“Crystal Logic“, “Open the Gates“, “The Deluge“, and “Mystification“, were enough to create and persevere the myth of MANILLA ROAD. The band afterwards tried to change its sound leading to questionable results, something that led to a split up in 1992. “Atlantis Rising” was the first album after the reunion and was originally released in 2001. Now, we have the first ever remastered reissue of the album with bonus-tracks.
A lot of things happened during the period where MANILLA ROAD did not record an album. The band’s fame started to rise gradually, helping its departure from the underground status to a wider audience. The 90s epic metal fans who did not “catch” the 80s albums in their own time, discovered the majesty of the band and did their best in order to spread MANILLA ROAD‘s sound to more ears. By the end of the 90s, and with the help of the so-called “true metal” movement, the band was equally placed among MANOWAR, OMEN and VIRGIN STEELE in the epic metal territory.
So, a new album in the 00s was like a dream for all those fans who had missed the 80s masterpieces but did not lose faith for new material. And their dream came true in 2001 when “Atlantis Rising” was released. The album did not follow the amazing 1983-1987 period of the band, but the one of the early 90s, and mostly “The Courts of Chaos” album. This means that the vocals of Mark Shelton had become more harsh, the music was also harsher and less epic, and without many changes within the songs. For a general heavy metal fan that could be dissapointing, but a hardcore MANILLA ROAD fan will perhaps find those repetitive patterns as the essense of epic metal and Mark Shelton‘s music.
“Atlantis Rising” is for MANILLA ROAD die hard fans only, and an album that managed to bring some of the epic flame of the past in the 00s. Even just listening to Mark Shelton is a kind of magic on its own. “Sea Witch” and “Atlantis Rising” are perhaps the best moments of the album, but those who breathe for MANILLA ROAD will most likely enjoy the rest of the songs as well. Note that this reissue on CD comes with four bonus tracks – two songs of the album in pre production and two tracks in live versions. So, it is a good chance for a dedicated fan of MANILLA ROAD who doesn’t have the album to travel back in time and see how the come-back of this legendary band was like.