|Classic Review: Manilla Road - Crystal Logic|
Label: Iron Glory
Year released: 2000
Genre: Heavy Metal
Review online: September 6, 2006
Reviewed by: Ulysses
Rated 4.59/5 (91.9%) (79 Votes)
Manilla Road has truly been a band that has astonished me with every release in their discography. Taking a different direction throughout their career with each album they have released (but still staying true to their trademark sound), Crystal Logic was the first album to embark the band on their path to Epic Heavy Metal. Then such a sub-genre of Heavy Metal was founded with their next full-length entitled "Open the Gates". The pioneering band of a rawer and more "barbarian" breed of Heavy Metal, Manilla Road's Crystal Logic is often looked upon as perhaps the perfect metal album by many fans. As this album certainly does nearly meet the perfection it is claimed to possess, it still has a few flaws that robs it of that glorious "5" that is bestowed upon albums that redefine their given genre. This album certainly is redefining, no doubt about that, but there are just some things about the music which doesn't make it perfect (which is what I am here for, to write and review the musical content provided with this album). But that's not to say that the music is bad, hell no! Manilla Road is one of (or perhaps the most) overlooked and underappreciated band in Metal, but that doesn't mean that they outdo the music a vast majority of other bands. Now, onwards to the review!
The album begins with an odd intro which features strange echoing sounds and a narrating voice that introduces the following track, "Necropolis". Necropolis is perhaps the best track on the album, and certainly one of Manilla Road's greatest songs. With catchy and underwater-reminiscent vocals of Mark "The Shark" Shelton complete with his outstanding riffs, leads and solos, he is the driving force behind the extensively creative and magnificent music featured in the album. However, all the tracks are complete echoing bass lines and intricate yet memorable drumming, it all captivated me instantly! The rest of the album follows a similar formula, with other great tracks such as the mesmerizing "Crystal Logic", the mysterious "The Riddle Master" and "The Ram", and the crushing "The Veils of Negative Existance". The only track on this album I did not like too much was "Feeling Free Again", but it is not too bad and not worthy of being skipped. It does however bring down the more mystifying aspects that the album provides and breaks you out of the trance of being lifted away by such euphoric magic because of it being a cheesy love song. It does have a very cool intro though, and is very catchy (even if it is cheesy!). But the track is the weakest among all of them, and brings the score down by a quarter of a point. The album ends with the sprawling, epic track "Dreams of Eschaton" which ends the album on a haunting note – Leaving you craving for more!
All in all, this is a truly magnificent album and one of my personal favorites. Highly Recommended for fans of Heavy Metal looking for something different.
Originally released in 1983.
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