Manticora is a Danish progressive power metal band formed in 1996. In the first decade of 2000 they were very active, releasing albums regularly, some of them of above average quality (like “Darkness with Tales to Tell”, “Hyperion”, “8 Deadly Sins” and “The Black Circus” double album).
In 2010 they released the album “Safe” and then they took an 8 year hiatus until they released a new studio album “To Kill to Live to Kill”, where they expanded their sound by incorporating some elements of melodic death metal and thrash metal. This made this album, to a certain extent, more aggressive and direct. The album’s story line and lyrics were based on a novel composed by Lars Larsen himself.
Now, two years later, they released “To Live to Kill to Live”, which can be considered a continuation of its predecessor. Although this is a second part, it is a little more varied in terms of musical structure and more power metal oriented. At the beginning of this album we have a 14 minute epic song, and from its beginning it seems like a boat foghorn is sounding – as to announce the arrival of something great. The vocals are mostly clean with some harsh screams, narrations and very good choral arrangements. This is followed by the instrumental “To Nanjing”, a 2 minute piece of traditional Japanese music alternating with electric guitar and drums. Other song that stands out is “Slaughter in the Desert Room”, featuring the female vocalist June Dark (from the band Clandestine), where the voices of Lars and June marry wonderfully and are complemented with outstanding blast beats. The album closes with another epic seven and a half minute song, that need to be highlighted due to the great instrumental sections, especially the guitar solos and the monumental bass. If it starts well, it ends better.