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Review: Manilla Road - The Blessed Curse
Manilla Road
www.manillaroad.net
The Blessed Curse

Label: Golden Core Records
Year released: 2015
Duration: 47:55
Tracks: 10
Genre: Heavy Metal

Rating: 5/5

Review online: April 1, 2015
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Readers Rating
for:
The Blessed Curse

Rated 4.21/5 (84.17%) (24 Votes)
Review


I've been waiting a while for this, as I have found the last two Manilla Road albums to be major disappointments. Both Playground of the Damned and Mysterium seemed like they were trying to hark back to this band's glory days in the 80s, but were not quite hitting it. Truth be known, I was starting to think maybe the Road were past their prime and would not roar again. Now, with the unleashing of this, their 17th studio album, they have proved they still have the old magic.

The Blessed Curse is not only the best album they have made in over a decade, it is one of their very best works, period. The production, songwriting, and performances recall such classic works as The Deluge and Open the Gates. There are no weak songs to be found, just one great, classic tune after another. Mark proves himself one of metal's great players again, producing fantastic leads that remind me of his high points on albums like Spiral Castle or The Courts of Chaos. "Tomes of Clay" is an especial highlight, showing what the man can do when he is on the game.

I have the double disc of this (I honestly don't know if there is a non-double version) and the second disc is a feast for the fan. You get a bonus disc that is actually longer than the main album, with a bunch of new songs and refurbished classics, like a massive reworking of their '81 song "All Hallow's Eve" that rumbles on for a delirious, grandiose 15 minutes.

With almost a hundred minutes of Manilla Road music here, all of it stellar, I cannot see how a real fan could possibly be disappointed. This is Manilla Road back in top form, producing an album that is more than worthy to stand beside their classic material. In a career that is creeping up on forty years, it is amazing this band is even still here, let alone laying down first-rate material like this. An instant classic.

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