Manimal are a Gothenburg-based band formed in 2001. All sporting face make up that gave them a leering skull like quality the 4 piece are fronted by the extremely charismatic Samuel Nyman. His high-pitched vocals are very similar to Rob Halford and the heavy, Judas Priest-like riffs clearly show the bands influences. And very good influences they are. But where Priest had the dual guitar joy of Tipton and Downing, axeman Henrik Stenroos is out on his own and there are times when he could do with a rhythm guitarist to add that extra layer. Although bassist Kenny Boufadene does a damn good job of keeping the rhythm at full throttle whilst Stenroos applies his Gibson Flying V to the glorious sounding Engl amp. Completing the line-up, and looking scarier than Alice Cooper, is drummer André Holmqvist providing that 50 calibre tempo that will see my fillings being replaced next Tuesday. But holding centre stage, Manimal are all about Nyman. He really works the crowd well with a scary leering skull like presence that has hints of Gollum, The Walking Dead and every Brooklyn punk with a bad attitude. He’s animated, fist pumping, exhorting the crowd who were having a ball. All of which are eclipsed by his voice. Halford had the pipes and so does Nyman. The set has the same chugging tempo with everything from throbbing djent to the almost funky bass opening of Human Nature. Although that doesn’t last long before the enfilade of machine gun fire opens up again. It’s a war in here. Psychopomp has some almost prog qualities about it with songs like The Dark feeling quite epic. But Manimal are animals at heart. Closing track, and crowd favourite, Irresistible sees Nyman take to the stage in the straight jacket that looks so right on him to escape to the final volley from a band that are both entertaining and energising. Add them to your bands to see. Mothers Ruin Review
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