Manitou - Entrance

Year of Release: 1995
Label: Mind The Gap
Catalog Number: MTG CD 26666
Format: CD
Total Time: 71:53:00

Yes, it was made in 1995. Yes, it's out of print and rare. Yes, it's technical. Yes, I felt like reviewing this CD. And, yes, this is a good album that, if you can find it, will be well worth the effort. I also found a special name on this CD: Øyvind H?geland. Is he on the Swedish soccer team? No. Is he a chef? No. Is he the singer for Spiral Architect? Yes. Øyvind is back, or better yet, he is back to the future. Well, before we get too confused, let's review this album.

I can see this question being asked now: does it sound like Spiral Architect? Well, yes and no. There is no doubt that it is technical, and, sometimes, it can be very "cold." I think some other reviewers have even compared this release to Watchtower's Control And Resistance. But, there is also a certain melodic touch, one that garners them a comparison to Fates Warning, as it does contain influences of both No Exit and the almighty Perfect Symmetry. In relation to Spiral Architect, I think Manitou is less chaotic, and I believe that Øyvind sounds better on this CD. Yet, both Entrance and A Sceptic's Universe are, in a way, different albums. The latter combines more styles and is probably better musically, overall (amazing bass work I must say), but Entrance is a little more toned down, and I think that helps his certain voice. Still, Øyvind is not Geoff Tate (Queensryche), but he does a solid job here, even sometimes sounding like a young Ray Alder (Fates Warning, Engine) in a few spots. And, mind you, I'm not the "biggest" fan of him, but I'm still saying he did a "solid job."

The musicians are, without a doubt, good! The sound does come off a bit raw generally, but it was a debut. Now, there are some tracks that just don't do anything for me, as they really don't go anywhere. Yet, there are some "killer" songs on this disc, and they can be kind of catchy, in a technical, introverted sort of way. Take "The Prediction" for example. There is one part where he sings "Na, Na, Na, Na," and I just have to sing with it. Now, don't think that's part of the lyrics; it was just an Øyvind creation, but it's ten times better than "Yeah, Yeah." The lyrics are innovative and well developed to fit the choruses, some excellent choruses by the way. With tracks like "Servants Of Greed," "Ache Falls Dead Calm," and "Into Plumbless Oceans," you know that you are not dealing with any "cheese" so to speak. Two other parts that strike me, in a good way, are when he sings, "And the shadows are coming closer" on "Ache Falls Dead Calm," which kind of reminds me of Queensrÿche; and, when he sings, "I hold the key to eternity. Bow I may, but not hopeless yield. No;" on "The Forlorn." What really works well are the structured vocal harmonies that balance suitably against the odd-timed music. Musically, they can go too far nowhere sometimes, but they usually come back at the right places.

So, if you are a fan of technical metal and progressive metal, then you need this in your collection. Fans of Spiral Architect should like this very much as well. It has its debut flaws, but it's still a very good disc. I was debating whether to give this an eight or a nine for the rating, but I'll settle with an eight. However, the rating can go both ways. That's why it's up to you! Still, if you find this rare CD, it will make a good entrance upon you.

[This review originally appeared November 2002 at the ProgPower Online review site -ed.]

Servents Of Greed (5:48) / Ache Falls Dead Calm (6:53) / Coven (Autumn Arrives) (6:28) / Ship Of Dreams (7:12) / The Forlorn (6:02) / Entrance (6:19) / Shadowhunt (5:45) / Into Plumbless Oceans (6:06) / Prophecy Of The Sleeper (7:28) / The Prediction (5:50) / When Silence Decends (7:57)

Øyvind Hægeland - vocals
Ole P. Fredriksen - guitars
Jan Schulze - guitars
Tom Eriksen - bass
Per B. Aanonsen - drums

Desert Storm (demo) (1990)
Entrance (1995)

Genre: Progressive-Power Metal

Origin NO

Added: January 8th 2005
Reviewer: Shaun "Zero Hour" Lakhani
Artist website:
Hits: 2180
Language: english


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