Jori : The debut album of Swedish metallers Manimal was regarded as no more than a mediocre heavy metal record. So few ever thought this group would make a stand, and after years of silence, the band was thought to have died a silent death. So finding this follow-up in my digital letterbox was a little surprising. The disc is called ‘Trapped In The Shadows’ and makes it clear what the guys from the band have been doing for the past six years, that is becoming better musicians in all aspects. And that is something you can clearly hear on this record!
Opening with the flaming ‘Irresistable’, that is a notably long song with its six minute duration, ‘Trapped In The Shadows’ has a great start. The first thing that stands out is the excellent sound, this is coming from the hands of Achim Köhler, who has also done work on albums of Primal Fear and Brainstorm. When I hear the shrieking high vocals of Samuel Nyman, my socks are knocked away ten miles. Wow this man has made leaps, with his screaming he turns the whole album to an old-fashioned and tasty heavy metal party. Of course, guitar solos are there in abundance and one of the tastiest examples we can find on ‘The Dark’. In fact, the whole album is of a constant good level and the painful downers like ‘The Life We Lived’ from the debut are no longer present. One of the highlights is semiballad ‘The Journey’, where singer Lyman gets a little help from no one less than Udo Dirkschneider. Be sure not to skip ‘March Of Darkness’, ‘Man-Made Devil’ and ‘Silent Messiah’ either!
Manimal has improved itself greatly on all fronts here with this excellent heavy metal album, hopefully, they can keep up the good work!