Canada in recent times and very much in part of heavy metal history has given us some great bands. I found Manacle a while back whilst flipping through recommendations on band camp and YouTube. This heavy/speed metal band feature members and ex-members of other bands I am most in tune with. Namely Gatekrashör, Hrom and Axxion. Influences range from Riot, Agent Steel and Savage Grace, a hearty bunch of bands. This debut is a cracking release that I have been waiting to arrive for ages. Presented with stunning artwork and label backing from No Remorse, this should hopefully travel far.

The release itself was mixed and mastered by Enforcer’s Olof Wikstrand, the formula works and gives you classic metal for the modern age, to my mind the perfect US power metal style. There are a few riffs that could appear on Maiden and Ozzy albums as well as some epic prog releases. It’s all mixed with stellar precision. What I also like is that there is a touch of rawness about the sound. ‘Fight for Your Life’ is energetic, galloping and fist clenching, ‘Journey’s End’ is a touch epic, with ‘Live Fast, Die Fast’ providing a similar energy to the Scorpions track ‘Coming Home’. ‘Live Fast, Die Fast’ has a nice Ozzy-esq bark at the moon staccato style to the riffing. I really do enjoy this release, but I can’t really say much more, you simply have to hear it, why would you want to hear my fan boy atrocities anyway!

If you are all about metal, chains, studs and leather, Manacle will suffice and they are a band to watch in the future. Canada delivers once again, all hail Manacle…

(9/10 Paul Maddison)