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Manilla Road

Wichita, KS-based Manilla Road is one of America's -- make that the world's -- great cult heavy metal bands.Geographicallyisolated,fiercely independent, and highly original, the group has rarely toured and never seen a single albumreleased by amajor record company, buthas nevertheless managed to endure in one form of another for over two decades.

Vocalist and guitarist Mark Shelton was involved in a number of amateur bands during the 1970s, playing jazz andcountrybefore winding upin a rock band called Embryo, and later founding Manilla Road in 1979 with bassist Scott Parks ...read more

Wichita, KS-based Manilla Road is one of America's -- make that the world's -- great cult heavy metal bands.Geographicallyisolated,fiercely independent, and highly original, the group has rarely toured and never seen a single albumreleased by amajor record company, buthas nevertheless managed to endure in one form of another for over two decades.

Vocalist and guitarist Mark Shelton was involved in a number of amateur bands during the 1970s, playing jazz andcountrybefore winding upin a rock band called Embryo, and later founding Manilla Road in 1979 with bassist Scott Parks anddrummerRick Fisher. Unwilling to waitfor record labels to come discover them all the way out in Wichita, the resourceful triorecordedits first album, Invasion, later that year, thenreleased it through the band's own Roadster Records for good measure.Anotheralbum, tentatively entitled The Dreams of Eschaton, wasfinished and shelved because the bandmembers weren'thappy withthe results, but they gave it another try and duly came up with 1982'ssimply titled Metal LP.

Despite such indicative titles, however, Manilla Road's first efforts actually delved into everything from progressive tospaceandstraightforward hard rock, and it wasn't until 1983's watershed Crystal Logic that their metallic inclinations trulytookover. Fusing a fewlingering hard rock tricks and a penchant for epic and fantasy lyrics with the recent aestheticinnovationsof the New Wave of British HeavyMetal, Crystal Logic boasted improved sound quality, introduced Manilla Road toa widerheavy metal fan base (especially beyond America'sborders), and signaled the beginning of their golden age. This wouldbemarked by truly triumphant subsequent efforts like Open the Gates(1985), The Deluge (1986), and, to a lesserdegree,Mystification (1987) -- all of which were released by French independent Black DragonRecords and featured themoreaggressive, inventive, and thrash-attuned drumming of new arrival Randy Foxe.

Released in 1987, Live Roadkill preceded a couple of less memorable but still occasionally inspired efforts in 1988's thrashandH.P.Lovecraft-obsessed Out of the Abyss and 1990's disjointed and aptly named The Courts of Chaos. This proved to bethefinal bow forManilla Road's "classic" lineup, since Parks and Foxe were no longer speaking, and Shelton was pretty burntouthimself. Looking for a freshstart, he laid to rest the Manilla Road name and recruited bassist/keyboardist/vocalist AaronBrownand drummer/vocalist Andrew Coss tocollaborate on a new project. Far more eclectic and progressive in nature, 1992'sTheCircus Maximus was intended to double as both theirband and album name, but when it came down to crunch time,BlackDragon deviously slapped Manilla Road on the cover in order toguarantee bigger sales.

None too pleased with this act of deception, a disillusioned Shelton vanished from sight for a few years, but eventually re. emerged with arevamped Manilla Road (featuring bassist Mark Anderson and drummer Scott Peters) for 2001's AtlantisRisingand 2002's Spiral Castle(also featuring another vocalist in Bryan Patrick). Later that year, Manilla Road's long lostsecondalbum was given an official release asMark of the Beast, and recent reports suggest that Mark Shelton has no plan toretireanytime soon. « hide

Similar Bands: Iron Maiden, Slough Feg, Cirith Ungol, Saxon

LPs
Mysterium
02/01/2013

4
16 Votes
Playground of the Damned
2011

3.9
15 Votes
Voyager
2008

4
20 Votes
Gates of Fire
2005

4.1
15 Votes
Mark of the Beast
2002

4.3
14 Votes
Spiral Castle
2002

4.3
17 Votes
Atlantis Rising
2001

4.1
17 Votes
The Circus Maximus
1992

3
12 Votes
The Courts of Chaos
1990

4.3
14 Votes
Out of the Abyss
1988

3.7
17 Votes
Mystification
1987

4.3
30 Votes
The Deluge
1986

4.1
52 Votes
Open the Gates
1985

4
49 Votes
Crystal Logic
1983

4.1
91 Votes
Metal
1982

3.7
16 Votes
Invasion
1980

3.1
21 Votes
Live Albums
After Midnight Live
2009

2
1 Votes
Roadkill
1987

3
2 Votes
Compilations
Live by the Sword: The Very Best of Manilla Road
1998

3.3
3 Votes

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