Eight years after the release Safe, it is finally time for another Manticora album. It is a concept album based on a horror story and this is the first part. I own some of their albums, but somehow they never became one of my favorite power metal bands. The first reason for that was that their songs were quite difficult and a bit hectic to really stick in my head. The second reason are the vocals of Lars F. Larsen, which never could really convince me.
So I was very curious about the new album and I must say that this is their best so far. Still Larsen is the lead singer and like on all the other albums he sings too high on the biggest part of the songs. It sounds as if he sings above his reach all the time, but after a while I get used to it a little bit. Perhaps he could try just to sing a bit lower on the next album. The music however is great! After a classic piano part originally played by Tchaikovsky, the album opens with an aggressive fast powermetal/thrash piece that immediately sets the standard for the rest of the album.
The album has a perfect production and a heavy sound done by Jacob Hansen. Besides the high singing parts there are some low grunts as well to make the first song even heavier. The next one sets of in speed metal tempo and has fine mid-tempo riffs with a nice groove. Lars doesn’t sing that high all the time and then the pieces all fall together. In general the tracks are rather fast, heavy and long. To support the concept the music has some bombastic and theatrical elements as well. The songs need a few more spins to blossom because they are a bit complicated at times and have a progressive touch. The ballad ‘Nothing Lasts Forever’ is the only calm track on To Kill To Live To Kill.
Danish band Manticora made their fastest, heaviest and most interesting album to date. If you can get used to the singing style, it will be an almost perfect album for you and you can sure add one devil.
01. Piano Concerto 1 - B Flat Minor...
02. Echoes Of A Silent Scream
03. Through The Eyes Of The Killer - Towering Over You
04. Katana - Awakening The Lunacy
05. The Farmer's Tale Pt. 1 - The Aftermath Of Indifference
06. The Devil In Lisbon (instrumental)
08. Humiliation Supreme (instrumental)
09. Nothing Lasts Forever
10. Katana - Opium
11. Through The Eyes Of The Killer - Revival Of The Muse That Is Violence
12. The Farmer's Tale Pt. 2 - Annihilation At The Graves
Playing Time: 69:00
Kristian Larsen – Guitars
Lars F. Larsen – Vocals
Stefan Johansson – Guitars
Sebastian “Ceppe” Andersen – Bass
Lawrence Dinamarca – Drums (session)