MANTICORA - The Black Circus, Part I (Letters)

Manticora - The Black Circus, Part I (Letters)

12 songs
47:30 minutes
***** ****


Manticora are one of Denmark's busiest metal bands. The Black Circus Part I is already the band's sixth album and even their third concept album. Originally The Black Circus was considered to be released as a double-CD, but label and band preferred to divide the concept of two different albums.

The concept of their last album 8 Deadly Sins wasn't so exciting as the story was about a man in his deathbed looking back at the positive and negative moments in his life. The Black Circus has a much more fascinating theme about a circus in America at the end of the 19th century. You will meet mystic people like gypsies, tumblers, clowns and charlatans as well as horror pioneer H.P. Lovecraft.

The album contains eight real songs and four short intermezzos that do not disturb the flow on the record, but the main interest are of course the regular songs where Manticora have made an enormous progression. I can't avoid comparing them to early Blind Guardian due to the bombastic and dynamic songwriting, the use of choirs and the similarities between both bands' singers. Manticora have proven that it is possible to play power metal with guts and energy. Although there are lesser moments like the pop part on Enchanted Mind or the female guest singer on Wisdom, this doesn't hurt the charm this record is spreading. Other highlights are the Iron Maiden like Gypsies Dance Pt. 1 and the angrier Disciples Of The Entities which ends the album. Even the nearly acapella song Carousel fits perfectly well into the record.

The Black Circus is one of the best metal albums of the year and probably the best concept metal album since Virgin Steele's Marriage Of Heaven And Hell. The second part of this concept album is supposed to be released in May 2007.

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