-Review "Mystification"-

In 1987 MANILLA ROAD started to change into a much heavier direction without losing the trademarks they created on their previous releases. MYSTIFICATION was the record between "The Deluge" and "Out of the Abyss" and if you know those two albums, then you may agree that MYSTIFICATION is the missing link. If you want to know what is the opposite of a boring record then use this as example. 

Here is what Mark Shelton tells us about MYSTIFICATION:

"This whole project was written, recorded and mixed in 6 months of the release of The Deluge. We recorded it in Al Green's studio in Memphis and the production crew we worked with there were terrible to work with. I never was happy with the production until the remix that was done by Sentinel Steel at Trax East. Now it sounds great. This is another one of my more favorite albums that we did. I love all the Poe stuff we did and I thought the music writing on this album was very good. We could have done a little better at playing the songs tighter and better if we would have not rushed to get the project done. But I am still very happy with this album and suggest it to all Manilla Road fans who have not heard it".

The CD-rerelease is of an unbelievable good sound quality. In the liner-notes of this CD Mark wrote "And my grandmother could have done a better job of mixing than any of the people that were on the production crew." It must be a really good feeling for the band to hear all those great songs remixed and of course remastered now. The original vinyl-version of MYSTIFICATION forced you to put the bass and high level of your amplifier on ten but it is better you donīt do this while listening to the new CD-version! What is most obvious is the appearance of the bass. I think the instrument is very important to give those songs even more power. Also the sound of the vocals have changed. The vocals now fit much better to the music - everything is well balanced. Another thing Iīve noticed is that the CD sounds much more "stereo" than the original version. All in all it is a good, powerful and raw sound - no grandmother would be able to do such a great mix!

The European vinylversion starts with "Masque of the red death" but not the new version. The first song here is "Up from the crypt" after a short intro (a coffin that opens) that is new to me. Like the re-release of "Crystal Logic" the new version contains one bonus track: The Asylum. It is an Instrumental (4:53 long) that is very heavy and virtuos. Normally I am no fan of instrumentals but this is definitely fun to hear.

If you already own CDīs from the company Sentinel Steel Records then you know that they always spend a lot of money for a coverdesign and booklets. Most of their re-release got new coverartworks what is cool because the original artwork is always on the backside of the booklet, so you can decide what you want to have as frontcover. The new cover (see pic above) also is based on the Edgar Allan Poe novel "Masque of the red death". It is a painting of Greg Hildebrandt who also worked on the artwork for Star Wars, Tolkien and Marvel. Some of you may remember the Edgar Allan Poe movie serie with Vincent Price. If you find "Masque of the red death" on video somewhere it is worth to watch it (also the others in this serie, directed by Roger Corman).

The booklet contains not just the lyrics and credits but also three pages of liner-notes by Mark Shelton and one page of Anish Bhatia from www.pantheonrecords.com . There are pictures of the band live and in studio never seen before.

I am glad that I can leave my vinylversion in the cover now! Sure I am glad to own the original record but the CD sounds so much better...



You can order the CD at SENTINEL STEEL for $ 12 inside the USA and $ 15 for the rest of the world:



DISTRIBUTION-INFORMATION (might be important to ask your local dealer!):