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This album is a proof that one band can attempt to reach a larger audience without changing sound identity and attitude. Do not listen to these review who talks about the band selling-out, making pop songs or being too commercial. With this album ManOwaR has advanced into a better produced, cleaner sound, but did not let go the power and over-the-top approach the band is know for. Yes, there are some 'stadium songs' and some cheesiness inherent to the 80's metal but it's a very conscious move that shows how the band has reached maturity and is now trying to reach a larger audience - good! - I think this is the first Manowar album that got me hooked, banging to the drums of the title track!
Production-wise, the band never sounded this good, Demaio's bass, which was louder than the guitar on previous albums, finally found the right balance on the mix and sounds heavy without taking room from Ross The Boss, not the most skilled guitar player out there but one who can pull out some good riffs. Drumming is heavy and with many double-bass pounding. The opening track of the album is very iconic and any Manowar fan recognize it immediately. Eric Adams sounds confident as always. If you want an example of how great the album sounds, turn up the volume, jump to 2:28 on the first track, while Eric sings "see my brothers standing by my side" backed with muted notes. That is a hell of an opening, and a great song to perform live with many crowd participations, something that became a staple for ManOwaR. The lyrics are just plain fun and captures the kind of feeling we have when we are the only person with a distinct opinion on music and culture on general.
Most controversy on this album comes from Blow Your Speakers, but if you think about it, is just another rock'n'roll song like the others before it (Animals, Warlord, Fast Taker). The lyrics are actually not bad, it's a shame that people did not follow its advice to ask the radios to play Rock'n'Roll!! Maybe if it were recorded by Kiss it would become a classic like I Love it Loud. BTW - you might have noticed how the cover art on this album looks like Destroyer from Kiss.
After these two songs, the band returns to the Conan-esque theme with a great anthem Carry On - which sounds awesome live, the double drumming Holy War and Violence and Bloodshed. There's also the epic Defender - in the same blueprint as Battle Hymns and March For Revenge tough not as good. Now let me talk about one of the best ManOwaR songs ever; Black Wind Fire and Steel. This song alone makes the album worthy, the way the it starts is mind blowing; Demaio's bass fires a single note like a machine gun, then a verse of pure Might & Magic greatness:
Full moon's light is calling me
My kingdom lies within
The mystic soul and lion's heart
Brought by the talisman.
The ecstasy of battle takes me
Where the falcons fly.
Immortal youth was granted me
I will never die.
It's a fast, powerful song with great lyrics, chorus and musicianship, Manowar doesn't get better than this. Fighting The World delivers everything a fan might hope, there are epic and fast songs, stadium anthems for crowd participation, catchy choruses and excellent production. Not one single bad song, making this one of the most consistent Manowar albums to date.
This is Manowar’s somewhat oddball album, released in-between “Sign of the Hammer” and “Kings of Metal,” both considered classics among fans. However, there’s a mystic aura surrounding this record. It smells like, money. Yes, money. A few tracks on this album seem to be made for a more rock friendly audience, however, this doesn’t spell complete disaster.
“Fighting the World” is a catchy, simple kind of song, not typical of the Manowar lore. This is the part of the album that seems to be a little to friendly, “Blow Your Speakers” is a cheesy romp through the adventures of Manowar getting played on the mainstream radio. Pretty useless track honestly. “Carry On” is sort of a ballad, also a pretty questionable tune. These three songs aren’t horrible, but you’ll be thinking in the back of your head “do I really like these?” Cheesy, badly written, a little too “poppy,” and just plain old average. Nothing special honestly. However, you will find some gems here, case in point “Violence and Bloodshed.” A fantastic song really, aggression and speed are both present, unlike the first three songs. “Defender” is a slow, chugging, boring song that really doesn’t get your blood pumping at all. Drums of Doom” is completely useless, but a quick little instrumental that leads into “Holy War,” a pretty decent offering, not bad, not good, just right down the middle. Another useless track “Master of Revenge” is also placed here. It offers nothing, it’s just Eric Adams screaming with random effects. This album does end on a superb note. “Black Wind, Fire, and Steel” is catchy as hell with aggression, which is something this album lacks. I must also note that Eric Adam’s performance on this song is the brightest gem on this album.
