MANACLE is the latest addition to the Canadian metal arsenal and by all means they are quite a newcomer. Straight from the underground, MANACLE consist of members from AXXION and HROM – nothing but love for these guys – and like most contemporary bands (for example IRON HUNTER) they are fighting to revive the glory of the 80’s metal scene. This is OK for me as long as it is done with some respect to the listener and not in the ridiculous quaint form that most bands have adopted.
To be honest MANACLE are somewhere on the edge of that. One the one hand the pictures of the band with the chains and the horseshoe moustache are a bit funny (personally I love it), but on the other hand the music is not funny at all.
While most newcomer bands play a rough mix of European heavy metal mostly inspired by the N.W.O.B.H.M. scene, MANACLE branch off and add more U.S. influences to their music. Inspired mostly by IRON MAIDEN the band has added an overdose of AGENT STEEL, SAVAGE GRACE, a little bit of HELSTAR, METAL CHURCH, OMEN, EXCITER and lots of power/speed/heavy metal influences, in general, from bands that energized during the 80’s.
What’s more the band seems to be in a perfect form: most songs are short straight rockers, with massive guitar work, immerse bass and drums and cunning tempo variations. There are no fillers here since everything works fine, however the duration of the album is only 30 minutes. The songs instead of being tedious and repeated flourish with great riffing and leads, while the vocals are simple outstanding. Undoubtedly Kevin Pereira delivers an amazing performance that reminded me of early Geoff Tate which is always a plus.
If I have to chunter a little, I’d say the two major drawbacks of this release are the somewhat naive lyrical themes, which is expected since most bands recycle the same subjects, and the short duration of the album as I’d love to listen to a couple of songs more. Yet don’t let these two hold you down. MANACLE is one of the highlights of this year, one of the hottest newcomers and overall a great band with an outstanding debut album.