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Manilla Road: Mystification

Now being reissued by the fine folks at Shadow Kingdom Records, Mystification was Manilla Road's sixth album and originally released back in 1987. Long considered one of their top albums by fans, Mystification was also one of the first instances of the band mixing thrash influences into their classic heavy metal brew. On this reissue, Shadow Kingdom have included the original song order as well as the original mixing & mastering, which is different than the previous CD release from 2000. Recent fans who might not have heard the album back in 1987 can how check it out on CD the way it was originally conceived.

To make it clear right off the bat, this is a near perfect metal album in every way. The epic songwriting from guitarist/vocalist Mark Shelton was really peaking at this time, as tunes like "Haunted Palace", "Spirits of the Dead", the title track, and "Masque of the Red Death" just crackle with power and majesty, while "Valley at Unrest" and "Up From the Crypt" pulverize your brain with the potent force of early Slayer. The doom laden ripper "Children of the Night", the progressive "Dragon Night", and the grandiose thrasher "Death By Hammer" only add to the metallic wonder that is Mystification. Shelton has long been the creator of classic riffs, and there are a boatload of them here to go along with screaming solos. Honestly, it's a metal feast!

Shadow Kingdom has also released Mystification with the original cover art (which I much prefer to the 2000 reissue) making this a must have for any Manilla Road fan. If you've never taken the plunge on this band, this is as good a place to start as any!

Track Listing
1) Haunted Palace
2) Spirits of the Dead
3) Valley at Unrest
4) Mystification
5) Masque of the Red Death
6) Up From the Crypt
7) Children of the Night
8) Dragon Night
9) Death By the Hammer

Added: March 18th 2014
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 2199
Language: english

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