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Manilla Road was a heavy metal band from Wichita, Kansas, formed in 1977. A Trope Maker for US power metal, they became a major cult favourite band among fans of the genre despite very little in the way of mainstream exposure. Their sole consistent member was lead vocalist, guitarist and songwriter Mark “The Shark” Shelton, with various other members coming and going over the years.

Manilla Road put out their debut album ''Invasion'' in 1980, on their own independent label Roadster Records. While they started out their career playing an unusual brand of spacey, psychedelic-influenced hard rock, they quickly evolved into their signature sound on 1983's ''Crystal Logic'', a sound which the band dubbed “epic metal”. They mixed elements of traditional heavy metal, power metal and doom metal, as well as thrash metal later in the 80's, but notably had a major influence from 1970's proto-metal, frequently sounding like what might have happened if heavy metal's hard rock precursors had never died out. The most distinctive elements of their sound were Shelton's instantly recognizable nasal baritone voice, narrative fantasy-based lyrics, and extended guitar solos that carried a strong influence from psychedelic and progressive rock. They found little favour in their home country, but garnered a stronger fanbase in Europe, where they also proved influential to the rising power metal scene.

to:

Manilla Road was a heavy metal band from Wichita, Kansas, formed in 1977. A Trope Maker TropeMaker for US power metal, PowerMetal, they became a major cult favourite band among fans of the genre despite very little in the way of mainstream exposure. Their sole consistent member was lead vocalist, guitarist and songwriter Mark “The Shark” Shelton, with various other members coming and going over the years.

Manilla Road put out their debut album ''Invasion'' in 1980, on their own independent label Roadster Records. While they started out their career playing an unusual brand of spacey, psychedelic-influenced hard rock, they quickly evolved into their signature sound on 1983's ''Crystal Logic'', a sound which the band dubbed “epic metal”. They mixed elements of traditional heavy metal, power metal and doom metal, DoomMetal, as well as thrash metal ThrashMetal later in the 80's, but notably had a major influence from 1970's proto-metal, frequently sounding like what might have happened if heavy metal's hard rock precursors had never died out. The most distinctive elements of their sound were Shelton's instantly recognizable nasal baritone voice, narrative fantasy-based lyrics, and extended guitar solos that carried a strong influence from psychedelic and progressive rock. They found little favour in their home country, but garnered a stronger fanbase in Europe, where they also proved influential to the rising power metal scene.


* AuthorAppeal: Shelton was a devotee of Creator/RobertEHoward, and made lyrical references to his work a lot (“Queen of the Black Coast”, “The Books of Skelos” and the first three songs on Gates of Fire being just a few examples). [[Creator/HPLovecraft Lovecraftian]] themes also appeared frequently, such as on “Return of the Old Ones” and the ''Atlantis Rising'' album.

to:

* AuthorAppeal: Shelton was a devotee of Creator/RobertEHoward, and made lyrical references to his work a lot (“Queen of the Black Coast”, “The Books of Skelos” and the first three songs on Gates ''Gates of Fire Fire'' being just a few examples). [[Creator/HPLovecraft Lovecraftian]] themes also appeared frequently, such as on “Return of the Old Ones” and the ''Atlantis Rising'' album.



* IAmTheBand: Shelton was the only consistent member and sole songwriter (except on The Circus Maximus).

to:

* IAmTheBand: Shelton was the only consistent member and sole songwriter (except on The ''The Circus Maximus).Maximus'').


* DistinctDoubleAlbum: ''The Blessed Curse''. The eponymous first disc has a concept about ancient Sumeria, and follows Manilla Road's standard post-Playground of the Damned style for the most part. The second disc, ''After the Muse'', is mostly acoustic and contains some archival songs.

to:

* DistinctDoubleAlbum: ''The Blessed Curse''. The eponymous first disc has a concept about ancient Sumeria, and follows Manilla Road's standard post-Playground post-''Playground of the Damned Damned'' style for the most part. The second disc, ''After the Muse'', is mostly acoustic and contains some archival songs.


** ''Mystification'' is half a concept album, with the songs on the first side being based on the works of Creator/EdgarAllenPoe.

to:

** ''Mystification'' is half a concept album, with the songs on the first side being based on the works of Creator/EdgarAllenPoe.Creator/EdgarAllanPoe.


