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Poll: LOST IN NECROPOLIS!
Invasion (1980)
Mark of the Beast (1981)
Metal (1982)
Crystal Logic (1983)
Open the Gates (1984)
The Deluge (1986)
Mystification (1987)
Out of the Abyss (1988)
The Courts of Chaos (1990)
Other (specify)
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Manilla Road (US)

01-01-2014, 02:37 PM
Post: #1
Any other Manilla Road fans here? They are easily one of, if not my absolute, favorite bands. In my opinion, THE greatest traditional heavy metal band of all time (yes, I even put them a step above the undeniable classics, Sabbath, Priest, and Maiden). They have all the makings of a great band, good musicians and amazing songwriters, a unique sound all their own... they were prolific enough to record a whopping 7 albums in the 80's alone (matched only by Iron Maiden to my knowledge), and now match the discographies of some of metal's longest active bands. They also streamlined, if not invented, the epic metal genre (many bands combined the elements, but Manilla Road was really the first to put them all together). They are one of those bands that has evolved and done something different with each new recording.

Any other big or longtime fans here? What are your favorite albums, or time periods of Manilla Road's discography? What are your favorite songs?

For me, I'd say their classic period took place after the generally most famous album, Crystal Logic. I love Crystal Logic, but I think their masterpieces were Open The Gates, The Deluge, and Mystification. At the same time you really can't go wrong with anything they've done. They've had weak moments here and there, but for the most part they are an incredibly consistent band.

I could probably fill a "Best Of" comp with all my choice favorites from Manilla Road, and still run out of room for all of them, but here are just a few:

http://www.you*BkUVd80Q

http://www.you*04zoSR9o

http://www.you*JUTF8Se0

http://www.you*67whM_ZE
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04-07-2014, 06:36 AM
Post: #2
Manilla Road has lots of good stuff. I'm glad Shadow Kingdom Records finally reissued Mystification, which has been missing from my collection.

I agree with you on Crystal Logic being overrated, but it certainly isn't awful. "Necropolis" is a very catchy song.

Anyway, my favorite is currently a tie between Open the Gates and The Deluge. They've improved drastically on these two.

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04-18-2014, 12:52 AM
Post: #3
Manilla Road has probably given the best show I have ever been too, in 2012 here in Athens. They played for like 3 hours straight. Excellent setlist, amazing performance. Also Mark Shelton is one of the most humble, most down-to-earth band member I have ever had the honour of meeting. An example to everyone.
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04-18-2014, 08:49 AM
Post: #4
(04-18-2014 12:52 AM)Alice Domine Wrote:  Manilla Road has probably given the best show I have ever been too, in 2012 here in Athens. They played for like 3 hours straight. Excellent setlist, amazing performance. Also Mark Shelton is one of the most humble, most down-to-earth band member I have ever had the honour of meeting. An example to everyone.

I felt exactly the same way when I saw them, although the set list was definitely shorter (still an amazing selection though).

I'm seriously considering travelling to Greece next year for Up The Hammers, since they are planning to do a set with Randy Foxe on drums, plus the rest of the lineup looks totally killer.
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04-23-2014, 04:52 AM
Post: #5
I am very jealous, I never got to see them.. I love Manilla Road, probably the most intelligent music known to man. They have a feeling so many bands lack. I did not enjoy Mysterium, I think it was a downgrade but... the classics are all over the place. I got Crystal Logic picture disc sitting on my kitchen wall, it's really beautiful. Smile
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06-25-2014, 01:02 PM
Post: #6
(04-18-2014 08:49 AM)Messiah X Wrote:  I'm seriously considering travelling to Greece next year for Up The Hammers, since they are planning to do a set with Randy Foxe on drums, plus the rest of the lineup looks totally killer.
No other drummer that I've heard playing for Manilla Road could ever top Randy Foxe, a talented musician who literally "opened the gates" for the band.

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06-25-2014, 01:35 PM
Post: #7
Randy is definitely their best drummer (though all the others have been competent). Manilla Road has always had a revolving door of talented musicians with Mark leading from the front at all times. Kind of makes you wonder where he finds all these people in the middle of Kansas
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06-25-2014, 01:46 PM
Post: #8
(06-25-2014 01:35 PM)Messiah X Wrote:  Randy is definitely their best drummer (though all the others have been competent). Manilla Road has always had a revolving door of talented musicians with Mark leading from the front at all times. Kind of makes you wonder where he finds all these people in the middle of Kansas
I also like the other drummers before and after him; the main difference is that Randy Foxe REALLY stepped things up for the band, and the holy trinity of Open the Gates, The Deluge, and Mystification will forever be preserved by this musical bond between him and the other two.

Drummers are often overlooked in metal, but I think that a talented drummer can only bring in more dynamics to the songwriting department. Guitarists are so used to the simple rock beats, so bringing in a drummer capable of breaking out of that mold can make the music sound more unique.

For example, I don't think Warlord would have been as great as they are with some other drummer than Mark Zonder, whose odd timing complemented the riff complexities that William J. Tsamis came up with.

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06-25-2014, 04:47 PM
Post: #9
What is the consensus on the new stuff? Atlantis Rising - Mysterium.

