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Manilla Road - The Blessed Curse Award winner

Manilla Road
The Blessed Curse
by Marcos “Big Daddy” Garcia at 09 March 2015, 8:46 PM

On this time we are living, we can see many ancient bands on activity. Some of them are only making shows, not coming with a new album. In Big Daddy’s personal opinion, the main reason is that some guys cannot give up, but have no creative power left, and keep on playing. When a band comes to this point, it’s better to stop, and give place to newer ones to keep the old Metal flame alive. But there are some that still are creating relevant albums nowadays, as North American quartet MANILLA ROAD. And after 35 years of a life dedicated to overcome all difficulties on Metal scene, they still are active and powerful as Hell itself, and they released their new album, “The Blessed Curse”.

Of course I must be true with the readers: they still got a lot of strength, with their mix of traditional Heavy Metal influenced by BLACK SABBATH and BLUE ÖYSTER CULT, with some elements from earlier Power Metal (the North American way ignited by THE RODS, I meant), resulting in a deep, melodic and excellent way of playing Metal. The vocals are strongly melodic during all the album, bass and drums forms a good rhythmic session, heavy and with some technique. But on guitars resides the pulsing heart on the band, for Mark Shelson is the only founding member lasting on MANILLA ROAD, and that’s enough. Heavy and thunderous in many songs, melodic and introspective in other ones, and the band’s work is always tasteful. But it’s a trademark to all who know their works since the 80s.

The album’s production is very good, giving us the right vision of what they wanted to do with the album, with all instruments clear, but heavy as their music must be. Maybe a bit cleaner than some of their classical albums, but this is what makes the difference: now, all musical arrangements are accessible, so enjoy it!

“The Blessed Curse” has two parts, divided in two CDs: The first one is the album itself, having their best moments on songs like “The Blessed Curse” (with a very good guitar work, with charming riffs and technical solo), the long and hypnotizing “Tomes of Clay”, the aggressive “Kings of Invention”, and “Luxiferia’s Light”. The second CD is called “After the Muse”, all of them power ballads done with almost clean guitars and vocals, except for some moments on “All Hallows Eve 2014”, where some drums are presented.

Well, it’s a MANILLA ROAD’s album after all, so what are you expecting to hear and buy it?

4 Star Rating

Disc 1 - The Blessed Curse
1. The Blessed Curse
2. Truth in the Ash
3. Tomes of Clay
4. The Dead Still Speak
5. Falling
6. Kings of Invention
7. Reign of Dreams
8. Luxiferia’s Light
9. Sword of Hate
10. The Muses Kiss
Disc 2 - After the Muse
1. After the Muse
2. Life Goes On
3. All Hallows Eve (1981 Rehearsal)
4. In Search of the Lost Chord
5. Reach
6. All Hallows Eve 2014
Bryan “Hellroadie” Patrick - Vocals
Mark Shelton - Guitars, Vocals, Piano
Josh Castillo - Bass
Andreas Neuderth - Drums
Record Label: Golden Core Records


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