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Epic Classic - 90%

Lord_Elden, November 8th, 2004

As everyone else already said, the album is divided into two parts, the five first songs and the the three last.

The first part is typical metal ranging from decent (Manowar) to good (Metal Daze), the songs Death Tone, Fast Taker and Shell Shock are okay but certainly nothing special. The lyrics to these songs are decent (few bands have good lyrics), the riffs are good and the vocals are great. The songs are too similar in structure though, it wouldn't have heart if there been a slower song among those, or anything that would have given a bit more variation. Well, these songs aren't the reason I listen to this album.

The last three tracks are superb on the other hand. Well, William's Tale isn't quite a song, it's a bass solo showing the bassist's perfected skills. Much better than Metallica's (Anesthesia) - Pulling Teeth. And it fits in perfectly between the songs Dark Avenger and Battle Hymn, which are among the best Epic Metal songs ever written.
Dark Avenger consists of three parts, it starts slowly, the first part wouldn't be misplaced in a Doom Metal album. Second part is the narration by Orson Wells, it fits in perfectly. And the last part is the faster part with great riffs and a superb vocal performance. And I haven't even mentioned the vocals. An epic classic!
Battle Hymn, this is a musical orgasm, the epitome of Epic Metal: perfect guitar intro, superb vocals, awesome slow middle part and killing lyrics. The created atmosphere is immense. Manowar's best song and one of the best songs ever!

The high score is mostly based on the three last tracks, those tracks are the reason I bought this album. The score would've been higher if there had been more epic tracks. One of the best debuts ever. With this record Manowar into glory rode.