Manimal – Purgatorio Review
By Adam McCann
AFM Records – 2018 – Power/HeavyMetal
Manimal have been pushing at the heavy metal scene for seventeen years delivering their last album ‘Trapped In The Shadows’ in 2015. It has been three years since Manimal last appeared on the heavy metal radar, but the band are back. ‘Purgatorio’ is the third and latest album from Manimal and combines many of the traditional heavy metal and power metal elements which have guided their career. Manimal do not need to need to place a large emphasis on camaraderie and refreshingly enough do not directly worship at the altar of Iron Maiden to the point of imitation unlike their label mates at AFM Records Mob Rules and BLoodbound. Instead, ‘Purgatorio’ takes its cue from ‘Painkiller’ era Judas Priest and together with a crisp and clear production, this album pushes forward not only at breakneck speed, but also with the beautiful melodious nature which is deeply engrained into European heavy metal.
There is plenty to enjoy with ‘Purgatorio’, the ‘Jawbreaker’ wail of ‘Traitor’ amps up the album and showcases the vocal prowess of Sam Nyman, whilst tracks such as ‘Black Plague’ and ‘Manimalized’ add to the overall classic metal sound with ‘Spreading the Dread’ summoning up a different feel with its Sabaton style keyboard stabs. However, as enjoyable as ‘Purgatorio’ is, it is difficult to keep track of where the band is up to, particularly without conscious listening, but when this is one of the only quibbles, it shows that the band have put together something special. There is no doubt that ‘Purgatorio’ will get overlooked, but that would be a huge loss, this album is exceptionally fun and would certainly appeal to fans of Judas Priest, Primal Fear and Dream Evil.
Rating : 82/100
MHF Magazine/Adam McCann