* CrossoverCosmology: Shelton's lyrics frequently invoke this. Examples include the entire Atlantis Rising album (a crossover of Norse mythology, the Cthulhu mythos, and the Atlantis myth), and the song “The Fires of Mars”, which is about King Arthur returning to life in the far future to fight demons on Mars (while again referencing Norse mythology).

to:

* CrossoverCosmology: Shelton's lyrics frequently invoke this. Examples include the entire Atlantis Rising ''Atlantis Rising'' album (a crossover of Norse mythology, the Cthulhu mythos, and the Atlantis myth), and the song “The Fires of Mars”, which is about King Arthur returning to life in the far future to fight demons on Mars (while again referencing Norse mythology).


* AscendedExtra: Hellroadie. Originally, he was Manilla Road's roadie and drum tech back in the 80's. Upon the band's reunion, he would sometimes join them as a live member singing part of their songs, before becoming an official member and co-lead vocalist on Atlantis Rising. His vocals would get more prominent as time went on, both in the studio and in live shows due to Shelton's vocal damage making it difficult for him to sing some of the older songs.
* AuthorAppeal: Shelton was a devotee of Creator/RobertEHoward, and made lyrical references to his work a lot (“Queen of the Black Coast”, “The Books of Skelos” and the first three songs on Gates of Fire being just a few examples). [[Creator/HPLovecraft Lovecraftian]] themes also appeared frequently, such as on “Return of the Old Ones” and the Atlantis Rising album.

to:

* AscendedExtra: Hellroadie. Originally, he was Manilla Road's roadie and drum tech back in the 80's. Upon the band's reunion, he would sometimes join them as a live member singing part of their songs, before becoming an official member and co-lead vocalist on Atlantis Rising.''Atlantis Rising''. His vocals would get more prominent as time went on, both in the studio and in live shows due to Shelton's vocal damage making it difficult for him to sing some of the older songs.
* AuthorAppeal: Shelton was a devotee of Creator/RobertEHoward, and made lyrical references to his work a lot (“Queen of the Black Coast”, “The Books of Skelos” and the first three songs on Gates of Fire being just a few examples). [[Creator/HPLovecraft Lovecraftian]] themes also appeared frequently, such as on “Return of the Old Ones” and the Atlantis Rising ''Atlantis Rising'' album.



* BrilliantButLazy: Randy Foxe, according to Shelton. Apparently, the band were waiting years on end for him to come up with drum tracks for what eventually became Atlantis Rising, which he ultimately would not contribute to anyway due to getting ejected from the band.

to:

* BrilliantButLazy: Randy Foxe, according to Shelton. Apparently, the band were waiting years on end for him to come up with drum tracks for what eventually became Atlantis Rising, ''Atlantis Rising'', which he ultimately would not contribute to anyway due to getting ejected from the band.



* HorribleHistoryMetal: They've dabbled in this on occasion, such as with “Whitechapel” (about Jack the Ripper) and the last three songs on Gates of Fire.

to:

* HorribleHistoryMetal: They've dabbled in this on occasion, such as with “Whitechapel” (about Jack the Ripper) and the last three songs on Gates ''Gates of Fire.Fire''.


* {{Retraux}}: Riddlemaster, Shelton's side project with former Manilla Road drummer Rick Fisher, which was meant to be an exploration of what the band might have sounded like if Fisher hadn't left after Crystal Logic.
* RockTrio: Until Atlantis Rising.

to:

* {{Retraux}}: Riddlemaster, Shelton's side project with former Manilla Road drummer Rick Fisher, which was meant to be an exploration of what the band might have sounded like if Fisher hadn't left after Crystal Logic.''Crystal Logic''.
* RockTrio: Until Atlantis Rising.''Atlantis Rising''.



* TheStoner: Shelton. When asked where he had got his inspiration for the concept of Atlantis Rising from, he replied simply, “I smoke a lot of marijuana”.

to:

* TheStoner: Shelton. When asked where he had got his inspiration for the concept of Atlantis Rising ''Atlantis Rising'' from, he replied simply, “I smoke a lot of marijuana”.



