Album review: MANIMAL – Trapped In The Shadows

MANIMAL – Trapped In The Shadows

AFM Records [Release date 20.11.15]

Manimal return with their brand of Swedish metal in the form of “Trapped In The Shadows” but for me the band name is a little off putting as it serves as a reminder of that dreadful 1980’s TV series featuring the late Simon McCorkindale…so let’s hope the music blots out that memory…

The band were formed back in 2001 in Gothenburg but only released their debut album “The Darkest Room” in 2009. The line-up has remained stable with Samuel Nyman on vocals, Henrik Stenroos on guitars and the rhythm section of André Holmqvist and Kenny Boufadene on drums and bass respectively.

Irresistible opens proceedings with a slow building drums and trumpet intro before the riffs and Rob Halford-like vocals kick in. March Of Madness brings the progressive metal influence to the fore and to me immediately brings classic period Crimson Glory to mind.

Manimal’s fondness for early Queensrӱche shows on both The Dark and title track Trapped In Shadows on which vocalist Samuel Nyman gives his best Geoff Tate-like scream.

Man-Made Devil is classic 1980’s Judas Priest. Slower number The Journey features guest vocals from former Accept growler Udo Dirkschneider. To add to the variety on offer a children’s choir features in the chorus of Screaming Out and closer Psychopomp brings Crimson Glory back in the frame with added cookie monster vocals from bassist Kenny Boufadene.

The playing cannot be faulted though the production could be a little clearer in places.

Overall “Trapped In Shadows” is a highly enjoyable mix of power metal (Judas Priest/Primal Fear) and progressive metal (Queensrӱche/Crimson Glory).

A quality sophomore release from Manimal. Play it loud!  ****

Review by Phil Berisford

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