So, I finally confronted what is, in my opinion, the worst Cradle record. The band was reduced to a 3-piece at this point, and we’re more or less listening to the Paul Allender show. Cynically, I could suggest that Manticore (and lets not forget its various other horrors) is like listening to Thornography Part 2, but I think that would be an insult to even Thornography. Make of that album what you will, but at least it was catchy and poppy in parts. Manticore is unfortunately, the most boring and uninteresting thing Cradle have ever done. Sure, everything is here, but never before nor after has everything ever felt so mechanical and lifeless.
Manticore is Cradle by the numbers, by the book, with riffs harking back to their arguably second-worst record, Thornography, but without any of the actual charm that record did have. Across the board, this project was a total failure, despite the talent involved, and I can’t help but compare this to the album that followed it (the incredible Hammer Of The Witches). Manticore was a completely unnecessary release from a band that was on its knees. Luckily, they (or Dani and a bunch of new bloods) bounced back once again and have been going strong more or less since. Long live Cradle.