Saturday, August 26, 2006

Death To False Metal!

Manowar is a band that have been around for over 25 years and have played the same music and style without ever getting dull or repetitive. It's like they mix the chords up a bit and change the lyrics, but for some reason it always sounds fresh. I don't know why, maybe it's cause I enjoy their brand of metal, who knows, but you know what you're going to get with each album and it will be well done. Manowar is also Synonymous with the term True Metal and I paraphrase on behalf of Joey DeMaio (bassist and key songwriter) 'True metal' is music that's true to the style of classic heavy metal. It's not diluted. It's not pussied out. It's not wimped out. It's played from the heart, 100 percent. And is definitely true for every single Manowar album that's ever been released.

The album I'll delve into today is "Triumph Of Steel". This is the bands 7th album, but my first to experience. I bought this solely for the 28+ minute epic "Achilles, Agony and Ecstacy in 8 parts". At the time of purchase I was into a lot of fantasy metal and this truly appealed to me and man is this album a killer! Before I get into the epic I'll talk about the rest of the album.

This could have been a very dull album solely thrown together simply to showcase "Achilles..." but is not the case. Manowar have included a number of great tracks. We have the standard death to posers song "Metal Warriors (Brothers Of Metal pt 2)" with unapologetic lyrics such as: Heavy Metal Or No Metal At All Wimps And Posers Leave The Hall Heavy Metal Or No Metal At All Wimps And Posers Go On Get Out Leave The Hall.Doesn't get much bolder than that. "Ride Of The Dragon" is fast and majestic with a little talking guitar effect to create some cool dragon noises. "Spirit Horse Of The Cherokee" is about the Cherokee Indians and the Trail of Tears stand off. It starts off with Indian narration, being translated in a song like whisper before we get assaulted with very tribal like rhythmic heavy metal. The bludgeoning bass and drums make Iron Maiden's Run To The Hills seem poppy (OK might not that much, but you get what I'm saying). And "Burning" is dark and atmospheric with whispered vocals during the versus then blasting us with pummeling metal similar to "Spirit Horse...". One of my favourite tracks is "The Power Of Thy Sword". It is epic and majestic with swords clashing throughout as part of the music. The song is fast and powerful and Eric Adam's vocals are brilliant. "Demons Whip" is another epic track that starts of dark and moody, then moves into some bonecrushing riffwork before crushing us with a blistering thrashy outro which is the fastest I've heard Manowar play. Then the album ends with the majestic orchestral ballad "Master Of The Wind". It's simple and powerful with good use of Timpany percussion and Eric Adam's vocals just shine. Now onto "Achilles, Agony and Ecstacy in eight parts".

The epicness begins with a very triumphant guitar anthem that signifies the start of something grand, a mighty fine intro. Then "Hector Storms The Wall" which begins the metal onslaught. It's fast and ferocious. "Death Hector's Reward" and "The Glory Of Achilles" both are brutally fast thrashy parts as well. The epic also includes orchestral ballads not unlike "Master Of The Wind" with the song parts "The Death of Patroclus" and "Hector's Final Hour" which have Eric wailing with powerful and passionate, majestic vocals which remind us that he is one of Metals greatest vocalists. The instrumental parts aren't bad, but "Armor of the Gods" which is a blistering drum solo does tend to drag. "Funeral March" is a beautiful guitar solo full of emotion, unfortunately the momentum is slightly lost with the drum solo that follows ("Armour..."). "The Desecration of Hector's Body, parts 1 & 2" is a fine example of Joey DeMaio's exemplary bass work with part 2 being almost electric guitar like.

Overall "Triumph Of Steel" is fine album, and my favourite of Manowar's. Every song is good and showcase's the bands fine musicianship. There is a passion and rawness on this album that doesn't seem to be on their later releases. Joey DeMaio has helped create and maintain a commendable loyalty to it's fans and their art, a band that is sincere. Eric Adams (The only other original member) is the vocal representation of that secure feeling a fan gets with every listen of a Manowar album.

2 Comments:

Blogger José Carlos Santos said...

what a great review. manowar was the first metal band that i got into, way back in 1988 (with 'kings of metal') when i was 10, and triumph of steel is my favourite of them. i had a tape of it at the time that just broke apart from so many repeat plays. :)

2:13 AM  
Anonymous Rhodeislandrock said...

Manowar is one of those bands that is taken extremely seriously by their fans. The "true metal" battle cry on every album does get a bit stale if you sit there and think about it. If you just enjoy the albums, you don't notice the recurring themes.

I got into Manowar with 1987's Fighting The World and I think all of their albums are pretty solid. The exception is the last one, Warriors Of The World (2002), which I thought was weak.

Looking forward to their new album.

12:25 PM  

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