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MANTICORA – Roots Of Eternity (Black Lotus Records 1999)

Manticora - Roots Of Eternity
  1. ...From Far Beyond
  2. When Forever Ends
  3. The Vision (mp3)
  4. Intoxicated
  5. Beyond The Walls Of Sleep
  6. Nowhere Land
  7. The Flood
  8. Pale Faces
  9. Private Hell
  10. Roots Of Eternity

Let's go back in time, shall we? "8 Deadly Sins" (see review) is/was one of the best of 2004 and another great release by this Danish Powermetal band. But in my opinion it's a bit hard to get to know a band by only one album, so over the last 2 weeks I got myself the rest of their discography. Especially their gig around mid-February (2005) gave me the extra push.

All of the albums (except the self-financed MCD "Dead End Solution" from 1997) are still available and I can really recommend them!

The dark, purplish cover shows big waves creating a tunnel-effect. It also looks like a sea being parted and the 3 pyramids of Egypt are present as well. You can already guess where the band got their inspiration. Unless I'm seeing things that shouldn't be there. ;-) This artwork was done by Robert Sindermann from The Chaos Engine.

"Roots Of Eternity" was released on the Greek label Black Lotus Records, where the band was under contract for just this album. Production was in the hands of Jacob Hansen.

The first thing you hear is some crackling and heartbeating, but not for long. Right after this - in my opinion - bad (or better said, wrong) intro, heavy riffs are fired at you, accompanied by dito drums. You can already hear this is MANTICORA, because of the special sound they can give to their music. A certain roughness, rawness with a lot of power. Even though they didn't have a big budget then, the production is very good, even better than what some new bands release nowadays (with a possible bigger budget).

Also worth mentioning is "Intoxicated", having great riffs and a nice twinsolo. "Beyond The Walls Of Sleep" is a very beautiful ballad, with the accoustic guitars producing a nice sound and melody. This song would probably sound very nice when played live. Maybe a hint for the next gigs or tour?

After this resting point, 'heaviness' comes back to take its place with "Nowhere Land": a slow-midtempo song with a ferocious chorus and accompanying guitar solo.

The album closes off with the title track "Roots Of Eternity", clocking at a little less than 12 minutes. Divided into 2 parts, an instrumental (3min.15sec.) and one with the vocals. This is a good song and for a large part different than the rest of the album in terms of sound, which is good and shows the band's capabilities of handling different 'styles'. The typical roughness can be heard around halfway (+/- 6th minute). Then it's all about speed, fast riffs, solos again. Thumbs up!

Could I be more positive about this album? ;-) There's not one bad track, except for the intro. Really, this is a must-have for any Powermetal fan, and especially the MANTICORA-fans. Why didn't I discover this album earlier, back in 1999? Was it because Black Lotus Records weren't promoting it (good) enough?

Line-up:
Lars F. Larsen - vocals
Kristian Larsen - guitars
Flemming Schultz - guitars
René S. Nielsen - bass
Mads Volf - drums


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