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Burn Them All! - 92%

Witches_Brew, January 27th, 2007

Manilla Road – “The Deluge”

I was always appalled by the fact that there were no reviews for this album. So here I go…

After releasing the incredible Crystal Logic in 1983 and the excellent follow-up Open the Gates two years later, Mark Shelton and the gang present us with this album. In a sense, The Deluge can be viewed as an amalgam of the booming thrash scene of the 80s combined with the classic power metal sound found on Crystal Logic. Manilla Road had flirted with thrash on OtG, but they unleash it in full force here.

The band kicks off with the competent but otherwise unspectacular “Dementia.” It’s not bad, but it just doesn’t grab you by the balls like an album opener should. We are then lead into the nice clean intro of “Shadows in the Black,” which just so happens to be the best song on the album. Just when you think its going to be a ballad, it suddenly rips into all-out headbanging mania, complete with some intense riffage and mind-blowing solos. The leads on this entire album are fantastic. We then have a string of four thrashers, broken up by a weird little interlude. All come complete with some nice riffing (the end of “Hammer of the Witches”) and some great leads (“Divine Victim”). There’s really no filler to be found here, except maybe the interlude, which like most interludes, doesn’t really go anywhere.

Just when you think it couldn’t get any better, here come the second-best track on the album, “The Deluge.” This eight minute epic is divided into three parts, with a slow buildup, a riff-tastic middle part with some catchy vocal lines, and a gentle acoustic outro accompanied by the sound of crashing waves. Oh yeah, and some great solos too, but you knew that already. The follow-up, “Friction in Mass,” is good, but it seems a little dragged out. Finally, “Rest in Pieces” is an outro piece, which sounds like the solo section from “Divine Victim,” except on crack.

This album is pretty much a no-brainer. If you’re a Manilla Road fan, or a power-thrash fan, then you need this album. Unfortunately, it’s incredibly hard to find. If you can get a copy, then by all means do so. If not, then at least do yourself a favor and find the mp3s.