MANTICORA – 8 Deadly Sins

MANTICORA - 8 Deadly Sins


Massacre Records
Release date: October 25, 2004

User Review
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Danish foursome, Manticora, have a thing for turning stories into music. This is already their second concept album, and it tells a story of a man on his deathbed recollecting his life, which like the title 8 Deadly Sins, suggests he has more regrets than blessings. The opening sounds are of a hospital, and the steps in the hallway echo of another concept album that starts the same way and deals with a man also telling his story. Remember Nikki and Operation: Mindcrime?

The occasional inserts and the tone of the narrator are the only other similarities. Stylistically, this is Symphonic Metal with Speed Metal overtones, and occasionally operatic vocals. Sounds like your thing? Then dig in. There sure is plenty to dig into here.

Hopefully the eye for detail that the promotional copy only hints at continues on the official release. The replacement of the song sequencing with actual years is a cleaver one. Instead of “song number 2,” we get a song entitled “1934.King of the Absurd,” and so on. The cover is a mixture of a modern, cold, and even futuristic feel with the ancient concept of sacrifice and torment.

The opening question “Where am I?” start the journey down his memory lane, going over the regrets and conflicts of the main character in an ascending time sequence. The aforementioned “King of the Absurd” sets the tone for the whole CD with it’s operatic vocals, majestic keyboards, and precise drumming, over which the guitars are laid on top. The slowed-down parts of this otherwise fast song emphasize the thoughtfulness and wonderment in the narrative vocals.

As could be expected, “Playing God” is played with a strong, self-assured attitude, and a tone of self-righteousness in the vocals. This one introduces the impressive choir-like background vocals.

“Melancholic” starts with a playful guitar before giving way to the drums, which are brought to the front of mix. The background choir returns again. The spoken part again reminds the listener of the conceptual nature of this album.

“Creator of Failure” starts with the drums in the forefront, and again includes churning guitars before the keyboards cut in — keeping up with the aggressive tone. The vocals paint a budding picture of desperation, with growing frustration turning to anger. The narrative returns at the end of the song.

“It Feels Like the End” has a strong melody and the strongest chorus, making this one the song that really stands out initially. This song is sugar-coated with guitar wizardry along with extra layers provided by keyboards. The overall sound shows the weariness and the readiness of the main character to give up before finding strength towards the end and settling down again.

“Enigma” plays with the start-stop-start style of playing. This track and “It Feels Like the End” are the songs with the strongest choruses.

“Fall From Grace” has an acoustic feel to it, and starts with piano intro. The gentle vocal tones portraits the acceptance of ones faith. On this track, the main character’s temper shows itself again in the form of anger and frustration. The screeching keyboard part in the background in the middle of the song is straight from the movie Psycho – eek, eek.

“Help Me Like No One Can” wraps up the story, still leaving many questions unanswered just like it usually is in real life. Here the tone of the vocals once again shows the many different feelings of the main character, supported by soundscape, which at times has an inevitable and oppressive feeling to it. The keyboards again play an important part, giving room for the guitars and the drums until the song absurdly ends.

The outro finds us back at the hospital, and “Present. If. Then” ends the saga with even more questions before fading away …

This is one Dark Metal opera, custom made for the dark and rainy evenings. Just get your headphones out and let the story begin!


Lars F.Larsen – vocals
Kristian Larsen – guitar
Mads Volf – drums
Kasper Gram – bass
Finn Zierler – keys


  • Metal-Katie

    Katie was a reviewer and interviewer here at Metal Express Radio. She claims to have been born a Metalhead. At least she's been one as far as she can remember. She loves Metal music and she's ever so happy to see generation after another founding its charm. She's always interested in hearing new Metal bands and reading about them and their antics. She lives and breathes Metal, or at least her alter ego does.

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