One of the great things about metal is its limitless potential for rediscovery. You could never hear every heavy metal album produced in a thousand lifetimes, and you wouldn’t want to; there’s a lot of crap out there as well as good stuff. But you can also find a band or album from years ago that you haven’t heard before, and get into them as if they had just come on the scene. Manilla Road is a band like that for me–they’ve been around since the early 1980s, and are still around today, but I didn’t listen to them much back in the day.
This is the title track from Manilla Road’s 2001 concept album Atlantis Rising. It’s pretty solid traditional/power metal but with a pretty complex sound if you listen carefully. I confess I don’t have a lot of familiarity with Manilla Road, but they remind me a bit of old Iced Earth and many of their influences come from the same place. Atlantis Rising was the first album produced by the reformed and “rebooted” Manilla Road, which had previously disbanded–or at least went on extended hiatus–in 1992. Mark Shelton, vocalist and guitarist, was the only original member, but the band deliberately went back to their early sound upon the reformation, whereas they had drifted away from it over the course of their previous few albums.
In metal, as in many things, what’s old is new again. Hearing something with new ears is one of the best things about the genre.