Manacle – No Fear To Persevere Review

In 2016, Canada’s Manacle self-released a preview of their first full-length, appropriately titled Preview. Now, two years later, they’re finally dropping that full-length on Hard And Heavy Records, and it turns out that Preview was maybe just a little more than a preview, since a full 60% of this album appears there in the same form. Nevertheless, here or there (and everywhere), what Manacle offers is a strong, if a bit raw, take on classic 80s speedy traditional metal — think Helloween, Running Wild, maybe some Agent Steel, crossed with a dash of the majesty of early Queensrÿche.

Release date: May 4, 2018. Label: Hard And Heavy Records.
That Helloween comparison is the most immediate, largely because vocalist Kevin Pereira has an uncanny knack for sounding like a less polished Michael Kiske, with a soaring clean head voice and a spot-on grasp of Kiske’s phrasing. Guitarist Inti Parades rips out some speedy riffs, although as a one-man show, his work obviously lacks the intricate weavings of the Weikath – Hansen / Grapow / Gerstner tandem, and all of these songs are far less polished than any of Helloween’s masterworks. Still, tracks like “Live Fast, Die Fast” and “Journey’s End” get the toes tapping and blood flowing, even with a slightly rough-around-the-edges attack and production.

It’s a testament to Manacle’s growth that those two songs are both the two newest tracks on No Fear To Persevere — the two that weren’t on Preview — and also its strongest, its catchiest and best constructed. (“Journey’s End” even gets away with a bass solo.) “Witches Hollow” is another contender, although by the time it rolls around, its main riff feels a bit “been there, done that” from the four songs previous, and therein lies the only real criticism of No Fear To Persevere: It all tends to blur together, when it should have stronger, more inescapably hooky distinct choruses and melodies and riffs.

No Fear To Persevere isn’t flawless, but it remains a damned fine start for a young band. Plagued by line-up changes since Preview, Manacle has nevertheless managed to release a solid enough slab of speedy trad metal, so here’s hoping they can sustain the momentum, hone in, and keep moving forward.

Posted by Andrew Edmunds

Last Rites Co-Owner; Senior Editor; born in the cemetery, under the sign of the MOOOOOOON...

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