Manilla Road
Out of the Abyss



by Gigglesdemon USER (31 Reviews)
June 10th, 2011 | 5 replies

Release Date: 1988 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A painfully average album by a great band.

Boring, derivative, uninspired, average. None of these words describe Manilla Road. However, they do describe this album. It is a fairly common thrash album. And unfortunately, a lot of thrash albums are pretty damn average.

While Manilla Road nailed the thrash sound on Mystification, here they don’t seem to know what to do with it. Mark Shelton’s frenzied riffing and tortured vocals were excellent, but here they fall short of all expectations. His riffs, instead of being the superbly crafted ones from all the previous albums, are derivative, unexciting, and and worst, undistinguishable. Shelton’s previous genius does surface at times, such as one the album highlights Return of the Old Ones and the title track, Out of the Abyss. Every other riff just seems average or reminiscent of ones we have heard before.

However, Shelton has vastly improved his harsh vocals. He truly sounds evil at times on this album, far more so than any other previous album. Whitechapel, the albums bloated and overblown epic, while almost painful to listen to, has extraordinary harsh vocals.

This album also brings back a dreaded part of Manilla Road’s early career. Dragging songs. Whitechapel, despite being very fast paced, begins to drag at the halfway mark and never picks up steam again. The album’s closer, Helicon suffers the same fate.

Scott Park’s bass is more prominent on this album than previous albums, but even his fantastic talent isn’t enough to save this mess of an album. It feels like Manilla Road was trying to culminate everything they’ve done on this album, and as a result if feels messy and unfocused at times. The two standouts, Return of the Old Ones and Out of the Abyss, feel very different from the rest of the album, which is perhaps why they actually are good. The whole album tries for a thrash metal feel, but it fails.

While this album is not bad by any stretch of the imagination, it is a massive disappointment when you compare it to the band’s back catalogue and the derivativeness of the whole thing.

-Great harsh vocals
-Nice bass lines

-Derivative riffs
-Dragging tracks

Recommended Tracks:
Out of the Abyss
Return of the Old Ones

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user ratings (29)

Comments:Add a Comment 
June 10th 2011


Album Rating: 2.5

My next entry into the discog of Manilla Road. As always, CC welcome.

February 26th 2013


dude nobody comments on this is pretty good

Staff Reviewer
June 2nd 2015


Album Rating: 3.5

Not a bad album at all, somewhere around a 3-3.5. Very good production for Manilla Road standards as well.

Digging: London Grammar - Truth is a Beautiful Thing

April 20th 2017


Album Rating: 3.5

Manilla Road's first bump after many years of brilliance. The combination of 80's thrash metal and the more epic, classic heavy metal Manilla stlye often comes off disjointed, and not suprisingly the songs that embrace the latter are much better. Still has some great riffs, solos, and even good production.

Staff Reviewer
April 21st 2017


Album Rating: 3.5

Nice bump Vortex. Glad to see this album getting more love.

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