This is Manilla Road’s third offering to the metallic globe and is by far their best to date. I was none too impressed with their previous efforts, Invasion (1980) and Metal (1982), but Crystal Logic at least shows promise for the future without exactly setting the world alight.
Unfortunately, Manilla Road suffer the same problem as Brocas Helm in sounding a little dated in style. But let’s not take away the band’s musicianship which is quite excellent throughout, especially guitarist Mark Shelton’s riffing and soloing. Although I can’t say I’m too struck on his rather casual vocal style, which doesn’t really suit the music, and reminds me a little of Jim Dandy from Black Oak Arkansas. I much prefer his more aggressive approach, as on ‘The Riddle Master’ – one of the albums best cuts. Other noteworthy tracks are the heads down, no nonsense approach of ‘Necropolis’, ‘Crystal Logic’ and the epic ten minutes plus of ‘Dreams Of Eschaton’; even if it does take a while to warm up from its acoustic intro, reminding me a little of Warlord on their Deliver Us EP.
So a step in the right direction for Manilla Road, which will hopefully continue with their next album.
Review taken from Metal Forces, Issue 3 (1984)
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