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Manilla Road: Open the Gates

1985's Open the Gates was the fourth release from US heavy metal band Manilla Road, and started the shift towards heavier, more epic styled material. This reissue from Shadow KIngdom Records gives a nice reboot to this much loved album by many fans of the band, and recaptures the fantastic cover artwork by Eric Larnoy in all its glory.

By this time, Randy Foxe had replaced Rick Fisher on drums, and he joins guitarist/vocalist Mark Shelton and bassist Scott Park just in time for what would become a very strong run for the band.Open the Gates contains a wealth of commanding metal songs steeped in fantasy, mythology, & science fiction lyrical themes, with the music a very unique blend of classic heavy metal, hard rock, power metal, and thrash. In that time period. underground acts like Manilla Road, Cirith Ungol, and Omen were creating fresh, intelligent metal music that unfortunately didn't break the mainstream but garnered a very loyal cult following. Tracks like "Astronomica", "The Ninth Wave", "The Fires of Mars", and "Witches Brew" are just great examples of epic heavy metal, complete with powerful guitar work, tons of atmosphere, and Shelton's unique vocal style. As for his guitar playing, Shelton is one of metal's all time underrated players, and he consistently comes up with inventive riffs and scorching leads throughout this album, like on the thrash-meetsl-NWOBHM styled thumper "Weavers of the Web" and the anthemic "Road of Kings". Fans of dramatic progressive metal will just completely lose themselves in the dark, doomy, and powerful "The Ninth Wave", easily one of the most adventurous songs here.

This reissue comes complete with lyrics and loads of live photographs for an overall great package. If you haven't yet discovered the wonders of Manilla Road, Open the Gates is a great place to start.

Track Listing
1) Metalstrom
2) Open the Gates
3) Astronomica
4) Weavers of the Web
5) The Ninth Wave
6) Heavy Metal to the World
7) The Fires of Mars
8) Road of Kings
9) Hour of the Dragon
10) Witches Brew

Added: February 11th 2013
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 1920
Language: english

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