If I had to rate them I'd say: Spiral Castle/Gates of Fire/Playground/Voyager/Mysterium/Atlantis Rising

Mysterium was a bit of a let down for me and it made me appreciate Playground of the Damned much more than when it first came out (even with the questionable production). Mysterium sounds basically like 3-4 of the same riffs being recycled in each song; too simple an approach for an MR album. I believe they are currently working on a new one as well.
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06-25-2014, 06:03 PM
Post: #10
My rating of the newer albums: Gates of Fire, Voyager, Spiral Castle, Mysterium, Atlantis Rising, Playground of the Damned. To be fair, I rank Gates, Voyager, and Spiral Castle in that order, and the rest are fairly equal. I like all of them a lot. With that said, Mysterium is a much mellower album but still deeply atmospheric despite its simplicity. Playground is more complex but also brings back some of the elements I didn't much care for that were present on Courts of Chaos. Atlantis Rising is good, just not as memorable as the others. Of all the new albums, Gates of Fire is the only one I find to be on par with the classic era.
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06-25-2014, 07:05 PM
Post: #11
(06-25-2014 06:03 PM)Messiah X Wrote:  Gates of Fire is the only one I find to be on par with the classic era.


I completely agree with you here. A great work all around.
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06-26-2014, 07:11 PM
Post: #12
Came across this video:



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07-07-2014, 03:17 PM
Post: #13
My copy for The Courts of Chaos arrived, and I'm enjoying it! On this release, Manilla Road sounds a lot harder than previously, although the instrumental opener drags on for too long. "Dig Me No Grave" is such a cool song, though.

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07-07-2014, 05:33 PM
Post: #14
(06-26-2014 07:11 PM)Painkiller Wrote:  Came across this video:



Mike Gross! Mike is a really cool dude, dead ringer for my friend Mario Nanni. I'll have to check this video out.

"I saw Kirk Hammet pick up Tiny Tim's ukulele and play some Metallica solos...sounded JUST like the record..."

"If you listen to BM, but you don’t know what phase the moon is in, or what wild flowers are blooming then you have failed. It is shocking to me that one could be seriously interested in Black Metal and not be deeply committed to radical ecology."
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08-12-2014, 05:26 AM
Post: #15
Big fan of them! With their best records ever Open the Gates. Great melodies, strange rythms and marvellous feeling! The same for The Deluge and Mystification! Not a big fan of Out of the Abyss and Courts of Choas tho. Besides that I can totally find myself in the comment on Crystal Logic. I would rate it with an eight of of ten, but cn't say it's a classic because it had some fillers and missers on it. I think if they posponed the release with a year and worked a bit more on the material it would be an instant classic. Gives me the feeling, they weren't really sure what direction they wanted to go.

From the 2nd era Manilla Road I vote for Spiral Castle as their best. Great record, great feeling and melodies. Atlantis Rising is a bit too Heavy at some times and he looses himselfs in the riffing. The same for Gates of Fire although it's overal a better record than Atlantis Rising. I thought Voyager was pretty good, till I let the record rest for like a month of two. It's pretty weak when all the euforia off a new record is gone. Didn't like Playground of the Damned and haven't checked Mysterium yet.

So my ranking will be:
Open the Gates
The Deluge
Spiral Castle
Mystification

Best songs: The Ninth Wave and Venusian Sea.
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08-12-2014, 05:35 AM
Post: #16
I pretty much agree with most of what you've said, but I still haven't gotten around to hearing any of their post-The Courts of Chaos releases yet. My next Manilla Road score will definitely be Spiral Castle.

I think The Deluge is Manilla Road's finest hour, but it's just a SLIGHT bump over Open the Gates. Mystification comes third, of course. I must admit that Crystal Logic has grown on me more, but I still think that it's a bit overrated.

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08-12-2014, 10:12 AM
Post: #17
I think Out of the Abyss is one of their best actually. It has some of their thrashier material which is a turn off to many fans, and unfortunately opens with a weaker track. But the good songs on here are some of the best, and possibly some of Mark Shelton's greatest vocal performances on any record. See especially: Rites of Blood, Return of the Old Ones, War in Heaven, and Helicon.
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08-12-2014, 10:17 AM
Post: #18
(08-12-2014 10:12 AM)Messiah X Wrote:  I think Out of the Abyss is one of their best actually. It has some of their thrashier material which is a turn off to many fans, and unfortunately opens with a weaker track. But the good songs on here are some of the best, and possibly some of Mark Shelton's greatest vocal performances on any record. See especially: Rites of Blood, Return of the Old Ones, War in Heaven, and Helicon.

I've really been digging Out of the Abyss recently. It's on par with the quality of Mystification I think. Helicon is excellent.
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08-16-2014, 04:09 PM
Post: #19
Any news on a possible Out of the Abyss reissue? It looks like Shadow Kingdom Records is working really hard at getting as much of the Manilla Road catalog as possible.

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08-17-2014, 06:40 PM (This post was last modified: 08-17-2014 06:40 PM by Phantasm.)
Post: #20
CD you mean? I was pretty sure SKR was doing all of them. Vinyl is already out on HRR with updated artwork. You can sometimes get the original CD off eBay if you're lucky/patient
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