Manimal – Armageddon

Armageddon Album Cover Art

Manimal – Armageddon
AFM Records
Release Date: 03/12/21
Running Time: 43:01
Review by Simon Black
10/10

Now on their fourth album, Swedish Powerhouse Manimal are absolutely unashamedly proud of what they deliver – and with good reason. In a crowded marketplace you need two things to get you noticed – solid and high-quality delivery, or a unique selling point. To stay noticed, keep focussing on point one. Manimal don’t have anything massively new or original stylistically in their mix – they absolutely and openly wear their influences on their collective sleeve, however in the delivery department they are totally top notch. No, that’s too small a description – ‘bloody fantastic’ is far more appropriate.

Singer Samuel Nyman has a lot to say about the pigeonhole of Power Metal itself. Being Swedish, for him that genre means the mostly upbeat major chord style of Euro Power Metal acts, from Helloween onwards, but Manimal sound more like their North American variant cousins (a movement that really start with stalwarts like Armored Saint). And for the same reason, the common influences of both continental variants are classic Metal stalwarts like Judas Priest, and in this instance, the far Blacker Mercyful Fate (for whom the look and make up is a direct snatch).

Nyman is just plain and simply gifted with one of those voices that makes you sit up, notice, and think “How the actual fuck did a human being do that?” I am very strongly reminded of Ripper Owens opening contribution to Judas Priest’s history, in terms of style – that and the fact that the whole album has a similarly brutal feel to the sadly underrated ‘Jugulator’ album … only a bit darker and dirtier. Not only that, but he has that Scheepers / Halford high end shrieking, piercing scream, which sends a chill down your spine, nailed down to a tee. Add to this the top-notch consistency and standard of song-writing, with catchy and addictive arrangements, clever use of melody, and some absolutely blistering hammering of the instruments, and this album has snuck straight into my top spot for the month relatively unchallenged.

Is it original? No. Is that a problem? Absolutely not. This is blisteringly delivered, solid Heavy Fucking Metal of the calibre that got me into the genre thirty-five years ago, and will keep me here as long as the newer acts can continue to run with that torch, because frankly, it doesn’t get much better than this.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Burn In Hell
02. Armageddon
03. Slaves Of Babylon
04. Forged In Metal
05. Chains Of Fury
06. Evil Soul
07. Path To The Unknown
08. Master Of Pain
09. Insanity
10. The Inevitable End

LINE-UP:
Samuel Nyman – Vocals
Henrik Stenroos – Guitars
Kenny Boufadene – Bass
André Holmqvist – Drums

LINKS:

Manimal Promo Pic

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Simon Black and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

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