Manilla Road - Mystification (Shadow Kingdom Records)

Re-issued Goodness...
Release Date: 
30 Apr 2014 - 11:30pm

Manilla Road's 1987 Mystification (where some would say they venture into a more thrash driven feel) is a looking back to how things used to be done. It's not massively over-produced - though this reissue apparently has all the tracks in the right order, unlike the reissue from 2000 - and it's got that 'classic' (whatever that may mean) metal feel that should satisfy oldies and nostalgic young ones alike.

There's quite a bit of screaming fun (see Children of the Night) but also a fair bit of relatively clean singing, for instance Dragon Night could easily pass for a Dio track of the same period while opener Haunted Palace allows guitarist/vocalist Mark Shelton plenty of opportunities to project his distinctive vocals over some gritty six string riffage. It's not overly complicated but there's an honest quality to the album which I think is sadly missing from a lot of newer metal albums where feeling is replaced with empty technique and the 'over-produced' knob is twisted to 11.

I have to admit I wasn't really into Mystification the first time it came out but perhaps I've mellowed a bit as my years have increased, because now I quite like it - perhaps there's a touch of nostalgia to my getting into the album but who cares? It's a slice of metal history and conveys the sounds and structures of a time long since past (Spirits of the Dead is the epitome of that particular era for me) but it's more than just a musical archaeological curiosity. Search the interweb and check Manilla Road out - you may be pleasantly surprised to find out how they did things back in the olden days.