“Fighting the World” has good production, a really bad cover art, and some really good songs (two to be exact). Overall, this album is pretty weak. Spotty writing, weak “poppy” songs, too much negative to overcome the positives. Check out “Violence and Bloodshed“ and “Black Wind, Fire, and Steel.” The rest is either too boring or weak. The first three tracks are hard to judge, catchy, but crappy at the same time.
I've liked Manowar since I first got Into Glory Ride, and now after hearing several of their other albums, I consider myself a fan of the band. Well, I didn't have this one yet, so $6.99 seemed like an excellent price for anything with the name Manowar on it. I didn't question myself because I came to expect good material from Manowar, considering I hadn't gotten an album I didn't really like yet.
Well, this album was dissapointing. Not that it is bad, it's just...well...not, Manowar good. First of all it's far too short. 34 minutes, with 2 of those minutes not actually music, just thunder, and horses hooves and that usual shit we expect from Manowar. Now, that stuff is all good and fun, but I expect some music too. So, we take out that stuff and we have about 32 minutes of music. Ok, 32 minutes of Manowar should be good none the less. It's not.
The album sounds like normal Manowar music (i'm assuming you already know what they sound like or have some good idea) but it's not as good. First of all, the epic sense is gone, going back to the simple kind of stuff on Battle Hymns. Now Battle Hymns is a great album, but this is not. The difference is the songwriting. Most of the songs on this album are just...mehhh. Not terrible but they make me want to shut off this album and pop in Triumph Of Steel or Into Glory Ride.
So let me rundown that 32 minutes of music. Blow Your Speakers is most definetely the worst Manowar song I've ever heard. It's still not terrible but it's not good. So let's that 4 minutes from the total time. 28 Minutes. That's the only terrible song, the rest range from mediocre to good. Yes, there are actually some very good songs on here.
Fighting The World is actually quite a catchy song and quite enjoyable. Yes it's a little less heavy than other Manowar songs but it still kicks ass none the less. Carry On is a weird ballad type song, but it's powerful, so it's like a ballad-like rocker or something. Anyway it's mainly weird because part of me hates it and the other part loves it. But I do love it more than I hate it so, it's a good song anyway. Violence and Bloodshed is an alright song but it begins with a minute of sirens and engine noises and that crap. We're down to 27 minutes of music.
Defender is somewhat of an epic, but not nearly as good as Battle Hymn or any other Manowar epic. It's an okay song but just mediocre going by the Manowar standard. Holy War is a nice little metal tune, but not really enough to save the album. Lastly is Black Wind, Fire And Steel, by far the best song on the album. This aong actually pulls off the epic sense that Manowar is known for.
So, not a terrible album but nothing to rush out and buy. Consider purchasing for 0-5 dollars because the album is short and mediocre and not worth any more. Still there are some nice tracks on this disc, they are just clumped in with terrible ones that seem to leave a longer lasting impression on the listener.
Many argue that this is one of Manowar’s weaker offerings due to an overly commercial approach to their, at this time, solidified formula. However, the truth is that there isn’t much on here that is more commercial than what can be heard on “Battle Hymns” or the follow-up “Kings of Metal”. It’s the same original blend of epic, rock, and cheese that has always made the band one of my preferred metal flavors. My only real gripe about the album is that it’s too damn short.
There is a strong sense of catchy arena oriented rock mixed into the first three songs which give an impression of a mainstream 80s effort. They all feature simplistic melodies and straightforward musical ideas, particularly the use of backup singer chants that give an atmosphere of a giant stadium singing along with Eric Adams as he belts out some of the most obnoxiously high notes heard out of a singer with his testosterone level. Even the acoustic intro of “Carry On” has a largeness to it that typifies the spirit of Manowar’s sound.
