December 3, 2021

Manimal began life in Gothenburg, Sweden back in 2001 with Armageddon being album number four coming some three years after the release of Purgatorio. Each release has seen an exponential increase in the band’s sound which is pitched somewhere between classic heavy metal and power metal and the musicians very much wear their hearts on their collective sleeve’s as they are very heavily influenced by Judas Priest, Accept, Helloween, Primal Fear and even elements of Rainbow around the classic Rising era. The debut, The Darkest Room, showed a band with immense talent and they most certainly had that special spark of magic that marked them out as a band to watch carefully with their hard riffing metal and epic anthemic songs that reminded so much of Judas Priest and the development through Trapped In The Shadow and Purgatorio has been truly remarkable as the band developed its own style and identity.

Of course, the Judas Priest influences are still there but this mighty Birmingham band not only influenced a genre but also defined it and sounding a little like the Priest is a badge of honour to be worn with pride! The band has kept the same line-up now for the last three albums with the original members being vocalist Samuel Nyman and guitarist Henrik Stenroos with bassist Kenny Boufadene and drummer André Holmqvist coming in on Trapped In The Shadow and they have now blended into the perfect metal team. Vocalist Samuel Nyman certainly stands out with his incredibly strong voice with a range similar to a young Rob Halford and he thrills when he hits the really high notes and he seems to improve with every performance. Henrik Stenroos is remarkable on guitar and manages to give the effect that Manimal is a classic twin guitar band and his all action style ensures that there is always something happening whether it crunching riffs, screaming solos or beautifully sweet melodic passages and he truly is the very embodiment of the archetypal metal axe-man. Kenny Boufadene and André Holmqvist provide the usual frenetic and hard hitting platform which allows Stenroos to perform his theatrics aided by the jaw dropping vocals from Nyman.

Purgatorio was a great metal album but Armageddon is the band’s most accomplished album to date as the standard never drops throughout the ten tracks and this is as perfect a metal album that you could get and 44-minutes of immense rock of the highest order. The album rocks big style and just about everything that you could ever want in a metal album is here and if you have yet to hear the delights of this band then you are urgently advised to check them out as this a band that is taking their its place at heavy metal’s top table and deservedly so.

If you are into Priest say around Painkiller era, Cage, Jag Panzer and The Three Tremors then the aptly titled Armageddon is going to blow you away. Crank the volume to the maximum, forget about the neighbours and lose yourself in a headbanging frenzy that you will repeat and repeat.

An essential purchase!

Armageddon

  1. Burn In Hell (4:18)
  2. Armageddon (4:02)
  3. Slaves Of Babylon (4:38)
  4. Forged In Metal (3:43)
  5. Chains Of Fury (4:06)
  6. Evil Soul (4:32)
  7. Path To The Unknown (4:21)
  8. Master Of Pain (4:32)
  9. Insanity (4:33)
  10. The Inevitable End (4:32)