Traditional / Power Metal from Canada
Canada’s traditional metal scene has been thriving underneath the fold for quite some time. There are more killer bands now than there ever has been. With their debut album No Fear to Preserve, Manacle find themselves joining the foray. They aren’t here to mess around.
To my incredibly biased ears, Manacle’s style is very similar to the classic USPM sound, but with the band’s distinct flair in the mix. No Fear to Preserve combines an array of influences such as Omen, Savage Grace, Liege Lord, and Jag Panzer to create a unique take on the tried and true.
The riffing is exactly like you’d expect from a band compared to the likes of Omen and Savage Grace – fast and aggressive. While normally the bass plays second fiddle or support for the guitars, that’s clearly not the case here. The bass is loud and in your face with its fair share of interesting lines. The vocals aren’t standout here, but they’re delivered passionately and add a certain charm to the music.
The production on No Fear to Preserve is remarkable to say the least. It’s extremely professional and builds that tiny bit of atmosphere needed to bring it all together. With a loud bass and gorgeous drum tone, the production is roomy and elegantly showcases each element of Manacle’s sound. A production this clean and well executed is not expected from a debut album, so it’s definitely a nice surprise to see Manacle deliver so well here.
Even with all its upsides, the album does have a major flaw – its length. At just six tracks and under thirty minutes long, it feels far too short to be satisfying. I think that No Fear to Preserve would have benefited from a couple more songs and five to ten more minutes of riffage. Every time I listen to this record I’m left feeling like there needs to be more. The upside is that there aren’t any wasted moments on this record – the band is at 100% the entire time.
If the album’s only notable downside is that there simply isn’t more, then you’re doing it right. No Fear to Preserve showcases a burgeoning young band who are on the cusp of something great. Manacle have the chops and all the right influences to make an impact and their debut is only the first step of that journey. As it currently stands, it looks like the only thing that might stop Manacle is line-up instability.
Album Rating: 86/100
Favorite Track: Stand Tall