1996 – present (22 years)
Manticora is a progressive power metal band from Hvidovre, Denmark.
Manticora was formed in 1997 by Lars Larsen (vocals), Kristian Larsen (guitars) and Mads Volf (drums) – these three have made up the core of the band ever since. In the early days the band was a foursome with bass player Rene as the last member. Soon after the band recorded the now legendary mini CD “Dead End Solution”, which marked the beginning of the Manticora-trademark sound; hard hitting power metal with both epic and thrash elements.
In 1998 Manticora signed with Intromental Management and shortly afterwards their first record deal was signed with Greek record label Black Lotus. The same year the band added an extra guitarist, Flemming, and a keyboardist, Jeppe, to the line-up. The debut full-length disc, “Roots Of Eternity”, was released in summer 1999, and received tremendously good response from both media and fans around the world.
2000 saw the band signing with the Italian record label Scarlet Records, and half a year later the next opus, the somewhat more melodic album, “Darkness With Tales To Tell”, was released, and once again receiving great acclaim. In 2001 bassist Rene decided to leave the band to focus on his family. Kasper Gram was enrolled in the band as new bass player, and his young energy kicked the band into even higher gear. Along with the change of bassist came also the change of guitarist, as Flemming left Manticora and Martin Arendal joined the band.
In 2002 the band played a brilliant gig at the Sweden Rock Festival to a large screaming and headbanging audience. In the fall 2002 “Hyperion” was released. This was the so-far most wide-spanning work of the band; an epic concept album, based on the award winning sci-fi novel “The Hyperion Cantos” by Dan Simmons. The album was whole-heartedly embraced by fans and media worldwide, and with a European tour in spring 2003 (with label mates Platitude as support band) Manticora took another step up the ladder.
In early 2004 the band began work on their next disc, “8 Deadly Sins”, yet another conceptual disc. The album was recorded in March/April 2004 in Jailhouse Studios with producer Tommy Hansen (Helloween, Pretty Maids, HateSphere, TNT etc.). In February 2005 the band toured throughout Europe together with Angra and Edenbridge. The tour was a great success for the band and they made a lot of new fans and friends there. Joining the core of Lars, Mads, Kasper and Kristian was session-guitarist Stefan Johansson and Swedish keyboardist Andreas Lindahl. The band then did their first ever (highly successful) US appareance at the ProgPower Festival in Atlanta, GA (September 2005).
With Martin Arendal (guitars) returning to the fold instead of Stefan, the band once again went into studio, to record it’s 5th full-length album, the first part of the 2-album concept “The Black Circus”. Lyrically it deals with the horror story of a travelling circus in 19th century New England. The lyrics are written as letters from the main person in the story to another person. Once again produced by Tommy Hansen, the album is bigger, better and more adventurous than ever before. After a mini-European tour, alongside Andromeda, Manticora hit Jailhouse Studio to finalize the 2nd part of “The Black Circus”. With “The Black Circus Part 2” in their now extended catalogue, Manticora went on both European and USA tour, warming up for Jon Oliva's Pain, and another tour was booked for Europe in May 2009, as support band for Circle II Circle. This time, going through 16 countries for 21 shows.
In 2010 Manticora's 7th full length album was released worldwide. "Safe" was an even darker journey in the musical universe of Manticora. A European headliner tour was booked for October 2010, taking the band through nine different countries, with Norwegians, Divided Multitude as support act.
However, personal tragedy struck the band on several levels, and a band hiatus was agreed upon, allowing only for single gigs and festival shows to be played and no new material to be written.
In August 2012, Manticora finally performed at the world's largest metal festival - Wacken Open Air, and it lead to the band, re-opening the goodiebag of writing new material. April 2013, saw the band, playing the prestigious PPM festival in Belgium, and a month later, Martin Arendal played his last show with Manticora (a smaller Danish show).
The future of Manticora is to write the 8th album, and 2014 will most likely mean some international touring - with a new lead guitarist, who is yet to be discovered.
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