Manilla Road Special (31): Chris Kappas (Achelous)

Today, Chris Kappas – vocalist of Greek epic heavy metal band Achelous – talks about Manilla Road and Mark Shelton. Enjoy reading – and hail Epic Metal!

Manilla Road seems to be an important source of inspiration for your music, would you agree?

Anyone that performs Epic Metal has to admit that Manilla Road is an influence for his music. For some a bigger for some a smaller one, but an influence nevertheless.

Can you point out a special moment that you experienced with Manilla Road?

For me it was the first time I listened to them when I bought Out Of The Abyss back in the late 80s early 90s! I just knew that there is something special there. I still listen to this one after so many decades.

What makes Manilla Road special in your opinion?

I believe that Manilla Road have a unique style in their music. Combine that with tons of passion and the distinctive voice of Mark and here you go. You can’t beat that!!

What are your three favorite Manilla Road albums?

Classics like Crystal Logic and Mystification are for sure two of my favourite albums. Those are so great that I don’t need to justify why. But Out Of The Abyss is also a beloved album of mine. It was my introduction to the band and it will always have a special place in my heart.

Chris Kappas with his first Manilla Road album!

What’s the most underrated Manilla Road album in your opinion?

I believe that the most underrated Manilla Road album is Out Of The Abyss. I know that in that album they pushed their music to the limit, but it still has some really killer tracks, like “Rites Of Blood”, “Midnight Meat Train” and of course one of their biggest gems “Helicon”. This one was always in my mixed tapes back in the day.

What are your five favorite Manilla Road tracks?

It’s not easy to pick only 5 tracks in such a great discography!! If I had to choose I would say:

  • “Helicon”
  • “The Veils of Negative Existence”
  • “Necropolis”
  • “Mystification”
  • “Astronomica”

What’s the most underrated Manilla Road track in your opinion?

I believe that “Helicon” is a song that should be considered as a classic not only in the Manilla Road discography but in metal generally. For me it summarises everything that Manilla Road is.

Which Manilla Road track moves you the most emotionally?

This one is easy… “Mystification“. This one is pouring emotion!! You have to be dead inside in order to not love it!

What’s your favorite solo/lead played by Mark Shelton?

The last couple of minutes from “Helicon“ are truly awesome. The solo is simply amazing and it escalates so well. In this one everyone can understand what a good guitarist Mark was.

How would you define the term epic metal?

Epic metal has to do with emotions mostly and not specific music forms. It’s the only sub-genre in which bands can play totally different kinds of metal music and it is still be called Epic Metal. Magnum for me have Epic Metal tracks, so do Bathory, Manilla Road are totally different than Manowar and still they are both considered to be Epic Metal. It’s not the music but the emotions that the music causes that makes a band an Epic Metal band.

Are there any young bands inspired by Manilla Road that you appreciate?

Yeah!!!! Eternal Champion is a killer new band with Manilla Road in their veins and I definitely believe that they will continue Mark’s legacy!!

What do you generally think of Manilla Road’s legacy and the current epic metal scene?

The fact that this band managed to influence so many musicians, while still being an underground band in its basis is really incredible!!! Very few bands have managed to be so influential, yet so true to their music and fans…Manilla Road ARE a big part of Heavy Metal music and their legacy will live on forever through the new blood, the new bands that rise in the underground every day!!!

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