Manitou - _Deadlock_
(Firebox Records, 2006)
by: Pedro Azevedo (7.5 out of 10)
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 entertain.


(article published 18/5/2006)

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