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Classic Review: Manilla Road - Invasion
Manilla Road
www.manillaroad.net
Invasion

Label: Cult Metal Classics
Year released: 2004
Duration: 45:18
Tracks: 6
Genre: Heavy Metal

Rating: 4/5

Review online: December 7, 2004
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Readers Rating
for:
Invasion

Rated 3.67/5 (73.33%) (33 Votes)
Review


This is the debut of one of my favorite bands. Hard to imagine that these guys could have put out their first album twenty-four frigging years ago and still be as obscure as they are. But this is it, the classic first album finally re-released by Cult Metal Classics. "Invasion" is sometimes listed as an EP, but even with the short tracklist it clocks in at plenty long enough for a full album.

This is even before MR became out-and-out metal. This is a kind of weird, spacey hard-rock album that reminds me of Blue Oyster Cult or Hawkwind. The opening cut "The Dream Goes On" is pretty bland, and despite some nice melodies doesn't make much of an impression. But from there on out things get good, as the headbanger riff of "Cat And Mouse" will get you air-guitaring and give a first whiff of what this band would become in the future. "Far Side Of The Sun" is another down and dirty rocker that almost sounds like a Sammy Hagar tune, but has some great riffs on it. "Street Jammer" just sounds silly by today's standards. It rocks, but Mark's growling "Streeeeeeeeet Jammmmaaa!" on the chorus is just laughable. "Centurian War Games" apparently was not on the original release, but it's a great tune, much more in the later "Mark Of The Beast" vein. And the album closer, the epic, 13 minute "The Empire" sets the stage for the band's later direction with moody arrangements, long solos, and epic riffs.

This album shows a young band with a lot of ideas still trying to figure out where they want to go with them. You can hear the band playing with different rock sounds, drawing in things from Rush to Cheap Trick to Judas Priest and even spacier bands like Nazareth. On later releases the 'Road would further define and diversify their sound, until finally emerging as one of the defining metal bands of all time, with a style that does not imitate – it is imitated. Manilla Road have been an enormous influence on a lot of bands, and that's because they have always done their own thing. "Invasion" is a primitive album, and not really very metal about half the time, but it is still a fun CD even now, and for fans of the band is a no-brainer. Recommended.

Additional Information

  • This re-issue is available from Cult Metal Classics Records as the Invasion/Metal double CD, which includes both the Invasion and Metal albums
  • Invasion was originally released in 1980


Track Listing:
  1. The Dream Goes On
  2. Cat And Mouse
  3. Far Side Of The Sun
  4. Street Jammer
  5. Centurian War Games
  6. The Empire
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