Manilla Road @ The Abyss, Gothenburg (SE)

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MANILLA ROAD

Date: 09th May, 2017
Venue: The Abyss
Tickets: 350SEK (€34/$38)
Promoter: The Abyss
Photos: Erika Wallberg


It will be a quite calm night they said! It won't be so loud they said! I think this will be a very relaxed event they said! It's a Tuesday, so it will be serene they said! Yeah right... Or, The Abyss is a small Pub/Club in the center of Gothenburg and they have a volume limitation when they're doing live-acts. (and if you wonder, yes, it was necessary to see both MANILLA ROAD gigs in Sweden and yes, two reports are definitely appropriate)

And by all means, it started rather mellow as MANILLA ROAD kicked of the set with “Open The Gates” and I started wondering if this really would work. The band looked rather uncomfortable which mainly had to do with the volume restriction and it sounded somewhat hollow and stale. When the song ended there's the sound tech's voice talking back to the band in the monitors; “hey Mark, can you turn up your guitar a bit!”

Said and done, with the comment that MANILLA ROAD loves sound engineers asking to increase the volume so gone was the mellow and serene show earlier announced by the promoter. But it definitely turned out better, the band could play out and now it was back to regular MANILLA ROAD standards again, that fantastic nerve they possess. New for this tour was bassist Phil Ross who really contributed to the whole sound in a fantastic way. His playing is much more intense than Josh Castillo. Phil's playing really enhanced the energy in the music so he seems like a perfect match for the band. When there's an event like this, packed out with around 100 people (and it sure was full), songs like “The Ninth Wave” work perfectly. The mellow and epic tune got people into the groove and it was around here the crowd really woke up also. And when “Divine Victim” kicked off away went the calm also. One additional song was added to the set in Gothenburg compared to the one in Stockholm; “The Empire” from the first MANILLA ROAD album “Invasion” and a true epic one clocking around 13+ minutes. Style-wise this differed from the rest of the set as it's almost Bluse-y on occasion and the vocal lines are much cleaner than regular tracks from the band. It was great to hear Bryan “Hellroadie” Patrick sing this one as he showed off his voice-range and it all sounded fantastic.

Before MANILLA ROAD had started playing this night they were all looking and discussing a painting hanging on the wall at the back of the stage. An attempt to introduce “The Ram” by pointing at the painting failed. The song though was received very well and now it was full throttle towards the end from the crowd. Again it was clear that it is “Crystal Logic” most people know, still it's very nice to be in a place that's boiling and the band gets the kind of support MANILLA ROAD got here. The same way of introducing “Necropolis” as in Stockholm, saying it was a good thing the band took a train from Stockholm to Gothenburg or they'd been Lost in... really didn't work at all but again, the song was received with frenzy from the crowd.

So no, it didn't become the calm and cozy event announced but that's all a good thing. Again it was a lot of fun to be there, the atmosphere was great and MANILLA ROAD delivered one hell of a set. It was an intimate gig and it felt looser at The Abyss than it did in Stockholm, more jokes between Mark and Bryan, sometimes it almost got mottled but it was all good fun. It was basically the same songs as the Stockholm gig but from an event experience it was very different. Both extremely good though!

MANILLA ROAD setlist:

01. “Open The Gates”
02. “Astronomica”
03. “Masque Of The Red Death”
04. “Death By The Hammer”
05. “Hammer Of The Witches”
06. “Witches Brew”
07. “The Ninth Wave”
08. “Divine Victim”
09. “The Road Of Kings”
10. “Mystification”
11. “Truth In The Ash”
12. “Luxifera's Light”
13. “The Empire”
14. “Queen Of The Black Coast”
15. “The Ram”
16. “The Riddle Master”
17. “Necropolis”
18. “Crystal Logic”
19. “Flaming Metal Systems”

MANILLA ROAD

Manilla Road @ The Abyss, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Manilla Road @ The Abyss, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Manilla Road @ The Abyss, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Manilla Road @ The Abyss, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg)
Manilla Road @ The Abyss, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Manilla Road @ The Abyss, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Manilla Road @ The Abyss, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Manilla Road @ The Abyss, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg)
Manilla Road @ The Abyss, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Manilla Road @ The Abyss, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Manilla Road @ The Abyss, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Manilla Road @ The Abyss, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg)

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