Manticore - Official Website

Endless Scourge Of Torment

United States Country of Origin: United States

1. The Fields Of Torment
2. Thy Seed Through The Fire
3. Breath Of Plague
4. Empty Eyes, Hollow Temples
5. Halo Of Vermin
6. Defiled By Supremacy
7. In Dark We Are Enslaved
8. Captain Howdy (Twisted Sister Cover)
9. Enveloped In Hatred
10. Requiem For A Worm
11. Abrahamic Obliteration

Review by Carl on January 8, 2023.

I have oodles of respect for bands that never stray far away from their trademark sound, that always deliver what one has come to expect from them. The Exploited, Motörhead, The Ramones, The Village People, ... you name 'em. Usually no critical darlings, yet I prefer an act that you can trust to deliver the goods without unpleasant surprises. And it is in this trusted crowd of faithfuls we can also find Manticore and their latest opus at the time of writing.

It will come as no surprise that not a whole lot has changed for Manticore soundwise. To put it in band names, I'd say that a cross between the war metal rage of Black Witchery and Conqueror with the death metal savagery of acts like Unbounded Terror, Embalmer and early Incantation isn't that far off. With very little regard for subtlety, the band still takes the blunt approach to their brand of nasty death/black metal: the dual growling voices go head-to-head with the crude riffing and the rugged percussive batterings, while the compositions are simple but effective, devoid of unnecessary frills. Most of the time they are uptempo in a caveman kinda way, but at times the band scales back the speedy delivery to make room for slower pieces, settling for a more crawling atmosphere. If sturdy, rough 'n' ready black/death metal is your thing, Manticore has got you covered, just as they always did, both in the past as in the present. Add to this some unsettling interludes and a gritty and powerful production, and you can be assured that the listener stays with the program during the short but sweet runtime of this album.

Also worth to mention is that as an unexpected move, Manticore has included a cover of Twisted Sister here, something that had me raising eyebrows at first. Sure, in the past there have been good Twisted Sister covers, with Overkill's rendition of "Under The Blade" being an absolute crusher, but personally, I'm always a bit hesitant when it comes to extremer acts covering old metal bands. Truth be told: Manticore absolutely nail it here. 'Captain Howdy' is a bit of an outlier in the Twisted Sister canon, and this track, with its more sinister and menacing atmosphere, fits in truly well in the Manticore sound. Well played, gentlemen.

This is a more than decent album, that delivers everything that I have come to expect from Manticore. Personally speaking, the slower cuts on the album did not grab me as much as the uptempo stuff, but the raw power emanating from the album as a whole adequately makes up for this, with the Twisted Sister cover being an unexpected high point. This one comes highly recommended for all into primal, pummeling death/black metal.

As does all their material, by the way.

Rating: 8 out of 10