* VocalTagTeam: Shelton, Andrew Coss and Aaron Brown on The Circus Maximus; Shelton and Hellroadie on all their post-reunion albums except Voyager.
* WeUsedToBeFriends: Randy Foxe was not on speaking terms with Shelton for over a decade after his removal from the band, and was more or less the only former member of Manilla Road who ended things with him acrimoniously. In recent years, however, they patched their relationship up, with Foxe sitting in on drums as a guest at several Manilla Road gigs, and playing on Behind the Demon's Eyes, the second album by Shelton's side project Hellwell.

to:

* VocalTagTeam: Shelton, Andrew Coss and Aaron Brown on The ''The Circus Maximus; Maximus''; Shelton and Hellroadie on all their post-reunion albums except Voyager.''Voyager''.
* WeUsedToBeFriends: Randy Foxe was not on speaking terms with Shelton for over a decade after his removal from the band, and was more or less the only former member of Manilla Road who ended things with him acrimoniously. In recent years, however, they patched their relationship up, with Foxe sitting in on drums as a guest at several Manilla Road gigs, and playing on Behind ''Behind the Demon's Eyes, Eyes'', the second album by Shelton's side project Hellwell.


** ''Mystification'' is half a concept album, with the songs on the first side being based on the works of Edgar Allen Poe.

to:

** ''Mystification'' is half a concept album, with the songs on the first side being based on the works of Edgar Allen Poe.Creator/EdgarAllenPoe.


* Mark "The Shark" Shelton - Vocals & guitar (1977-1992, 1994-2018)
* Bryan "Hellroadie" Patrick - Vocals (1999-2005, 2007-2018)
* Andreas "Neudi" Neuderth - Drums (2011-2018)
* Phil Ross - Bass (2016-2018)

to:

* Mark "The Shark" Shelton - -- Vocals & guitar (1977-1992, 1994-2018)
* Bryan "Hellroadie" Patrick - -- Vocals (1999-2005, 2007-2018)
* Andreas "Neudi" Neuderth - -- Drums (2011-2018)
* Phil Ross - -- Bass (2016-2018)



* Scott "Scooter" Park - Bass (1977-1990)
* Ben Munkirs - Drums (1977-1978)
* Robert Park - Guitar (1977-1979)
* Myles Sipe - Drums (1979)
* Rick Fisher - Drums (1979-1983)
* Randy "Thrasher" Foxe – Drums (1984-1990, 1994-2000)
* Andrew Coss - Vocals, bass & keyboards (1991-1992)
* Aaron Brown - Vocals & drums (1991-1992)
* Harvey "The Crow" Patrick - Bass (1994-1999, 2003-2007)
* Mark Anderson - Bass (2000-2002)
* Scott Peters - Drums (2000-2003)
* Cory "Hardcore" Christner - Drums (2004-2011)
* Vince Golman - Bass (2007-2010)
* Josh Castillo - Bass (2010-2016)

to:

* Scott "Scooter" Park - -- Bass (1977-1990)
* Ben Munkirs - -- Drums (1977-1978)
* Robert Park - -- Guitar (1977-1979)
* Myles Sipe - -- Drums (1979)
* Rick Fisher - -- Drums (1979-1983)
* Randy "Thrasher" Foxe -– Drums (1984-1990, 1994-2000)
* Andrew Coss - -- Vocals, bass & keyboards (1991-1992)
* Aaron Brown - -- Vocals & drums (1991-1992)
* Harvey "The Crow" Patrick - -- Bass (1994-1999, 2003-2007)
* Mark Anderson - -- Bass (2000-2002)
* Scott Peters - -- Drums (2000-2003)
* Cory "Hardcore" Christner - -- Drums (2004-2011)
* Vince Golman - -- Bass (2007-2010)
* Josh Castillo - -- Bass (2010-2016)



* MissingEpisode: ''Mark of the Beast'', for a long time. Originally meant to be their follow-up to Invasion, and entitled ''Dreams of Eschaton'' (a name later used for a song title on ''Crystal Logic''), it ended up being scrapped because the band wasn't happy with how it turned out. The album would circulate as a bootleg under its original title for years, but ultimately saw an official release as ''Mark of the Beast'' on Monster Records in 2002.



