Self-billed as symphonic heavy metal, Manach Seherath is a band hailing from Italy. Though your first thought when combining keyboards and Italy might be Rhapsody of Fire, Manach Seherath is a different beast altogether. Their approach is not so grandiose or epic, but rather, simple, enjoyable heavy metal. The beginning of the opening song, “Arti Manthano” builds an impressive atmosphere, showing how to brilliantly use keyboards to add to more traditional heavy metal. When the vocals come in, the song takes a different turn. Having listened to this demo over and over, I go back and forth on whether or not I like the vocals. On the one hand, the way they interrupt the intro of the first song is quite jarring. On the other, Manach Seherath’s singer sounds incredibly natural. He doesn’t have a classically trained voice, nor does he fill the demo with insane screams, but he’s got a lot of charisma in his sound. It is his voice that also helps the band to differentiate from power metal bands, and remain primarily in more of a heavy metal realm.
Of course, the music is another reason why this classification is accurate. While there are fast moments, this release is definitely more on the mid-paced side of things. Additionally, the band contrasts some more feelgood melodies with darker ones, offering a much more diverse package than one might expect. Once again, I have to stress the keyboards here, as they offer a lot of versatility. The band can instantly transform their sound, simply because they place a heavy reliance on the use of keyboards. It is also worth emphasizing that the keys are more like synths or orchestras; though they occasionally take the lead melody, they are really there to enhance the feel of the song rather than to do some Jens Johansson-esque shredding.
All three songs are relatively similar in terms of quality. Despite giving “Manach Seherath” multiple listens, there is not too much memorability aside from the first track. This is not inherently bad; the demo really is a unique release, so listeners will revisit it regardless of whether or not they can sing along to every song. Ultimately, it is a refreshing experience, as few bands take the approach that “Manach Seherath” does. I don't want to say their vocalist holds them back, but I think they haven't quite determined how best to use him yet. It is not hard to foresee that, with time, the band will really take off and become something special. They aren’t quite there yet, but this demo is nonetheless worth a listen.
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3.8/5 or 76%.
Written by Scott