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Classic "rock and roll"... - 85%

Snxke, July 3rd, 2004

Say what you will about the metal in-joke that Manowar have become but this first record is a classic slab of tough-guy rock and roll that without the image and tacky interview bits should stand alone as a benefit to heavy metal. The production is a little lame (though much better on the re-master), but who can deny such talented riffcraft and emotional vocalizing? (This is before Eric Adams became a parody of the genre entirely you know...) Not I, sayeth the Von.

Songs like "Death Tone", "Battle Hymn" and and "Metal Daze" all stomp and claw with a rock and roll menace all of thier own. The riffs rule, the vocals are passionate and if you ignore the lyrics this stands out as much as any important early-1980's heavy metal record. "I WENT TO THE BIG HOUSE YOU JUST WORK A JOB!!!!!!" Yep...sing it Erik. I am hardly traditional Manowarrior though...as I think the song "Dark Avenger" kinda sucks...but when these boys rock out...they ROCK OUT.

"Battle Hymns" is a classic release for ANY band and Manowar did the right thing at the right time in writing/releasing this music to the world. Say what you will about the band now, but on their first four cheesy-yet-brilliant records these guys actually WERE the "kings of metal" in their own inconceivable way.

"Hail & Kill" ya silly bastards.

http://www.manowar.com