Sound — 10
Sworn Enemy is a band based around the music itself first and foremost. The guitars are always chugging and heavy, yet catchy and melodic. Think Slayer and Kreator fused with Lamb of God. The guitars stand out to me most as a guitar player but I think the most amazing thing about this album is the drums. Jordan Mancino from As I Lay Dying takes over the drumming duties for the whole disc and does an amazing job. "Weather The Storm" features the most amazing drumming of any song on the CD. The doublekick is constantly pounding away, but it is not overdone and fits the guitar riffs so well. He doesn't just do doublekick behind the palm mutes (chugs) either. Overall the guitars and drums create what can only be described as some modern day heavy thrash metal fused with some hardcore here and there. They will pop in a few breakdowns throughout the album, probably around 4-5 total. The breakdown in "Weather the Storm" is absolutely bone crushing and I honestly didn't see it coming unlike a lot of bands where you can tell a breakdown is coming 30 seconds beforehand.
Lyrics — 8
The lyrics and vocals are something that I never really paid attention to on this album, or most albums I buy for that matter. With such amazing guitar playing and drums I never really take the time to pay attention to the lyrics. When I do happen to listen to them, the lyrics are not too bad. Sworn Enemy originated as a hardcore band before turning into more of a metalcore/thrash band and the lyrics definetly still stay true to their roots. I'm sure you can already guess what they are about. The actual screaming on this album is done decently well. He has a higher pitched scream like Chimaira's frontman, but not quite that high pitched. In the end he is a decent frontman and does what he needs to do for the album and from seeing them live he keeps the energy at shows high constantly.
Overall Impression — 10
Sworn Enemy's Maniacal is one of my favorite albums I have heard recently. I listen to a lot of metal ranging from metalcore(which I don't care for much) to death metal and every other extreme type of metal (which is my favorite) and can give you an unbiasted opinion when I say this album is something I highly suggest getting. Anyone who plays an instrument should be able to listen to this album with an open mind and be blown away by some of the stuff they do. It's not technical by any means, it is just very good heavy metal music. I would suggest downloading "Weather The Storm" and "Time To Rage" and if you like those songs, you will like the whole album. If you like Lamb of God, Kreator, heck if you just like heavy metal in general you will love this album. Get it!