If you judged this album by only the first 3 songs then the assertion that it is a collection of radio singles might hold up, but after wards things go back to the usual mix of true metal ingredients. “Violence and Bloodshed” was likely what earned this album its Parental Advisory label, steeped with aggressive lyrics and good old fashioned Manowar style chunky speed metal. “Defender” is the album’s epic number, complete with a guest narration slot by stage and screen veteran Orson Welles and all of the usual grandiose themes that made the “Battle Hymns” album title track a standard in the metal world.
The second half of this album’s format is quite deceptive, as it lists and is organized into 4 songs (2 short, 2 full length), but essentially listens as 2 epic speed metal tracks with elongated intros. In the case of “Black Wind, Fire and Steel”, which is rightly hailed by many as the greatest song on here, the theme of “Master of Revenge” actually recurs at the end after a veritable mountain of free timed guitar noise and feedback. Although Manowar has had many moments of sheer genius in their lengthy career, the final 2 tracks on here actually outdo the finer moments on what would otherwise be superior albums. It has the flash and flair of “Blood of the Kings” and the riff driven aggression of “Wheels of Fire”.
The general truth about Manowar is that with one or two small exceptions, when you purchase one of their albums you get a quality product with all the barbaric fury of a thousand berserkers fresh off the dragon boats. Their physical bodies may have been conceived in New York, but their souls sprang from the very gates of Valhalla. “Fighting the World” is a highly recommended addition to the collection of any 80s metal fan, especially a Manowar fan who prefers the era when Ross the Boss was tearing up the fret board, although this is probably one of their lower rated albums due to a strong collection of radio friendly rockers. But for all of you radio haters out there, remember, every Viking has to leap from his boat and stand on the same ground as everyone else in order to achieve conquest.
Manowar’s major label debut brought their self-styled brand of bass-driven, ear-splitting, macho heavy metal to a wider audience, raising concerns among long-time fans that their favourite stupid-but-excellent band had sold out to the same faceless institution they had assaulted in earlier songs such as ‘All Men Play on 10.’ Clearly aware of this, Manowar lays rest to such fears in their customary way with the single ‘Blow Your Speakers,’ in which Eric Adams yells his love of true metal and hatred of mainstream labels against a catchy, Village People-style backing chorus and stilted guitars. Something here is awry.
Released three years after the last of Manowar’s previous four albums, which were released in rapid succession, as detailed in my review for ‘Sign of the Hammer,’ the ‘Fighting the World’ album likely represents the greatest disappointment of their career. It isn’t their worst album by far, as the few releases of the past decade have all been disappointing in unique ways, but it represents a significant drop in quality and an unappreciated change in direction from the dark and epic heavy metal of their earlier efforts towards something resembling, in places, the ‘false metal’ the band boasts so much hatred for. Whether this was due to pressure from Atlantic Records to create something easier to sell is unclear, though it must have become obvious soon after that only those with a certain frame of mind were going to buy Manowar records in the first place, and the band should essentially be allowed to do their inexplicably popular thing uninterrupted.
Thematically it’s much the same as everything bass player and songwriter Joey DeMaio puts out, a mix of songs set in the present day of the metal-loving, bike-riding East Coast, and tales of battle fought in ancient history. There’s even a song about Vietnam which harks back to the debut album, and as usual a couple of pieces glorifying Manowar’s fans and the band itself. Anyone who had followed Manowar up to this point would recognise the usual shift in style from straightforward metal anthems in the first, ‘present day’ side of the album to the more grandiose style of the later songs that continues the style the band excels at the most. With this significant split between styles, the album is structured similarly to the classic debut ‘Battle Hymns,’ but most of the material sadly falls short of its predecessor. It’s notable, and disappointing, that the only truly excellent song here is the epic ‘Defender,’ which I discovered years later was written way back in the glorious era of ‘Into Glory Ride,’ but jettisoned from that album for issues of space.
