MANILLA ROAD - Open the Gates  LP
MANILLA ROAD - Open the Gates  LP
MANILLA ROAD - Open the Gates  LP
MANILLA ROAD - Open the Gates  LP
MANILLA ROAD - Open the Gates  LP
MANILLA ROAD - Open the Gates  LP
MANILLA ROAD - Open the Gates  LP
MANILLA ROAD - Open the Gates  LP
MANILLA ROAD - Open the Gates LP


HRR 228, limited to 1000 copies, 100 x hot pink/ magenta vinyl, 300 x "dookie" brown vinyl + 600 x black vinyl, 425gsm heavy cardboard gatefold cover, poster, 2nd pressing: ltd 500, 250 x black vinyl + 250 x transparent clear/ black splatter vinyl, gatefold cover, poster, 3rd pressing: ltd 500, 200 x black + 300 x transparent ultra clear vinyl, 425gsm heavy cardboard cover, insert, A5 photo

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

-Metalström
-Open the Gates
-Astronomica
-Weavers of the Web
-The Ninth Wave
-Heavy Metal to the World
-The Fires of Mars
-Road of Kings
-Hour of the Dragon
-Witches Brew

remastered by Patrick W. Engel at "Temple of Disharmony" in December 2011

1st +2nd pressing SOLD OUT!
3rd pressing AVAILABLE


“Open the Gates“ was originally released via Black Dragon Records in 1985. It was the first label deal Manilla Road had struck outside their own Roadster Records label. The atmosphere within the Manilla Road camp was electric. Mark “The Shark“ Shelton remembers vividly: “We were in a whirlwind of excitement. A musical feeding frenzy you might say. All of us in the band were getting along really well and the whole thing seemed to be going really smooth with a good future outlook in our heads.“ The original vinyl release on Black Dragon came with a bonus 12" single. This was probably down to the time restriction of vinyl back then. This is indeed true: “Yep, you have that correct. But I thought it was sort of cool that they went ahead and put out all the music instead of cutting tracks. It's just one of those things that when you are working with conceptual art you can't really restrict it by limiting the amount of time or number of songs that there is on a album. You have to be able to let the muse flow through you and when that is going on you just do what seems perfect for the concept and you don't even think of things like time-frame. We wanted the longer songs on the bonus EP so that they would have the best quality possible. Plus it would not have seemed right to put short songs on an extended play disc.“
As already mentioned, “Open the Gates“ was the first actual album Manilla Road released via Black Dragon. The re-release of "Crystal Logic" followed a year later (along with "The Deluge"). Sales were quite healthy recounts Mark: “'Open the Gates' sold really well for us and so did the re-issue of 'Crystal Logic' and 'The Deluge'. At that time Black Dragon was being distributed by New Rose distribution out of France and they were very far reaching and good with their efforts. Sales were much more than I expected. Especially since it seemed like France was the only place where the trade magazines were really supporting us.“
Throughout the years Manilla Raoad have become quite well-known for their concept albums. But was “Open the Gates“ actually a concept album or not? Mark explains: “It was only partly a concept album. It is mostly geared to the King Arthur legend. A few of the songs stray from the general concept but for the most part it is an album of tales about the mighty Arthur and the Sword of Power, Excalibur, and the coming and going of both.“
The song "Heavy Metal to the World" definitely differs a bit from Manilla Road's more epic and lyrical themes influenced by literature. For sure it was not part of the concept around King Arthur. The Shark explains: “Yes, but I have always been a fan of a good metal anthem. And that is primarily what 'Heavy Metal to the World' is. I always liked the way that Judas Priest always seemed to throw in a metal anthem or two on each of their albums for a while. Songs like 'Metal Gods' or 'United' – man, there are several and I can't think of many better topics than the brotherhood of metal. I think that is epic in itself.“
I have heard that "Heavy Metal to the World" was actually planned to be the key song for radio airplay. Was that just a rumor or not? Mark: “If I remember correctly, we sort of thought that 'Open the Gates' was going to do well for radio. But the truth is we did not and still do not know how to create a radio hit. And I'm not sure that I care to worry about it. It's all about the search for the lost chord now. Just coming up with the coolest music that I possibly can and preserve it for the ages. I'm sure we thought that 'Heavy Metal to the World' was a possibility for radio airplay also but I really thought that it would be the title cut.“
So the question is, does "Heavy Metal to the World" stand in some kind of tradition of songs (from other bands) dealing with the heavy metal cult/movement? Manowar circa "Hail to England" springs to my mind. Holocaust's "Heavy Metal Mania" from early 1980 was, to my knowledge, the first song featuring "heavy metal" in the title … Mark shares my view: “I love the song 'Hail to England'. But we were already writing such metal or rock anthems long before 'Open The Gates'. 'The Dream goes on' off of 'Invasion' and 'Out of Control with Rock and Roll' on 'Metal' were both metal or rock anthem types of songs as also was the title cut to that album. I mean a song named 'Metal' had to be about metal music. So I would have to say that it was more a tradition that we started for ourselves than that of following the footsteps of others. But I am really glad that there are a bunch of bands in the history of metal and rock that have done songs with such a topic.“
"Metalström" opened the “Open the Gates“ album in true Manilla Road style and to this day I am wondering wheter or not the title was a pun on "Maelstrom" or “Metalstorm“. It was indeed: “Yes and I remember lots of people thought that it was misspelled on the album … ha, ha, ha. I have spent many hours explaining that one to many a fan. Ström is just another way of saying storm so the title is referring to a metal storm basically. So whether they thought it was a misprint or not it really did not matter because everyone got the same meaning out of it no matter which way you thought it was. But there was much discussion about it and seems to still come up now and again and by the gods we are talking about it even now.“
According to Mark, “Open the Gates“ was recorded in a studio called “The Cave“: “It was Miller studio in Newton Kansas. Good people and good equipment for the times and where we were located at. The price was reasonable and we could work on time credit with them which was very helpful in getting our projects done in a timely fashion. The rooms were a bit restrictive for band recordings but they grew over time and the studio got better and better. Black Dragon never did try to get us to record in France. I'm sure we would have considered it. They were a big part of talking us into going to Memphis and recording 'Mystification' in a bigger studio in 1987. Al Green's studio as a matter of fact. Now there is a strange combination for you. Myself and Al Green shooting the shit. It was a sight to see man.“
Matthias Mader