Manticora - The Black Circus Part 2 - Disclosure
Locomotive Music
Melodic / Power/ Speed
10 songs (42:10)
Release year: 2007
Manticora, Locomotive Music
Reviewed by Ross
Major event
Man, it seems like just last month I penned a review for Manticora’s The Black Circus Part 1 – Letters saying I couldn’t wait for Part 2. With Part 1 still featuring on my playlist, getting played at least a coupla times a month, it is therefore still very fresh in my mind, the question is; how is Part 2 going to compare? Is it going to be like a film sequel and be okay but not quite as good as the first one? Is it going to be more of the same with no real discerning difference? Or is it going to blow Part 1 out of the water? I’d tend to go with – Not quite blowing Part 1 out of the water, but certainly giving it a damned good pounding. However, The Black Circus Part 2 – Disclosure is a more intense, darker and technical offering; everything coming at you with more force, and, dare I say, with an edge of brutality that is not in Part 1, in fact, I doubt this edge of brutality can be found in any of Manticora’s back catalogue. So, it is quite difficult to compare these two albums as they differ in so many ways.

Kicking off with the intro Entrance, which I take to be the sound of footsteps walking through the carnival towards the Big Top where there is the sound of voices and right at the end of the track there is an evil sounding whisper that I’m damned if I can understand. I’ve even run it backwards but… nope; all I know is that it is a sign that something evil is afoot so you’d better gird your loins for what’s to come. Beauty Will Fade bursts out your speakers looking to rip your face off, closely followed by Gypsies Dance Part 2 which starts off all atmospherically Gothic choir, but with a flurry of drums and bass guitar it quickly changes into a sonic dervish that should whip dancing Gypsies into a whirling frenzy, before reverting back to the Gothic choir. After the first break, (Intuneric V), which is a Classical Spanish guitar piece, Haita Di Lupi takes the Classical Spanish guitar piece 50 stages further and 60 times faster, introducing a high speed keyboard part that adds just a hint of Progressiveness. When The Soulreapers Cry is a dark, intense track which really pushes Lars Larsen’s vocal ability to its limit, yet, somehow, he seems to have acquired some kind of vocal strength from somewhere and just fuckin’ nails it. There are other times throughout the album where you hear this new vocal power which takes his vocal performance to the highest level I’ve ever heard from him. After easing off with Intuneric VI, All That Remain again shows off Larsen’s new found vocal Power. Intuneric VII, the ballad of the album is hauntingly melodic with what sounds like a guest vocalist providing a mellowness that is quite disconcerting considering the ferocity of the rest of the album and some ‘Evil Growling’ within the track.

I’m not sure what to think of the final track Of Madness In Its Purity; not the quality, that’s just as intense, dark and technical as the rest of the tracks. No, it’s the question, what happens now / next? Is that the end of the story or is there more to come? It just seems to leave you hanging. Unlike Part 1, Part 2 doesn’t have any narrative to keep you in tune with what’s going on with the storyline. Of course, it could just be me as I’ve always had difficulty following the stories in ‘Concept’ albums. Perhaps there is going to be a Part 3, or perhaps that’s it. With a title like Of Madness In Its Purity it could be that the Gypsies have put a curse on the storyteller sending him doo-lally and off to the Funny Farm with its rubber rooms and all the crayons you can eat. I don’t know, and I really hate getting left hanging! Then again, that could be how Manticora want you feeling – baying for more! If that’s the case, I’m out my back yard tonight howling at the moon; they want baying, they’ve got it.

When I reviewed …. Part 1 – Letters I gave it a quote of 96 and an ‘Album Of The Month’ Skeleton. With the benefit of hindsight, I put my hand up to ‘Over-Scoring’ on that one. Don’t get me wrong, at the time I thought it was their best album ever; even going as far to say, and I quote – “The Black Circus Part 1 – Letters is probably the finest album of European Power Metal I’ve heard in a long time”, I was wrong because The Black Circus Part 2 – Disclosure is the finest album of European Power Metal I’ve heard – Period. I’ve no doubt many of you out there will disagree, but as many will also testify; after a few spins of Part 1 it did grow on you. …. Part 2 – Disclosure grabbed me from my first listen and reels me further in with each spin. Manticora has been one of Euro Power Metal’s biggest secret for a long time, surely the time has come for all Power Metal fans to ‘De-Classify’ them and give them the praise and success that has been long overdue. I am quoting this album as 96 / 100, same as Part 1, but stating that The Black Circus Part 2 – Disclosure is more worthy of this quote and is a serious contender for my ‘Album Of The Year’!
Killing Songs :
All Of Them
Ross quoted 96 / 100
Other albums by Manticora that we have reviewed:
Manticora - The Black Circus Part 1 - Letters reviewed by Ross and quoted 96 / 100
Manticora - 8 Deadly Sins reviewed by Ben and quoted 86 / 100
Manticora - Hyperion reviewed by Danny and quoted 92 / 100
Manticora - Darkness With Tales To Tell reviewed by Danny and quoted 91 / 100
Manticora - Root Of Eternity reviewed by Danny and quoted 86 / 100
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