** ''Atlantis Rising'' added co-lead and harmony vocals from Hellroadie to compliment Shelton's singing, removed most of the thrash and returned to a more straightforward heavy metal style. Shelton's guitar solos also got longer and more improvisational, remaining this way until the end.

to:

** ''Atlantis Rising'' added co-lead and harmony vocals from Hellroadie to compliment Shelton's singing, removed most of the thrash and returned to a more straightforward heavy metal style. Shelton's guitar solos also got longer and more improvisational, remaining this way until the end.

Added DiffLines:

->''"For we shall slay evil... with logic!"''
-->-- '''"Crystal Logic"'''

Manilla Road was a heavy metal band from Wichita, Kansas, formed in 1977. A Trope Maker for US power metal, they became a major cult favourite band among fans of the genre despite very little in the way of mainstream exposure. Their sole consistent member was lead vocalist, guitarist and songwriter Mark “The Shark” Shelton, with various other members coming and going over the years.

Manilla Road put out their debut album ''Invasion'' in 1980, on their own independent label Roadster Records. While they started out their career playing an unusual brand of spacey, psychedelic-influenced hard rock, they quickly evolved into their signature sound on 1983's ''Crystal Logic'', a sound which the band dubbed “epic metal”. They mixed elements of traditional heavy metal, power metal and doom metal, as well as thrash metal later in the 80's, but notably had a major influence from 1970's proto-metal, frequently sounding like what might have happened if heavy metal's hard rock precursors had never died out. The most distinctive elements of their sound were Shelton's instantly recognizable nasal baritone voice, narrative fantasy-based lyrics, and extended guitar solos that carried a strong influence from psychedelic and progressive rock. They found little favour in their home country, but garnered a stronger fanbase in Europe, where they also proved influential to the rising power metal scene.

The original formation of Manilla Road disbanded in 1990, with the name being put to rest in 1992 after the release of ''The Circus Maximus'' (which was originally intended to be for a new band featuring Shelton by the same name). They reformed with a new lineup in 1994 to play local shows, before returning to larger-scale touring in the new millennium, and to regular recording with ''Atlantis Rising'' in 2001. They would continue to release albums and tour prolifically for the rest of their career, as well as finally being able to play shows in Europe, and achieved much wider recognition for their previous work as it was rediscovered through re-releases. Sadly, on June 27, 2018, Shelton passed away from a heart attack, only hours after playing at the Headbangers Open Air festival in Germany, putting an end to the band.

!! Final line-up:
* Mark "The Shark" Shelton - Vocals & guitar (1977-1992, 1994-2018)
* Bryan "Hellroadie" Patrick - Vocals (1999-2005, 2007-2018)
* Andreas "Neudi" Neuderth - Drums (2011-2018)
* Phil Ross - Bass (2016-2018)

!! Former members:
* Scott "Scooter" Park - Bass (1977-1990)
* Ben Munkirs - Drums (1977-1978)
* Robert Park - Guitar (1977-1979)
* Myles Sipe - Drums (1979)
* Rick Fisher - Drums (1979-1983)
* Randy "Thrasher" Foxe – Drums (1984-1990, 1994-2000)
* Andrew Coss - Vocals, bass & keyboards (1991-1992)
* Aaron Brown - Vocals & drums (1991-1992)
* Harvey "The Crow" Patrick - Bass (1994-1999, 2003-2007)
* Mark Anderson - Bass (2000-2002)
* Scott Peters - Drums (2000-2003)
* Cory "Hardcore" Christner - Drums (2004-2011)
* Vince Golman - Bass (2007-2010)
* Josh Castillo - Bass (2010-2016)

