Manilla Road - Open the Gates. 1985 USA

Manilla Road - Open the Gates. 1985 Black Dragon (France)

CD reissues: 1992 Black Dragon (France); 2001 Dragonheart (Italy); 2012 Shadow Kingdom; 2015 Golden Core (Germany)

LP reissues:  2012 High Roller (Germany)

Nobody mixed riff based metal with psychedelic hard rock better than Manilla Road. All wrapped up with fantasy Medieval lyrics and artwork to cuddle up with. It's a big sloppy mess, but wonderfully so. Imperfection never sounded so good. At times Shelton sounds like Frank Marino, as he noodles away wildly, seemingly without purpose, with a crazy racket storming behind him. 'The Ninth Wave' is yet another perfect Manilla Road epic metal track - one that basically reiterates their invention of the style. Manilla Road are for those of you who like Hollywood leading men with scars and lots of wrinkles. If you came here looking for crisply executed, slickly produced, and perfectly played metal - then you cannot possibly be more lost.

Originals come in a single sleeve but with 2 LP's, one of those a 45 RPM EP. The photo above only shows one vinyl, but it captured the essence of the release best IMO. The High Roller reissues can be owned in a variety of colored vinyls, and are stored in a traditional gatefold. Whereas the LP was more common 15 years ago, finding the CD was a bear only until very recent (coinciding with Manilla Road being more popular now than ever). The first CD to market, from the parent, was also the first to integrate the EP into the regular track order, something that all reissues have done since. The digi-pak Dragonheart release comes with full lyrics, but is otherwise a straight reissue. The Golden Core CD features 3 additional bonus tracks that I haven't heard.

1 comment:

  1. Mega fan here. They were (and still are) huge in my country.


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