1. Fighting the World
2. Blow Your Speakers
3. Carry On
4. Violence and Bloodshed
6. Drums of Doom
7. Holy War
8. Master of Revenge
9. Black Wind, Fire and Steel
The first four tracks have a noticeably different audience than the later songs, and it’s clear they were placed at the beginning, as usual with Manowar releases, to provide something more straightforward for newcomers that won’t put them off persevering to the later, more seasoned territory. Not that there isn’t an awful lot to put people off in these arrogant and hypocritical heavy metal anthems, which display a far more commercial side of the band not heard since the opening songs of ‘Battle Hymns,’ before the band found its feet. ‘Fighting the World’ itself is a medium pace rocker with lyrics that are too embarrassing even to be considered amusing in the traditional Manowar sense (‘stripes on a tiger don’t wash away / Manowar’s made of steel, not clay’), and even in terms of the music that these lyrics uncharacteristically overshadow to a large degree, the plodding drum beat, predictable guitar riff and overly repetitive chorus isn’t what listeners have come to expect from a Manowar opener. ‘Blow Your Speakers’ is even worse, and the music video was placed in VH1’s list of ‘Most Awesomely Bad Metal Songs,’ though for the long-time Manowar fan it’s more of a crushing disappointment than a cheesy laugh. It’s clear that this is a re-tread of the older song ‘Metal Daze,’ but the backing chorus, mentioned earlier, is many times worse, and once again the lyrics are abominable (‘I wrote a letter to the MTV / Said “what’s going on, don’t you care about me?”’). This pair of slow, preachy dance floor songs (presumably the result of the lyric, ‘people want music to get ’em movin’), lacks the energy and compelling sincerity of Manowar’s traditional shorter songs, and makes an unforgivably poor start to the album.
‘Carry On’ is a slight improvement, and works alright as a cheesy eighties metal song complete with TV game show solo, but still isn’t what the album needs to get on track. Notably, it’s Manowar’s first real foray into the rousing crowd chant style that would appear on many releases hereafter, beginning with a plodding drum and Adams’ irresistible vocals before breaking into a speedier riff for the verses and returning in the chorus. I have a soft spot for this song, but it’s still essentially crap. Things continue to improve, slowly but surely, with the excitingly titled ‘Violence and Bloodshed,’ promising the aggression of some of Manowar’s finest songs and delivering this to an extent. The drastically improved production quality of all albums released hereafter makes this song sound stilted and unfulfilled by comparison, as we’re not hearing the full effect a live performance would provide, but it’s still a step in the right direction at last. Ross “The Boss” delivers his first notable riff of the album and creates quite a cacophony, while Eric Adams is at his vocal best in both the driving verses and excellent chorus, which sees him increase the pitch of his wail incrementally after each power chord.
‘Defender,’ the finest song on the album, takes the listener back to an undisclosed time of warfare for the remainder of the performance, and is a fine example of a slow, epic song executed to perfection. The late Orson Welles provides narration as he did for the similarly excellent ‘Dark Avenger’ on the debut album, recorded four years earlier for the original version of the song in which time Welles had passed away, and his steady, deep tone contrasts excellently with Eric Adams’ high singing, especially when the two voices of ‘father and son’ are pitted against each other in the finale. It’s touching in a very simplistic way, as a young warrior reads a letter written by his late father explaining why he had to leave and ultimately die in service of his kingdom/country/warlord, and the boy promises to follow his example. Ross “The Boss” gives a nice solo, and the bass and drum rhythm is vital in holding the whole thing together, but this is very clearly a song dominated and led by the two great vocal performances, the higher one of which acts almost like a guitar solo in itself.
