Hail to all ye brethren of the hammer,
Shark here with another update for your reading enjoyment. I will try not to be long winded in this report but I do have some new info that I wish to share with you.
First of all Manilla Road has a youtube channel of it’s own now. It is called Manilla Road Official. So far we have only uploaded songs from our album releases with photo montages and there are a little more than 80 of them. Eventually we will have almost all of our released recordings on the channel except maybe for our newest releases because we want people to actually buy the music and not just rip it for free off of the internet. I know that for years there have been many people that have posted youtube videos of our songs and we also know this is our fans who have done this to help promote the band. Some have been good quality and others not so good. In order to remain in control of our own music and the quality we are having most of these removed from youtube. We will leave all the cover versions of our songs and live versions from fan postings at concerts up on youtube. So if you have put up a video of Manilla Road music from one of our releases up on youtube you might consider taking it down. Like I said this does not concern the live concert footage or bands doing cover versions of Manilla Road songs. Which by the way I think is just totally cool that so many bands are covering some of our songs. Our goal with the youtube channel is to have high quality audio versions of the songs on there and eventually special videos of the band. Video reports from the studio (Midgard Sound Labs) and rare live footage and photo montages. I also wish all of you to know that the channel is solely run by myself and the band so if something is screwed up on it then I most likely did it ha ha. Go check it out and subscribe and enjoy the music.
On the tour front we will be kicking off our 2014 world tour starting in South America. We have 6 new dates announced in the countries of Brazil, Argentina, Peru and Chili. This will be the first time that Manilla Road has set foot upon these shores so this is a very special tour for us. Also joining us on this tour will be Kenny Powell and the boys from Omen whom we have toured with before so this should be a fun time for one and all. Go to the tour page on this website manillaroad.net and check out further details on these shows and others for this year.
As for some more news on the new album project: Neudi is almost finished with the mastering now and the mix obviously is completed. We are working on the art concept and design right now so it should not be much longer before we send the whole thing to the label. I don’t have a specific release date for you yet but I will let you know as soon as I do. Just keep checking back here at manillaroad.net and you can keep up with all the most recent Manilla Road news.
As always thank you all so much for all your help in promoting Manilla Road and for all your support of the music and band. May the fates hold you in favor. Up The Hammers & Down The Nails
Shark
I have been absent of posting updates here for awhile but as usual the reason is because I have been so busy working on music. But the good news is that the mix on the new Manilla Road album is finally finished and the mastering of the project is being done right now.
I am not going to reveal the name of the album just yet but there is a bunch of stuff that I will talk about concerning this project. We recorded the album in my own studio, Midgard Sound Labs, where we have recorded all the albums since the reformation back in 2000. We mixed our last album, Mysterium, in another studio called Cornerstone Studios and finally it seemed we came up with the type of mix that most of the reviewers agreed was a good one. In the past I have received quite the thrashing for my drum mixes on our albums and sometimes the production as a whole. Well that criticism seemed to stop with the mix on Mysterium. We had originally planned to go ahead and mix the new album at Cornerstone Studios as well. You know, the don’t try and fix what is not broken approach. But the truth is that the mixing sessions that we did with Steve Falke at Cornerstone on the Mysterium album turned into a great learning process for myself and my engineers Derek (Dr. Doom) Brubaker and Bryan (Hellroadie) Patrick. You see when I did my internship as a recording engineer it was back in the analog days. What I am saying by that is that we were still in the world of tape recording technology and there was no digital recordings back then. Even though it is still all recording music and many of the things about it stayed constant from one medium to the other there are still a lot of things that really changed in the approach of recording since the industry changed from analog technology to digital. So it was sort of like going back to school for me and making this old dog learn some new tricks. Well me and the boys were assuredly up to the task because we took in all that we could, really focused on learning all the ins and outs of being able to put together a really good sounding mix in the digital world. It was an eye opening experience to say the least. Well by the time we had finished the recording of all the songs we were starting to hear a huge difference in the quality of the album compared to anything we had ever done. So we decided to let me take a shot at mixing the project before we took it to Cornerstone to do the mix. After some really serious work in Midgard Sound Labs for about more than a month I finished the mixes. And it has been agreed by one and all in the Manilla Road camp (yes even including Neudi who is maybe the pickiest of all of us about the mixes) that this album is by far the best recording and mix that we have ever come up with. So this was all a long winded way of telling you that we mixed it in Midgard Sound Labs as well. But never fear I know that once you have heard this album you will all agree that we finally figured out how to do it all in our own studio and make it sound like it should.
As for the music content on the album I think all MR fans new and old will really love this project. It has a bit of everything that is Manilla in it. It is a concept album more along the lines of historic and philosophical than fantasy. Centered around the beginnings of human civilization in Mesopotamia it has, to me, a really deep moral meaning and message within the concept. It is not really the typical Manilla Road concept approach but at the same time it feels like maybe the most apropos type of MR concept that there could be. I am seriously really proud of this one and so is everyone else in Camp Manilla. I can’t wait to see what the response will be from all of you once it is released.
