MANOWAR - The Lord Of Steel
July 30, 2012, 7 years ago
The Kings Of Metal’s latest ten song offering is available as digital-only download, available exclusively from Itunes, the band’s Kingdom of Steel website (Manowar.com) or the Hammer Edition, a tie-in with the UK magazine. No buxom, half-naked maidens on the album cover? Die-hards will be disappointed (many of whom are still into vinyl and only begrudgingly will take a CD. Now what?). Good news, the first note heard is guitar, not grandiose (some say overblown) intros that characterized their last, entirely new, studio effort, Gods Of War. This kick-off is kick ass, a speedster of an ode to their god, “The Lord Of Steel”, complete with prominent bass. ‘Manowarriors’ is a simplistic sing-song anthem written for the live crowd, with the tag line “In heavy metal we believe. If you don’t like it, time to leave,” before the final 70 seconds repeat “Manowarriors raise your hands”. You can envision the in-concert fists thrust aloft! The mood changes from there, going into a bit of a shell. The mid-tempo, clap along, ‘Born In A Grave’ see the powerful pipes of Eric Adams kept in check, reduced to whispers at the start. ‘Righteous Glory’ is a ballad. By contrast, ‘Touch The Sky’ has an easy-going, (surprisingly) almost pop sensibility to it. Drummer Donnie Hamzik can finally be heard again, on the instrumental, first two and a half minutes of the otherwise sludgey ‘Black List’, aided by more thumping bass from head honcho Joey DeMaio. The galloping ‘Expendable’ locks into that classic Manowar groove, albeit a little short, over in 3:05. ‘El Gringo’ is a a like-minded paean to 60s Spaghetti Westerns (Eastwood, Van Cleef, etc.) complete with tolling bell. ‘Annihilation’ keeps things lively, the first trio of songs to sport a similar tempo/feel. The closing title, ‘Hail, Kill And Die’ is lifted from the back catalog, as are the lyrics, which utilize all of Manowar’s album titles in its first line. Not the strongest finale. Definitely a couple of worthy additions to the live set, namely the title track, ‘El Gringo’, ‘Annihilation’ and given its name, the almost guaranteed to be there, ‘Manowarriors’. Hail!