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Manticora: 8 Deadly Sins

This Scandinavian band kicked off ProgPower USA VI in Atlanta last month (Manticora's first-ever North American gig) with a rousing 45-minute set, culling songs from 8 Deadly Sins and three previous albums. Manticora's fourth full-length disc is a tour de force concept record about an old man nearing death and reflecting on his past failings. 8 Deadly Sins opens with a brief mood-setting piece that contains spoken-word passages and Beyond Twilight's Finn Zierler on keys. The album then storms into "King of the Absurd," a thundering song about self-indulgence. Hatred, betrayal, aggression, jealousy, arrogance, ignorance and apathy round out the eight deadly sins - each explored in songs that fuse progressive, power, speed and thrash metal. Heavy riffs, majestic keys, grand choirs, gang vocals and goose-bump choruses abound, most effectively coming together on songs like "It Feels Like the End" and "Help Me Like No One Can." Near album's end, a hospital heart machine flatlines for high drama, effectively bringing the concept full circle.

This stuff gets as dark as Evergrey's music, and it's almost as good. 8 Deadly Sins is the most melodic, atmospheric and well-paced of Manticora's records, but vocalist Lars F. Larsen still sounds constrained by his limited range. The powerful musical statements Manticora makes here, however, are enough to overcome any shortcomings in the vocal slot.

Track Listing:
1) If? (Intro)
2) King of the Absurd
3) Playing God
4) Melancholic
5) Creator of Failure
6) It Feels Like the End
7) Enigma
8) Fall From Grace
9) Help Me Like No One Can
10) If, then (Outro)

Added: October 3rd 2005
Reviewer: Michael Popke
Related Link: Official Manticora Web Site
Hits: 3641
Language: english

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