!! Discography:
* ''Underground'' (1979) – demo
* ''Invasion'' (1980)
* ''Metal'' (1982)
* ''Crystal Logic'' (1983)
* ''Open the Gates'' (1985)
* ''The Deluge'' (1986)
* ''Mystification'' (1987)
* ''Out of the Abyss'' (1988)
* ''Roadkill'' (1988) – live album
* ''The Courts of Chaos'' (1990)
* ''The Circus Maximus'' (1992)
* ''Atlantis Rising'' (2001)
* ''Spiral Castle'' (2002)
* ''Mark of the Beast'' (2002) – recorded 1981
* ''Gates of Fire'' (2005)
* ''Voyager'' (2008)
* ''After Midnight Live'' (2009) – live album, recorded 1979
* ''Playground of the Damned'' (2011)
* ''Mysterium'' (2013)
* ''The Blessed Curse'' (2015) – double album, including second disc After the Muse
* ''Dreams of Eschaton'' (2016) – compilation, including a remastered ''Mark of the Beast'', ''Underground'' and ''After Midnight Live''
* ''To Kill a King'' (2017)

!! Manilla Road has examples of the following tropes:
* AscendedExtra: Hellroadie. Originally, he was Manilla Road's roadie and drum tech back in the 80's. Upon the band's reunion, he would sometimes join them as a live member singing part of their songs, before becoming an official member and co-lead vocalist on Atlantis Rising. His vocals would get more prominent as time went on, both in the studio and in live shows due to Shelton's vocal damage making it difficult for him to sing some of the older songs.
* AuthorAppeal: Shelton was a devotee of Creator/RobertEHoward, and made lyrical references to his work a lot (“Queen of the Black Coast”, “The Books of Skelos” and the first three songs on Gates of Fire being just a few examples). [[Creator/HPLovecraft Lovecraftian]] themes also appeared frequently, such as on “Return of the Old Ones” and the Atlantis Rising album.
* BandOfRelatives: Brothers Bryan and Harvey Patrick played together in the band between 2003 and 2005.
* BrilliantButLazy: Randy Foxe, according to Shelton. Apparently, the band were waiting years on end for him to come up with drum tracks for what eventually became Atlantis Rising, which he ultimately would not contribute to anyway due to getting ejected from the band.
* CatchPhrase: “Up the Hammers & Down the Nails”, the phrase with which Shelton would usually end the news posts on the band's official website.
* CareerEndingInjury: Vince Golman had to resign from the band and stop playing music after being afflicted with severe problems in his left hand, which meant he could only play on two songs from ''Playground of the Damned'' (Shelton handled the bass on the rest, under his “E.C. Hellwell” pseudonym).
* ConceptAlbum: Several.
** ''Mystification'' is half a concept album, with the songs on the first side being based on the works of Edgar Allen Poe.
** ''Atlantis Rising'' is Manilla Road's first album with a full original story, about Atlantis re-emerging and a war between the [[Myth/NorseMythology Aesir]] and the [[Franchise/CthulhuMythos Great Old Ones]] over it. It has been described as a loose follow-up to the title track of ''The Deluge'', which was also about Atlantis.
** ''Gates of Fire'' is essentially three mini concept albums in one; tracks 1-3 are based on "Literature/TheFrostGiantsDaughter", tracks 4-6 on ''Literature/TheAeneid'', and tracks 7-9 on the Battle of Thermopylae.
** ''Voyager'' is another original story, about a pagan Viking warleader named Holgar and his band fleeing from the Christianization of Scandinavia on the ship of the same name, and eventually ending up in South America.
** The first disc of ''The Blessed Curse'' is themed around ancient Sumeria and ''Literature/TheEpicOfGilgamesh''.
* CoolOldGuy: Shelton was 60 years old when he died, and still going strong playing heavy metal.
* CrossoverCosmology: Shelton's lyrics frequently invoke this. Examples include the entire Atlantis Rising album (a crossover of Norse mythology, the Cthulhu mythos, and the Atlantis myth), and the song “The Fires of Mars”, which is about King Arthur returning to life in the far future to fight demons on Mars (while again referencing Norse mythology).
* DarkerAndEdgier: The general trend of their music throughout the 80's, with each album being heavier and more thrash metal influenced up through ''Out of the Abyss''. They also underwent this shift lyrically starting with ''Mystification'', switching from their usual HeavyMithril to horror themes.
* DistinctDoubleAlbum: ''The Blessed Curse''. The eponymous first disc has a concept about ancient Sumeria, and follows Manilla Road's standard post-Playground of the Damned style for the most part. The second disc, ''After the Muse'', is mostly acoustic and contains some archival songs.
