MANIGANCE – The Shadows Ball (2023)

MANIGANCE - The Shadows Ball (2023) - full

MANIGANCE isn’t particularly well known outside of France for one particular reason – their albums always featured French vocals. It definitely held back their popularity. However, the band now had replaced their male vocalist with a female and re-recorded the lyrics of their last album in English and will released it with the title “The Shadows Ball“.
MANIGANCE started more than 25 years ago, has been garnered “Best French Group of 2003” by Hard Rock Magazine, and rocked many festivals such as Hellfest. “The Shadows Ball” is the band’s eighth studio album and first to be sung in English by new vocalist Carine Pinto who replaced Didier Delsaux in 2018.
The band made the decision to to do English songs as they wanted to make their music more accessible to foreign audiences in preparation for their 2023 European tour with Rhapsody of Fire in March.
Musically this is powerful, modern melodic metal with a huge polished production and clever arrangements, think Allen/Lande, Battle Beast, Reece-Kronlund, and more.

“This album contains different songs from the Manigance standards. We have shortened the songs and worked on the arrangements. We think we can play a lot of these songs in our shows. We have evolved in our writing process. The songs are still very rich, but the structure is more straightforward. We also listen to the latest productions to offer a modern album with a current sound.” adds guitarist François Merle.

Sharing powerful music with melodies that hook with you and that are instantly memorable, fans of the genre will hear lots of surprises in each song that will make you want to listen to them again and again to catch all the details. From the big riffs that make you want to move your head, to modern guitar solos, and big bass drums that roar like a V6 twin-turbo.

With Carine’s vocals the band proposed new structures, shorten the instrumental parts to focus on the composition. Lionel worked a lot on guitar arrangements to bring a new and more modern atmosphere.
With Pinto’s voice, Manigance was able to work on a new sonic delivery. She has a very warm voice in the low register and can also reach high notes when needed, providing balance and impact.
For example “End Of Lock Up”, which is a duet between Carine and Zaher Zorgati of Myrath (whom the band toured with across Europe in 2018), is a song with a strong focus on the chorus. They created this song mainly as a crowd-chanter during their live performances.

The new album features twelve tracks that are inspired by Pinto’s lyrics from personal and intimate emotions, but also can relate to most listeners, from the betrayal of a friend, the burning of Notre Dame Cathedral (Paris – France), climate change, violence against the LBGT community, confinement during COVID, and domestic violence.
There is a foundation here of powerful, high-energy metal with progressive elements. The sound is very contemporary, melodic and with subtle keyboards dancing around the excellent guitars.
Highly Recommended


01 – Odyssey
02 – Cold Blood
03 – All Your Excesses
04 – End Of Lock Up
05 – The Shadows Ball
06 – Death Warrant
07 – High Treason
08 – Eternity
09 – At Gates Of Memory
10 – In Spite Of Everything
11 – Dawn Of The New Fight
12 – Forgotten Survivor

Carine Pinto: Vocals
Francois Merle: Guitar
Lionel Vizerie: Guitar
Patrick Soria: Drums
Stéphane Lacoude: Bass


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