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Review: Manilla Road - The Deluge
Manilla Road
www.manillaroad.net
The Deluge

Label: Underground Symphony
Year released: 1986
Duration: 42:09
Tracks: 10
Genre: Heavy Metal

Rating: 4.5/5

Review online: February 9, 2004
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Readers Rating
for:
The Deluge

Rated 4.62/5 (92.4%) (50 Votes)
Review


Fifth in the extensive MR discography, "The Deluge" is regarded by many of the band's fans as their quintessential release, perhaps their best. And while I would have to come down on the side of "Spiral Castle" or "Mystification" on that one, I have to say of the 'classic' Manilla Road albums this is certainly among the top three.

For those familiar with this band, be assured this is an essential album for you, as this is the same weird-yet-stripped-down heavy metal that the band has been playing for over 20 years now. This album was recorded the year before the excellent "Mystification" and the songwriting is highly similar. You get your short riff-hammer tunes like "Dementia" and "Hammer Of The Witches", and the more midpaced, melodic songs like "Divine Victim" or the signature MR song "The Deluge". As usual, the production is quite raw and a bit muffled, the guitar solos are long and wickedly cool, and Mark Shelton's trademark nasal croon trades off with his raspy growl. This is not a CD for those who love super-polished, slick modern power metal. Manilla Road are for those who love strange and unique epic metal like Omen, Warlord or old Fates Warning. On first listen these odd compositions will go right over your head, and I never make the mistake of judging a MR album until I have been listening to it for at least a week. One of my only complaints, really, is that several of the cooler songs like "Isle Of The Dead" and "Taken By Storm" are too short, hovering around the 3-minute mark. I much prefer when this band gets all epic and carries on for seven or eight minutes (as they do in the title track). That is really what I love about the 'Road.

"The Deluge" features some of the best art ever to grace a MR album. Probably the best ever, as this is a band famous for shitty cover art. This one is actually pretty cool, depicting a pissed-off looking Poseidon drowning Atlantis.

If you are a Manilla Road fan, you can buy this without worrying. If you have never heard the band, then you can start here if you like, just be prepared to give this one time, as all of the 'Road's best stuff takes a while to grow on you. "The Deluge" can hold it's head up among any company, and it certainly says something that the music here sounds as new and exciting as it did eighteen years ago, without sounding dated in the slightest.


Track Listing:
  1. Dementia
  2. Shadow In The Black
  3. Divine Victim
  4. Hammer Of The Witches
  5. Morbid Tabernacle
  6. Isle Of The Dead
  7. Taken By Storm
  8. The Deluge (Trilogy)
  9. Friction In Mass
  10. Rest In Pieces
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