Released: Febr, Century Media
Reviewer: Robert Williams
This album lives up to its title as frantic riffs go head to head with stop-on-a-dime, tight as hell drumming courtesy of Sworn Enemy session drummer Jordan Mancino (ex-Edge of Morality, As I Lay Dying) With two EP‘s and two previous full lengths under their belt, Sworn Enemy has been gaining steady ground, which no doubt can be attributed to the band‘s nonstop, high profile touring cycles, going out on the road with Slipknot, Fear Factory and Kataklysm and eventually culminating in an Ozzfest slot for the band.
MANIACAL has it’s fair share of thrash metal riffs amongst metal-core, moshpit inducing breakdowns. I should note that musically there is a Bay Area Thrash vibe gelling on this disc. At times Sworn Enemy musically recall the intensity and tightness of later era Testament. Both the guitar playing and the rhythm section are holding their own with a great deal of technique and precision, the vocals are of the throaty, monotone variety. Nothing mindblowing is happening in terms of vocals on this album. To the vocalist’s credit the phrasing all makes sense and this is exactly what I would expect a metal core fan to rock out with.
MANIACAL should appeal to you if your record collection consists of band’s with three verb names, have a penchant for gang vocals circa 90s Biohazard, or just need a soundtrack to start a moshpit with your buddies at the frat house. Don’t go punching too many holes in the wall, you’ll thank me when you sober up…or not.