|Review: Manticora - Roots Of Eternity|
|Roots Of Eternity|
Label: Black Lotus Records
Year released: 1999
Genre: Power Metal
Review online: May 10, 2003
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
for:Roots Of Eternity
Rated 3.3/5 (66%) (10 Votes)
Manticora are a power metal band from Denmark that have gotten a good bit of press with their three albums. This was their first release as Manticora (Formerly they were Manticore) and is quite good for a debut.
A lot of reviews of this I have read seem to have a hard time putting their finger on Manticora’s sound, but I don’t see what’s difficult about that. Manticora play power metal, speedy and melodic - somewhere between Sonata Arctica and Hammerfall, but with less ‘happy’ sounding melodies and no keyboards to speak of. But they also inject their sound with a good dose of old-school thrash, a touch that really perks up this CD and adds a level of originality that otherwise they might have lacked.
Manticora have definite prog leanings, and each song offers up mega time changes and a fistful of riffs. Some of the songs are also very long. The drumwork is very good, and doesn’t abuse the double-bass as much as most bands of this sort. In fact, overall the level of musicianship here is quite good, with the exception of the vocals. Singer Lars Larsen has a midrange voice without much variety or real power. He tries hard, and the production uses about every trick in the book to cover for his shortcomings, but he simply isn’t very good. He doesn’t actually detract from the music, but he doesn’t add to it either, you just get used to him.
It’s hard to describe, but there is just something cool about this album that’s more than the sum of its parts. It takes a few listens to tune in to this. There are no "here’s the big riff" type songs, no great choruses that stick in your head immediately and make you sing along, but this is a very enjoyable CD, and just writing this has made me want to play it again. You can bet I’ll be tracking down the later albums from this band.
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