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Manitou: No Signs Of Wisdom
Melodic Heavy Metal
Rating: 4.5/5.0

Simply defined 'manitou' means a supernatural force that pervades the natural world. With their third full length release, Finnish band Manitou is surely a heavy metal force to be reckoned with. Will they overcome this fickle and unthankful genre? I hope so, because 'No Sign of Wisdom' is a tour de force of melodic heavy metal.

It begins with the epic vocals of Markku Pihlaja who reminds me of Bruce Dickinson. But Mr. Pihlaja has youth and stamina on his side. He's got a versatile voice dripping with coarseness and power. Additionally, Manitou uses a twin guitar assault with Markus Vanhala and Antti Lauren ripping through some blistering solos on a song like 'Dread Of Freaks.' Overall the music is both melodic and thunderous; gone are much of the progressive elements found on previous works. I think Manitou has found their groove.

Speaking of groove, 'Polluted World' begins with and follows through with a punchy rhythm and a serious blues feel that makes the song full of fun and creativity. But the essence of 'No Signs Of Wisdom' is still powerful heavy metal. 'In This Indolence' is a straight forward metal romp. 'Some Of The Sins Revealed' is a heavy number both vocally and musically, almost dark in character. Yet, it still satisfies when the guitar solos in simple, but heroic proportions. By the far the best cut on the album is the finale, and longest song, 'August Sky.' Here all members contribute to the stunning arrangement and the progressive elements return as delicate contribution.

I'll admit I was not terribly impressed upon the first listen. But after several spins, 'No Signs Of Wisdom' is a formidable contribution to the melodic metal genre. Manitou ranks up there with Astral Doors and Eden's Curse in a new generation of melodic heavy metal bands. And we all are better because of it. Recommended!

In Short

I'll admit I was not terribly impressed upon the first listen. But after several spins, 'No Signs Of Wisdom' is a formidable contribution to the melodic metal genre. Manitou ranks up there with Astral Doors and Eden's Curse in a new generation of melodic heavy metal bands. And we all are better because of it.

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