Manimal is a heavy metal band from Sweden formed in 2001, releasing a couple of demos before their debut album ‘The Darkest Room’ emerged in 2009. The band’s sophomore album ‘Trapped In The Shadows’ was released in 2015, with their third album, ‘Purgatorio’, emerging in 2018. Manimal is firmly rooted in the heavy metal genre, but add elements of the power metal style to create a very powerful, and highly energetic sound. The band’s fourth album ‘Armageddon’, was released in 2021…
…and is forty-five minutes of blistering Judas Priest-Esque heavy metal. The driving “foot on the monitor” style of the UK legend’s brand of traditional metal is a glorious sound, with the Swedish metal juggernaut Manimal taking that sound, and wrapping it up in a coating of the classic European power metal sound. And what you get is an intense album often red hot anthems to headbang to! Getting us underway is the heavy foot-stomper ‘Burn In Hell’, with a searing, aggression fuelled vocal performance from lead singer Sam Nyman. The savage barrage of bombastic riffage and thunderous drums is “music to my ears”…literally! This is the kinda metal that is me all over, from my earliest listening experience in 1981 to the present day. Gimme more Manimal, gimme me more!
And more they do! Upping the pace, aggression, and energy levels, the band scorches the Earth with the phenomenal title song ‘Armageddon’. Blending traditional metal with power metal, or bands Rage and Judas Priest to explain it another way, ‘Armageddon’ is the classic “foot on the monitor” style in full flight. The ferocious intensity level from the opening double salvo remains high, as ‘Slaves Of Babylon’ marches into sight, adopting the heavy foot stomping anthemic style of metal. And with its highly sing a long-able chorus ‘Slaves Of Babylon’ is surely gonna become a fan favorite. The energy level rakes up a notch or two for the phenomenally infectious power metaller ‘Forged In Metal’. The pace and power oozing from ‘Forged In Metal’ are incredible, with heavy power metal never sounding so good.
Manimal are pulling no punches with their fourth full length, firing on all cylinders as the band power on with the hardest hitting offering heard so far, ‘Chains Of Fury’. The mid-tempo, mid-paced anthemic style of metal comes to the fore, hitting harder than ever, harder than say Manowar, Blind Guardian, HammerFall, Powerwolf, and Sabaton combined! Electrifying pace fills the air, as Manimal up the tempo, up the energy, and up the oomph, with the scorching ‘Evil Soul’. Faster-paced than anything heard so far, ‘Evil Soul’ will have the worldwide mosh pits in a total frenzy! The headbang ability is off the charts and the sing-along ability is incredible, with the chorus chant of “evil soul” screeched and screamed by everyone everywhere. What a song! And what a song ‘Path To The Unknown’ is! More melodic than what has gone before, Manimal injects a massive hard rock feel, opening their music to a much wider audience – the band not afraid to broaden their musical horizons.
The savage barrage with which the band opened the album makes an emphatic return in the mighty shape of ‘Master Of Pain’ – singer Sam’s searing vocals reminiscent of the great Rob Halford’s singing on ‘Painkiller’ (the song). What an incredible performance – both Rob and Sam. With the intensity levels as high as they have ever been, the band marches on with the hard-rocking ‘Insanity’, crossing boundaries once more, attracting fans from many other genres. The album comes to its inevitable end with the thundering ‘The Inevitable End’. Blending melodious intent with the album’s overall energetic and highly bombastic sound, Manimal hammers the senses one last time with a barrage of blistering heavy metal.
Overall, an aggression fuelled barrage of power come heavy metal, loaded with high levels of energy and intensity,
Release Year: 2021
Label: AFM Records
Reviewed by Iron Mathew for Frenzy Fire, Metal Gods TV, and Metal-Roos.