Spiral Castle (Iron Glory~2002)
I know this group has had a long career and has quite a following, but this is the first Manilla Road album in my collection. I canīt say that my first impression is very good, unless you count uncontrollable laughing as a positive reaction. The songs are well constructed and the musical performances are good, but the vocals - oh my goodness, this album may have the worst metal vocals Iīve ever heard. From what I can tell, there are two singers here, including one who sings in a lower pitch and is tolerable. But the other one sounds like heīs either sick or is holding his nose closed while trying to sing. More than once, I couldnīt help but laugh at the thought that this guy actually gets paid to sing like that. If that passes as professional singing these days, maybe I have a future as a vocalist as well. I canīt comment on how this stacks up against the rest of the bandīs catalogue, but I sure hope the vocals havenīt always been this comical. Itīs really a shame because aside from the vocals, this is pretty darn good.