* DolledUpInstallment: ''The Circus Maximus'' was originally intended to be a self-titled debut album for a new band featuring Shelton, also called Circus Maximus; Manilla Road had broken up at that point. However, Black Dragon Records ended up releasing it under the name of Manilla Road, as they felt it would sell better that way (even though the band was still performing live under the Circus Maximus name). Shelton was not happy about this, to say the least, and it led to the demise of the project in fairly short order.
* EarlyInstallmentWeirdness: ''Invasion'' consists mostly of spacey, psychedelic hard rock, and sounds very little like anything that follows. ''Metal'' still bears some elements of this – Manilla Road would not settle into a full epic heavy metal sound until ''Crystal Logic''. And (chronologically) in between the two, there's ''Mark of the Beast'', which bears little resemblance to either.
* EpicRocking: Well, it wouldn't be epic metal without it. The longest song they've ever done is the 2014 re-recording of “All Hallows Eve”, at 15:05.
* FilkSong: A lot. Special mention should probably got to “Defender”, based on the [[VideoGame/{{Defender}} video game of the same name]].
* HarshVocals: Performed by both Shelton and Hellroadie on occasion.
* HeavyMeta: “Metal”, “Out of Control With Rock n' Roll”, “Heavy Metal to the World”.
* HeavyMithril: Their usual lyrical theme, based on literature, mythology, and original stories.
* HorribleHistoryMetal: They've dabbled in this on occasion, such as with “Whitechapel” (about Jack the Ripper) and the last three songs on Gates of Fire.
* IAmTheBand: Shelton was the only consistent member and sole songwriter (except on The Circus Maximus).
* MetalBandMascot: “Smiling Jack”, the image of a grinning skull wearning a horned helmet that they often used on artwork.
* MissingEpisode: ''Mark of the Beast'', for a long time. Originally meant to be their follow-up to Invasion, and entitled ''Dreams of Eschaton'' (a name later used for a song title on ''Crystal Logic''), it ended up being scrapped because the band wasn't happy with how it turned out. The album would circulate as a bootleg under its original title for years, but ultimately saw an official release as ''Mark of the Beast'' on Monster Records in 2002.
* MohsScaleOfRockAndMetalHardness: Usually a 7, though their more thrash-influenced material goes up to an 8, with the majority of ''Out of the Abyss'', ''The Courts of Chaos'' and ''Spiral Castle'' being at that level. ''Voyager'' is also mostly an 8, but parts of it (particularly “Return of the Serpent King”) go up to a 9, due to prominent death metal influences and harsher vocals. ''Invasion'', ''Mark of the Beast'' and ''Metal'' mostly dwell in the 6 range, with the former two going down to 4/5 territory at times, and the softer songs on ''The Circus Maximus'' are also generally about a 6. They even have some acoustic pieces, like “The Fountain”, that go all the way down to a 1. Manilla Road are a diverse act, to say the least.
* NeoclassicalPunkZydecoRockabilly: Manilla Road's usual sound is a fusion of classic heavy metal and US power metal, but their strong influence from the proto-metal groups of the 70's makes them sound very different from their peers in those genres. Depending on the song or album, they can also have elements of thrash metal, doom metal, progressive metal, death metal, and even psychedelic rock, space rock and folk. “Epic metal” is about the only thing that fully fits.
* NewSoundAlbum: Many.
** ''Mark of the Beast'', meant to be released in between ''Invasion'' and ''Metal'' but not seeing the light of day until 20 years later, was distinctly different from either of them, consisting mostly of lighter psychedelic rock with little metal to be found.
** ''Metal'' saw the band easing out of the space rock and psychedelic influences of Invasion and Mark of the Beast, in favour of their heavier and better-known “epic metal” direction, a transition that was fully completed with ''Crystal Logic''.
** ''Open the Gates'' saw the debut of Randy Foxe on drums, who brought thrash metal elements to their sound with his faster and more dynamic drumming, and the band's playing was heavier and more technical overall. The thrash influences would get more and more prominent over the course of the 80's.
** ''Out of the Abyss'' was a transition to almost pure thrash. ''The Courts of Chaos'' eased off on this a bit, adding more of their old epic heavy metal style back in, but was still mostly rooted in thrash.
