Jori : There are some moments in life that can make you intensely happy. To name a few in a completely random order: the first beer on a festival once the tent is pitched, your salary being dumped on your bank account, a new like on tinder, grindr or a similar shagsite, and a new CD by Manimal.
It took a while for the previous album ‘Trapped In The Shadows’ to get out of my music system. A similar fate seems to be in story for ‘Purgatorio’. Now what exactly is Manimal? A band from Sweden, consisting of a bunch of excellent musician that will make you bow low, and playing heavy metal on Judas Priest level while adding a modern touch. ‘Black Plague’ is the first song that hits us, and immediately the incredible singer Samuel Nyman strikes with his Tim Ripper Owens / Rob Halford hybrid sound. Going on with the title track that brings us some melodic elements and that has sublime guitar play coming forth. Nyman is restraining his screams a bit more than on the last album, and that makes the newly found melodic elements even stronger. But the man can still do his screams! We can hear that on ‘Manimalized’, a Primal Fear reminiscent anthem. Also well done is how Manimal can contrast low grooves with the excellent high vocals on ‘Spreading The Dread’ and ‘Denial’. ‘The Fear Within’ is a noteworthy closer, on which choirs and an organ make things more grand in this great song that is not in the slightest inferior to the best work of Astral Doors.
Manimal is one of the most promising acts on heavy metal grounds at the moment, and also the big bosses on that field have noticed so. The band has already toured with the likes of Orden Ogan and Firewind since ‘Trapped In The Shadows’, and this new album will undoubtedly open new doors. So run to your favourite music dealer and treat yourself to that copy of ‘Purgatorio’, and prepare to be Manimalized!