Danish power metal combo Manticora is a band that sometimes made me very enthusiastic and with other albums they disappointed me a little. The best album they have released is still '8 Deadly Sins' and I was very curious about this new album 'Safe'. Vocalist Lars F. Larsen is still behind the microphone and I never really liked his sound, but on the other hand he makes Manticora very recognizable with his singing style. I can't really describe and state what it is that bothers me; perhaps it is just not in my line.
Musically however this is an album with strong songs. Heavy powerful songs like the opener "In the Abyss of Desperation", which sounds very nice and is pure European power metal in style. I hear similarities throughout the record with the band Nocturnal Rites. The drums are very tight; Mads Volf is still a very machine gun-fast drummer with a certain drive. Manticora always puts in some progressive elements in their music and in "From Pain of Loss" they even use grunting vocals to underline their heavy sometimes even a bit thrashy style. The thrashy riffs in combination with lots of melodic guitar solos see to it that the new Manticora album is one of their better ones. "A Lake That Drained" opens like a thrash song, after which it turns into a fast melodic power metal track.
Title track "Safe" is an over 14 minute’s long epic kind of song with all Manticora elements included. With this album they have again made an album that is worth listening to, but just doesn't beat their '8 Deadly Sins' album if you ask me. Job nicely done, fans that swear to Lars and his singing style can even add a few points to the rating.