Album Releases Album Reviews

Manimal – Trapped In the Shadows Review

Released by: AFM Records

Release date: 20 November 2015

Genre: Metal

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Henrik Stenroos – Guitar

Samuel Nyman – Vocals

Kenny Boufadene – Bass

Andre Holmqvist – Drums


Track Listing:

01. Irresistible

02. March Of Madness

03. The Dark

04. Trapped In The Shadows

05. Invincible

06. Man-Made Devil

07. Silent Messiah

08. The Journey

09. Screaming Out

10. Psychopomp


As an album reviewer you have to swim through a swamp of shitty albums sometimes. It’s part of the job I suppose. Sometimes I will check out an album and barely get into it before I know that I have no words to offer. Other times a bad name, album cover, or title will turn me away from a band. I bet I have missed out on some gems by doing that, but it’s not like I’m making money doing this and for every one great album I hear I’ve had to endure 10 that would make most people want to stab out their ears. I nearly passed on this album because the band name alone made me cringe, but I took the chance and I’m damn glad I did.

The band is called Manimal (yeah, I’m shaking my head too. No, just no.) The album is called Trapped in the Shadows. With a name that horrible I passed on it a handful of times. I mean, it makes for an OK song title…if you’re Blackie Lawless. Something possessed me though (probably had a run of really great albums for a change and thought I needed a palette destroyer, who knows.) Wow, the name does them a great injustice (the album cover is wretched too.) As far as the music contained on it, it’s mindblowingly great! A stunning mix of Judas Priest meets Queensryche playing power inspired progressive metal with hints of traditional metal and a good ear for melodic metal too, Manimal deliver the goods. Vocalist Samuel Nyman has an amazing high range that you instantly think of Rob Halford, but he’s defintely not a clone. Guitarist Henrik Stenroos has the task of supplying riffs and solos that simultaneously melt and crush your face, which is then pulverized by Kenny Boufadeneon on bass and Andre Holmgvist on drums, finishing off the metal prowess. With tracks like “Invincible,” “Irrestible,” “Trapped In the Shadows,” and “The Journey” Manimal shows that beneath this name is a group of men that have found a way to tap into this hooky, catchy, heavy, and intriguing metal noise melding so many different sounds to create a truly fantastic sound.

They say don’t judge a book by its cover. I suppose you can add album cover and band name to the mix. To think, I nearly passed on Manimal Trapped In the Shadows. Makes me glad that I decided to give it a spin afterall, and possibly go back and check out some other poorly named bands. This is definitely one of those surprise releases for me this year. I still absolutely hate the name, and doubt I will ever come around to loving it, but they got it where it counts: musically. This will be one I return to frequently.


Written by: Chris Martin


Ratings: 8/10



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