‘Drums of Doom’ is nothing more than a short drum solo designed to introduce the next song, complete with the sound effects of horses galloping that begin what will later become an obsession with inserting sound samples into the music. The best thing about this song is that drummer Scott Columbus’ simplistic and non-flamboyant performance replaces any lengthy bass solo track that might have made its way onto the album like all others before it (and most afterwards). ‘Holy War’ returns to the battle metal sound of Manowar’s great Viking epics, beginning softly before erupting into a bass-dominated and highly energetic performance that can’t help but be seen, in hindsight, like a direct precursor to ‘Hail and Kill’ on the subsequent release. This is easily one of the best songs on the album, but is spoiled slightly by the decision to make tracks six to nine flow together in something of a contrived suite, meaning that the song can’t really be played in isolation without sounding odd at the beginning and end as it catches the tail-end of other songs.
It’s worse that the following song, ‘Master of Revenge,’ is merely a one-minute prelude to the final song in which Ross “The Boss” plays a repetitive riff over Adams’ wailing vocals, something that would sound good as part of a longer piece but doesn’t really work here. Closer ‘Black Wind, Fire and Steel’ is a bit of an over-rated album closer as it lies uncomfortably between epic and speedy territory and, as usual for Manowar finales, takes an excruciating amount of time to actually finish once the song is over, including a ridiculous wailing section towards the close. The bulk of the song itself is pretty good, led by DeMaio’s hyper clanging bass and putting Eric Adams through his paces as his verse vocals have to keep up. The chorus is incredibly memorable and catchy, if a little meaningless, and if it wasn’t for the regrettable finale this would be on even par with ‘Holy War,’ both of which suffer slightly thanks to whoever came up with the seguing idea.
It’s both sad and embarrassing that Manowar had such a bad start on their major label debut, failing to live up their own standards and slogans as they struggle to weakly cobble together something more commercially viable, but at the same time decide to go overboard on the ridiculous lyrics and attitude that are the most off-putting aspect of even their best work. Without the re-use of ‘Defender,’ this album would truly be feeble, and no amount of studio trickery and fake song suites can elevate it to the classic status of their earlier releases (tracks six to nine are all different songs, and no amount of cross-fading is going to convince people otherwise). The performances from DeMaio and Adams are superb on occasion, compared to the fairly average contributions from Ross “The Boss” and Columbus, but this album feels like a severe mis-step even after the slightly directionless ‘Sign of the Hammer.’ The following year’s definitive ‘Kings of Metal’ would solidify Manowar’s ambitions and objectives forever after, making them appear even stupider in some ways but also much more focused and determined to spread their message, making ‘Fighting the World’ an insignificant and hopefully forgettable stepping stone between the Manowar of the early eighties and the band that continues to grow ever more elaborate today.
I really should talk about the album cover... no, I think it’s fairly self-explanatory.
The early albums of Manowar were the best ones in terms of quality, but that wasn't reflected on sales. Manowar was always in a "almost famous" state, a good heavy metal band indeed, but with few fans. So they adopted some Judas Priest and Kiss elements, bands that sold many records at that time (and they still do) The result was "Fighting the World", an album that represent the end of the 'old age' of Manowar, and the opening of a new one, a bridge between "Sign of the Hammer" and "Kings of Metal".
"Fighting the World" kicks off the album. It's the perfect single, very catchy. It could be a perfect Kiss song, or a song of Judas Priest's "British Steel". The same happens with "Blow Your Speakers". Yes, "FtW" and "BYS" are good tracks, but they lack of that 'Manowar feeling' that made them great. "Carry On" is the first 'Manowar' song here. It's something like a ballad, those kinds of ballads that Manowar often does, like "Heart of Steel". It starts with acoustic guitars, and then it goes with a metallic rhythm. "Violence and Bloodshed" is a good heavy metal song, fast and enjoyable, but just average, especially for Manowar. "Defender" is an attempt of "Dark Avanger", even with Orson Welles' voice, but it's far from that outstanding track.
