Sworn Enemy – Maniacal

Release Date: February 12, 2008
Reviewed by Maureen Vana

There are a lot of albums about vocals, or about killer guitar riffs, but Sworn Enemy’s latest release, Maniacal, is about the drums. These 10 tracks of pure preapatory mosh pit material will get your blood pumping and adrenaline flowing. If you can’t hang with some of New York’s hardest then go home.

Sworn Enemy takes late nineties hardcore vocal styling and adds a snarl to toughen it up with a more metal appeal. This alone would not normaly spark my interst, but throw in thrashing guitars in the style of Megadeth and tie it together with hammering drum beats by Jordan Mancino (As I Lay Dying) and we have a real attention grabber. This is nothing new, in fact it’s kind of old, but it is done well. The combination of past and present provides listeners with something fresh, while tugging on the heart strings of nostalgic hardcore/thrash fans.

Although Maniacal is a brief 34 minutes and some change, it gets the job done and keeps from giving the listener too much of a good thing. Albums like this often linger and loose the potencey of the one two punch Sworn Enemy has successfully delivered. What the group has done with this release is nothing more then subtle tweaks, but the result is a substantial improvement that has put polish on the former rough around the edges band.

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