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CD REVIEW: MANIMAL – Trapped In The Shadows

| 19 January 2016 | Reply

PromoImageLabel: AFM Records

Release Date: January 22, 2016

Rating: 8.5/10

Reviewed by: Todd “Toddstar” Jolicoeur

Swedish heavy/power metal band MANIMAL hit the ground running in 2016 with the January release of the bands sophomore effort.  This effort combines metal and progressive tones to create a great disc.  “Irresistible” kicks the disc off and doesn’t look back.  The vocals of Samuel Nyman take the track down a cool dark, metal path.  The guitar work and rhythm section drive the track once the mellow intro passes.  “March Of Madness” comes out of the gate with guitars blazing.  The riffs are chugging and infectious while giving the bass and drums room to flex.  Once the vocals jump in, the song gains momentum.  Title track “Trapped In The Shadows” puts the guitars first and everything else second… everything but the vocals that is.  Nyman comes across as a cool swirl or part Rob Halford and part King Diamond on this accelerated tempo rocker.  “Man-Made Devil” is a chugging track that gets into a groove and stays there, giving the vocals the ability to paint the picture while the guitars, bass, and drums illuminate the emotion of the track.  “The Journey” is a mellow rocker that comes slowly out of the gate, but is lifted when the familiar vocals of metal legend Udo Dirkschneider join the mix on the each verse and the chorus.  As the song just about hits the halfway mark, the intensity is dialed up and the song morphs into a slower head banger.

“The Dark” is a straight ahead rocker that gets the head banging and the foot tapping at the same time.  This song brings a progressive vibe to the forefront, but without diminishing the strength of the rock undertones.  “Invincible” shows off the lower and upper ranges of Samuel while letting the guitars run rampant in the background.  The drums are pounding and shift well between different time changes, all punctuated by a heavy handed bass line.  “Silent Messiah” is another track that highlights the guitars and lets the rest of the band come along for the ride.  The tempo is handled tightly by the drums and bass while the vocals soar above the mix, especially during the chorus and bridges.  “Screaming Out” is a catchy track that brings the intensity back up without being overbearing.  The guitars have a very Queensryche-ish sound to them, punctuating the progressive feel of the track, while the vocals bring the metal to the mix.  Disc closer “Psychopomp” is a cool track that blends different rock components together, including guitar pings and squeals, along with a driving sound from the guitars and bass.  The drums jump in when necessary and steer the tempo of the track, keeping the vocals in check and on task, ending the collection on a killer metal sound and chorus.

Tracklisting: Irresistible – March Of Madness – The Dark – Trapped In The Shadows – Invincible – Man-Made Devil – Silent Messiah – The Journey – Screaming Out – Psychopomp

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Todd ‘ToddStar’ Jolicoeur

Category: CD Reviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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