Manitou - The Mad Moon Rising

Year of Release: 2005
Label: Firebox
Catalog Number: FireCD024
Format: CD
Total Time: 50:00:00


What is it?

Finland. Land of a Thousand Lakes and ten bazillion bands. There are almost more bands in Finland than there are esoteric monikers to name them by. It seems like every new death, goth, melo, or black metal band that emerges from anywhere north of the equator is Finnish. Ah, the joys of a socialist democracy where the arts are revered and money is funneled into any endeavor that smacks even remotely of worth ? or not?

The national music of Finland is polka, hence the natural evolution into metal.


What it is:

Why, why, why can't bands for whom English is a second (or third) language have someone proof-read their librettos before they are released to derision and scorn? How hard would it be to have someone with a modicum of ability scan the lyrics for verb tense vagaries, passé participle postulations and case castrations?

"Finnglish" notwithstanding, Manitou have crafted a hard rock album that belies their youthful appearance. Vocalist Markku Pihlaja has a gritty delivery, with range and power, not unlike David Coverdale's or Jorn Lande's in its ability to convey emotion and still maintain a sense of melodic direction. Lead guitarist Markus Vanhala wears his influences on his sleeve but manages to imbue his 80's shred-inspired "tapped and swept" leads with grace and passion.

Most of the songs have memorable motifs and enough leitgeist to warrant repeat plays, and the arrangements are compact ? no extraneous instrumental passages or rhythmic diversions ? the songs are presented with maximum impact in mind. Heavy, technical enough to warrant a progressive tag, melodic enough to almost qualify as AOR, but devoid of posturing and maudlin tendencies, "The Mad Moon?" is a near-perfect amalgam of songwriting and instrumental prowess.


Saunas, Nokia, Linux, Sibelius ... and now Manitou ... the Finns just keep on giving?

Rating: 9-/10 [4.5/5] (you know the minus is for the litany of laughable lyric lines ? linguistic lapidation if you like?)

First released in 2004 by Rage Of Achilles, then picked up and reissued by Firebox

The Mad Moon Rising / Drifting Shadows / Garden Of Fallen Kings / Machine Mind / Blind Eye Open / Wish I Could Sleep / The Valley Of Evergreen / Ancestral Territories / Race Of Malice / Bonus Tracks: Laughing In The Hiding Bush / Brother?s Promise / Face The Snake

Markku Pihlaja - vocals
Matti Suhonen - drums
Antti Lauren - guitar
Markus Vanhala - guitar
Ismo Laukkanen - bass

The Mad Moon Rising (2004/2005)
Deadlock (2006)
No Signs Of Wisdom (2007)

Genre: Progressive-Power Metal

Origin FI

Added: July 31st 2005
Reviewer: Jan-Mikael Erakare
Artist website:
Hits: 665
Language: english


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