Manticora - Hyperion (2002) - 5/5
A great, modern day progressive power/speed metal album. It's not as complex as say, Dream Theater or Watchtower, but often way more memorable and just as good. While it may sound like straightforward Euro-power metal at first, fluffy D&D silliness it ain't.
Vicious, sometimes almost thrashy, yet melodic riffs are near constant in this band's sound. Keyboards take a second stage to the beautiful guitarwork, often being used more for atmospheric purposes over stereotypical Sonata-Arctica-esque noodling. Not suprisingly, just like the guitars, the drumming is fast, vicious and prone to lots of sudden changes. The singer's vocals aren't very high compared to say, Timo Kotipelto, staying at the lower reaches of higher-ranged vocalists, and thankfully avoids high-pitched vocals.
Manticora often break up different sections of their songs through using drum rolls connected by technical guitar-key-leads, and while it does feel repetive at times, it helps keep the songs feel very organized and helps keeps things clear, unlike other prog bands, who often just suddenly go from one main theme to another.
A great prog/power album, recommended for fans of both speedy Euro-power and complex DT/Symphony X style prog metal.
By J. Chan