"Drums of Doom" is an short interlude to "Holy War", the first track that can be considered as a 'Manowar' track, with no doubts. "Master of Revenge" is another interlude that opens the best song of this album: "Black Wind, Fire and Steel", a kickassing power metal song that's also a classic, too. Hearing this track worths the owning of the album, indeed.
"Fighting the World" isn't the best Manowar album, and I dont' reccomend you to buy it if you don't like this band. But it's still a good heavy metal piece, although there's few Manowar elements on this record. The buying of this album it's up to you.
What happened Manowar? Manowar albums generally have a couple absolute classics that redeem any of the shittier songs, but this one doesn't deliver. It's just an album of tolerable metal, nothing more or less.
My biggest complaint is how generally contrived all the songs sound. It's like they walked into the studio and recorded the first ideas that came to mind. Nothing about the album musically is particularly innovative. All of the riffs, rhythms, solos, fills, etc. come off as incredibly unintricate and uninspired. The lyrics are probably the cheesiest Manowar lyrics ever to grace an album, and not the good cheesy that Manowar usually manages to provide. The songs just don't accomplish anything besides filling up the album. There's no real stand out tracks, although it's clear which tracks suck. "Drums of Doom" is the most pitiful attempt at an intro track/drum solo ever, with the other short track "Master of Revenge" hot on its heels. "Blow Your Speakers" blows, pun intended. If you're going to sing about defying MTV, don't do it in a song that sounds like something fucking Extreme would do. Most of the songs actually border on hard rock, rather than metal, the exception being the furious "Black Wind, Fire, and Steel," and perhaps "Holy War." "Defender," featuring an Orson Welles spoken intro, would be really good if it didn't drag itself to death after the intro. The album is decent to listen to, but it gets really boring, really fast.
The other big problem is the album's production. Not only are the songs weak as Manowar could have written them, they're recorded in a way that makes them sound even weaker. None of the songs inspire manic head banging, half because of the shitty songwriting, half because of the shitty production.
Redeeming qualities? Eric Adams' over the top vocal performance. He's one of the only vocalists that makes it sound good rather than cheesy, and his high pitched screams are among some of metal's best. Too bad nobody else on this album measures up.
This is pretty much the sorest spot in the Manowar discography, as they'd be back to powerhouse songwriting by their next album, Kings of Metal. It's worth a shot of you're into Manowar, but it's not half as good as any of their other albums.
can't exactly put my finger on it, but something in this album just doesn't work. I'm not sure what they did wrong, there's some sollid drumming here, good bass riffage, nice soloing, and Eric delivers some of his greatest screams... I think that's why I don't like this album; it all combines into that great Manowar sound - it IS Manowar - but something about the songwriting doesn't fit. All in all it's a decent album, but it's nothing compared to some of Manowar's other releases.
It opens with the title track, whish is a nice rockin' song, but there's nothing really special about it. It's just there and you hear it when you get there. The same more or less goes to the second song, Blow Your Speakers. I guess what saves this song is Eric's superb screaming, but it's still nothing very noticeable. Carry On is perhaps one of the finest points in the album, and it has a bit more of a point in it's existence, what with the build-up and relative variety in the song'd progress. Next comes a good speedy song, one of the tracks in the album. It is more powerful than Fighting The World and has the fastest pace in the album. Defender is the next song, which is actually quite an interesting track in which Eric sings alongside Orson Wells in the chorus, and it is a done well, just not very well.The next song, Drums of Doom, is just a small intro to Holy War, which doesn't really need any intro.It's a decent song with nice vocals, but still nothing special. Then comes Master of Revenge, which I don't think really justifies it's existence. Not much to say about this one. Then the final track lifts things up a little bit, and when Eric screams the final verse it really is quite nice, more emotion is found here than on most other tracks, but unfortunatly it still suits the album's overall weak atmosphere.
