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Classic Review: Manilla Road - Crystal Logic
Manilla Road
www.manillaroad.net
Crystal Logic

Label: Iron Glory
Year released: 2000
Duration: 44:25
Tracks: 9
Genre: Heavy Metal

Rating: 4/5

Review online: November 5, 2003
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Readers Rating
for:
Crystal Logic

Rated 4.58/5 (91.58%) (76 Votes)
Review


Hard to believe that even though this was released in 1983, it was already the third album from a band that had been around for almost 5 years. Even for 80's metal, Manilla Road are dinosaurs, and they sound like it, with their inimitable style that hasn't changed noticeably in more than two decades.

This certainly shows the signs of being an early release. The trademark rough production is in place, with the emphasis on chunky riffing and extended guitar solos. I can't even say the songwriting is simpler than on later albums, because it certainly is not, with two huge, rambling epics at the very end of the CD. The songs are not quite as strong as on, say "Mystification", but are all very good – with the exception of "Necropolis", which is the best Manilla Road song ever. I would even put "Necropolis" in the top ten of all metal songs with it's cool lyrics, awesome riffs, and the chorus you will NEVER be able to stop humming. The bonus track is pretty cool too, even if it does manage to have production that is EVEN WORSE than usual for this band. Also, Iron Glory inexplicably felt compelled to insert the bonus song between tracks 2 and 4 rather than the traditional end spot.

The cover and interior art are really embarrassingly bad. Just amateur hour all the way. Even Cauldron Born never had art this lame, and that is saying something. Thank the Lords of Light that the excellent lyrics are included here, or the whole booklet would be a waste. It must be said that the love song "Feeling Free Again" is pretty corny, and can be safely skipped.

This is a must-have for the true fan, and even those not enamored of MR should hear "Necropolis" at least once in their life. The songwriting is not as focused or as consistent here as on later albums, but this remains a solid album in the catalog of a great band. Recommended.

Additional Information

Originally released in 1983.


Track Listing:
  1. Prologue
  2. Necropolis
  3. Flaming Metal System (bonus)
  4. Crystal Logic
  5. Feeling Free Again
  6. The Riddle Master
  7. The Ram
  8. The Veils Of Negative Existence
  9. Dreams Of Eschaton/ Epilogue
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