What follows is Chris Chantler’s look at the life of a man who embodied the meaning of the word “underground”; Manilla Road mastermind Mark Shelton – who sadly passed away following a triumphant performance at Headbangers Open Air last Thursday 26th July. Before we dive into it, please check out the gofundme campaign launched to cover the expenses required to repatriate Mark’s body to the US and cover hospital / mortuary bills in Germany.
“I always thought that my music could be related to by others but I was never sure if it would amount to anything. I always had the dream and I guess I’m proof that sometimes dreams do come true. But it appears this only happens when you really work hard at it and don’t give up.” – Mark Shelton, Metal Brothers webzine, 2017
Mark Shelton was entranced and consumed by music from the earliest age. His mother was Professor of Music at Friends University in the Sheltons’ hometown Wichita, Kansas, and she ensured that the fledgling Shark was learning piano from the age of four. At school Mark played trumpet and baritone and sang in choirs before playing drums in jazz band The Herd, but he finally picked up an … Read More
It’s time to delve into the mystic realm of the apocalypse, otherwise known as Hellwell’s debut album ‘Beyond The Boundaries Of Sin’. Simplistically catchy yet technically excellent, Manilla Road’s Mark ‘The Shark’ Shelton has created something heavier, more experimental and evil than any other album he has released during his long career. Although Hellwell has traits of the Road, the layered, pulsating keyboards and diverse chord progressions add to the records originality and mystique. The lyrical themes of terror, serial killers and world destruction mix with a classic evil production to invoke a horribly atmospheric masterpiece.
Joining Mr Shelton is old school friend and Manilla Road partner, EC Hellwell (guess where the name is from) on keyboards and bass, ex-Manilla Road member Mark Anderson (also on some bass tracks), Dead Orchestra Fame guitarist Miles Paeday and Johnny ‘Thumper’ Benson on drums. We’re talking super metal; brilliant metal; powerful metal; riff bending insanity and the calling of Valhalla.
“I have most of the Heavy Load LP’s in my collection,” states Mark on his influences. That’s all well and good for any fan of Northern Warriors fighting Polar Bears in the mountains, but here we’re talking about Manilla Road’s evil twin; Hellwell. Mark has already … Read More
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