Manticora-Live At The Black Heart Review

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On Sunday 10th March, punters gathered at the Black Heart in Camden, London to witness the metal equivalent of a symphony opera. Manticora the Danish power/thrash metal band had returned to support their new album To Live To Kill To Live, and had brought with them two other bands in support, Hexed and Loch Vostock.

Hexed and Loch Vostock delivered some passionate performances, and gradually drew more people from the bar to watch them both perform, but the main attraction of the night was undoubtedly Manticora.

Their opening third was a brilliant and blinding set list. “King of the Absurd,” “Playing God,” and “The Black Circus,” all got the crowd going and soon enough the head banging had commenced.

“Gypsies Dance Part 2,” “Piano Concerto In B Flat Minor,” and “Echoes Of A Silent Scream,” continues the chaos with the crowd truly getting into things. There were people moshing, head banging and one punter was even doing a combination of moshing and dancing. The ground literally shook.

The finishing touches were delivered with purpose and grace. The stand out of the set was truly Keeper of Time with its Arabian themes and melodies, ensuring the audience was hooked onto every word. A fantastic night.


Manticora Interview







1.     What inspired the formation of the band? What are your influences?
After the departure of three members of Manticora during the years, Sebastian (bass) and I (guitar) joined forces with Manticora in the beginning of 2014. Therefore I can’t tell what inspired the formation of the band from scratch.

Shortly after our European tour in 2014, Mads Wolf (drums) decided to leave the band as well to explore new musical challenges. I know that Lars F. Larsen (singer) and Kristian Larsen (guitar) had a long talk about what should happen with the band and its future. And here we stand, four years after, ready to release ”To Kill To Live To Kill” on the 3rd of August 2018 and we are extremely proud of the result and hopefully the fans will welcome  and embrace it. I think think they are in for a treat. There are definitely still some of the wellknown Manticora sounds from albums like “Hyperion” and the “Black Circus pt. 1 and pt. 2″ mixed with the sound from the new band formation. Obviously the influences of new members in a band will have an impact on the bands’ sound.

I find it hard to pinpoint exact band names when finding influences in our music, but I do think you can hear different influences from genres like power, thrash, prog and death metal. The different influences come to expression in the riffs, breaks and basically all we have come up with in this fun writing proces.
We all listen to very different music and were brought up with different kinds of bands, therefore we have our individual ideas, techniques and influences. For me it makes the creativity process really exciting and inspiring, being presented with ideas I really didn’t see coming and work with these ideas. It’s fun and get’s you out of your comfort zone. I find this process important, as it allows me to push myself as a musician.

2.     What themes do you consider when writing songs, if any?
It’s kind of 
a trademark for the band to work with concepts when writing albums. In the past Manticora worked with a lot of different themes. For example the album ”Hyperion” was inspired by the science fiction novel ”Hyperion” written by Dan Simmons. The album ”8 Deadly Sins” was a concept, built on the idea that we all have our own personal sins.

The double concept album ”The Black Circus part 1 and 2” was about about a guy that joins a travelling gypsy circus, that is far from what it looks like. There´s more than meets the eye, so to speak.

Now we are back with another concept album – actually two albums, based on a completly brutal horror novel ”To Kill To Live To Kill”written by our singer Lars. F. Larsen before we were beginning the songwriting. To be honest I’m still a bit amazed that he wrote a whole (f word) novel, crazy bastard hahaha.
I innerly hope that many of our listeners will take the time to read the book and really get under the skin of the new album, as previously mentioned, all songs on the upcoming album ”To Kill To Live To Kill” are based upon the stories taking place in the novel.

I guess Manticora is a band that likes to work with a full story, creating a universe to dive into.

”The whole score creates an expectation about more – a forewarning that something’s about to happen. An entrance to Heaven…or an entrance to Hell…”
(Larsen. L.F, 2018. To Kill To Live To Kill).

3.     How do you approach song writing?
At the time where we were about to write the songs for the new album, we were in between rehearsal studios, so we actually wrote the new album in Kristians basement (a huge thanks to his family). We spent several weekends getting together, just writing music. This was a really constructive way for us to create material for the album. Sometimes we would talk about passages or stories in the book that would end up as a song titles. It gave us a common understanding of the mood, scenario and expression of the songs we were making, we all felt this universe of ours. We had the opportunity to really get to know each other musically and working with the new material.

Overall it was a really satisfying process as a band and a brilliant way to spend a lot of time with some really skilled musicians and awesome guys. Coz’ that´s what it´s about first and foremost…having fun.

4.     What plans do you have for the future?
Well, we have many plans going on for the future. On the 26th of august 2018 we will be headed on North American tour with the great headlining band Persefone from Andorra. After that, we are planning to play some shows back home in Denmark and we are also confirmed for the Karmøygeddon Metal Festival in Norway, May 2019. We might also have some plans for the rest of Europe, but I can´t reveal more than that at the moment. Hopefully we’ll have a lot of festivals and shows to play. That´s the rewarding part, getting to play the new material and meet the fans.

And not to forget, we do also have a second album to complete and close the final curtain for the grandiose concept ”To Kill To Live To Kill”.


Manticora-To Kill To Live To Kill Review


Piano Concerto opens things up, a little like a 1920s song serenade, the piano flits from one edge to another always there, and always enticing the listener, preparing them for what is to come. Echoes Of A Silent Scream follows, pounding riffs, and downright brutal vocalisations bring energy and power to the fore, a great start. Towering Over You is filled with jagged riffs, sharp and brutal melodies and a downright terrifying rhythm section. Katana moves across the board, harmonising and delivering a powerful statement on balance and melody. The Farmer’s Tale Pt1 begins with energy and brings melody into the fore as well. The Devil In Lisbon shifts gears, building anticipation and energy with some focus shifting between the melodies and the brutality, well executed.

Growth builds up anticipation, bringing tension, anger, and rage all to the surface enticing the listener to really lean in and get an idea of what is happening. Humiliation Supreme is like classic Symphony X a great melodious riff played over a frantic verse riff to ensure complete mind fuckery. The vocals soar alongside as well. Nothing Lasts Forever is slower, the piano leading the way, with shifts and turns key to the melody. Katana-Opium is heavy, brutal and melodic, shifting and turning with the wind. Through The Eyes Of A Killer is angry, aggressive and fusion like. The Farmer’s Tale Pt 2 has melodies galore, a piercing riff and some serious rhythm appreciation, a brilliant finish.

The album is out on August 3rd via Vicisolum Records / Sound Pollution