By Dr. Abner Mality
This band has been on my radar for a while now, but this is the first full-length of theirs I’ve really invested myself in. The “war metal” style makeup they wear is goofy and gives the wrong impression of the band, but when it comes to classic straight metal in the vein of JUDAS PRIEST and PRIMAL FEAR, these guys rank very high.
They’ve got a killer metal vocalist in Samuel Nyman, who reminds me a lot of Ripper Owens and Ralf Scheepers. He has a scream that can bust every window in the church but also can handle melodies along the line of a Geoff Tate. First song “Burn In Hell” even reminds me of the Ripper-era PRIEST song, a slow burn that grinds into great crunching riffs. The production here is absolutely on the same level of a PRIEST or QUEENSRYCHE. The title track and “Forged In Metal” are strong speedy power metal tunes like IRON SAVIOR or the faster PRIMAL FEAR...headbangers all the way! While “Chains of Fury” is a stomping mid-paced anthem.
The middle of the album gets a little soft. “Evil Soul” and “Path to the Unknown” let up on the intensity. They are still metal, but more like typical Euro power metal, of which we have more than enough. “Insanity” is a good melodic singalong and last track “Inevitable End” turns the power back on full to wind things up strongly.
As you might tell, MANIMAL is following a well worn groove, but at their best, they are right up there with their influences and “Armageddon” is recommended to prospectors seeking pure metal.