Ok, that is all that I will say about the new project for the moment but because the mixes are finished I will have a little more time to keep doing updates here until we go back out on tour this year. So I will post more about the new album and any other stuff that is going on in a couple of weeks.
Before I sign off though I want to direct you to our merchandise page on manillaroad.net because we have some newer merchandise stuff there for you to check out. I think we have finally added womens T-shirts and some other designs maybe. You will have to go there and check it all out. I know that we will be adding more and more merch stuff to the site as time goes on so go check it out and see if there is something that you would like.
Also 2014 tour information for MR is now starting to go up on the site as our management continues to finalize contracts and shows for the tour. It looks as though Manilla Road will be all over the world again this year and I am so looking forward to getting back on the road and bringing the music to whomever wishes to see and hear it live.
Thanks to all of you for your support and helping keep the Road alive and on the road. Believe me your words and wishes to us on all the media sources are so much appreciated and please know that it always inspires us to keep on going when we think of our fans. Up The Hammers and may the gods of light be with you all.
Hail Thor & Odin
Shark
The tour of a lifetime (for me) just ended in Chicago (a glorious show at the Alehorn of Power Festival) a few weeks back. I have been reminiscing through my memory of all the events that took place in 2013 for Manilla Road and have found it difficult to even recall all the fantastic moments because there are so many of them. First of all getting to spend time with so many of our fans around the world this last year has been phenomenal. What an honor it has been to have been greeted with such enthusiasm everywhere we have traveled. Believe me when I say that it is truly our fans that keep Manilla Road alive and kicking. We absolutely could not have achieved what we have without you all and your undying support of the music.
One of the most impressive things (and there have been many this year) that I saw happen in 2013 is the amount of support and awareness that is growing in the U.S. metal scene. We have been received in the States better this last year than any other. The Deathfest in Maryland was incredible. To see so many supporters of classic metal raise the horns to the sky here in America was one of the most thought provoking things that I have seen happen. From Texas to Canada North America has finally taken the leap of faith into the realm of epic metal. I know there were several of us in the first place but it seems that epic and classic metal are really back with a fervor in the Americas and I am so proud to be alive to see it.
I most likely should have written this a couple of weeks ago but I decided to wait until my birthday to do it for some reason. Yes, today I am 56 years old in this life. One of the most important things (to me of course) that I discovered over the last 56 years is that the Universe and all within it are constantly and ever changing. Change is inevitable. And since the world and universe we live in is constantly in a state of change we should not let ourselves be fooled into thinking that our philosophy and ideas should be dormant and in a state of stasis. What I’m trying to say is that as our technology and knowledge and understanding of the truths of the earth and the heavens expand so should our thinking process expand. We should expect change. We are intelligent enough as a race of people to know that the history of the earth and the human race changes and is slightly re-written every time we dig up new discoveries out of the sands. Therefore our philosophy about the beginnings of our race and civilizations and religions should also be advancing and changing along with the understanding of new knowledge. It is vitally important that we continue to be open minded and re-write our own philosophy as the facts reveal themselves. We should not get caught up in religious lunacy that keeps us believing things that we know scientifically are not true. And then on the other side of that double edged sword is that we should still honor our ancestors even though some of their beliefs were fantastic explanations of the unknown. We are smart enough to know the difference between honoring our forefathers and blindly following a path that was created by those of lesser education and knowledge. Create your own path to the light. You know yourself better than anyone else and all choices should be left to you and not made by those who plagiarized their religion from earlier myths and legends. Don’t let people that died ages ago make your decisions for you today. Take the leap of faith yourself and make your choices based upon your own understanding of the knowledge at hand and by all means trust in yourself. All of our magik together equals god in my books.
Manilla Road is the perfect example that if you work hard enough and long enough that you can achieve your goals no matter how far away they seem. This year saw the achievement of many of the goals that I had set forth for Manilla Road to accomplish during its career. Finally signed by a label that actually has really good distribution across Europe (Golden Core / ZYX Records) with enough clout and money to really promote Manilla Road like it should be. Hell, I just saw a German TV advertisement for Crystal Logic. May I say that I’m not sure I really ever expected to see something like that. I almost feel like we have gone mainstream now…Ha Ha. No, really it is good to see that we can finally achieve such things without sacrificing our dignity as metal heads because I don’t feel like the music has changed to the industry but the industry has changed and finally accepted Manilla Road as a force to be reckoned with. Read the rest of this entry »

Manilla Road - World Tour 2014

High Roller Records

"Out of the Abyss" (Reissue) LP
"The Circus Maximus" (Reissue) DLP

Shadow Kingdom Records

"Mystification" (Reissue) CD
"Voyager" (Reissue) CD

Golden Core Records / ZYX

"Crystal Logic - 30th Anniversary Edition"
(2-Disc European Release w/ Bonus Tracks!)
New Studio Album
Coming 2014!