|Review: Manitou - Deadlock|
Label: Firebox Records
Year released: 2006
Review online: January 29, 2007
Reviewed by: Lars Christiansen
Rated 3.5/5 (70%) (4 Votes)
I had high expectations of this album, due to the fact that I actually reviewed their debut album here, and was pretty impressed with it. However, literally seconds after spinning this, their 2nd full length, I could tell that something in their style had changed noticeably, which at first I couldn't put my finger on.
Don't get me wrong, the progressive elements are still there, with the influence of Queensryche and Dream Theater still audibly prominent, but on album number two it seems that they've also added a perceptible latter day In Flames style sheen to their sound, which detracts from the dazzling essence which was present in abundance on their first release. Manitou are still a highly innovative and fiery outfit at times, particularly apparent on the opener 'And the Silence Bites', but something is definitely missing from their arrangements this time around sadly, with most of the album sounding like a weaker Iron Maiden album, albeit with a more intrinsic progressive backbone.
It's not all doom and gloom though, there are some memorable riffs sprinkled throughout the album to keep your interest for a few spins, particularly the main riff to 'Fools in Control', and the wondrous epic closer 'The Black Meadow' (which in fact reminds me riff-wise of a cross between some of the lighter moments of Carcass' 'Swansong', and Iron Maiden's 'Dance of Death'). To me though, I think a possible factor of my disappointment was that, to these ears at least, the band have leaned a lot more toward the Progressive side, and away from the metal side (bar the odd In Flames styled solo as mentioned previously) which gave them the edge on their excellent first release.
So, when all the pros and cons are cogitated, Manitou have released a good album, but not a truly great album, to which their pedigree suggested could have been.
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