. In comparison to some of the other vocal performances featured on the album, this one is much softer although it can hardly be described as a laid back performance, as the singer gives it absolutely everything in a passionate performance which also features the vocal talents of legendary vocalist and ex-Accept front man Udo Dirkschneider.

It shows that the band are more than bluff and bluster and is a nice counterpoint to some of the more frantic tracks.

On the whole, there's a lot to like here and for those of you out there who are big into Power Metal, this band should be on your radar and this album should definitely be on your shopping list.

You can see the official video for 'Irresistible' here:

You can see Manimal live here:
Friday 18th March – Matrix, Bochum
Saturday 19th March – Bremen, Tivoli, Bremen
Saturday 20th March – K17, Berlin
Sunday 21st March – Alte Seilerei, Mannheim
Monday 22nd March – Der Hirsch, Nürnberg
Tuesday 23rd March – Rockfabrik, Ludwigsburg
Thursday 24th March – München, Backstage, München
Friday 25th March – Club 202, Budapest
Saturday 26th March – Vienna, Viper Room, Vienna
Sunday 27th March – Rockhouse Bar, Salzburg
Monday 28th March – Colos-Saal, Aschaffenburg
Wednesday 30th March – Z7, Pratteln
Thursday 31st March – Circolo Colony, Brescia
Friday 1st April – Kaminwerk, Memmingen
Saturday 2nd April – Juz, Andernach
Sunday 3rd April – Willemeen, Arnhem

'Trapped In the Shadows' Track Listing:
March Of Madness
The Dark
Trapped In The Shadows
Man-Made Devil
Silent Messiah
The Journey
Screaming Out

Manimal are:
Samuel Nyman – Vocals
Henrik Stenroos – Guitar
Kenny Boufadene – Bass Guitar
André Holmqvist – Drums

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