Manilla Road - Mysterium

Manilla Road
Shadow Kingdom Records
Manilla Road is a strange case. It had always been like that with this “cult” & underground band. They do have die-hard fans all over the world and especially in Greece… but they also have lots of MR-haters. This is probably to Mark’s “odd” - love it or hate it - voice. I had never been into them that much but I can’t ignore albums like “Open the Gates” that are a milestone to the epic heavy/power metal genre.
Manilla Road are also making a “dive” into the band’s glorious 80s days with “Mysterium”. The songs are a bit doomier and mid-tempo in general. Certainly, none would expect any kind of surprises or new – unusual – elements on Manilla Road, cuz’ the band is what it is and does what it does for over 3 decades now. One thing I never understood about Manilla Road is the “shitty”, right out of the cesspool, productions they always have. Possibly that’s part of their “cultness” but I can’t go along with them after a while. “Mysterium” has a rather better production than “Playground of the Damned”… then again they cannot escape that old-school & raw sound at all. “The Fountain” is a wonderful acoustic tune, even for those who can’t stand the band, but it ain’t a MR representative track of any kind.
If you are a MR fan then you have already got “Mysterium” and you need no one to tell you what that is or anything concerning the band. I kinda think that you’re gonna enjoy it more than the previous 2-3 releases. If you had never been into the “MR cult tribe”, then approach with tact and taste it before you make up your mind… for Manilla Road are one of the “eccentric” bands in the metal domain…