I guess the problem here is mostly that the album doesn"t really go anywhere, and it lacks the emotion, power and perhaps a bit epicness found on other Manowar albums. Just an average album, which is disapointing from Manowar.
heavy metal n. 1. heavy guns. 2. metal of high density. 3 (often attrib.) colloq. A type of highly amplified harsh–sounding rock music with a strong beat and frequent theatrical performance. 4. Manowar.
Manowar probably say it best themselves — death to false metal, forever fighting the world. No band has stayed truer to the cause of heavy metal in the past 20 years than Manowar. Bowing to no trend, this band has peddled straightforward metal in the face of opposition from all sides. No compromise, no bullshit, just metal. For some reason, this attitude has seen Manowar become the object of derision and mirth among many a so–called metal fan.
Y'see, Manowar have this homoerotic thing going on. They dress like rejected extras from a Village People video. A lot of people can't seem to see past the codpieces, rippling muscles and the dodgy leather pants. It's a shame, because behind the codpieces you will find… heavy fucking metal, of the highest order! (If you thought anything else, you have a dirty mind.)
Second best is not good enough for Joey De Maio, self–styled macho man, bass virtuoso and visionary driving force behind Manowar. Here you will find only the best in production values, the best available musicians, and some of the best sounding metal you will ever hear. The definition on this album is crystal clear. It is one of those recordings where you feel the urge to keep turning the volume louder and louder because it sounds so damn good. And anyway, it's Manowar, so "turn it up louder 'til we all get fried"!
Vocalist Eric Adams has a dramatic, theatrical voice, able to hit those oh so metal falsetto screams with ease. The drum sound here is absolutely booming. Even the drum kit is called the Drums of Death. "It is the ultimate drum system in the universe. Everything else is junk", according to the liner notes. De Maio's bass work needs to be heard to be believed. He consistently outplays guitarist Ross the Boss, who is no slouch himself.
The proof, they say, is in the pudding. Manowar lay on a veritable banquet of goodies. The trio of opening tracks, "Fighting The World", "Blow Your Speakers" and "Carry On" all espouse the virtues of furthering the metal cause. "Holy War" and the almost thrash metal track "Black wind, Fire and Steel" are pure Dungeons and Dragons fare.
While not a bad album in it's own right, Fighting the World is one of the weakest Manowar efforts, and does seem rather pale when compared to the first four albums.
This album in many ways takes a more rock n' roll-ish direction. The production is much cleaner, lower and lighter, the songs are very accessible and are constructed rather simply, and the drumbeats are pretty standard and not very interesting.
Though it does take a turning point through about half of the album, and gets back to more epic, speed metal oriented material.
As I already stated, Fighting the World is one of Manowar's weakest releases (the second weakest in fact. The very weakest then being Louder Than Hell), but it is pretty decent, and contains some really catchy riffwork and singalong choruses. The title track and Blow Your Speakers are excellent examples of this, and do a pretty good job opening up the album, although the weak production and lack of real punch to take alot away from them.
The next three are pretty average. Carry On is upbeat and incredibly catchy, yet also hideously cheesy, and probably the most accessible song found here. Violence and Bloodshed is the lowest point of the album, with boring single-note riffs like those found on Louder Than Hell, only with worse production and boring, forgettable vocal lines. Defender starts out fairly atmospheric, but then just plods along with the chorus being repeated a bunch of times, and it really never gets anywhere.
But for the last 2 songs, something happens. Holy War fuckin owns- Atmospheric, epic and absolutely devastating, this goes on at a fast pace with tastefully done single-note basslines underneath powerful vocals and atmospheric keyboard effects in the background, with nice riffwork kicking in for the chorus. And believe it or not, the final track is even better.
We kick into the first vers right from the start. Right away, Joey knocks you over with an insane bass assault. Underneath, Scott hammers the double bass in a galloping rhythm and Eric sings the fast and atmospheric vocal lines, before it all explodes in the chorus. BORN OF BLACK WIND, FIRE AND STEEL!
