In no way can 1988's »Out Of The Abyss« be classified as a typical Manilla Road album. 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” Shelton agrees on both counts: “It was indeed very thrash influenced and most of the topics are based on bloody murder and Cthulhu mythos stuff. 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. 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.”
For the current re-issue of »Out Of The Abyss« Mark “The Shark” Shelton has once again delved deep into his archives. The album bears the subtitle »Before The Leviathan« and features the rare original first mix of »Out Of The Abyss« (never published before).
Mark Shelton has the full story: “When we first recorded »Out Of The Abyss« in Miller Studios in Kansas we were not signed to a label. Black Dragon was struggling with distribution issues and we were looking for a new label to work with. While this search for a label was going on we were not being idle. We went ahead and financed the recording of the album ourselves and when we finished the recording, we did a good quick mix of the entire album. We then negotiated a deal for the album with Leviathan Records in the States. That label decided to have us mix the album in California with Steve Fontano of Shrapnel Records fame. So what was originally released was the Fontano mix and on this new re-issue you will get the first mix that myself and Larry Funk and the band members did at Miller Studio before we went to California. I personally like our mix a little better.”
Even if you own the first release of »Out Of The Abyss«, this re-issue is a must-have for all Manilla Road fans. And if you have not heard the album before, then »Out Of The Abyss – Before The Leviathan« is the better version to come into first contact with.