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Review: Manilla Road - To Kill a King
Manilla Road
www.manillaroad.net
To Kill a King

Label: Golden Core Records
Year released: 2017
Duration: 1:01:34
Tracks: 10
Genre: Heavy Metal

Rating: 3.75/5

Review online: July 8, 2017
Reviewed by: MetalMike
Readers Rating
for:
To Kill a King

Rated 3.67/5 (73.33%) (9 Votes)
Review


After the masterpiece that was 2015's The Blessed Curse it is nice to see legendary epic metal band Manilla Road back with fresh music a scant two years later. 2017 sees the release of To Kill a King a more modest effort than its predecessor consisting of a single, 10-song disc (there is a special box set that includes an additional "single"). The core players, Mark "the Shark" Shelton, Bryan "Hellroadie" Patrick and Andreas "Neudi" Neuderth are joined by new bassist Phil Ross and together make up the "crew" that can keep up with Shelton's creative output.

To Kill a King is unmistakably Manilla Road bursting with Shelton's signature riffs, the dueling vocals of Shelton and Patrick singing about grand and arcane subjects and the solid rhythm section of Neuderth and Ross. There are some good songs like the sprawling title track, the introspective "Never Again" and the rocking "Castle of the Devil" and "Ghost Warriors" both of which evoke memories of early Manilla Road. "Ghost Warriors" has a great vocal performance from Patrick and some sweet fills from Neuderth. Unfortunately, there are some less than stellar cuts on To Kill a King like "In the Wake" and "The Other Side." They sit on the same riff for too long except when Shelton is soloing and that feels rambling and unfocused so at the end of the day these songs are kind of dull.

I'm all for new Manilla Road and I can find things to like about To Kill a King but it's just as easy to find things I'd just as soon skip. I feel like Shelton and crew may have gone back to the well too soon and To Kill a King is closer to Mysterium than it is to The Blessed Curse among their more recent efforts. I don't think they are capable of a "bad" album but they are certainly capable of better but new Manilla Road is new Manilla Road, so take it and run.

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Interview with guitarist/vocalist Mark "The Shark" Shelton on June 22, 2013 (Interviewed by MetalMike)
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