Album Review

With the new line-up Mark The Shark Shelton (Guitars, Vocals), Bryan Hellroadie Patrick (vocals), Harvey The Crow Patrick (bass) and Corey Hardcore Christner, Manilla Road have created a new masterpiece in their long carrere: Gates Of Fire. This album is 100% Manilla Road. Why?
First of all Gates of Fire is a trilogy. Each part of the trilogy contains three songs (so we have 9 songs in total). This is why the great coverartwork contains three individual pictures.
Second is, that the band now has a drummer (Corey) whose drumstyle is pretty similar to Randy Foxe. You can hear a lot of breaks and fills which reminds to the old days a lot.
Also the mix of heavy and acoustic parts with all the pathos (and what most people call "epic") is back in the band. It goes well with the lyrical content and shows what makes this band so strong and different to all other metalbands around.
And of course we have the vocals which are shared by Mark and Bryan, like they do it live. They donīt sound like a "duo" but like one person with two heads. Most bands use two singers to have two different voices in the band...but not Manilla Road.

The album was recorded back there, where it all begun: At the original Roadster Records Roadhouse in Wichita. The result is a rough and unique sound which canīt be placed in any period of the band.

Even all these arguments sound like a retro-project, Gates Of Fire fits very well into the year 2005. Manilla Roadīs style makes it happen that you donīt need terms like "modern" or "old school" as they are the only band in the world playing this style of heavy metal. Again they have shown that they are too unique and special to discuss this. You canīt call the songs progressive, even some are very long, you canīt use any metal-substyle-term like "thrash" or "doom"  to discribe what you will hear on Gates of Fire. The album contains influences of all previous Manilla Road releases. You could take any song of any older record and put it on Gates of Fire - it would fit (except of the lyrical content of course).

Here are the songs of the trilogy:

TRILOGY 1: THE FROST GIANTīS DAUGHTER
riddle of steel
behind the veil
when giants fall

TRILOGY 2: OUT OF THE ASHES
the fall of iliam
imperious rise
rome

TRILOGY 3: GATES OF FIRE
stand of the spartans
betrayal
epitaph to the king

The CD was released by Battle Cry Records (ex-Iron Glory) and it seems like the only distribution they have are mailorder companies like www.hellionrecords.de