Manilla Road Special (42): Peter Svensson (Anchorite)

In the 42nd part of our big Manilla Road Special, the Swede Peter Svensson, who is currently active in the international epic doom metal band Anchorite, has his say.

P. Svensson: The photo is from Bang Your Head 2000, meeting the band for the first time. I still have that Shark Attack sign in my basement.

André: Would you classify Manilla Road as an important source of inspiration for your music?

Peter: I would definitely say so, from the more straightforward metal songs of the early years to the complex arrangements that were created when Randy Foxe joined. Besides the music, Mark’s lyrics have always been a big inspiration, not only does he write about very interesting subjects, but his verse and rhyme schemes are amazing. He is the master of short lines with intricate rhyme patterns.

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

There are several moments, the one that just comes to mind, except for seeing them live at Bang Your Head in 2000, is one from Fall of Summer Festival in France in 2016. I was working there with Exciter as their merchandise guy. I had spoken to Mark a few times before throughout the years and he was always very friendly. At that festival I was sitting alone on a chair just enjoying a beer and he walked up to me, sat down next to me and said that he knew me and that he felt we shared a bond and then we talked about sci-fi for a long time. He had a special magic around him. Another great moment was recording the track “Valhalla Awaits“ with my band Anchorite as a tribute to Mark. What made it even more special was that Bryan Patrick and Randy Foxe joined us on the track.

What makes Manilla Road special in your opinion?

The very original music, which still is in the metal realm, and then Mark’s fantastic lyrics, that always fit well with to the themes and are like poetry in themselves.

What are your three favourite Manilla Road albums?

Out of the Abyss (which was my first Manilla Road album), Crystal Logic and Open the Gates.

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

Atlantis Rising.

What are your five favourite Manilla Road tracks?

“Rites of Blood“, “Dreams of Eschaton”, “Divine Victim”, “The Fountain”, “The Riddle Master”.

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

“Helicon“, awesome song with great emotion and playing.

Which Manilla Road track moves you the most emotionally?

“The Fountain”, but lately also “Mystification” as I started to think about it as a “tribute” to Mark as well.

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

It is difficult to choose since it changes with my mood, but the leads on “Epitaph to the King” are amazing!

How would you define the term epic metal?

Powerful music with a lot of emotion.

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

I’m not sure if any of these can be called “young” bands but these are the ones that come to mind: DoomSword, The Lord Weird Slough Feg, Battle Ram and Cauldron Born. One newer that is pretty good is Eternal Champion.

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

I think that Manilla Road will always be synonymous with epic metal. In some respects they are maybe even more associated with epic metal than their music actually is. Some Manilla Road songs are going into other genres and that’s a really good thing. The diversity of a band usually makes them great. Manilla Road’s back catalogue is so massive, wide-ranging and full of amazing metal that their impact and legacy can never be forgotten!

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