** ''The Circus Maximus'' was a mixed bag of styles: Shelton's songs were a slightly lighter variation on Manilla Road's signature style, Andrew Coss' were mostly keyboard-heavy hard rock with progressive elements, and Aaron Brown's were darker and thrashier.
** ''Atlantis Rising'' added co-lead and harmony vocals from Hellroadie to compliment Shelton's singing, removed most of the thrash and returned to a more straightforward heavy metal style. Shelton's guitar solos also got longer and more improvisational, remaining this way until the end.
** ''Spiral Castle'' was very different to anything before or since. It saw a switch to psychedelic-tinged heavy/doom metal, with twisted and dissonant elements in the riffing that bore influence from death metal, as well as some Middle Eastern influences to the melodies and the addition of death growls.
** ''Gates of Fire'' was something of a stylistic roulette, featuring power/thrash (“Riddle of Steel”), doom metal (“Betrayal”), progressive metal (“The Fall of Iliam”), and acoustic-led pieces (“Behind the Veil” and “Epitaph to the King”).
** ''Voyager'' had a much darker, heavier and sludgier sound than anything previously, with the death metal elements from ''Spiral Castle'' making a return and Shelton's vocals being at their harshest. It was also the only post-reunion album not to feature Hellroadie on vocals.
** From ''Playground of the Damned'' onwards, the band returned to epic heavy/power metal, with more streamlined and catchy songwriting overall, and Hellroadie taking lead vocals more often. Within this period, ''The Blessed Curse'' stands out for its softer sound and greater emphasis on acoustic guitars.
* ProtestSong: “Merchants of Death”, which is critical of religious conflicts in general.
* PunctuatedForEmphasis: “DIG! ME! NO! GRAVE!”
* RearrangeTheSong: “All Hallows Eve” appears on ''After the Muse'' in two different forms: its original 1981 rehearsal version, and a 2014 re-recording that has a different arrangement and adds another five minutes onto its length.
* {{Retraux}}: Riddlemaster, Shelton's side project with former Manilla Road drummer Rick Fisher, which was meant to be an exploration of what the band might have sounded like if Fisher hadn't left after Crystal Logic.
* RockTrio: Until Atlantis Rising.
* SopranoAndGravel: Sometimes used on their post-reunion albums, contrasting Shelton's cleaner nasal baritone with Hellroadie's rougher, lower singing and death growls.
* TheStoner: Shelton. When asked where he had got his inspiration for the concept of Atlantis Rising from, he replied simply, “I smoke a lot of marijuana”.
* TropeMaker: For US power metal, or at least one of them. While they never quite fit the genre fully and took influences from a lot of other styles, their epic compositions and focus on mystical atmospheres certainly proved influential to the genre's more progressive side; alongside Music/{{Manowar}}, they were also one of the first metal bands to lean heavily on HeavyMithril as a theme.
* VocalEvolution: Shelton always had the famous nasal raspiness to his voice, but it changed a lot throughout the group's career. On ''Invasion'' and ''Metal'', he sung in a gruff and unpolished hard rock style for the most part; on ''Crystal Logic'', he adopted a more dramatic and cleaner tone, capable of reaching higher notes. Later in the 80's, he added a harsh snarl to his reportoire, suitable for the band's more thrash-influenced direction. Upon the band's return with ''Atlantis Rising'', his voice was noticeably deeper, though he was still capable of the higher nasal tones, and he also began to use occasional death growls. By the end of his life, he had fully deepened into a bass-baritone register, but his voice was noticeably damaged by heavy smoking and chronic laryngitis.
* VocalTagTeam: Shelton, Andrew Coss and Aaron Brown on The Circus Maximus; Shelton and Hellroadie on all their post-reunion albums except Voyager.
* WeUsedToBeFriends: Randy Foxe was not on speaking terms with Shelton for over a decade after his removal from the band, and was more or less the only former member of Manilla Road who ended things with him acrimoniously. In recent years, however, they patched their relationship up, with Foxe sitting in on drums as a guest at several Manilla Road gigs, and playing on Behind the Demon's Eyes, the second album by Shelton's side project Hellwell.

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