MANIMAL - The Darkest Room

Manimal - The Darkest Room

9 songs
39:12 minutes
***** ****


Swedish metal band Manimal has been around already since 2003, but they took their time so that their official debut The Darkest Room came only five years later. At home their CD was an instant success, penetrating their charts to a respectable thirty-sixth position, which was probably reason enough for AFM Records to give the record a Europe-wide distribution.

Manimal can be labelled a melodic metal band, but their songs contain definitely more potential than most that is sold under that brand. For one thing they combine their music with the power metal sound of the Eighties and contemporary progressive metal. Another strong point at Samuel Nyman’s vocals that despite frequent excursions into high registers never lose their masculinity, reminding even a little of Queensr˙che’s Geoff Tate. The excellent production emphasises the band’s strengths, one of which are certainly their songwriting abilities. You won’t find anything really new in this combination of old and new, but the songs switch smartly between simple and complex structures and always manage to remain their catchiness. Furthermore the songs never sound the same. While some tracks, like Dreamers And Fools and the smashing opener Shadows, take no prisoners, others, like the thoroughly convincing title track and the concluding The Life We Lived, prove that the band is always at ease in more moderate waters.

You may compare Manimal to bands like Crimson Glory and Kamelot who also combine different metal genres. The CD is too short with its hardly forty minutes running time, but I prefer this to a longer album with some fillers. If there is any justice left in the metal universe, Manimal should become the most promising newcomer of the years with their excellent debut The Darkest Room.

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