MANILLA ROAD - Out of the Abyss  LP
MANILLA ROAD - Out of the Abyss  LP
MANILLA ROAD - Out of the Abyss  LP
MANILLA ROAD - Out of the Abyss  LP
MANILLA ROAD - Out of the Abyss  LP
MANILLA ROAD - Out of the Abyss  LP
MANILLA ROAD - Out of the Abyss LP

HRR 823LP, ltd 500, 250 x black vinyl, 250 x milky clear/ red splatter, 425gsm heavy cardboard cover, special sized poster, 4 page insert, 2nd pressing: ltd 500, 200 x black, 200 x black/ orange bi-color vinyl + 100 x neon orange vinyl (HRR mailorder + exclusive)

Mark Shelton - Guitars, Vocals
Randy Foxe - Drums, Keyboards, Vocals
Scott Park - Bass

-Rites of Blood
-Out of the Abyss
-Return of the Old Ones
-Black Cauldron
-Midnight Meat Train
-War in Heaven

1st pressing: SOLD OUT!
2nd pressing: AVAILABLE

Mastered for vinyl by Patrick W. Engel at Temple of Disharmony

1988's »Out of the Abyss« can't be classified as a typical Manilla Road album by any stretch of the imagination! Some say it is the darkest Manilla Road album ever and some are of the opinion that it was the most Thrash Metal influenced record in the band's long and fruitful career. Mark “The Shark” agrees on both counts: “It was indeed very thrash influenced and most of the topics are based on bloody murder and Cthulhu mythos stuff. There are a couple of lighter topics on it with the songs 'Helicon' and 'War in Heaven' but the remainder of the songs are very dark in nature. I think it was all because »Out of the Abyss« was the album that we reached sort of a peak in the progression of becoming heavier and faster. It was a goal of ours to do that starting when Randy Foxe joined the band. »Out of the Abyss« was the album where we decided that we had finally reached that goal. The darkness came from my insatiable interest in horror and dark mythos themes. Songs like 'White Chapel', 'Black Cauldron', the title cut and 'Midnight Meat Train' are most assuredly thrash influenced material. It was like a continuation of some of the directions that we were headed with the »Mystification« album. Songs like 'Masque of the Red Death' and especially 'Up from the Crypt' were very thrash influenced. I really like all styles of metal for the most part and I’m no different with the thrash style. I don’t really like a continuous diet of thrash but then again I don’t really like a continual diet of anything. I have to move around and experiment with my music and »Out of the Abyss« is no different.”
So »Out of the Abyss« reached the peak of Manilla Road going out and out Thrash Metal? Again, “The Shark” shares my view: “I felt we had reached an apex or peak with our heavier and faster direction once we did »Out of the Abyss«. But I would not say that the thrash went away from the style of the band after that. For example on the next album, »Courts of Chaos«, we did the song 'Vlad The Impaler' which was still very much a thrash influenced song. And the song 'From Beyond' had a bit of that thrash style within it as well. And when the band finally resurrected with the »Atlantis rising« album there were songs like 'War of the Gods' that for sure had that thrash essence to them also. Even with our newest release »Mysterium« there is the thrash influenced 'Stand your Ground'. So the thrash is still in the band but we just don’t do whole albums based on that style.”
In retrospect Mark still views »Out of the Abyss« as a rounded album: “I think so. With songs like 'Return of the Old Ones', 'Helicon' and 'War In Heaven' the album still has experimental approaches with a very artistic attitude. I don’t believe we have ever done an album that was entirely one style or approach.”
Which is indeed true to the point. But would it be fair to say that the main Manilla Road fan base rather prefers the band's more epic style of albums like »Crystal Logic«? “Yep I think so,” says Mark. “But then again we have so many directions that the band goes on any album. I think most of our hardcore fans appreciate the fact that we do not stay stuck on one style or theme all the time. The beauty of Manilla Road is that we are a very versatile band and our approach to the music is a combination of many styles like Prog, Doom, Thrash, Classic, Psychedelic and many other styles as well. Hell, we even do folk type music at times. The one style you will never hear from this band would be Rap or Hip Hop. Just not my cup of tea. But I think our fans are very intelligent and don’t just want to hear the same stuff over and over.”
Over the years, not too many songs from »Out of the Abyss« made it into the band's live set: “Right now none of the songs are in our current list of songs that we have prepared for live performance. That list is almost 40 songs deep. We have thought about adding 'White Chapel' to our current rapport of live songs but to be honest it seems that we don’t get too many requests for songs off of »Out of the Abyss«. It does happen every once in a while but usually it is 'War In Heaven' or 'Helicon' that we get the requests for. But there are times that I remember people asking me if we ever do 'White Chapel' live. So who knows we might add something from the album to the live set when we head out on tour again in 2014? The thing is every time we do a new album we just complicate the set list issue because of adding new songs to the list from the newest release. It is always tough for us to choose the songs that we will do at any given show. Just too many songs to choose from.”
"The Midnight Meat Train" has been influenced by literature once more, this time Clive Barker: “Yep. He is another writer that I really like the work of. His stories are very intriguing and full of cool twists. He is a very creative writer and I really love his work. His 'Books of Blood' series is very compelling and that is where the story 'Midnight Meat Train' comes from.” And of course there is H.P. Lovercraft again, with "Return of the old Ones". True or false? “For the most part you are correct. But I consider Robert E. Howard almost as important to the Cthulhu mythos as Lovecraft was. The difference between the two is that most of the stories that Howard did that involved the mythos took place in the time line of pre-recorded history of man where Lovecraft was based more on the Old Ones appearing in the now instead of the past.”
If a musician listens back to his old albums nowadays, is it hard for him
to still remember the moods and the frame of mind at the time when the
album was originally written? That does not seem to be the case for Mark Shelton: “Not really. I can still remember pretty much what was going on and how I felt about things back then. We were doing a lot of live performances at that time and we were touring in the states in the North East a bit all the way up to New York. Also touring in the Midwest. Even did a show in Cincinnati with Chastain when Leather was singing with him. I also remember that this was the time that Randy and Scott started to have their differences that culminated in the demise of that line up after we did the »Courts of Chaos« album. As for my attitude at the time it was a very aggressive one and I was really still heading in the same direction that I started with »Mystification«. More of a dark horror approach than what we had been doing before. I still remember the excitement that flowing through me because of touring in the states and mixing the album in California. But even though I was really excited about things I could see the writing on the wall as well and knew in the back of my head that things were headed in a direction with the other members that was going to lead to the end of that line up. Sort of the best of times and worst of times all at the same time.”
Basically, unlike so many other bands, Mark is not tempted to go back and re-mix or even re-record a past album: “I actually think that the recording and mix on this album were very good and I don’t think I would want to go back and re-mix it at all. The only song that I thought had any mixing mistakes in it was 'Midnight Meat Train' because the guitar solo was a little too low in volume on that song but overall the mix on »Out of the Abyss« was really good in my opinion.”
Matthias Mader