Manitou - _Deadlock_
(Firebox Records, 2006)
by: Pedro Azevedo (
Manitou's debut album _The Mad Moon Rising_ was one of Rage of
Achilles' last releases before they went out of business in 2004, and
the Finns are now back on track with _Deadlock_ coming out on Firebox
Records. In between albums, the band dropped their keyboard player and
decided to adopt a more straightforward heavy metal sound. Much like
their new labelmates Velvetcut, Manitou produce some oddly upbeat
music compared to what I'm used to get from Firebox Records; yet for
what it aims to be, _Deadlock_ is a commendable effort. The album is
all infectious rhythms, catchy vocals and a mix of chunky riffs,
melodic licks and shredding solos -- nothing you haven't heard before,
but a competent combination nonetheless. Maybe it's because I've been
listening to Sentenced and the excellent Nevermore quite a bit lately,
but Manitou at times show hints of both bands -- even if the final
result refuses to follow the more distinctive traits associated with
those bands, and indeed often takes a considerably different path.
_Deadlock_ is a very playable collection of songs, and while it fails
to transcend its relatively generic nature, the album still manages to
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