Complete and utter fucking ownage- and it gets better. The mental guitar solo takes us into the final vers, which is sung by a completely menacing Eric Adams in an unreal falsetto. This is one of Manowar's greatest songs ever, definitely.
Though between these two asskicking songs, we have some really stupid and pointless interludes, detracting from the overall flow and quality of the album. What the hell are they supposed to be?
So despite two total winners found on here, most of the material is rather average, and comes off as pretty weak compared to the rest of their catalogue. And that is not helped by a lacking production, and thus this ends up as one of the weakest Manowar albums this far. It's not bad, just pretty average.
Erh...intitially I found this album quite strange to listen too - even though I never considered it to be "bad" - it had an entirely different, more commercial feel to it than previous efforts - probably due to a lighter production coupled with the opening two "party-rockers".
Not to say that the production is "bad" - not at all actually - but it just is less heavy and more rock & roll orientated than the first four albums - this album can more or less be viewed as a "breaking" album for Manowar.
Even though the first two tracks "Fighting The World" and "Blow Your Speakers" are solid party rock & roll songs - I can't say that I was too impressed with them - at least not on a studio recording - they gain a lot in a live environment - that's for sure. "Carry On" also isn't exactly the strongest Manowar tune ever (even though I must admit to liking it quite a bit) with it's "easy on the ears" chorus - and "Violence & Bloodshed", although not bad, certainly isn't the best "up-tempo" song they ever recorded.
So to say - the first half of the album is quite ordinary - run of the mill metal - especially for a band like Manowar - who have proven in the past that they could do so much better. The album however - is completely redeemd by it's second half - starting out with the excellent "Defender" - an atmospheric, moody (and slow) tune on which Eric Adam's excells (it also features the haunting voice of Orson Welles once again) - up comes a small, overlookable intro ("Drums Of Doom") leading into the catchy "Holy Wars" (again - Adams steals the show in this one), unto another (slightly unnecesary) "interlude" ("Master Of Revenge") and into the album's highlight - the speed killer "Black Wind Fire And Steel" - another one of those timeless Manowar classics.
Not a bad release overall - but not matching up with any other album in the Manowar catalogue either - it's worth getting for Adam's voice alone though - and certainly is better than a lot of other rubbish out there...but not essential - unless of course you are a Manowar fan.
This album, like most every Manowar release, has its really great songs, and then its complete misfires. They're really easy to categorise too, for the most part - we end up with a few songs that make sense, and a few that absolutely don't.
"Fighting the World" - a very good song. Catchy, with some nice riffs. You really can't expect more out of a midpaced heavy metal song. Nice solo too. "Blow Your Speakers" is a bit weaker, in that the riff work isn't as well defined and the chorus totally sucks, but it's pretty decent. "Carry On" is also pretty damn good. These first three are pretty solid, although not exactly the next coming of Priest in the East. But still, nothing to demand skipping.
"Violence and Bloodshed" - fuck yeah!!! Total speed metal here. THIS is the type of song that the so-called "kings of metal" should be playing: aggressive and melodic at the same time, with great vocals by Eric Adams and great guitar work too. Then, the album just crashes and burns. "Defender" sucks - it's got the spoken part, and the rest of the song doesn't go anywhere, just kinda sits there, repeating the chorus a few times. You always expect the guitars to suddenly burst out and envelope you in flames of speed metal, but ya know, that just doesn't happen here. In fact, we then have more wankery on "Drums of Doom". Hello, where are the SONGS??
Okay, we then have "Holy War" - it's pretty average, but at least it's got some solid riffs in here. A bit cheesy, but a decent song. Then, we get to "Masturbation of Revenge" - it's like most of the second half of this album has been completely wasted by stupid screwing around.
Finally, "Black Wind Fire and Steel". Finally!!! Nice songwriting. Again, they should just concentrate on THIS, as opposed to trying to build all this atmospheric crap and prove their tr00ness or whatnot. Just play some fucking heavy metal already!!